Questions You Should Ask When Planning to Migrate Off Cognos Analytics (BI) – Part 1

Questions You Should Ask When Planning to Migrate off Cognos Analytics (BI) - Part 1
Questions You Should Ask When Planning to Migrate off Cognos Analytics (BI) - Part 1
September 3rd, 2020

As clients look to drastically cut cost, it’s natural for IT departments to look at all their business intelligence solutions to evaluate if they have redundancy.  The initial thought is to reduce costs by standardizing on one business intelligence solution.  One solution could mean lower support costs… fewer resources to support the tools.  I completely understand the logic and if I was the CIO, I would have the same line of thinking.  However, most clients do not do their due diligence to determine the true costs of migrating off tools like Cognos nor do they create an ROI evaluation.  So, I thought over the next two weeks I would share the questions you should ask when planning to migrate off Cognos Analytics onto another platform.

1. If we do not renew our IBM Cognos Support can I still use Cognos BI while we migrate?

The first question everyone asks as they consider migrating off Cognos BI is, can I still use Cognos BI if I do not renew the support?  The answer is, it depends. 

Perpetual License: If you have the traditional on-premise licensing for Cognos Analytics (BI) then you have a perpetual right to use Cognos and you can still use it even if you do not renew.  Lodestar Solutions does not recommend discontinuing support until you are fully migrated to the new solutions.  If you have questions on your renewal we are here to help.  Email

Here are some additional resources:

IBM Support and Subscription Site

Lodestar Blog:  Consequences of Not Renewing IBM Cognos Support  

The real question you should be asking is, what are the risk factors of not renewing support as I migrate off Cognos BI?

SAAS or Subscription:  If you have Cognos Analytics on SaaS or a subscription-based model, then when you let your subscription lapse by not renewing you will no longer have access to the software.  So, plan your migration wisely.

Note: It is important to note in 15 years of working with Cognos products, I have yet to hear of a client who decided to migrate off Cognos BI that has completed the migration within their original planned timeline.  In fact, many clients plan to migrate and years later they are still working on it.

2. What reports must be migrated to the new tool and will the new tool deliver comparable results?

Planning a migration of Cognos to a new business intelligence platform is like planning a major upgrade to the latest version of Cognos Analytics.  You must do an inventory of what is in your content store and determine how many reports need to be migrated, how complex the reports are, how often they are utilized, etc… If you have been using Cognos for a long time your content store may be suffering from bloat. 

Lodestar Solutions’ recommends that you evaluate the size or your content store.  

Try this, in your Cognos Product Environment run a query to find the number per object type. The objects can be found here:


Here’s the query:

select c.NAME as "class name", count(*) as "number of objects"
order by c.NAME;

Lodestar also recommends investing in Motio Inventory Software.  Motio is a 3rd party software company that has some of the best tools for administration of Cognos BI.  Motio’s new inventory component is perfect for determining how many Cognos reports you have and their complexity.

You would not move your family without taking an inventory of your household belongings and determining what to leave behind.   So, do not forget to take a detailed inventory of Cognos reports.   For more information check out Motio
and make sure you tell them you work with Lodestar Solutions.  You can find additional information in our blog Don’t Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio! 

3. Are we comparing the latest version of Cognos Analytics to the new solutions as we do our evaluation?

I am always amazed when I hear clients tell me they might be migrating off Cognos to Power BI, Tableau, or Qlik because it has better visualization or it’s easier to use.  I ask them what version of Cognos they are using, and they say 10.2.  Then I ask if they have seen all the amazing functionality in Cognos Analytics’ latest version?  And they say,  “I saw a demo a few years ago.”

People do not tell me you are migrating off Cognos for better functionality if you haven’t even seen the latest functionality of what you already own! You need to take the new Cognos Analytics for a test drive.  Lodestar Solutions can help you.  Just email us at

You owe it to your company to complete your due diligence and compare the latest functionality of Cognos to the solution you are evaluating.  IBM has added amazing new functionality to Cognos Analytics and cool stuff just keeps coming.  I challenge you to find a solution that can better meet your enterprise needs. Now that you know you need to do a detailed comparison,  I decided to help you out a little and provide our evaluation.

Cognos Comparison

If you or your company are struggling with Cognos today, I would bet you either have not been properly trained on the functionality or you have a data problem. By the way, migrating off Cognos will not solve your data issues.

Lodestar Solutions can help you get the training you need or just discover all the fabulous features included in the latest version of Cognos Analytics. Let’s plan a chat, email us at

Not Sure How to Get Started?

You don’t have to go this alone!  Lodestar Solutions can help you answer the questions you should ask when planning to migrate off Cognos Analytics and complete the steps above to ensure you are making the right decision for your organization.   Stay tuned for the second part of this blog,  Questions You Should Ask When Planning to Migrate Off Cognos Analytics (BI) - Part 2 coming on Thursday, September 10th! Contact us today and schedule a chat. Email