For years, IBM Cognos has been a big name and a major BI software provider for international companies, but QlikView is also a highly-rated BI software widely used by global brands. In this article, we’ll evaluate and compare the primary features of IBM Cognos and QlikView to help you decide which solution better fits your needs.

There are many other BI software options to choose from. Use our Product Selection Tool to quickly get a free shortlist of the best BI software recommendations if you’re short on time.

An overview of IBM Cognos vs. QlikView

IBM Cognos is a Canadian-developed BI software founded in the late ‘60s. Its features include reporting, dashboards, scheduling, data analytics, and mobile access. Compared to QlikView, IBM Cognos has more expensive, quote-based plans. IBM Cognos can be used by any-sized business, big or small, but because of its high-end rates, it is best for medium and large enterprises.

QlikView is a Swedish-made BI solution released in 1993. This BI system offers features for reporting, data visualization, and guided analytics. Through added products, QlikView’s functions can be expanded to have capabilities such as AI-powered conversational analytics and location-based analytics. QlikView offers flexible and scalable pricing and is fitting for small to large companies.

Features comparison

IBM Cognos and QlikView have essential BI features like reporting, data visualization, and mobile access to facilitate better BI operations.


IBM Cognos lets you create custom reports. You can tailor the appearance of the report according to your style and preferences by using the default color palette, choosing another palette, and even create your own palettes. This reporting feature also lets you create summary widgets and add maps or charts. Users can collaborate on reports with others via shareable links.

QlikView has the QlikView Report Editor that lets you cluster a number of charts and/or tables together in a single page. You can also use multiple pages for more complex reports. There are two different kinds of reports for QlikView — Document and User reports. The Document reports are accessible to any user on the QlikView server while the User reports may only be accessed by the user who created the reports.

Read also: Alteryx vs. Tableau: Working Together

Data visualization

IBM Cognos offers a wide range of data visualization, so you can present your data the way you want to. This BI software also offers recommended visualizations depending on the data you are meaning to present. You can also import custom visualizations, highlight critical data points, automatically group data in a single visualization, use graphs for geographic analysis, match color palettes on different visualizations to ensure color uniformity, and configure reports to automatically refresh at a scheduled time.

QlikView offers ready-to-use data visualization templates and customizable graphics for real-time interactive analysis. There are four types of data visualization categories in QlikView: distribution charts, composition charts, comparison charts, and relationship charts. You can choose from the extensive data visualization objects offered by Qlikview. With QlikView’s data visualization feature, all charts and tables are interactive.

Mobile access

IBM Cognos offers a mobile app for both the AppStore and Google Play. This mobile application offers online and offline access to dashboards and reports and lets you assemble and explore any type of data no matter where you are. You can run new reports using the app and even transform them into portals for other users to access.

QlikView has a mobile application for iOS but not for Android devices. However, users can still access QlikView using their web browser. This mobile access allows you to access data visualizations, dashboards, and reports on the go, as the mobile app is accessible without internet access. You can still access all the QlikView desktop capabilities from a web browser, and you can run reports and get real-time updates on your data when you access QlikView via the mobile app or from the mobile web browser.


IBM Cognos can be integrated with applications and tools for reporting and forecasting, travel and expense management, automation, and vendor management. It also integrates with software products for survey and employee monitoring. Here are the integrations for IBM Cognos:

  • NetDispatcher
  • Captio Expenses
  • Limelight
  • SAP Fieldglass
  • Key Survey
  • Workpuls

QlikView integrates with products and platforms for CRM and sales automation, data analytics, planning, location intelligence, supply chain management, and learning management system. Some of the integrations for QlikView are the following:

  • CrossKnowledge Learning Suite
  • Avercast
  • Jedox
  • Alteryx
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud

Choosing the right BI solution for you

IBM Cognos and QlikView offer powerful features to help improve your business performance. IBM Cognos might be better for you if you’re a large company with a distributed workforce. Its mobile applications enable users to work wherever they are, whether online or offline. But if you’re a smaller company, QlikView might be the better choice because of its affordable and scalable pricing. You can choose which specific add-ons you want to purchase and pay for only what you actually use. Some users also prefer  QlikView’s interface and user experience over IBM Cognos.

If you’re still not sure that IBM Cognos or QlikView is right for you, use our Product Selection Tool to get a free shortlist of the best BI software recommendations for you. Getting started is easy and takes five minutes or less.