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IBM Cognos Analytics-Based Business Transformation Going Strong

As every business continues to transform itself digitally, there is a multi-fold increase in the variety and amount of data generated. Organizations are rapidly expanding their Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities to generate insights that help them identify new opportunities, accelerate conversion of existing opportunities, and overall drive better decision making in both internal and external-facing functions. Market researchers and experts from DataTerrain forecast the global market for BI and analytics software to reach $55.4 Billion by 2026, at an average growth rate of >10%.

As one of the Top 3 players in the BI and analytics software market, with a wallet share of about 8%, IBM Cognos Analytics continues to expand its footprint rapidly and set benchmarks for its peers. IBM Cognos is the preferred choice for Fortune 100 companies and works with some of the largest organizations worldwide. The charts below summarize the distribution profile of IBM Cognos customers based on revenue, employee strength, and industry segments worldwide.

IBM Cognos has over 31,400 customers across all major regions of the U.S., and its growth has been recognized by BARC, which has named it a market leader in integrated planning and analytics portfolios.

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The extensive functionality provided by IBM Cognos addresses several categories of BI applications, including web-based OLAP analysis, formatted reporting, ad-hoc reporting, and dashboards. As an all-in-one platform, IBM Cognos handles everything from data modeling and integration to exploration and visualization. It is an ideal choice when handling large data volumes to support the needs of many concurrent users. By integrating cognitive computing technologies like Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning(ML), IBM Cognos expands the self-service features of the analytics platform through automation.

Subject matter experts from DataTerrain have seen many customers gain significant benefits when the system is set up to learn about the user’s data, automate data preparation, and generate recommendations for data joins and visualization. They also see that IBM continues to expand its offerings to end-users with a continuous release development cycle that provides newer functionality every quarter.

What sets IBM Cognos apart.

A few consistent themes on the differentiators of IBM Cognos emerge from numerous surveys, including by BARC and the constant feedback from customer CXOs to DataTerrain consultants. They are:

1.) An extensive all-in-one portfolio of features from formatted and Ad Hoc reporting, OLAP, visual and advanced analytics, dashboard creation, planning, and performance management with a user-friendly interface

2.) Extensive capabilities for advanced analytics, visual business user-oriented data discovery, and cognitive BI with automation

3.) Flexible options for deployment: on-prem, cloud, hybrid

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4.) Widespread and easily accessible partner and support community

5.) Continued investments from IBM and innovative upgrades in data management, BI, and cognitive computing for advanced analytics

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Here are six examples of how IBM Cognos transformed customer operations across industry segments:

1.) A European manufacturer of strapping machines set up a centralized and unified reporting platform across its functional areas of sales and service, warehousing and logistics, manufacturing, purchase, HR, Finance, and control using IBM Cognos. With the transformed manufacturing analytics, machine-level productivity improved by 20% and resulted in significant production cost savings.

2.) A major retailer in the U.S. automated their review and incentive compensation calculation for their client services team using IBM Cognos. This improved employee morale by providing visibility into the metrics and establishing consistency in the measures. The streamlined pay-for-performance program established accountability and overall performance by rewarding exceptional employees.

3.) A consumer packaged food company based in the U.S. needed a new integrated supply chain performance management system after a spin-off. IBM Cognos helped remove the dependency on spreadsheets and get visibility to controllable expenses at each level of the supply chain. With a single source of truth for supply chain data, detailed analysis of material and production costs helped optimize production by identifying the most cost-effective way to service each order.

4.) A leading U.S.-based media company drove individual selling behaviors of 1,800 account executives and expanded revenue across 160+ markets using IBM Cognos. The improved agility and accuracy resulted in unprecedented levels of flexibility to respond to market dynamics. Self-service features improved deal-based modeling, enabling sales executives to manage the levers to maximize their incentives and enhance operational efficiency.

5.) A leading travel agency in the U.K., which had rapidly grown through acquisitions, solved its consolidated reporting and visibility to financial metrics using IBM Cognos. This resulted in significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, and scalability, and added new capabilities to automate consolidation processes and uniquely drive individual business segment performance.

6.) A leading pension fund in Canada improved the management of its complex hierarchies, structures, dimensions in its financial reporting, planning, and forecasting using IBM Cognos. By uniting several sets of books and charts of accounts, this eliminated manual reconciliations to save several days’ effort per quarter. An additional 30 hours of annual processing time on allocation processes were saved. With near real-time information available to users, decisions have become more proactive and timely. The enhanced information governance ensured that external audits were streamlined, and compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) continued seamlessly.

IBM Cognos continues to set the benchmark in value delivered in every industry segment and government entities. It is ranked amongst the top 3 in the Ventana Value index and is the first choice for leaders looking for proven self-service analytics. With the rapid pace of innovations and continual upgrades being rolled out by IBM, the DataTerrain leadership team expects IBM Cognos to expand its global footprint and market leader positioning across industry segments at an accelerated pace.

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