Independent study finds Cognos Analytics can save organizations millions

This same independent study found that IBM Cognos Analytics had a 204% ROI over 3 years

By | 4 minute read | February 3, 2021

Businesses across all industries understand the importance of streamlining and automating reporting, analytics, and scorecarding, in order to make the right decisions faster. However, the reporting process is typically manual, and leaves analysts one step behind. They are usually left to keep up with the collection of historical data, instead of focusing on how to optimize their business based on real-time data. More likely than not, organizations are using inflexible, legacy reporting technology solutions, such as spreadsheets and basic visualization tools. Therefore, tasks that should be easy, such as monthly reports, often take analysts too long to analyze and provide little insights to accurately forecast and report out on.

Understanding the impact of Cognos Analytics

For organizations considering which reporting tool to implement for their enterprise, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study to examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying Cognos Analytics. Forrester interviewed four unique customers across four industries: retail, manufacturing, nonprofit/research and government, in order to understand the value, cost and risk associated with implementing Cognos Analytics into their workstreams.

After conducting the study, Forrester found that deploying Cognos will help businesses to:

  • See a sales uplift equal to .5% of gross annual revenue.
  • Reduce time to perform reporting tasks by up to 93%.
  • See a 204% Return on investment over three years.
  • Obtain a net present value of $4.3M over three years

 Diving into the numbers

While all organizations interviewed came from distinct industries with unique business challenges, the impacts of Cognos Analytics were consistent across organizations.

The main quantifiable benefits include:

  • Optimized frontline operations, including increased staffing efficiency by 10% and reduced inventory shrinkage. Managers were able to staff their branches 10% more efficiently and reduce annual inventory shrinkage by 80% because Cognos gave their businesses the real-time data they needed to understand staff management and inventory levels. These cost savings will accrue to $3.5M over a three-year increment.
  • Increased topline revenue: Sales uplift equal to 0.5% of the organization’s total gross revenues and net cash flows of up to $2.1M from a subsequent gross profit perspective. Because Cognos allows sales team to enhance their benchmarking and reporting, businesses are able to set more accurate sales targets, monitor and measure performance of sellers, as well as develop next steps to improve employee performance.
  • Improved self-service streamlined reporting by 93%. Employees across departments and job titles are able to use Cognos on a self-service basis, allowing businesses to seamlessly make decisions quickly, without having to request reports through analysts. Forrester found that organizations were able to save on average one hour per report generated. Over a three-year time-frame, this will results to $744K in self-service reporting benefits.

Understanding the value

While Forrester identified many quantifiable business results as a result of deploying Cognos, there were other key benefits found that could not be measured:

Democratization of data: Because Cognos is a self-service tool, all individuals had the ability to pull all information that they needed, no matter what their job role was or experience level, with minimum training required.

Faster time-to-insight and decision-making: Users were able to easily leverage insights right from the data in the tool in order to speed up decision-making.

Consolidation of point solutions: Organizations were able to replace legacy business intelligence and analytics solutions, allowing them to save on costs of on-premises software, hardware, maintenance and administration costs.

Why Cognos

According to Forrester’s findings, Cognos Analytics was praised for a variety of its features, including its ability to handle a diverse range of use cases. Organizations were able to use Cognos across all departments. For example, companies with frontline operations used Cognos in order to manager their supply chain, staffing models and inventory models. The solution was also commended for its direct impact on business value, specifically as the solution can be used directly for sales. Associates were able to monitor sales performance daily and therefore were able to test different sales strategies as well as understand which sales tactics they should implement.

One of the true differentiators for Cognos is that it is infused with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in order to make analytics easier and faster for business users to use. Adding AI to business intelligence allows individuals to ask questions via natural language dialog, automatically detect patterns, generate predictive models, and learn and respond to user behavior and preferences. Cognos Analytics is powerfully enhanced with AI and natural language dialogue capabilities that help you tell more compelling data stories while being easier to use than ever.

Utilize technology to streamline real-time data reporting in order for anyone within the organization to analyze and make business decisions faster than ever before. Through the use of Cognos, businesses are now able to easily access insights across their company, in order to make decisions and drive business value.

Check out the entire Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study.