Cognos BI

Cognos Business intelligence is IBM’s flagship BI solution and a cornerstone of their business analytics practice. They acquired it in the big BI purchasing spree in the last few years.

For years, Cognos was a standalone company based in Ottawa. In 2007, IBM purchased them and immediately rolled them under their business intelligence portfolio. It was speculated that this was in response to Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion. The industry trend for the big software and hardware vendors has been to offer everything under one roof.

They have several different products underneath the Cognos BI and Financial Performance Management umbrella. The main software for enterprise BI is now version 10.1. For many years they had been within the version 8 platform. Apparently the change was so drastic as to require skipping a version! With all of the acquisitions over the years the push was to more tightly integrate the functionality.

They also have many niche products for specific analysis and functions. As a result, there's been an extensive interest training and consulting as well.

Here's a list of some of their other products:

Cognos TM1 - This is the product designated for planning and analysis. It uses the TM1 engine, which was originally created by Applix until they were acquired in 2007. It also allows for forecasting and budgeting.

Cognos Planning – This is a legacy enterprise planning and business performance management tool, but not using the TM1 functionality.

Cognos Controller – The consolidation and close process software. It’s part of the financial performance management group. It’s a competitor to the Hyperion Financial Management products.

Cognos Insight - The desktop data visualization and discovery tool, released in Q1 2012

Business Insight - Yes, its actually a different tool and is partially a replacement of the old Report and Analysis Studios.

Cognos Transformer - An OLAP tool that used to create cubes for PowerPlay clients

IBM Performance Analytics – Similar to the Hyperion Analytics products, this allows for review of performance across sales, workforce, supply chain, and other functions.

Cognos Mobile – This allows for BI functionality to be pushed to mobile devices, such as iPads and iPhones, Blackberries, and other supported technologies.

Cognos Express – this is the product geared toward small and mid-sized businesses, released in 2009. It’s marketed as the same type of functionality as the full-fledged BI suite, but built around the TM1 engine.

Get our full review of Cognos BI here.

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