IBM Cognos vs Tableau : In-Depth Comparison

ibm cognos vs tableau

Both IBM Cognos and Tableau are popular business intelligence software that offer many features. Here’s a detailed comparison of IBM Cognos vs Tableau to help you decide which is the best business intelligence software for you.


IBM Cognos vs Tableau : In-Depth Comparison

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



IBM Cognos is an enterprise business intelligence platform that allows you to connect to multiple data sources, analyze & visualize data, build reports & dashboards, get insights and share them with others. It is suitable for large businesses as well as enterprises, and is expensive for SMBs.

Tableau is a data visualization software that allows you to slice & dice large amount of data visually, analyze data, build dashboards, and share them with others. It focuses more on data visualization and less on business intelligence. So it lacks features such as scheduled email reports that are available in other tools. Tableau is suitable for medium-large businesses as well as 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.

Tableau focuses on data visualization with features such as:

  • Toggle view and drag-and-drop
  • Highlight and filter data
  • List of native data connectors
  • Share dashboards
  • Mobile-ready dashboards
  • Embed dashboards within
  • Data notifications
  • Dashboard commenting
  • Tableau Reader for data viewing
  • Create “no-code” data queries
  • Import all ranges and sizes of data
  • Translate queries to visualizations
  • Create interactive dashboards
  • Metadata management
  • String insights into a guided story
  • Automatic updates
  • Tableau Public for data sharing
  • Security permissions at any level
  • Server REST API

Here’s our detailed list of features by Tableau.


Setup and Ease of Use

Both IBM Cognos and Tableau’s on-premise server require significant IT assistance for installation and deployment. Tableau’s cloud service is a self-service BI tool. In terms of ease of use, Tableau is a lot easier to use than IBM Cognos that requires you to train your employees to be able to use it regularly.


Supported Platforms

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



IBM Cognos’ pricing is available by quote only. Tableau’s pricing starts from $70/user/month.



Both IBM Cognos and Tableau integrate with many databases, files, documents, spreadsheets, and cloud services.



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


Conclusion – IBM Cognos vs Tableau

Both IBM Cognos and Tableau are mature products with robust features. They are both good at what they do. However, IBM Cognos is very expensive and a lot more difficult to use than Tableau.

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!