Cognos Tutorial: What is IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting Tool?

What is Cognos?

IBM Cognos is a business intelligence tool for web-based reporting and analytics. This enterprise software provides various features to perform data aggregation and create user-friendly detailed reports. Cognos also offers an option to export reports in XML or PDF format and view the reports in XML format.

In this IBM Cognos tutorial for beginners, you will learn Cognos basics like:

History of Cognos BI

Year Milestone
1969 Cognos software was founded by Alan Rushforth and Peter Glenister.
1979 It began as a consulting firm for the Canadian Government and offered its first software product, QUIZ.
1982 Originally Quasar Systems Limited, it adopted the name Cognos in the year
1982 Cognos name is derived from a fragment scissor off the Latin word “cognosco. It means “knowledge from personal experience.”
1995 Ron Zambonini was appointed as a CEO of and Cognos.
2007 IBM formally announced its acquisition of Cognos for the sum of $4.9 billion.
2009 From 2009, the software is called “Cognos Bl and Financial Performance Management” or Cognos Bl and FPM.
2010 Cognos acquired SPSS were brought together to create the Business Analytics division.
2015 The IBM Insight conference in Las Vegas, announced a redesigned version 11 and upgraded from Cognos BI software and renamed it Cognos Analytics.
2018 Cognos Analytics Released version 12
2021 Release 11.0.13 version with new installation process.

Features of IBM Cognos

Following are important features of Cognos.

  • Offers In-memory streaming analytics
  • Provides Real-time events, alerts, and notifications.
  • Intuitive, appealing Web 2.0 interface
  • Personalized and progressive interaction
  • Drag-and-drop, free-form assembly, and search-assisted authoring
  • Wizard-driven external data
  • Automatic access to SAP BW queries
  • Allows features like scenario modeling, real-time monitoring, and predictive analytics
  • Users can edit existing data.
  • Drill-Through Capability.
  • Potential Image Documentation Integration.
  • It is platform independent, scalable, and reliable.
  • Offers secure data as it is guarded by a firewall

Component in Cognos

Now in this Cognos analytics tutorial, we will learn about various components in Cognos:

Here are the important components of Cognos software:

Cognos Connection:

Cognos connection is a web portal that allows users to access Cognos 10 and studios. Based on your assigned role, you can use this component to retrieve, view, publish, manage, and organize companies’ reports, scoreboards, and agents.

The Administrator also using Cognos Connection to establish roles and user permissions and manage the Cognos Connection content.

Cognos Business Insight

Cognos Business Insight allows users to create their dashboard using any object. All content which the user is permitted to view will be presented as an object. This can be used in your workspace to create a fully personalized dashboard.

Cognos Query Studio:

Cognos Query Studio helps business users to get fast answers to business related queries. It helps organizations to better understand the product, customer, and organizational needs. It also helps them to react quickly and stay ahead of the competition.

Cognos Analysis Studio:

Cognos Analysis Studio helps businesses to find and focus on things which are important to the business. It also helps to understand the latest trends, compare data, and assess business performance for multidimensional analysis.

Cognos Business Insight Advanced:

Cognos business insight Advanced is a new module included in Cognos 10. It combines Cognos query studio and Cognos Analysis Studio. It offers robust authoring environment for business peoples.

Cognos Report Studio:

Using the Cognos reporting tool, you can create pixel-perfect reports for your organization. It allows you to create charts, maps, lists, or any other available report type using relational or multidimensional data sources.

Cognos Event Studio:

This tool allows you to assign a specific event that sends a notification to the stakeholder in your organization. You can create agents which enables you to your events and thresholds. Therefore, the event occurs or threshold is reached the agent sends the notification.

Cognos Metric Studio:

Cognos Metric Studio allows you to monitor and analyze business metrics of your organization by building a scorecard environment. It also helps you to establish criteria and then monitor your organization to see how it is responding as the changes made in the criteria.

How to Download and Install Cognos

Now in this Cognos tool tutorial, we will learn How to download and install Cognos software:

Step 1) Open Cognos analytics link
Visit Cognos analytics link –

Step 2) Click on start your free trial
In the Home screen select “Start your free trial” button.

Start your free trial

Step 3) Register yourself
Register yourself by filling the below-given form.

Register yourself

Register yourself

Step 4) Click on Proceed button
Select the “Proceed button” at the bottom of the screen.

Click on proceed button

Step 5) Code verification
Enter the code that you have received in your Inbox and click on Verify button.

Click on Verify button

Step 6) Cognos installation is done
You will see Home Screen, the message “Welcome to IBM Cognos Analytics.”

Home Screen

Types of Cognos

Here are the important types of Cognos reporting tool:

Content Store:

It is set of database tables which are used by the Content Manager to store application data of the Cognos.

Content Manager:

The Cognos manager helps you to manage storage and retrieval of report specifications, configuration data, published packages, from the content store database.

Cognos Content Database:

Cognos content database is a self-contained database server which is used to host the content store database in demo environments when enterprise DMBS in unavailable.

Other major Important BI vendors

  • Business Objects ( Owned by SAP )
  • Information Builders – Focus & WebFocus.
  • Microsoft – SSRS/SSIS/SSAS
  • MicroStrategy
  • OBIEE (Oracle)
  • QlikTech – QlikView
  • SAS

Advantages of using Cognos

Here, are pros/ benefits of using Cognos software:

  • You can publish and Cognos-enabled files to the secure BI portal.
  • Cognos BI provides a limitless workspace to support how people think and work.
  • It offers various BI capabilities like query and reporting, analysis, and score carding using single architecture.
  • Easily view – assemble and personalize information.
  • Helps you to analyze fact and anticipate tactical and strategic implications
  • Allows you to collaborate to establish decision networks to share insights and drive towards collective intelligence.
  • Offers transparency and accountability to drive alignment and consensus.
  • Helps you to communicate and coordinate tasks to engage the right people at the right time
  • Allows you to Integrate and link analytics to business workflow solutions and process.
  • Reduced time to decision by accessing data with no latency.
  • Helps you to Increase productivity among workers by accessing data for intraday decisions.
  • Allows users to share and modify Cognos BI content using known applications and interfaces.
  • It supports the leading RDBMS to persist data that is related to content management and reporting.
  • Improved productivity through proactive through real-time notifications and workflow.
  • Distribute business intelligence to everyday users.

Disadvantages of Cognos

Here are cons/drawbacks of using Cognos

  • Cognos Bi has also not been accepted very eagerly in departmental or divisional deployments.
  • No support for any Multi-dimensional analysis.


  • IBM’s Cognos BI is a web-based reporting and analytics tool
  • IBM Cognos analytics software was founded in 1969 by Alan Rushforth and Peter Glenister.
  • Cognos BI offers real-time events, alerts, and notifications.
  • Cognos connection is a web portal that allows users to access Cognos 10 and studios
  • Cognos Business Insight offers allows users can create their dashboard using any object.
  • Cognos Analysis Studio helps business users get fast answers to business-related queries.
  • Reporting studio allows you to create pixel-perfect reports for your organization.
  • Cognos event studio allows you to assign a specific event that sends a notification to the stakeholder in your organization.
  • Cognos Metric Studio allows you to monitor and analyze business metrics of your organization by building a scorecard environment.
  • Important types of Cognos tools are 1) Content store 2) Content manager 3) Content database.
  • Other major Important BI vendors are Business Objects, Microsoft – SSRS/SSIS/SSAS, MicroStrategy, OBIEE, QlikView, and SAS.
  • The major advantage of Cognos BI is that it offers various BI capabilities like query and reporting, analysis, and score carding using single architecture.