Introduction to Cognos Analytics

IBM Cognos Analytics is an enterprise analytics and business intelligence (BI) solution. It is web based and allows users to gather data from multiple heterogeneous data sources for analysis and reporting purposes. This environment can be used at all levels of business and offers a unified user experience across the web, the mobile devices as well as the desktops.


IBM Cognos Analytics consists of three tiers :

Tier 1 – Web and Gateway

This tier consists of :

  • IBM Cognos Portal is the Web portal for BI content presentation, management, and administration
  • Web server – routes incoming requests to the dispatcher (IIS, Tomcat, apache, etc)
  • Gateway

Tier 2 – Application

The application tier processes and runs the reports and other requests including interface rendering. The Dispatcher is the main component which receives the request and passes it to other application services.

Following are some of the application services that could serve under the dispatcher :

  • Reporting
  • Query
  • Presentation
  • Log
  • Batch

Content Manager –  stores application data which includes report specifications, security, etc.

Tier 3 – Data Sources and Content Store

The data tier consists of :

  • Content Store – RDBMS that stores Cognos application data
  • Data sources – RDBMS, dimensional cubes, files or other data stores that can be accessed through JDBC, etc.

Supported databaes for the content store include IBM DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Sybase.


IBM Cognos Analytics version 11 includes a number of components with capabilities for the development and viewing of dashboards, reports, etc.

  • Dashboards – for creating personal dashboards
  • Reporting – for viewing reports and building sophisticated reports
  • Administration – for doing cognos administration tasks such as setting permissions, creating users, roles, etc
  • Framework Manager – for creating packages
  • Dynamic Cube Designer – for creating and managing virtual cube models
  • Transformer – for creating powercubes (dimensional analysis)
  • Legacy tools used in versions 10 and earlier, such as Cognos viewer, query studio, analysis studio, etc can also be enabled when required.


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