IBM Cognos 10 Highlights: 10 Reasons to Migrate

Released in October of 2010, IBM Cognos 10 is a vastly improved release and sets the bar high for integrated business intelligence platforms and performance management.

Here are ten reasons to consider upgrading to (or making an initial investment in) IBM Cognos 10.

Statistics and Predictive Analytics

One of the most significant additions to IBM Cognos 10 is the integration of IBM’s SPSS Modeler. SPSS became part of the equation when IBM acquired SPSS a few years back and began to incorporate it into Cognos’ report-authoring area of the Cognos BI platform. Its Statistics and predictive analytics capabilities give users the ability to gain insights through analysis of historical and real-time data and then deliver predictive information through integrated dashboards. Additionally, the application provides key statistical tests so that decision makers can verify the assumptions that are modeled.


It could be argued that management has two major roles: make decisions in a timely fashion and ensure that the decisions are responsible and credible with a focus on actual data. IBM Cognos 10 provides every user within an organization with the same accountable data. Knowing exactly where data comes from lets people move beyond the common concerns of whether the data is accurate into thinking about how to best utilize the information for corporate growth.

Collaboration/Co-working Capabilities

In the world of growing social media and virtual interactions, IBM has recognized that BI is part of a decision-making process and includes collaborators who need BI capabilities to support that process. IBM Lotus Connections is a social software for businesses and is now the backbone for IBM Cognos 10 collaboration. When users are working within IBM Cognos 10, changes and decisions can be noted. Email alerting is available to notify participants of updates to the process. Users can view the backgrounds of others on their project team. Additionally, in a world of increasing compliance requirements, an audit trail of the decision-making process can be reviewed after the fact if necessary.

Self Service Interface with Easy to Use Reports

One area that IBM has focused on with this IBM Cognos 10 release is improvements within the offered studio capabilities, particularly with regards to facilitating the authoring process and making report preparation that much more user friendly. IBM Cognos Business Insight, an offering within Cognos 10, is an easy to use data consolidation location that provides end users with the ability to find answers to key business questions. A step beyond Business Insight is Business Insight Advanced, which gives users the ability to edit already existing reports. They no longer need to ask report designers for the simplest changes. Now they can individually change a report’s dimension, form, and point of view, without the need to bog down IT departments.

Active Reports

Further on the topic of “Easy to Use Reports”, IBM Cognos 10 includes “self-contained interactive content”, which IBM Cognos calls “active reports.” The benefit, you ask? If you travel disconnected or are disconnected at a customer site, active reports allow users to delve into a portion of the data that has been associated with the report. With its write-back and what-if capabilities, changes made within IBM Cognos 10 will be synchronized when you reconnect.

Performance Enhancements

Likely expected, this Cognos release includes performance enhancements. They shorten the time for both cube-building and querying. Utilizing the new Dynamic Query Model engine, organizations are seeing up to 80% faster query response time on IBM Cognos TM1 cubes. This feature leverages a caching scheme and query-routing techniques to speed up queries by directing them to the cache or to an OLAP cube or relational source, whichever is appropriate. Dynamic query is limited to TM1, SAP and Essbase cubes as of the latest release, but further cube support is scheduled for upcoming releases.


We’ve found that mobile functionality is growing in importance and often a non-negotiable requirement. IBM Cognos Mobile can now support Apple’s iPhones and iPads as well as BlackBerrys (and other Windows Mobile devices).

Event Management

Event Management capabilities have seen changes as well. Event authors are now given more options than before, which allow them to control more aspects of the event. Events can be managed within Event Studio or within My Inbox and users can be notified through email once their tasks are created. Additionally, there are three groups of Task users: owners, potential owners, and stakeholders.

Ease of Upgrade

IBM Cognos’ original offering, Upgrade Manager, has been recently renamed IBM Cognos Lifecycle Manager, and the changes go beyond the name. Most importantly, when comparing two versions of the same report, the process has been expedited and simplified. Customer references have verified the simplicity too. At the IBM Cognos 10 Launch in Las Vegas in October, Beta Customer, Boeing was brought on stage to tell the audience that their upgrade from Cognos 8 to Cognos 10 took 6 days.


IBM Cognos 10 has changed the availability of its search capabilities by bringing it into the common workspace. The search feature is very well integrated with the entire content store but is still focused primarily on structured data and related documents.