IBM Cognos licence descriptions

Below is a brief description of the capabilities associated with the main licence types for Business Intelligence (not including Predicitive Analytics and Planning) in IBM Cognos.

Flexible licensing to match your needs as they evolve

Flexible licensing to match your needs as they evolve


All administrative functions for the environment, including security and user administration.  Includes ‘Framework Manager’ for managing metadata and set up business rules. All other functional roles are also included.

BI Professional

Includes all the ‘Studios’ (Report, Query, Analysis, Metrics and Event) as well as Consumer functionality.

Professional Author

Report Studio, Query Studio and Consumer.

Aimed at technical users, this provides full page layout design capabilities for producing multi-page, multi-layout reports with comprehensive formatting and calculation/function capabilities. Able to author reports using Cognos Statistics (if a Server is installed).

Advanced Business Author

Query Studio, Analysis Studio and Consumer.

Provides Users with the combined functionality of Business Author and Business Analyst.

Business Author

Query Studio and Consumer.

Aimed at business users who want to quickly build columnar reports with charts, calculations and a reasonable degree of formatting.  Queries can be saved as reports and shared with other users.

Business Analyst

Analysis Studio and Consumer.

Aimed at users who need to view scheduled reports, run reports interactively and perform analysis.

Business Manager

Metric Studio and Consumer

Aimed at users who  need to view scheduled reports, run reports interactively and need to manage corporate performance through the use of metrics.

Enhanced Consumer

Some really good features on top of the 'normal' Consumer license...

Business Insight: Very easy for Users to assemble and/or publish their own dashboards.

Active Reports: Allows interactive reports to be viewed even when the User’s computer is off-line (by using .mht files in the browser)

Collaboration: Goes much further than just adding comments to a report by including a suite of ‘social media’ type communication methods, allows content from other sources to be included and some task and workflow support tools that all generate and facilitate a ‘community approach’ to Performance Management.


Allows interactive ‘consumption’ of reports, dashboards or scorecards plus alerts and event notification. Includes the ability to schedule, run and save prompted pre-authored reports and to drill up and down saved analytic reports.

Mobile Consumer

Enhanced Consumer functionality specifically for iPad, iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

Whilst the ‘normal’ Consumer license allows users to access their Cognos account from a mobile device’s browser (eg Safari on an iPad), this license allows, for example, an iPad user to download and use the Cognos App which provides better performance and also supports the use of Active Reports which are both more visually attractive and also allow the mobile User to view dashboards / reports when they’re not connected to the network.

Please note that this licenses does not allow the user to use a desktop or laptop computer so if a User would like to use both connection methods, the best license would be the Enhanced Consumer.


Allows a user to access the Cognos Connection portal: to open and view reports that have been pre-run and saved to the portal which may be the output from production, managed, analytic, dashboard or scorecard reports. No interactivity is available with this license.