Cognos vs Power BI

IBM Cognos Analytics and Microsoft Power BI are two of the most popular BI and data analytics applications. Both of these apps are in high demand as firms strive to leverage the massive amounts of data that are produced daily.

There is a significant volume of data submitted to data analytics, either from large datasets, social networks, database systems, or overloaded business systems. Instead of a small staff of business intelligence professionals gathering data, teams from advertising, selling, and IT are now using analytics to discover the advantages of digital change.

Business intelligence software is already a must-have for companies looking to gain every possible strategic advantage.

What is Cognos?

Cognos is an IBM business intelligence performance management application that enables professional and non-technical staff in any firm to analyze, obtain, and build interactive visualizations that help the company to make crucial choices. The Cognos tool includes several systems that allow connectivity with various third parties.

The IBM Cognos platform includes self-service features and self-service analytical services that enable business users to engage with business information despite the absence of data analysis experience. In other words, with IBM Cognos’ self-service features, no other data-related knowledge is necessary.

The accessible findings are used to aggregate data and produce consumer exploratory data graphs and graphics. Furthermore, self-service Business Intelligence lets users examine and display data without involving an IT staff.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a business analytics tool that allows you to visualize data and provide insights throughout your organization, as well as integrate them into your application or website. The system consists of numerous goods and services, and the benefit and adaptability come from utilizing the different pieces and reaping the benefits of how they interact collectively.

Microsoft Power BI is often used to run analyses and display perceptions based on a company’s data. Power BI can link to a wide variety of data sets and cleans up the information it receives so that it may be processed and comprehended more easily. The analysis and graphics created from this information may then be distributed to other users.

Similarities between the two platforms

  • Category

While both are regarded as business intelligence tools, Cognos is further characterized as Integrated Business Intelligence software and Self-Service Business Analytics software. Besides the core category stated above, Power BI offers no further statements.

  • Browser compatibility

Power BI and Cognos can be accessible via the web, which means they can also be utilized by mobile networks. Power BI now provides the needed capacity for mobile operating systems like Apple, Android, and Windows Mobile.

  • Support for the cloud

Because Cognos and Power BI are cloud-based software systems, their data is conveniently available anywhere at any moment. However, only Cognos supports local data centers.

What makes one better than the other

Power BI can connect to lots of on-premise and cloud-based data sources. With its automatic progressive updates, you may access up-to-date data from Dynamics 365, inbound marketing, Microsoft Azure DB, Spreadsheet, and PowerPoint.

Data simulation models let you handle data more quickly. To swiftly modify, connect, and enrich your data, use the self-service Power Query that many Excel users are acquainted with.

IBM Cognos can link to a wide range of data sources, such as spreadsheets. It includes methods for automatically joining numerous data sources, resulting in more useful insights. An AI Companion tool speaks in plain English, allowing you to ask questions regarding your data and receive clear advice. To discover new interactions, use the Explore tool. Exploratory visualizations provide Automation findings in straightforward language.

Pros and Cons of Cognos


  • Using a variety of data sources
  • Alerts and scheduling
  • A simple and easy-to-use interface
  • Personalized encounter
  • Smart search is context-aware
  • Offline and online interactive data is provided.
  • These advantages provide a compelling case for chooing IBM Cognos over alternative BI systems.


Along with the advantages of IBM Cognos Intelligence that are previously mentioned, there are also some disadvantages to be aware of. Having a complete overview is the best approach to determine whether this service is good for you.

  • IBM’s expenditure in Cognos R&D is decreasing.
  • The total cost of ownership (TCO) is greater than that of other tools.
  • Forecasting powers are limited.
  • IBM’s investment in Cognos R&D is dropping.
  • Will not perform well with huge data sets with many variables.
  • Cross-browser compatibility is frequently an issue.

Pros and Cons of Power BI


  • Affordable
  • Quick Updates
  • Data Availability
  • Individualized Visualizations
  • Integration with Excel
  • Visualizations that are interactive
  • Data Interconnectivity


  • Users frequently complain about Power BI’s dense and complex user interface.
  • Power BI is incapable of handling complicated interactions.
  • Sometimes, your formulas work well in Power BI, and sometimes they don’t.
  • Power BI does not give many possibilities for customizing visuals to meet your needs.
  • Power BI is a collection of interconnected technologies that you must learn and master in addition to Power BI.

Pricing difference

Power BI

  • $9.99 per month/user
  • Individual users may be licensed with current, self-service analytics, allowing them to explore data with live reports and dashboards and exchange ideas throughout the business.


  • $15 /User/Month
  • $180.00 per user per year billed yearly


Business intelligence software is already a must-have for companies looking to gain every possible strategic advantage. If you want to join the increasing population of BI software users, you won’t be disappointed with Cognos or Power BI. However, before deciding which software to utilize, consider your company’s limits.

Although nothing surpasses free (Microsoft’s Power BI desktop), using the additional Power BI capabilities takes at least the Power BI Pro edition. IBM’s Cognos, on the other hand, provides a 30day trial that allows you to determine whether the product is suitable for your needs.

Considering how urgent your analytical needs are and how detailed your standards are, you might opt to go through Power BI, which is less expensive, quicker to migrate if you’re an Office customer, and integrates with existing apps. However, if you’re intent on going deep with analytics, you might want to try out Cognos for free to evaluate what Microsoft is lacking before committing deeper.