Business intelligence (BI) software products such as IBM Cognos and Grow can help you make better business decisions by showing important business data in a more understandable way. IBM Cognos and Grow have the important features every respectable BI software should have.

IBM Cognos is a top BI software with a comprehensive set of features to help you understand and analyze your data. Grow is a highly-rated BI solution that has valuable features to help you explore and visualize your data.

We’ll compare the main features of IBM Cognos and Grow in this article to show what each software can add to your business.

If you want to explore more BI software products, use our Product Selection Tool for a free list.

IBM Cognos vs. Grow: An overview

IBM Cognos is a world-renowned BI software with countless users from the wholesale, transportation, IT, and business services industries. This software has features for data cleansing, data modeling, visualizations, dashboards, reports, customization, sharing, analytics, and mobile access. IBM Cognos is best to be used by mid-sized to large companies as it has high-end paid plans.

Grow was created to give developing businesses the chance to analyze data and gain important insights. The majority of Grow users come from the computer software, higher education, and financial services industries. This software has features for data preparation, data storage, data exploration and visualization, dashboards, sharing, customization, TV mode, and mobile access. Grow is ideal for SMBs and has an average pricing for standard paid plans.

Comparing the features

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


IBM Cognos users can import visualizations from local systems and file shares into the system. Users can also use the available charts and graphs from IBM Cognos including pie, bar, line, gauge, scatter, stacked columns, and 3-D pies. Combination charts are also supported by the software wherein you can have more than one chart type within your visualization.

Grow has a range of visualizations that are classified into three types: series, non-series, and special. Series type includes column, bar, line, and area graphs. Non-series include bubble, radar, runnel, table, map, pie, bullet, and gauge visualizations. Special visualizations are image, HTML, and single value.


Dashboards in IBM Cognos let you discover patterns and relationships that impact your business. Users can add interactive titles to dashboards, drill columns up and down, and view the details of a data point. Widgets like text, media, web pages, images, and shapes can be added, too. Use filters to focus on one area of your data or to see the impact of one column.

Grow lets you create dynamic dashboards as well as custom and sandbox dashboards. Users can also choose from Grow’s pre-built, single data source dashboards called Blueprints. The software has dashboard filtering capabilities to let users dynamically change the displayed metric data based on date, number, or categorical logic. Modify the data displayed by a specific time period, how the displayed data is grouped by a specific date interval, or define a category, number, or date filter that can be used globally.

Mobile access

IBM Cognos is accessible from mobile devices through its native mobile apps available for Android and iOS users. Users can access and interact with all reports and dashboards. Gain visual insight with or without internet access. Create and explore dashboard content securely. The app lets users send or import active reports into their device and annotate and share their comments with colleagues.

All of the dashboards and metrics accessible for Grow users on the web are also available on Grow’s mobile app. Same as with IBM Cognos, this mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices. The app lets users view the metrics on their dashboards. Users can explore all their “favorited” dashboards and the full list of the dashboards. Currently, dashboards cannot be created or edited from Grow’s mobile app.


IBM Cognos has wide integration possibilities including integrations with tools for employee monitoring, forecasting, vendor management, automation, and digital signage:

  • CommandCenterHD
  • Workpuls
  • SAP Fieldglass
  • Limelight
  • pcFinancials

Grow can integrate with over 140 different apps, including tools for file syncing, visual collaboration, accounting, marketing automation, and time tracking:

  • Dropbox
  • Trello
  • QuickBooks
  • Mailchimp
  • TSheets

The better BI software for your company

IBM Cognos and Grow have significant features from which businesses can benefit. However, depending on your business structure and needs, one software will be better than the other.

IBM Cognos has more mobile access capabilities than Grow since it allows users to create and edit dashboards anywhere they are, whether online or offline. Therefore, IBM Cognos is the better choice if you have team members who need to work from outside the office. Grow is great if you want important data to be visible to small groups of people or teams. The software’s TV Mode feature lets you display dashboards such as employee performance on a television.

There are more BI software products you can check out for your business by using our Product Selection Tool.