Friday, November 19, 2010

The Business Intelligence Chronicles Part 19: SAS vs. Cognos or is it SAS & Cognos??

Comparison of user feedback on the two tools for various parameters (compiled from various sources)
Companies with big data crunching groups often end up with a conundrum related to tool selection esp. when making a choice between SAS and Cognos 8. My thoughts on the issue: 
  • Both can coexist. Rather than it becoming a "SAS vs. Cognos" scenario it can be "SAS and Cognos".
(A scenario which exists at some players: Generally, Cognos used as a data presentation layer that includes descriptive statistics and OLAP. SAS having a substantially more powerful ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) capability, used for data prep processes. Finally, SAS handles the inferential statistics and data mining, including predictive and optimization modeling.

To summarize, SAS used to integrate and perform ETL  on data, Cognos to present the data, then SAS to analytically crunch the data.

The analytical results may then be reported back through Cognos. This whole process can be made to feel seamless. 

Potentially some of the same synergy can be realized by a Cognos-SPSS combination.) 
  • Release of Cognos 10 and integration of Cognos-SPSS makes the comparison more difficult as SPSS adds the predictive/statistical analyses capabilities which Cognos was weaker in. On other hand the SAS - Enterprise Guide provides a very analytical user friendly front-end
How have you dealt with your Predictive Analytics vs. Descriptive Analytics dilemma ? Peaceful co-existence or daggers drawn ? 


Anonymous said...

From Sridhar Kurpad • IBM Innovation Center for Business Analytics Linked In Group

I am not a technical expert but being a business user of Cognos and having worked at SAS for a couple of years these are my thoughts:

It is peaceful co-existence for now but daggers will be drawn very soon. As you have yourself pointed out it will be Cognos-SPSS vs. SAS

Till the time the cognos-SPSS combination is up and running, SAS sees it as an opportunity to forge ahead.

The BI (Descriptive analytics as you call it) is more or less a commodity now with the decision to invest purely being driven by pricing. The latest SAS BI 9.2 offers all the features that cognos and other BI vendors do.

It will be the predictive analytics bit that will continue to give SAS an edge over IBM-Cognos.

Anonymous said...

From Abhinandan S. • IBM Innovation Center for Business Analytics LinkedIn Group

Integration abilities along with Cognos are far better than SAS - where users tend to accumulate a lot of disparate content via SAS desktop which later on becomes "non strategic" to manage.

SPSS could be a game changer of sorts - although predictive analysis is a totally new strand in the IBM Cognos DNA, would be interesting to see how well it is treated by the end user community...

Smart move nonetheless!

Anonymous said...

LinkedIn Groups
Group: IBM Innovation Center for Business Analytics
Discussion: How have you dealt with your Predictive Analytics vs. Descriptive Analytics dilemma ? Peaceful co-existence or daggers drawn ?
I sat in on a number of sessions related to C10 and Cognos-SPSS seamless integrations at IOD 2010 this year. I also saw a demo of C10 working seamlessly with Adaptive Analytics Framework. This tool has a ETL intgerated within. My organization uses that tool and it performs very well for us. It seems Cognos may have resolved some long awaited integration touchpoints by bringing together Adaptive Analytics, C10 and SPSS. The content produced by this trio seem likely to address the issue of SAS or Cognos. The future awaits to be decided by the consumers, authors and modelers.
Posted by Ron Gross

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