When many people think of “tech,” they think of IBM. These same people also typically think of IBM Cognos Analytics when they think of “business intelligence solutions.”
Cognos is a web-based business intelligence suite known for providing a variety of tools that assist with tasks like reporting, analytics, scorecarding, and events/metrics monitoring.
Cognos is a genuine legacy product that has existed in the business intelligence space for decades. However, just because it has a long history doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you and your company’s BI needs.
If you’ve been using Cognos for a while and keep running into the same problems, it might be time to start looking for an alternative. Below are five of the top reasons why you might want to begin your search sooner rather than later.
1. IBM Cognos Isn’t Very User-Friendly
One of the most frequently cited complaints about IBM Cognos Analytics is that it’s not very user-friendly.
Those who had difficulty with the user-friendliness of Cognos noted that its user interface is not intuitive. They also said that it takes quite a while to get used to (which can interfere with a team’s productivity and overall efficiency).
The learning curve for beginners is also particularly high, which can be troublesome for newer analysts, as well as those who aren’t very tech-savvy and don’t have at least a basic knowledge of SQL.
Regarding the learning curve, users have also expressed annoyance over the lack of resources available to help them figure out the platform.
Considering the amount of time Cognos has been in use, it would make sense that there was plenty of documentation out there explaining how it works and how to use it. However, many users say that’s not the case.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of other solutions out there that don’t require extensive training before you can fully utilize them. If you’re continuously struggling to use Cognos, it might be time to switch to an alternative.
2. Cognos Takes Up a Lot of Space
A lot of users have also reported that Cognos takes up a lot of space on their devices. As a result, it slows down various processes -- some have even reported that the program stops working altogether -- especially when they’re working with large datasets and complex queries.
These slowdowns create additional frustration and impede productivity, which is particularly problematic when users are working under tight deadlines.
It’s true that IBM offers suggestions on freeing up disc space to help the Cognos platform run more efficiently. However, the process can be time-consuming and confusing for some users. It also takes them away from other core responsibilities because they’re occupied trying to make space to get their business intelligence tools running correctly.
Those who frequently face interruptions during everyday business processes may have better luck with a different tool.
3. Cognos Error Messages Are Unclear
Sometimes, errors are unavoidable, including when you’re using business intelligence tools like Cognos. The problem with Cognos’s errors, though, is that the error messages themselves are often unclear (especially for users who don’t have a lot of previous SQL knowledge).
Because of the lack of clarity, it’s difficult for users to troubleshoot and resolve the problem quickly. Some users reported having to spend significant amounts of time digging around and experimenting with different solutions to find one that worked, which creates additional productivity problems and can slow entire teams down.
Not only do unclear error messages diminish productivity, but they also make it harder to prevent the same problem from occurring again in the future. Many users have explained that when they encounter an issue, they have trouble figuring out what caused it in the first place.
As for support, some have complained about a lack of consistency in solutions provided by the IBM community. These varied responses to the same problem can make it harder for users to know where to start when troubleshooting issues and cause them to waste time guessing and hoping for the best.
4. Cognos Offers Subpar Visuals
Some users say that IBM Cognos Analytics also leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to graphics quality, as well as the overall visual appeal of the platform itself.
In some cases, the graphics generated by the platform appear outdated, as though they were created using an older tool. People have also pointed out a lack of features for customizing data visualizations (something that many other business intelligence solutions offer).
When graphics are more complex, users also find that they are difficult to display.
These display issues can interfere with reporting and presentation quality. They can also prevent teams from fully understanding their data and making the most intelligent decisions with it (which is the main point of using business intelligence software, isn’t it?).
Many business intelligence tools work better with complex graphics, so if you frequently need to create them, it may be time to search for a Cognos alternative.
5. Cognos Is Expensive
One of the most common complaints Cognos users have is that they’re paying a lot of money for a platform that doesn’t work as well as it’s purported to.
Although the standard plan starts at $10 per user per month, prices can vary quite a bit depending on the hosting type (on-cloud, client-hosted, etc.) and each user’s position (viewer, user, explorer, admin, etc.). More sophisticated plans cost upward of $70 per user per month, with admin plans costing $450 per user per month.
These high per-user prices can quickly add up and be very expensive, especially when you’re working with a large team. Small businesses and startups, in particular, may struggle to keep up with or justify these prices and find themselves making sacrifices elsewhere to cover the cost of the platform. The same goes for organizations that require more advanced analytics capabilities.
Naturally, the high price point contributes to the frustration people report feeling over things like user-friendliness and graphics quality. If you don’t think you’re getting what you’re paying for with Cognos, consider looking at other options.
DashboardFox: The Better Alternative to IBM Cognos
In light of the concerns raised about IBM Cognos, one alternative that effectively addresses these issues is DashboardFox. Unlike Cognos, DashboardFox offers an intuitive interface and a more user-friendly experience facilitating easier creation of reports and analytics.
DashboardFox sets itself apart with a unique self-hosted solution. This not only ensures that you maintain complete control over your data, but it is also an excellent match for those working under stringent data privacy regulations. Given the increasing importance of data privacy, this feature could be pivotal in your decision-making process.
Furthermore, DashboardFox operates on a one-time payment scheme, providing you with cost predictability and eliminating the hassle of recurring fees.
DashboardFox’s pricing model can lead to significant cost savings in the long run, making DashboardFox an economical alternative to IBM Cognos.
If you're intrigued by the potential of DashboardFox as an alternative to IBM Cognos, we would be delighted to help you explore further. You can schedule a meeting to discuss your specific needs or book a free live demo session to see DashboardFox in action. With DashboardFox, you can gain more control, enjoy increased savings, and navigate the world of data with greater ease.