Struggling to Migrate from Cognos to Power BI or Tableau?

Cognos Move
June 18th, 2020

Stop Struggling to Migrate from IBM Cognos to Power BI

How many business intelligence solutions does your firm have today?  Cognos Analytics, Tableau, Power BI… maybe you don’t really know all the business intelligence solutions that are hiding in your organization. You are not alone. Gartner estimates that the average company has 3 to 5 Business Intelligence tools. Many companies are working to reduce the number of business intelligence tools their IT must support.  I have talked to several companies that are struggling to migrate from IBM Cognos to Power BI or other BI solutions. 

Why Consolidate to One BI Tool

I fully understand the desire to reduce the number of BI solutions. By reducing the number of tools, you can:

  • Save money on support costs
  • Become the expert in one tool instead of many
  • Control the silos of data
  • Reduce training costs
  • Reduce consulting costs
  • Provide better security

But, for many the road to reducing the number of tools can be challenging. 

Stop the Migration

It has been my experience talking with hundreds of clients, that many Cognos clients made the decision to move off Cognos for the wrong reasons.  Reasons like, Cognos not having the pretty visualizations like Tableau, or Microsoft Power BI is cheaper than Cognos.  But as they start down the road of the migration, they hit the realization that they did not do their due diligence!  

Due Diligence - Functionality

I believe due diligence requires the examination of the functionality available in the latest version of Cognos Analytics.  Cognos BI 10.2 should not be used to compare alternative solutions.  I know you may not have upgraded, but what if you did? Do you even know what amazing functionality has been added like, visualizations and data modules? 

Due Diligence - Cost

Finally, due diligence must include a detail cost analysis of the software costs, support costs, as well as the cost and time to migrate to a different solution.  For many clients they discover Power BI is more expensive than they thought.  For clients looking to upgrade Cognos Analytics check out our video The Cost to Upgrade to IBM Cognos Analytics

For many, the decision on which BI tool to use is a political battle. But should it be?  What if we stopped the migration and did a proper analysis of needs, functionality, anticipated work and cost? Might we determine that migrating is not the best solution but upgrading to Cognos Analytics is?  

I am a believer that U-turns are okay.  It is okay to stop, investigate the situation of where we are, where we want to go, and what options we have. 

How to Analyze your BI Roadmap

Analyzing if and how to move from Cognos BI to a new BI environment is like moving your family from your current home.  The steps include requirements discovery, assessing where you currently live, comparing to what is available and evaluating how much stuff you need to move.

1. Requirements Discovery

When evaluating if you should move you must first assess what your family really needs in a home or a BI solution.  With a house you determine how many bedrooms and baths you need.  With a BI tool what data sources you need access to. The requirements discovery stage is the most important step as you want to make sure all the important people like your spouse or boss are involved. You want to document what challenges you are having. What you would like to improve? What new data sources do you need access to?  What new users would like to view?  A simple timer and sticky notes can get you started identifying your needs.  

2. Assessing Your Current Environment

Imagine if instead of moving you could just do a few improvement projects to upgrade your house?  Life would be a lot simpler and in many cases a lot less costly.  Well, migrating to a new BI solution is similar.  Once you know your requirements, you must educate yourself on the new functionality in Cognos Analytics. Many clients are shocked and excited when they see what is possible with Cognos Analytics, and to get educated is simple.  Lodestar Solutions is happy to show you the cool new functionality and discuss your needs at no cost.  Just email us at

3. Determining What to Move

When moving your house, you would not have movers show up and start moving your stuff to a new house without assessing how much junk you have and purge some of the clutter right?  You would inventory your furniture.  Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t meet your needs like, the crib in storage, and plan the move. You would estimate how many boxes you will need, how big the moving truck should be and how many movers.  Well a BI migration that is either from Cognos BI 10.2 to Cognos Analytic or to a new BI solution is the same. You need to identify how many reports are valid, how complex the reports are, and if anyone really needs the reports.  To do this, you need to get visibility to what is in your Cognos content store.  Maybe you did not realize that clutter in your Cognos content store can even cause performance issue.  Here’s a previous blog on the topic.

What's in Your Content Store?

If you are not sure what is in your content store, there is some good news!  Motio has created an amazing solution to help you gain visibility on what’s in your content store.  At Lodestar Solutions, we recommend Motio to every Cognos BI client that is looking to upgrade to Cognos Analytics, has already upgraded or is struggling to migrate from Cognos to Power BI or another solution. You must read our blog Don’t Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio

Once you have an idea of the type of house you need for your BI, you have assessed if your current Cognos house meets your needs, and looked at how much stuff you have in your house you can properly plan the timing of your move or upgrade, and the estimated costs. 

For many of you, if you follow these steps you will determine that just improving your current BI by upgrading to the latest version of Cognos Analytics and learning the new functionality you will save valuable time and money. But, you don’t have to do the analysis alone!  Lodestar Solutions is here to help! 

On June 23rd, Lodestar is excited to be presenting a complimentary one - day insightful hands on virtual workshop with Motio for all Cognos BI power users.

IBM Cognos Analytics Migration Virtual Classroom
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

9:30-4:30 Eastern
Registration Required – Seating Limited.

Register here now!

What you will learn:

  • Newest features in Cognos Analytics in action - understand how to leverage the new features to achieve your business goals. (For information check out our blog What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6

  • Inventory your Cognos implementation - grasp the scope of what you have in Cognos...learn how easy it is to identify the analytic gems from the junk (report complexity, duplicate reports, reports not being used, poorly designed content, etc.). Prioritize what to modernize after your upgrade.
  • Reducing the size of your Cognos migration (upgrades, CQM to DQM or Cloud) - a straightforward approach that speeds up your migration by simply removing the junk your organization does not use/need.
  • Repeatable testing reduces upgrade costs - experience the methodology and automated testing techniques that reduce the time/effort of your upgrades and ensure data accuracy/reliability in your upgraded environment.

This is an event you do not want to miss!  The last event filled up quickly so register to reserve your seat today.  If you are reading this after the event.  Contact us at for future dates.

Stop Struggling to Migrate from IBM Cognos

So stop struggling to migrate from IBM Cognos to Power BI or Tableau, register here now to learn how to either upgrade your Cognos or at least identify what needs to be migrated to your new tool.

If you have questions about Cognos Analytics, licensing or even your renewal, contact us at

2 thoughts on “Struggling to Migrate from Cognos to Power BI or Tableau?”

  1. Hi,
    I am looking for an accelerated approach to rewrite around 1000 Cognos Reports to Tableau. Pls share what capabilities your tool can bring and what are licensing terms and conditions and limitations.

    Tinku Mayan

    • To my knowledge there is not a tool that will rewrite all your Cognos Reports. And if there was I would be a little skeptical. Different technologies have different advantages but when people create “easy buttons” to recreate, we find it can bring the limitations from the old tool to the new tool. There are tools to allow for viewing reports from numerous tools in one friendly user interface…


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