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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2021-03-04
Tableau vs Cognos: What is the difference?

There are many popular BI tools available today in the global market. But we can say that the most popular ones among them are Tableau and Cognos. Both BI tools Tableau and IBM Cognos are much useful in reporting, analyzing data, and also help in decision making. They help businesses with these functions to scale their performance to some extent. Today, we are going to discuss the comparison points for Tableau vs Cognos, BI tools. Also, we will see the major advantages of using these tools along with some important features.

Today BI tools lead the industries with GUI and other relevant features making their data visually rich.

Before we go further, let you give a brief on these BI tools that target different users and business units in the market. There are many useful features and benefits of both Bi tools within Tableau vs Cognos comparison.

Tableau is the most popular and fastest-growing widely used data visualization tool under Business Intelligence. This tool offers a very intuitive and understandable data format for various business users. Through this, it facilitates data discovery and offers simple drag-drop features. 

IBM Cognos is another popular BI tool that provides online analytics software on the BI platform. It helps in addressing the business goals of the company in a very innovative way. Also, this tool offers intuitive reporting, and dashboards for data display in a clear manner. 

Hence, both BI tools are leaders in the BI market and also have head-to-head competition. These tools are meant for making complex business data simple in an intuitive way. Let us go deeper to know the key differences for Tableau vs Cognos BI Tools. 

Comparison Tableau vs Cognos

There are many things for comparison between these tools. The following points will reveal the key differences between Tableau vs Cognos. 

Tableau is a popular BI tool, offers an easy-to-use tool for users who are not data experts. Hence, people even without having experience in handling massive data can use this tool. On the other side, Cognos is mostly useful for the data experts who can handle data efficiently. An average or less experienced data specialist cannot understand the visualizations here as are not simple as in Tableau.

In Tableau vs Cognos, IBM Cognos helps users in handling massive data by modifying it to metadata in the fastest way. Tableau on the other side also deals with large data sets display and importing the same. Also, it enables users to make relevant queries on data.

Tableau vs Cognos

In Tableau vs Cognos, the tool Tableau provides the users a facility to connect with different data sources. Also, it offers to recover the relevant data from different sources. IBM Cognos also allows its users to explore and establish a link with different data sources.

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Tableau tool offers a great integration facility with different other tools like R programming, Hadoop, Google analytics, etc. Where Cognos is well engaged with various IBM products. 

In Tableau vs Cognos, the Tableau tool offers support for Windows OS and Mac OS along with web apps/tool support. Where the other tool also supports MS Windows-64-bit OS. Also, it supports the LINUX, and Mobile operating systems along with web-based tools.

Tableau can execute various ad-hoc reports and data analysis with in-memory links that based on local DB for faster data recovery. Whereas, IBM Cognos quickly integrates the outcomes with different databases by capturing relevant data. It also provides suitable reports for the available databases. 

Both Tableau and Cognos tools offer quote-based payments to their service holders. Tableau provides the facility of one-time payment along with annual subscriptions to the users. IBM Cognos also offers a quotation-based payment facility.

Tableau software provides a free trial version to its users for one month and then charges for using. But the Cognos has no such facility of providing a free trial. 

Both Tableau and IBM Cognos have target enterprises such as small, medium, and large scale. 

The tool Tableau provides great features like GUI tools, intuitive and customized dashboards, filters, etc.. to its users. On the other side, Cognos also offers an interactive and innovative interface, schedules, reports with custom facilities, etc. 

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Tableau vs Cognos: Features of Tableau

Tableau tool has many useful features that are as follows.:-

It helps to build innovative, and informative dashboards, reports, text-files, visuals, etc

The tool offers a real-time data analysis with a mix of data from different sources.

Allows data sharing to and from different sources of data in a faster way with high security.

It makes a very fastest and secure link with any data source. For example, Google Analytics, SQL Server, etc.

Tableau provides extended and high-level security to the data and its users too.

It is also useful in building various innovative and informative maps that enable users to add different layers.

Moreover, the tool offers different types of data display charts like Bar charts, histograms, Gantt charts, etc.

The tool provides an advanced drag-n-drop interface to its various users. Through this users can quickly forecast data predictions. Also, they can analyze the available data in the fastest way.

Also, it provides very relevant and exact answers to user queries. 

It helps to build personalized and mobile-friendly dashboard layouts for mobile view. Users can view & handle the required data on their mobiles very easily with this facility. 

Tableau vs Cognos: Features of IBM Cognos

In Tableau vs Cognos, the following are the relevant features of Cognos.:-

IBM Cognos also provides users the facility to edit the current data along with providing alerts, schedules, notices, etc. on a real-time basis.

Also, this tool enables great features like real-time data observation, data analysis predictions, and building data modeling. 

This BI tool is a very reliable, highly-scalable, and independent platform to use.

It provides highly-secured data with strong firewall protection with secured access.

IBM Cognos offers support to large data platforms like AWS.

It presents data using influencing and innovative charts and maps to its users for getting relevant information.

Further, there is flexibility in importing data and reporting the same in this tool. Also, it can manage large data sets very easily.

In the tableau vs Cognos, it supports various tools for backend tasks like data warehousing, data integration, etc. 

In this battle of Tableau vs Cognos, these are the best features of both BI tools. Let us move further to know the various advantages of these BI tools.

Tableau vs Cognos: Advantages of Tableau

In Tableau vs Cognos, the BI tool Tableau has various advantages which are discussed below.:-

Tableau has an interactive drag-n-drop interface that helps users to build interactive data visuals.

It includes a data display facility with mixed data and influencing dashboards that provide meaningful insights to users.

This tool enables the user to use various coding languages like R. 

The tool is so easy to use that a non-tech user can also build dashboards without having many skills.

In terms of customer support, Tableau provides four different types. Such as complimentary, technical, OEM, and Elite programs for customer support. All these types offer different levels of customer support to the users.

This tool also can handle large sets of data without affecting the existing dashboard’s performance.

The tool has the best reporting feature using which a user can build attractive and intuitive dashboards. Even they can build customized dashboards for mobile viewing and system viewing.

It doesn’t need special skills to understand data analysis in Tableau as it offers easy and simple knowing.

Tableau vs Cognos: Advantages of Cognos

The following data gives us an idea of the various benefits of using this tool. :-

This tool also has the facility of providing interactive dashboards, enterprise reports building, data exploration, etc. It is one of the BI capabilities across BI products.

It offers transportable active data reports which are easy to email and save files into the system.

IBM Cognos provides various strategies to implement and for data analysis also.

It helps users to build various decision networks easy to share meaningful insights.

This tool enables users to connect data analytics with different workflows, solutions, and processes. Ad-hoc reporting support has also a great advantage.

Cognos supports altering and sharing data/content with the help of different interfaces and apps. 

To manage the content and reporting data, it supports the most useful Relational Database Management System.

Also, it allows users to share or publish relevant files to the secured business intelligence portal. The tool has high data security features to protect data from intrusions. 

This tool provides many real-time workflows and notifications to its users to enhance efficiency in work.

The customer support that IBM Cognos offer is very comprehensive including training and certifications courses. Moreover, it offers such support to the customers using the BI tool, Cognos.

Easily integrates with MS Excel, spreadsheets. 

Thus, we have seen the various advantages of both tools in the Tableau vs Cognos comparison. Now, we look into some disadvantages held with these tools.

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Tableau vs Cognos: Disadvantages

Disadvantages of Tableau

The following points represent the various cons of the Tableau BI tool.:-

This tool doesn’t offer support in data retrieval from the server upon publishing various dashboards, reports, and other visuals.  

The tool doesn’t include the data refreshment feature automatically for the reports viewing. There is no scheduling within the options schedule.

In case, there is a large business enterprise, and then it becomes costly to scale.

It also doesn’t render the reports at much speed, as sometimes the Cognos server goes down.

No user-friendly GUI has, comparing to other BI tools available in the current market.

Here, building rich and high-level datasets requires the skills of SQL. 

To build different fields, it needs to put heavy manual efforts as there is limited availability of column tables here.

Disadvantages of IBM Cognos

The following points are the various disadvantages of IBM Cognos. 

It doesn’t support various deployments that any business department offers.

The tool also not support Mac OS in various parameters.

The major cons of this tool are that it is not easier to understand, simple to use, for non-tech users.

Also, the tool doesn’t offer a free trial of the software to its users. 

What makes you select the right BI tool?

Due to faster processing and data rendering with speed Tableau is more preferable to Cognos. Cognos has a great toolset but it needs to reset up the system to run and then check the results. Custom dashboards and reports are the best offerings of Tableau within Tableau vs Cognos where the other one has limitations. The cost of applying these tools in business needs also comparatively moderate depending upon the situation. 

As mentioned above the relevant features and advantages, and also depending on the needs, users can choose the better one. Many companies appoint professional advisers in this situation to get benefit from using them in the long run. 


Hence, I tried to cover all the relevant things relating to the comparison between Tableau vs Cognos in this blog. There are many differences in usage of Tableau and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence tools. Generally, the BI tools meant for data display in different formats available with various tools. It depends upon the business requirements and the kind of data they deal with to choose a better BI tool. If you’re in search of knowing these tools in detail then, you’re on the right platform. You can go with the Tableau Online Training with ITGuru platform and can learn practical things in real-time with industry experts.