Business intelligence blog

    Phocas BI vs IBM Cognos Analytics (based on ratings in BARC's The BI Survey 17)

    In this blog, see how Phocas compares with IBM Cognos Analytics based on several KPIs in the world's largest business intelligence user survey, BARC's The BI Survey 17.

    While the two are frequently compared to one another in competitive bids, the results of The BI Survey 2017  by BARC Research prove that Phocas scores better across many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

    The BI Survey 17 is the largest and most comprehensive review of BI software in the world. In 2017, more than 3,000 BI software users were asked a variety of questions regarding 42 leading BI vendors across 29 different KPIs. Following the survey, Phocas was on top in 24 categories of its peer groups. The following blog compares the performance of Phocas vs. IBM Cognos Analytics in three of the categories, including product satisfaction, price to value and recommendation.

    Click the image below to see a more comprehensive head-to-head analysis of the two products.


    Product Satisfaction

    The product satisfaction KPI measures the frequency of product-related problems. BARC indicates that this KPI is important because “if a product proves unreliable at a critical time, the results can be debilitating, and can even render an application unusable.” The lower the survey rating the more problems that the users have with the product.  In the 2017 survey, Phocas received a score of 9.8, an improvement from 8.8 in 2016. According to the survey results, IBM Cognos Analytics improved slightly, scoring a 1.9 in 2017 compared with a 1.6 in 2016.

    We built Phocas to be easy to use. We believe that data is important to everyone’s job, IT, the CIO or specially trained analytics specialist. Phocas was built to be user friendly for all skill levels and the results of this survey validate our efforts.

    Price to Value

    According to BARC, price-to-value is “an important metric in today’s cost-conscious age.” As many BI users have found, “the cost of buying and supporting BI software quickly adds up, especially when attempting to cost-justify adding new users. As more BI capabilities are pushed out to the business, this perception of value becomes even more critical.” In this category, Phocas scored a 9.9 while IBM Cognos Analytics scored 3.5.

    In its analysis of Phocas, BARC wrote, “The product is praised for high performance too, which is the number one reason for why customers choose to purchase it.” Based on the survey results, Phocas customers quickly recognize a return on their investment in the software. One of these customers is Splosh, which operates a large giftware distribution center in Brisbane, Australia.

    Prior to deploying Phocas, it would take Splosh 20 minutes to understand what products customers were stocking with plenty of room for error. Phocas has reduced that process 90 seconds while eliminating errors. The software is now widely embraced by the Splosh sales team, viewed as a tool to help them find sales opportunities. General Manager Laura Kendall said, “With Phocas, it’s simple to get really detailed results. It creates so much access to the ins and outs of your business in a really simple manner.”


    This KPI measures whether customers that have the product would recommend it to others. In the BARC survey, BI software users were asked whether they would recommend the product they are most familiar with. This is important because users are the ones who understand whether the product is living up to expectations and whether there exists effective product support.  For this KPI, Phocas outperforms IBM Cognos Analytics by a significant margin, scoring a perfect 10 compared to IBM’s 3.4.

    Phocas has grown extensively because of satisfied customers and their willingness to recommend our software others. We have relationships with a number of industry associations, as well as ERP systems providers, and because of our product satisfaction, price-to-value, project success and business benefits among members, our software is frequently recommended among their members and users, respectively

    For example, Behler-Young is a member of Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), a major industry distributor organization. Because several members of the organization shared their experiences with other members and recommended Phocas, Behler-Young integrated the software in 2015.  Robert Wright, senior application developer for Behler Young said about Phocas, “Ninety percent of our needs are met with the basic functionality of Phocas. We haven’t seen many products on the market that do BI in a way that is as user friendly as Phocas. Where Phocas excels is when it gets in the hands of the everyday user.”

    Phocas was integrated at bearing specialist Haley Group 10 years ago, and has been well received in all areas of the business. Group IT Manager Mark Law, said, “We found that with Phocas there was a lot of personal service involved and this has stood the test of time.  I would definitely recommend Phocas, I’ve been involved in showing it to other customers, so I would definitely recommend Phocas as a product and as a company.”

    For more on how Phocas compares with IBM Cognos Analytics, click on the image below to download a comprehensive head-to-head KPI overview.



    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software

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