IBM Cognos Analytics

IBM Cognos Analytics

What is Cognos?

Cognos is a business intelligence and performance management software suite that provides a range of tools for reporting, analysis, score carding, and monitoring of key performance indicators. It is designed to help organizations make better business decisions by providing access to real-time information and insights from various data sources. Cognos is developed and marketed by IBM.

Cognos Analytics combines with several third parties to allow communication such as relational databases, SAPs, and so on. The highly interactive ability of IBM Cognos makes it an easy way of designing user-friendly dashboards and reports for any organization.

History of Cognos BI

Cognos BI has a rich history that started back decades. Some common milestones are mentioned below:

  • 1969: The original company Cognos was founded by Alan Rushforth and Peter Glenister in Ottawa, Canada, under the name Quasar Systems Limited. It initially focused on developing database management and data retrieval software.
  • 1982: The company changes its name to Cognos Corporation and shifts its focus to business intelligence software.
  • 1984: Cognos releases its first product, Quasar, and offered reporting and analysis features.
  • 1992: Cognos introduces its PowerPlay OLAP (online analytical processing) product, which enables users to analyze large volumes of data quickly and easily.
  • 2003: It acquired Adaytum, a leading provider of planning and budgeting software.
  • 2005: Cognos released version 8 of its BI software, which includes a range of new features such as dashboards, scorecards, and a web-based interface.
  • 2007: IBM acquires Cognos for $5 billion and incorporated its BI software into its larger software portfolio.
  • 2010: IBM releases Cognos 10, which introduces new features such as social media analytics and mobile BI capabilities.
  • 2015: IBM rebrands its BI software as IBM Cognos Analytics, with a focus on self-service analytics and data exploration.
  • 2018: Cognos released version 12
  • 2021: Cognos released 11.0.13 versions with a new installation process

What makes working with Cognos so effortless?

Cognos is a BI tool that allows users to create dashboards and make informed decisions. Because it can predict the changes in the industry. Today, most companies take key business decisions through Cognos at the right to overcome all the industrial challenges.

Cognos has enabled working significantly easy for companies. Some of the common reasons are:

  • It is provided by tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence which enable the creation of dashboards and reports, and make future predictions.
  • It applies detection property to understand and discover hidden patterns in organizational data. That otherwise remains unseen or unheard in normal situations.
  • One of the significant features of IBM Cognos is to create intelligent dashboards in several formats aid to organizational demands. It allows stakeholders to analyze the reports and help to make informed decisions.
  • IBM Cognos extracts information using natural language processing from raw text. Natural language processing was powered by AI that helps the users to get intelligent responses to the questions imposed by them.
  • Manual tasks demand time and effort. IBM Cognos reduces manual tasks by automating the data collection, gathering, storage, and preparation process using its built-in intelligence system.

Working with IBM Cognos Analytics

Some of the main components of IBM Cognos Analytics include:

Cognos Query Studio: It is a web-based reporting tool that enables non-technical business users to create ad-hoc reports and queries using a drag-and-drop interface. You can easily create reports by selecting data items from various data sources, filtering data, and grouping data as required.

Cognos Query Studio is made to be simple to use and doesn’t need much training. Users can organize and sort data, add computed fields, and make charts and graphs using a variety of capabilities that let them personalize their reports.

Cognos Connection: It is a web portal that enables users to use Cognos 10 and Studio. Cognos Connection is used to publish, organize, manage, view, and retrieve organizational reports, scoreboards, and agents. Users can organize their content into folders, create shortcuts to frequently accessed content, and search for content using keywords or metadata.

Cognos Business Insight: It enables users to create their dashboards through any object. It helps to create personalized dashboards and reports using drag-and-drop interfaces and a wide range of visualization options. Data from many sources may be combined and compared with ease. Calculated fields can be created, and filters can be used to concentrate on particular parts of the data.

Furthermore, it offers a variety of collaboration and sharing features that enable users to collaborate on projects in real time as well as share their reports and insights with others.

Cognos Report Studio: Using the IBM reporting tool, you can design pixel-perfect reports for your company. It enables you to generate charts, lists, maps, or any other accessible report format through relational and multidimensional data sources. Users can customize the layout and format of their reports by adding logos, images, and conditional formatting, as well as grouping and sorting data as needed.

Cognos Event Studio: This Cognos tool enables users to assign a particular event that sends a notification to the stakeholder in your company. You can create agents that allow you to your thresholds and events. Hence, the events take place or the threshold is reached the agents send the notification.

Cognos Event Studio is made to provide users with real-time notifications when specific conditions are satisfied, allowing them to react to changing business conditions more rapidly and effectively. For instance, a manufacturing manager might get notified when a production line is down, or a sales manager might set up an alert to tell them when sales reach a certain threshold.

Cognos Analysis Studio: This tool helps businesses to identify and focus on things that are significant to the company. It further aids users to analyze the latest trends, assess business performance, and compare data for multidimensional analysis.

Unlike traditional reporting tools, Cognos Analysis Studio enables users to build multidimensional cubes and explore data more dynamically and flexibly. They can simply browse across hierarchies, drill up and down to analyze data at various degrees of detail and use a drag-and-drop interface to generate sophisticated calculations.

Types of Cognos

  • Content store: It refers to the database table that is used by the content manager to store the application data of Cognos.
  • Content manager: It helps users to look after the storage and retrieval of configuration data, report specifications, and published packages from the content store database.
  • Content database: It refers to a self-contained database server that is used to host the content store database in a demo environment when enterprise DBMS is unavailable. 

Advantages of IBM Cognos Analytics

Cognos is the most preferred tool for any company to make informed decisions. Some main advantages that IBM Cognos Analytics offer includes the:

  • Data preparation: Different formats files such as spreadsheets, and CSV can easily be uploaded and accessed. It helps to find the relevant data sources through an intelligent system that uses Natural language and automates the process of integration of several data sources.
  • Data exploration: Cognos helps clients to visualize and report data professionally. Cognos’ intelligent capabilities enable plotting the appropriate chart for a specific business issue. The geospatial functionality is also present in the dashboard.
  • Data sharing: Once data preparation and exploration are done, it is ready to be shared in a cloud or over different platforms. It allows clients to report subscriptions and varying charts can be mixed to form a story through several features such as overlays, voiceovers, and so on.
  • Enable users to increase productivity among laborers by accessing data for intraday decisions.
  • Allows users to consolidate and link analytics to business workflow solutions and processes.
  • Help to enhance productivity via proactive workflow and real-time notifications.

Disadvantages of IBM Cognos Analytics

  • IBM Cognos has not been accepted readily in divisional or department deployments.
  • It doesn’t offer support for any multidimensional analysis.

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson is a BI tool that combines dashboards, modeling, analysis, reporting, explorations, and other capabilities. Once Cognos Analytics is installed and configured, managers define security and link data sources. The tool is then ready to use:

  • User interface: Whether you’re an administrator, modeler, report author, or analyst, you begin by logging in to the Cognos Analytics portal from your mobile device or desktop. Then, Cognos Analytics welcome page appears. You explore the application from this location. Based on your work, you migrate to different areas of the user interface. All Cognos Analytics offerings use the same user interface.
  • Access permissions: They are used to secure the company’s data. Your manager adds you to the roles and groups that have the permissions and abilities you need to work with secured features, functions, and your company’s content.
  • Sources of data: To design and run explorations, stories, dashboards, or reports you need data. This data is often available to you by managers who design data modules and packages, or even you can upload your data files. You can use data sets, packages, uploaded files, and data modules as sources of data for your IBM Cognos applications.
  • Explorations: This feature offers a flexible workspace where you can identify and analyze data. You can identify hidden relationships and discover patterns that turn your data into insights.
  • Reports: You can create active and standard reports in the IBM Cognos Analytics- under-reporting element. You can view, edit, or run a report once it is saved in the portal. Reports are often scheduled to run at regular time intervals.
  • Dashboards and stories: Cognos Analytics offers stories and dashboards to communicate your analysis and insights. You can integrate a view that includes visualizations like maps, tables, plots, charts, graphs, or any other data visual representation.
  • Managing content: This includes reports, uploaded files, stories, dashboards, report views, packages, URLs, folders, shortcuts, and others.
  • Personal settings: To customize your experience. You can edit and view your regional and personal information, set up logging, monitor the system activities, and others.
  • Integration with other Cognos products: Along with supported versions of other IBM Cognos products.


Today, IBM Cognos Analytics continues to be a leading business intelligence and performance management solution, helping organizations around the world to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes.

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