IBM Cognos vs Power BI : In-Depth Comparison

ibm cognos vs power bi

Both IBM Cognos and Power BI are two popular business intelligence software that offer many useful features. Here’s our in-depth IBM Cognos vs Power BI comparison to help you decide which is the best business intelligence platform for you.


IBM Cognos vs Power BI : In-Depth Comparison

Here’s a step by step comparison of IBM Cognos vs Power BI.



IBM Cognos is an enterprise business intelligence platform that features data preparation, analysis, visualization, dashboards, embedded analytics, business intelligence, reporting. However, since it offers so many features, it is expensive and difficult to setup and use. So it is suitable for large businesses and enterprises who can afford to hire & train IT professionals to use their tools.

Power BI is a data visualization software by Microsoft that is easy to use and has a simple setup. It allows you to analyze, visualize, report and explore data using a graphical interface, build dashboards, and share them with others. Power BI is suitable for SMBs as well as large enterprises.



IBM Cognos offers many features such as:

  • Simple, intuitive interface
  • Smart search
  • Personalized experience
  • Report Scheduling
  • Automated alerts
  • Available online or offline
  • Upload of personal/external data
  • Combine data sources
  • Data modeling
  • Interactive Dashboards
  • Drag and Drop interface
  • Automatic visualizations
  • Reporting templates & styles
  • User management

Here’s the detailed list of features offered by IBM Cognos.

Power BI also offers many features such as:

  • Customizable dashboards
  • Reports
  • Datasets
  • Navigation pane
  • Help & feedback buttons
  • Q&A Question Box
  • Ad Hoc reporting
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Ad Hoc analysis
  • Trend indicators
  • Complete reporting & data visualization tools
  • Interactive reports authoring

Here’s the detailed list of features offered by Power BI.


Setup and Ease of Use

IBM Cognos and Power BI’s on-premise version requires IT assistance for installation and deployment. However, Power BI’s cloud version is self-serve. Power BI is a lot easier to use than IBM Cognos which requires you to train your employees for their tools.


Supported Platforms

Both IBM Cognos and Power BI work well on all desktops, cloud environments, servers, web browsers, mobile devices. There it not much difference between IBM Cognos vs Power BI in this case.



IBM Cognos’ pricing is available by quote only. Power BI’s paid plans start from $9.99/user/month.



Both IBM Cognos and Power BI support many databases, files, documents, spreadsheets, and cloud services.



There are many alternatives to IBM Cognos and Power BI such as Ubiq BI, Tableau that are affordable and easy to use.


Conclusion – IBM Cognos vs Power BI

Both IBM Cognos and Power BI are mature products with robust features. They are both good at what they do. However, IBM Cognos is very expensive and difficult to use compared to Power BI.

If you are looking for an easy to use, powerful and affordable business intelligence and reporting tool, you can try Ubiq.

About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan is the Founder of Ubiq, a business dashboard & reporting platform for small & medium businesses. Ubiq makes it easy to build business dashboards & reports for your business. Try it for free today!