IBM Introduces Cognos Express

IBM formally introduced a brand new Business Intelligence product specifically designed to meet the unique challenges facing small and mid-sized businesses. Nimble and entrepreneurial businesses such as these need simple, cost effective and easy-to-use, yet robust BI tools to align with their organizations strategic goals. Cognos Express offers a complete package of the most common and effective enterprise BI tools, specially designed to meet these needs.

Small and medium businesses (SMB) face some special requirements regarding BI tools, the most important being that large-scale tools are often neither cost effective or practical. While they often have the same analytic needs as larger organizations, they must remain flexible to changing market demands and trends.  Like most organizations, they need to answer 3 primary questions, across all areas of the organization:

  1. What is happening?
  2. Why is it happening?
  3. What’s going to happen?

Cognos Express answers these 3 questions by bringing enterprise-class BI reporting and analytics, plus powerful planning and forecasting tools into a single product, designed to be easy to setup up, use, and maintain.  Cognos Express is designed to be flexible in meeting the demands of SMB, while remaining aggressively priced, and providing powerful enterprise-class analysis tools, such as:

  • Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting.
  • Reporting and analysis.
  • Scorecarding and dashboards.

Cognos Express includes write-back capabilities, making it ideal for sophisticated planning and forecast applications. As businesses grow, they quickly discover that the Excel-based plans that have been the backbone of the organization till this point do not easily support multiple users and in many cases can be very error-prone.  Cognos Express, solves these problems by using a server hosted, rules based database engine, which allows for sophisticated forecasting capabilities:

  • Easily create new forecasts, based on existing forecasts or other templates.
  • Using security, limit the scope of cells specific users are allowed to view or update.
  • Use rules to calculate cell values using simple or complex rule logic.
  • Updates are instantly accessible to the entire organization. No more comparing different spreadsheet versions.
  • Easily refresh with current “Actual” data, for robust and timely “Forecast to Actual” comparisons.

Users have several different ways to tap into the power of Cognos Express:

  • The standard Cognos Report writing and analysis tools provide for formatted reporting and ad-hoc analysis.
  • The familiar Excel front-end provides for what-if and forecasting analysis
  • The Web interface allows for wide-spread, zero-footprint information access.

The most important factor is that it is your choice! The different components and user cost models allow for an organization to scale seamlessly based upon end user needs and demands.

Cognos Express is available now. The formal announcement, with a virtual launch will happen on September 29th.  Please call Ironside Group for more information, or to schedule a demo of the software.