What do you like best?
Cognos is a complete solution for delivering insights from data. Whereas many competitors do one or two things very well (create elegant data charts, natural language, etc.), Cognos provides very good tools for all three key areas of modern analytics:
Mode 1 (enterprise reporting)
Mode 2 (data discovery / self-service analytics)
Augmented (AI-driven data exploration)
Also, Data Modules and Datasets are powerful tools for solving all sorts of problems related to data cleanliness and performance.
What do you dislike?
Designing an (on-premise or private cloud) architecture to service a large number of users is complicated.
Some of the latest Cognos features (such as Explorations) don't function elegantly with OLAP data sources (such as TM1, SSAS Cubes, etc.)
No easy path to migrate content built in Dashboards to Reporting tool if advanced functionality is needed
Recommendations to others considering the product:
Be skeptical of Gartner "magic quadrants" and its placement of Cognos Analytics... In our view there are a ton of politics involved. Have worked with a ton of data and analytics tools and often can't make heads or tails of where products show up on the quadrant (actually reading the write-ups can be a bit more insightful).
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Critical data gets delivered to the users who need in all sorts of ways:
- Flexible prebuilt prompted "production" reports (traditional enterprise reporting). Can be delivered on a schedule or when something happens in the data, or run interactively. These sorts of reports still work really well for many executives who don't want to learn any new tool.
- Stories feature is great for providing a narrative around the data and visuals being shown
- Users create their own interactive dashboards easily and on the fly
- The backlog to IT has been reduced by putting some intuitive data prep tools into the hands of business power users
- Explorations uncover relationships in data that may not have otherwise been noticed and therefore reported on.