Business intelligence (BI) solutions, such as GoodData and IBM Cognos, are equipped to meet the substantial and complex BI needs of large enterprises.

GoodData is an intuitive BI platform that provides a very robust data infrastructure and business intelligence tools to support the data engineers and analysts. While this BI software may not be as popular as IBM Cognos, it has high customer satisfaction ratings. IBM Cognos is a leading BI software known for its comprehensive features and dynamic capabilities. This BI software enables data scientists to perform relevant analysis in a way that ties back to organizational objectives.

In this article, we’ll compare the main features of GoodData and IBM Cognos to give you an overview of what each BI software can do for your business. If you want to familiarize yourself with more BI software vendors, use our Product Selection Tool and get a list of BI solutions you can trust.

GoodData vs. IBM Cognos: What you need to know

GoodData was first introduced in 2007. This BI platform allows businesses to seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and easily implement analytic solutions for employees, customers, or business partners. GoodData’s features include data ingestion, preparation, transformation, analytic queries, data visualization, application integration, and mobile access. GoodData is ideal for mid-sized to large-scale companies and offers high-end prices. It also offers a free version.

IBM Cognos was known as simply Cognos before it was acquired by IBM in 2008. Cognos was developed in 1969. This BI platform provides personalized analytics driven by artificial intelligence and enables organizations to become top-performing and analytics-driven entities. IBM Cognos has features for reporting, dashboards, collaboration, scorecards, real-time monitoring, trends analysis, advanced data visualization, forecasting, sales performance management, process automation, and mobile access. Like GoodData, IBM Cognos is best for mid-sized companies to large organizations. It has high-end pricing, but it offers a free trial.

Comparing the features

GoodData and IBM Cognos have features for dashboards, data visualization, and mobile access.


GoodData allows users to create dashboards through the GoodData Portal. A dashboard contains one or more dashboard tabs. A dashboard tab has one or more reports, widgets, and web content. Users can add a dashboard filter so data will be displayed according to a specified parameter value or range of values. All users of the GoodData Portal can use any dashboard of any project to which they have been invited. Reports from GoodData dashboards may be downloaded.

IBM Cognos lets users build dashboards that help in monitoring events or activities at a glance by providing key insights and analysis about business data on one or more pages or screens. This BI software provides templates that contain predefined designs and grid lines for easy arrangement and alignment of the visualizations. Alternatively, users can create a custom template. Users can also send Cognos Analytics dashboard content to other users via URL links and embedded HTML in web pages. Only the user who created the dashboard can save their content as an exported PDF document. Dashboards in IBM Cognos can be localized in different languages so a user can experience a dashboard in their language of choice.

Data visualization

There are different kinds of data visualization objects and chart types in the GoodData Portal that are useful for displaying various types of data in order to gather insights. The chart types available in GoodData include area, bubble, bullet, combo, funnel, line, pie, scatter, stacked area, stacked bar, and waterfall charts. Key metric widgets, text, and web content can be added as data visualization, too.

IBM Cognos allows users to select data visualizations to communicate comparisons, relationships, and trends. Users can choose from a broad selection of charts, including column, stacked column, bubble, packed bubble, line and column, point, area, treemap, heatmap, and scatter. IBM Cognos also allows data to be presented in hierarchy, summary, and data player forms.

Mobile access

GoodData supports Android and Windows smartphones and tablets via HTML5 for consumption and creation of insights and administration. From an HTML5-supported browser, GoodData reports can be consumed on all compatible screen sizes and devices. The platform supports a touch-friendly experience in creation and consumption of interactive reports. Users can tap charts to see underlying data and detailed information, swipe to navigate between dashboards and reports, and use pinch motions to zoom. Users can monitor, schedule, and run data loads on the go.

IBM Cognos has native mobile applications that are ready for download from the App Store and Google Play Store. The mobile applications let users fully interact with their content online or offline. Users can access all static and interactive reports. They can also explore and create content in dashboards. The app allows users to collaborate through annotation and sharing comments with colleagues. Through the push notifications feature of the IBM Cognos Analytics app, users can keep an eye on critical data anytime and anywhere.


GoodData has premade integrations with platforms for marketing performance management, environmental health and safety, business-to-business marketing automation, online training, and learning management systems:

  • Full Circle Response Management
  • Fat Finger
  • Pardot
  • Mindflash
  • Learndot

IBM Cognos has native integrations with tools for workforce productivity, vendor management, forecasting, automation, and financial reporting:

  • WorkPuls
  • SAP Fieldglass
  • Limelight
  • NetDispatcher
  • pcFinancials

The right BI solution for your enterprise

There are several similarities between GoodData and IBM Cognos; they cater to the same market, they are in the same pricing range, and they both offer valuable features. In selecting a BI software, choose the option that will suit your business and the individuals who would use the software on a regular basis.

GoodData is a robust BI software that can help businesses gather intelligent business insights and generate attractive output from different datasets. However, this software can be difficult to learn for beginners or users with minimal technical knowledge. Therefore, if you want a software that is easier to learn for every user–regardless of technical skill level — it’s better to choose IBM Cognos. IBM Cognos was designed to be a self-service tool that average users can comfortably and confidently navigate. IBM Cognos is also a complete solution for delivering insights from data.

If you’re still undecided, you can use our Product Selection Tool. You’ll get a free list of up to five recommended BI solutions you can consider.