Skip to main content

System Status: 

BI Tools

Learn about the business intelligence tools available at UC San Diego.

BIA provides support for Business Intelligence tools used at UC San Diego.


Which BI Tool is Right For Me?

  • I blend data with left and right joins --> Start in Cognos
  • I create complicated calculations --> Start in Cognos
  • I create list reports and pivot tables --> Start in Cognos
  • I create mainly charts --> Start in Tableau
  • I create a mix of lists and charts --> Either tool will work for you
  • I have a limited budget --> Start in Cognos
  • I have existing skills --> Start in the tool you know

You can create the same standard reports in each tool, so you can't go wrong with your choice.  Each person will naturally gravitate to one tool over the other based on their personal experience and what features they commonly need to meet their business reporting requirements.

Compare these BI tools based on your needs: 


Cognos Analytics


Display as List Yes Limited
Display as Pivot Table / Cross Tab Yes Yes
Display as Visualizations Yes Yes
     Area Chart Yes Yes
     Bar / Column Chart Yes Yes
     Line Chart Yes Yes
     Combo Chart Yes Yes
     Bubble Chart Yes Yes
     Bullet Chart Yes Yes
     Scatter Plot Yes Yes
     Maps Yes Yes
     Word Chart Yes Yes
Custom Calculations Yes Yes
Sub-Queries Yes No
Upload your data to the secure BI server Yes Yes
Blend multiple data sources Yes Limited
PDF output Yes Yes
Excel output for data download Yes - not recommended Yes - not recommended
Email distribution set up Manual / automatic Manual
Email distribution to Self / Group Self
Web interaction (1) Yes Yes
Self-service Yes Yes
Can be embedded into another website Yes Yes
Can hyperlink/drill through to another website Yes Yes
BI Tool Origin Finance, Calculations Visualizations
Validated data sources Yes Yes
BIA supported Yes Yes
Cost to your department for report development Free $$$
Cost to use existing reports only Free Free
Free Training YouTube


(1) Be sure to check that your BI tool of choice is compatible with your browser.