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QlikView vs Cognos: A Comparative Analysis

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    When it comes to business intelligence tools, Qlikview and Cognos are two of the leading platforms in the industry. Each offers unique features for data visualization, reporting, and analytics.

    Comparing Qlikview's in-memory processing with Cognos's enterprise-level reporting capabilities provides valuable insights for organizations looking to harness their data effectively. This analysis will delve into the strengths and limitations of both tools, aiding businesses in making an informed decision.

    Additionally, we'll explore how Sourcetable offers a streamlined, user-friendly alternative with its spreadsheet-like interface that seamlessly syncs with your data, presenting a modern approach to business intelligence tasks.


    What is QlikView?

    QlikView is a guided analytics solution that enables the rapid development and delivery of analytics applications and dashboards. Its core feature is an associative engine, which allows for the dynamic generation of new data views. This technology facilitates an associative experience across all data utilized for analysis.

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    What is Cognos?

    Cognos is a business intelligence tool designed to help organizations make data-driven decisions. It provides capabilities for data visualization and the creation of interactive dashboards. Developed by IBM, Cognos incorporates artificial intelligence to enhance analytics and reporting features. The tool is versatile, offering deployment options both on-premises and on the cloud, catering to different business needs.

    • Cost and Trial Information

      Organizations interested in Cognos can start using the service at a starting price of $10.60 per month for each user. Additionally, there is an option to try Cognos for free through a trial version, allowing potential users to evaluate the tool's features and capabilities before making a financial commitment.


    Key Features of QlikView

    Associative Engine

    The associative engine is central to QlikView's uniqueness, enabling complex data analysis and discovery.

    Visual Discovery

    QlikView offers intuitive visual discovery features, facilitating easy interpretation of data patterns and trends.

    Augmentation with AI

    Qlik Cloud Analytics and Qlik Sense enhance QlikView by integrating AI to support advanced, intuitive insights.

    Analytics Evolution

    Qlik's solutions are designed to transition users from passive data consumption to active, engaged analytics.

    Deployment Options

  • Qlik Cloud Analytics provides a cloud-based SaaS deployment.
  • Qlik Sense is available for on-premises deployment.
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    Key Features of Cognos Analytics

    Data Modeling Capabilities

    Cognos Analytics is a web-based platform for data modeling. It enables users to upload and connect to data sources, perform joins, and model data efficiently.

    Dashboard and Reporting Functions

    Interactive dashboards and enterprise reports are integral to Cognos Analytics, providing advanced data visualization and insights.

    Advanced Analytics

    The tool supports predictive forecasting and decision trees, harnessing AI for deeper data analysis.

    AI-Enhanced Features

    Cognos Analytics incorporates AI to expedite data preparation, automate exploration, and enhance data security.


    Advantages of Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Efficient Data Analysis

    Qlikview's dynamic dashboards facilitate rapid data interpretation, leveraging in-memory technology for swift data processing and visualization, which is essential for informed decision-making.

    Collaboration and Decision Making

    With features that promote teamwork, Qlikview enhances collaboration, enabling multiple users to contribute to data-driven decisions.

    Implementation and Ease of Use

    The tool's simplicity ensures easy implementation and a user-friendly experience for diverse business intelligence tasks.

    Data Security and Management

    Qlikview provides robust data security measures, ensuring that sensitive information is well-protected during analysis processes.

    Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

    Qlikview's good speed, excellent data compression, and cost-effective pricing model make it a practical solution for businesses seeking to optimize their BI operations.

    Advanced Data Handling

  • Qlikview's in-memory technology ensures efficient data handling.
  • The QIX Engine facilitates powerful data indexing and search capabilities.
  • Data visualization tools in Qlikview turn complex data sets into understandable and actionable insights.
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    Disadvantages of Using Qlikview for Business Intelligence

    Inefficiency in Real-Time Data Analysis

    Qlikview's performance may lag in scenarios demanding real-time data analysis. This could impact decision-making processes that rely on up-to-the-minute data.

    Technical Expertise Requirement

    Application development in Qlikview necessitates a significant level of technical know-how, potentially increasing the learning curve for new users.

    Integration Challenges

    Embedding Qlikview with other software systems can be cumbersome, leading to potential issues in seamless data flow and user experience.

    Customer Support Issues

    Feedback suggests that Qlikview's customer support may not meet the expectations of its users, which could result in prolonged resolution times for issues.

    Outdated Tools and Interfaces

    The user interface and toolsets of Qlikview may not align with modern standards, possibly affecting productivity and user adoption.

    Cost Implications for SMEs

    The expense of implementing Qlikview may be prohibitive for small or medium-sized enterprises, making it a less viable option for businesses with limited budgets.

    Community Feedback

    Poor ratings in surveys may reflect a broader community sentiment towards Qlikview, indicating areas where it falls short compared to competitors.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Qlikview

    How much memory does QlikView use when running a script compared to working in the layout?

    QlikView uses 3-4 times as much memory when running a script as when working in the layout.

    Can QlikView handle large data sets and what are the limitations?

    QlikView can handle a few million rows of typical transaction data on a PC with 512MB of RAM and up to one billion rows of transaction data on large servers.

    How does QlikView handle joining fields?

    QlikView can automatically join fields with the same name and can join fields with different names using an alias or AS statement.

    What are some ways to share QlikView documents with others?

    QlikView can be shared with others using QlikView Server or QlikView Publisher.

    Can QlikView restrict access to documents?

    QlikView can limit who can use a document using section access.

    Use Cases for Qlikview

    • Qlikview

      Improving efficiency, customer service, and sales

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      Simplifying analytics with a company-wide portal

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      Boosting operational success

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      Lowering costs and reducing effort to convert loan prospects

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    Advantages of Using Cognos for Business Intelligence

    Comprehensive BI Suite

    Cognos provides a full-featured business intelligence suite that supports the entire analytics cycle. Its robust architecture caters to extensive reporting and data analytics needs.

    AI Assistance and Automation

    The integration of AI and advanced automation streamlines data analysis, from preparation to visualization, enhancing productivity and enabling efficient decision-making.

    Data Governance and Security

    Security features such as multi-factor authentication, row and role level security ensure data integrity and compliance, critical for maintaining trust in business insights.

    Scalability and Integration

    Cognos's scalable design is ideal for larger deployments, capable of handling complex data and integrating seamlessly with a range of IBM and third-party products.

    User Experience and Collaboration

    With self-service capabilities and an intuitive interface, Cognos empowers users to collaborate effectively, reducing reliance on specialized developers for data tasks.

    Flexibility and Accessibility

  • Connection to multiple data sources permits a unified view of information.
  • Operational reporting and the ability to publish data to various platforms enhance accessibility.
  • Email report delivery ensures timely distribution of insights.
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    Disadvantages of Using Cognos for Business Intelligence

    Integration and Functionality Limitations

    Cognos displays limited API integration capabilities, restricting seamless compatibility with diverse systems and applications. Its AI functionalities fall short of automating the entirety of analytical tasks, notably lacking in features such as AI data cleansing, automated dashboard creation, data governance controls, row level security, and multi-factor authentication. Due to this, users are compelled to rely on external tools for data cleaning, transformation, and integration.

    User Experience Challenges

    The platform's user interface is considered outdated and not user-friendly, particularly for beginners, resulting in a steep and difficult learning curve. The lack of modernity in the interface and the necessity for initial training can dampen productivity and user adoption. Moreover, the mobile experience is inferior to desktop usage, and video quality is substandard, requiring enhancements.

    Performance and Scalability Issues

    Performance concerns arise when handling large datasets, as Cognos can experience lags and consume excessive CPU resources. The need for optimized resource consumption is evident to improve scalability and responsiveness in data-intensive scenarios.

    Support and Community

    The support from Cognos does not meet industry standards, and the platform suffers from a lack of community support. This can hinder issue resolution and learning, impacting overall user satisfaction. Additionally, with Cognos not being as widely adopted as competitors like Qlik and Tableau, users may find fewer resources and discussions to assist in troubleshooting and best practices.

    Security and Self-Service

    From a security and self-service perspective, Cognos falls short. Without features such as row level security or multi-factor authentication, it may not meet all organizational security requirements. The absence of self-service capabilities limits users' autonomy in data exploration and analysis.

    Cost and Resource Management

    Organizations considering Cognos must be aware of its cost, which can be significant, potentially affecting the return on investment. Additionally, managing the platform's resource consumption is crucial to prevent overutilization of computing power.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Cognos

    What web browsers are supported by Cognos?

    Cognos is supported on different web browsers but does not support all Studios in Chrome or Safari.

    What are the prerequisites for using Cognos?

    Cognos requires a secure internet connection and users must request permission to view certain data.

    Can I change the appearance of reports in Cognos?

    Yes, users can alternate the shading of each line in Cognos reports.

    What is the purpose of Cognos AP Data?

    Cognos AP Data is used for reconciliations and helps determine which invoices have been processed, when checks will be cut, and if checks have been mailed.

    How can I retrieve scanned invoices in Cognos?

    The Cognos AP Doc Viewer is used to retrieve scanned invoices.

    Use Cases for Cognos

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      Developing analytics solutions for business intelligence

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      Generating deep insights on overall business performance

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      Scheduling and sending out business intelligence reports

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      Consuming visualization reports for strategic decision-making

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      Using predictive data analysis for forecasting trends and outcomes


    Why Sourcetable Is a Superior Business Intelligence Tool

    Sourcetable offers a streamlined alternative for business intelligence compared to Qlikview and Cognos. It provides a unified platform that integrates data from various services into an accessible spreadsheet-like interface, simplifying the data analytics process.

    • Enhanced Simplicity and Accessibility

    • Unified data integration reduces complexity.
    • Spreadsheet-like interface familiar to most users.
    • Minimizes the learning curve for new users.
    • Efficient Data Management and Reporting

    • Automated syncing of data ensures real-time accuracy.
    • Consolidated reporting saves time and resources.
    • Streamlines workflows by eliminating the need for multiple tools.
    • Optimized for Collaboration

    • Facilitates data sharing and team collaboration.
    • Enables quick decision-making based on current data.
    • Accessible from anywhere, enhancing remote teamwork.
    • Cost-Effective Solution

    • Reduces the need for specialized training.
    • Lowers overall cost of ownership compared to complex platforms.
    • Increases productivity by focusing on core data analysis tasks.
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    Comparison of QlikView and Cognos

    QlikView and Cognos are both analytics solutions designed to facilitate business intelligence. They share a common goal of empowering organizations to make data-driven decisions.

    Deployment Options

    Both QlikView and Cognos offer flexibility in deployment. They can be deployed in cloud-based environments as well as on-premises, catering to a variety of business needs and compliance requirements.

    Data Discovery and Visualization

    QlikView and Cognos provide intuitive visual discovery tools, enabling users to analyze and visualize data effectively. This enhances the ability of more people within an organization to leverage business intelligence.

    Real-time Collaboration

    The platforms facilitate real-time collaboration and action, allowing teams to work together efficiently and make timely decisions based on the latest data.

    AI-Powered Insights

    Both solutions harness the power of artificial intelligence to deliver insights, augmenting human intuition with machine learning and predictive analytics to guide strategic decision-making.

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    Comparison Between QlikView and Cognos

    Analytics Solution Inception

    QlikView was the first analytics solution launched by Qlik, establishing it as an early player in the analytics field. Cognos, now under IBM, has been a long-standing competitor but was not the initiating product for its parent company.

    Data Processing Engine

    QlikView utilizes an associative engine for data processing, which revolutionized data usage in organizations. Cognos uses a more traditional SQL-based engine for querying databases.

    Deployment Options

    QlikView offers flexible deployment options, including cloud-based SaaS with Qlik Cloud Analytics and on-premises with Qlik Sense. Cognos also provides cloud and on-premises deployment but has been traditionally known for its on-premises solutions.

    Data Discovery and Visualization

    QlikView emphasizes intuitive visual discovery, allowing users to explore and interact with data seamlessly. Cognos provides robust reporting and dashboard capabilities but with a different approach to data discovery.

    Artificial Intelligence and Collaboration

  • QlikView integrates AI-powered insights to augment human intuition, while Cognos also offers AI capabilities through IBM Watson integration.
  • QlikView promotes real-time collaboration and action, a feature that is comparably available in Cognos but may be implemented differently.
  • Use Case and Industry Adoption

    Qlik Sense, an on-premises solution of Qlik, is tailored for industries with strict data regulations, while Cognos has a strong foothold across various industries due to IBM's extensive reach.


    Comparison of QlikView, Cognos, and SourceTable

    QlikView vs. Cognos

    QlikView is known for its associative engine, which was a revolutionary approach to data utilization in organizations. It facilitates visual data discovery and is adept for use in business intelligence applications. Cognos, an IBM product, also serves the business intelligence market but traditionally relied on a query-based approach. This can limit the spontaneity of data exploration compared to QlikView's associative model. Both solutions offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities, but QlikView's engine may offer more intuitive insights through its unique data association methodology.

    QlikView vs. SourceTable

    While QlikView is established as Qlik's inaugural analytics solution with a strong emphasis on visual data discovery and an associative engine, SourceTable's details are not provided. Without specifics on SourceTable's features or architecture, a direct comparison cannot be made. However, QlikView's strengths in handling various deployment environments, such as cloud-based and on-premises, should be noted, as not all tools may offer this level of flexibility.

    Cognos vs. SourceTable

    Similar to the previous section, the absence of details on SourceTable's capabilities prevents a meaningful comparison with Cognos. IBM's Cognos is a well-established business intelligence tool with a history of providing data reporting and analytics. It is likely that SourceTable also serves a role in the data analytics sphere, but without concrete information, the comparison is not feasible.

    Deployment Flexibility

    QlikView offers versatility in deployment options, effectively supporting both cloud-based and on-premises environments. This flexibility may give it an edge in adaptability over competitors who might not offer such a range of deployment choices. Information regarding Cognos and SourceTable's deployment capabilities is not provided, which makes it challenging to compare them in this respect.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet application that replaces workflows done in Excel, Google Sheets, and Business Intelligence tools. It's typically used by growth teams and business operations folks.

    How does Sourcetable handle data integration and updates?

    Sourcetable syncs data from over 100 applications and most databases. Data integrations update every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan. Models update automatically as data updates.

    Do I need to know how to code to use Sourcetable?

    No, Sourcetable does not require coding to query data, build live models, or start creating reports.

    What are the pricing options for Sourcetable?

    Sourcetable costs $50 / month for the starter plan and $250 / month for the pro plan. The starter plan includes the first 5 users, and each additional seat costs $20 / month.

    Is there a trial period for Sourcetable?

    Yes, all plans have a 14-day free trial period.


    Qlikview Cost Overview

    Qlikview offers different plans tailored to meet various data analysis needs. The cost structures vary based on the plan selected, with a focus on the volume of data for analysis, the number of users, and the level of functionality required.

    • Standard Plan Features

    • Minimum of 20 full users required.
    • 25 GB/year of data analysis capacity.
    • Connection and combination of hundreds of data sources.
    • Interactive data visualizations and dashboards.
    • Augmented analytics with AI capabilities.
    • Functionality for team collaboration and sharing.
    • 24x7 customer support available.
    • Premium and Enterprise Plan Enhancements

    • 50 GB/year and 500 GB/year of data analysis capacity, respectively.
    • Automated report compilation and delivery.
    • Capability to connect additional data sources.
    • Predictive analytics with automated machine learning.
    • No-code automation builder triggers.
    • Enterprise-grade data governance.
    • Customized customer success plan.
    • Usage Alerts

      Qlikview provides proactive notifications for users as they approach their data capacity limit, ensuring uninterrupted service and data management.

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    Cognos Cost Overview

    • Cognos Analytics on Cloud Cost

      Cognos Analytics on Cloud is priced at USD 10.60 per user per month. This service is tailored for smaller teams and organizations and operates in a multi-tenant SaaS environment managed by IBM.

    • Cognos Analytics on-premises Cost

      Cognos Analytics on-premises can be purchased for USD 42.40 per user per month. It is limited to a maximum of 200 users and is intended for teams requiring secure access to various data sources and the latest product features. It is available on the IBM marketplace as a stand-alone package or as a Cognos cartridge for Cloud Pak for Data. Users can deploy it on-premises or on a cloud virtual infrastructure of their choice, with full system and application control.


    User Reviews of QlikView

    QlikView is recognized as a robust business intelligence (BI) tool with capabilities in data visualization, and it's particularly useful for creating sales and inventory dashboards. While users appreciate its versatility and ability to integrate multiple data sources to produce complex reports, there are critiques about its visualization capabilities not being the best in its class. The tool's functionality is highly rated at 4.5, indicating that users find its features to be quite powerful.

    • Usability

      Users have rated QlikView's ease-of-use at 4, suggesting that while it is straightforward to use, there is room for improvement. The interface is described as intuitive but also clunky, which might be a factor in its usability score. Despite this, the software is considered easy to implement and fast in data processing.

    • Support and Community

      With a customer support rating of 4, users find the assistance satisfactory. The presence of a supportive forum and a wide user group over the internet offers additional help. It's also noted as beneficial for students writing their thesis, indicating its educational utility.

    • Performance and Integration

      Despite its in-memory processing and fast response in data handling, QlikView reportedly has a slow response with heavy data volumes and a slight delay in real-time data syncing. It does not support R integration and lacks the functionality for exporting a list of all currently licensed users. However, it excels in the automation of reports distribution and creation and allows for customization using VBA or other programmatic languages.

    • Value for Money

      QlikView has secured a 4 rating for value for money, signifying that users feel they receive adequate returns on their investment despite its high cost. The software provides a free version, which is fully featured, contributing to the perception of value.

    • Comparisons and Limitations

    • QlikView does not allow write-back to the database.
    • It is considered not as good as other BI tools like Qlik Sense, Tableau, or PowerBI.
    • QlikView is less user-friendly with certain data sources like BW and Big Data.
    • It is not ideal for detailed reporting.
    • Overall Satisfaction

      The overall rating for QlikView stands at 4.3, reflecting general user satisfaction. While there are areas for improvement, the tool has been praised for providing a ton of value and being versatile in the field of data visualization and business intelligence.

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    User Reviews of Cognos

    • Usability and Functionality

      Cognos is acknowledged for its user-friendly interface, efficient data analysis, visualization, and reporting capabilities. Users appreciate its broad support for various data sources and its robust business analytics capabilities. However, there is a consensus that while Cognos is equipped with numerous features, these can be challenging to master. Novice users, in particular, find the tool difficult to use. Additionally, creating reports is often cited as a difficult task.

    • Integration and Compatibility

      Integration with other IBM analytics products is a strong point for Cognos, according to users. Despite this, there are reports of slow startup on Windows services, suggesting potential compatibility issues on certain platforms.

    • Implementation and Maintenance

      Although Cognos is easy to implement and is hailed for its good customer service, users report it is hard to set up and requires significant resources for maintenance and support. Full function implementation necessitates an expert, which may pose a challenge for some organizations.

    • Cost Considerations

      The cost of Cognos is a recurring theme in user reviews. It is described as expensive, which may make it a less attractive option for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, for large enterprises looking for a complete BI solution, Cognos is often viewed as a reliable and robust choice.

    • Accessibility and Reach

      Cognos is praised for its mobile version, thereby enhancing accessibility for users on the go. It is deemed a self-service BI software, suitable for large enterprises and capable of handling large volumes of data.

    • Customer Service and Support

      Users are generally satisfied with the customer service provided by Cognos, underscoring the importance of support when dealing with complex BI tools.


    In summary, Qlikview and Cognos offer robust solutions for business intelligence with distinct features and capabilities. While Qlikview excels with its in-memory processing and associative data modeling, Cognos provides comprehensive data governance and report scheduling options.

    Businesses seeking a more simplified approach to business intelligence may consider Sourcetable. It allows for real-time data synchronization across various services within a user-friendly spreadsheet interface.

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