COGNOS vs SAS

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Occasional Contributor DU
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Posts: 13

COGNOS vs SAS

Is anyone familiar with COGNOS?  My fellow research analysts; including me, are dedicated and long time SAS Users (since mainframe days).  We have been asked by management to review COGNOS as an alternate programming/analysis tool.  We have a short time to provide a response.  Any comparative information would be greatly appreciated.

Super User
Posts: 19,132

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

1. Do you do any statistical analysis?

2. Do you use the equivalent in SAS, WRS or Visual Analytics?

 

How familiar are you/team with SQL? 

 

How complex reports are you generating?

What server are you currently using, DB2, MS SQL, Oracle? 

 

Occasional Contributor DU
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

1. Do you do any statistical analysis?  Yes; extensively!

2. Do you use the equivalent in SAS, WRS or Visual Analytics?  SAS has been our tool of choice since 1980's.  We have used many products including a brief review of COGNOS many years ago.  We "were" moving towards a SAS OA/VA solution.

 

How familiar are you/team with SQL?   Our team uses SQL programming in BASE SAS as well as EG programs

 

How complex reports are you generating?  Simple to very complex depending on the customer needs.

What server are you currently using, DB2, MS SQL, Oracle?   Mostly Oracle.  We are moving towards an NETEZZA architecture in the near future.

Super User
Posts: 5,386

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Not sure why you are posting a question about acquiring IBM Cognos on a SAS community...?????

Data never sleeps
Super User
Posts: 19,132

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

@LinusH Given that is a comparison between the two I think it's a valid question. Familiarity with both tools would help with decision making. 

Occasional Contributor DU
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Posts: 13

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

That's a valid question but we are big proponents of SAS and would like to see if others have experiences to share with other tools like COGNOS. This information would be useful for our response back to management.
Super User
Posts: 19,132

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Ok. If you do a lot of statistical analysis you'll have to also get IBM SPSS. I don't think its bundled with Cognos. I've never been a fan but you need to realize its going to be a learning curve.

It sounds like you only use Base. In my opinion they're not comparable. Cognos is a BI tool - meant to deliver reports and allow for self exploration of data. The back end set up shouldnt be underestimated. Its a lot of different tools to get data structured and streamlined.

It typically is done on the server and
Cognos is the layer on top.

Cognos has the best handling of time/dates allowing for YTD, year over year or many custom intervals out of the box. It was the best feature IMO. I also liked how it allowed users to customize data/report and then export to CSV or Excel.

Hope that info helps.

I asked about server because I think MS SQL is a viable alternative, but I find the other tools aren't as well put together
Occasional Contributor DU
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Our analysts actually use just about everything SAS; Simulation Studio, Base (STAT/OR/...) , EG, ...  We've been using SAS since the 80's on the mainframe. 

 

 

We had used SPSS and many other statistical packags over the years. 

 

COGNOS is licensed at our location and management is trying to consider it as an alternative to SAS.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,197

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Hi @DU,

 

following up your thread open here and my own answer in the duplicate: which ones are the open questions from your side? 

 

Thank you in advance,

 

Best regards,

Juan

Occasional Contributor DU
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13

COGNOS vs SAS

Is anyone familiar with COGNOS?  My fellow research analysts; including me, are dedicated and long time SAS Users (many have used since mainframe days).  Some code in BASE SAS but the majority use the EG interface to analyze data, produce reports, build stored processes, etc. 

 

We have been asked by management to review COGNOS as an alternate programming/analysis tool.  I used COGNOS briefly 10 years.  We have a short time to provide a response.  Any comparative information would be greatly appreciated.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,197

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Hi @DU,

 

isn't this an exact duplicate thread from https://communities.sas.com/t5/General-SAS-Programming/COGNOS-vs-SAS/td-p/279115 ?

 

I think you have got your answer on that thread. And if not, it would be interesting to know the exact open questions from your side, which you can include directly on that thread.

 

 

 

Occasional Contributor DU
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Sorry... I just started posting per a suggestion from a SUG. I did not realize the questions extended across Boards.
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Super User
Posts: 7,720

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

Thats a very big question.  You would need someone who is an expert on Cognos and SAS, and I don't know anyone.  What field are you looking at - the reason being if it pharma, then you would need to be assured that Cognos is acceptable to the authorities/medical boards/FDA etc.  As far as I am aware only SAS is advised, R can be used but its not a validated system.  Regardless of what field you would need to consider several parts:

1) acceptance in the field you work in, FDA requires SAS XPT file currently for example.

2) Cost

3) Your resource, no point getting an application which none of your staff knows, or that can't hire people.  Pharma people will almost all know some SAS, but I don't know any who know Cognos.

4) Support/maintenance, can your IT support the setup, don't know how you use SAS, can Cognos host it, support it etc.

5) Benefit/cost analysis, is it worth changing, change is not always good (just look at Msoft since Gates-exit).

6) If you do look at Cognos, then widen the view, look at several options, get quotes, look at what they can provide, then make an informed choice, just moving to another platform as DM say so isn't a good idea.

Also remember, that what is good for DM, may not work at all for you.

Sorry I can't be more specific, hope these tips help.

Occasional Contributor DU
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

1) acceptance in the field you work in, FDA requires SAS XPT file currently for example. 

> I work as civilian for Navy group.  Our activity already have licensed copies/users in other groups.  My Operations Research group are long-time dedicated SAS Users but have been asked to consider COGNOS as an alternative to SAS; mostly due to costs.

 

2) Cost ...

> Mgmt decision.

 

3) Your resource, no point getting an application which none of your staff knows, or that can't hire people.  Pharma people will almost all know some SAS, but I don't know any who know Cognos. ...  

> Yes there would be a learning curve for our group and others.

 

4) Support/maintenance, can your IT support the setup, don't know how you use SAS, can Cognos host it, support it etc.

> Already hosted on Network but would have to extend to many more users

 

5) Benefit/cost analysis, is it worth changing, change is not always good (just look at Msoft since Gates-exit).

> Good point.

 

6) If you do look at Cognos, then widen the view, look at several options, get quotes, look at what they can provide, then make an informed choice, just moving to another platform as DM say so isn't a good idea.

Also remember, that what is good for DM, may not work at all for you.

 

>Regretably this is a management decision. The best we can do is provide a product comparison and show what it would take to switch; learning curve, capability comparison, ability to port existing code developed over many many years, ...

 

 

Sorry I can't be more specific, hope these tips help.

 

>Thank you!

PROC Star
Posts: 1,146

Re: COGNOS vs SAS

This is a huge issue. There's no way to do "a little checking", and based on that migrate from a heavily-used tool to a new environment.

 

I would suggest two elements of a proper investigation:

 

1. A set of requirements that you have for analysis and reporting. This list would include: functional requirements, i.e. tabulation types, analytical methods, etc; formatting requirement; types of formats required, specific formats that must be met, etc.; performance, required response in given timeframes, number of jobs that must be processed concurrently, etc. Then match these requirements against Cognos, probably with the help of an IBM pre-sales team.

 

2. I would set up a number of "use cases", based on existing processes that you do. Then see if they can be done in Cognos, and how challenging they are. You might find that some simply can't be done, which will provide insight.

 

Both of these activities will heavily involve your base of existing SAS users, to provide requirements and examples.

 

I would expect to budget at least $100K for such an endeavor. You can do less, but if you then decide to switch to Cognos, there's a high risk of buyer's remorse.

 

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

  Tom

Good luck

 

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