Cognos Express

Cognos Express is the BI tool geared toward small and mid-sized businesses and organizations. It’s used for engagements that are likely never to get over the 100 user or so mark.

Budget versions of business intelligence software have grown popular over the years. Qlikview and Tableau have been very popular in the departmental or small user base rollouts. Microstrategy has its free reporting suite. SAP has its BusinessObjects Edge. Of course, open source BI has been gaining market share for the last several years. The SMB market has several options, including this IBM release.

With this version, the studios that are familiar in the full-fledged BI product have been replaced with slightly renamed versions. Reporting, analysis, and dashboarding are included and deployed via a single web-based portal. What is interesting is that this package also adds functionality for planning and Excel work with its TM1 OLAP tool included. There is also an administrative module for managing users and the deployment. It can connect to a variety of data sources and can also utilize a TM1 cube of data built via planning data or other methodology.

Reporter: This is similar to the Query Studio and is used for basic reports and ad-hoc reporting.

Advisor: This is the equivalent of the old Analysis Studio and is used for advanced analysis.

Xcelerator: This is the Excel based analysis tool, based on the TM1 software package. You can enable writeback to cubes with proper configuration.

Planner: Uses TM1 cube functionality to allow for planning and Cognos Express based budgeting and forecasting data.

Manager: This is the administrative section and used for managing the portal, user security, and other high level tasks.

You won’t get some of the full bells and whistles of the full BI system. Things like alerts, mobile, and other functionality are not available without an upgrade.

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