IBM Cognos (Business Intelligence)

Cognos is a web-based suite of tools from IBM that offers a full range of business intelligence capabilities including reports, dashboards, and self-service queries. Standard Cognos reports are available for various functional areas such as research (TARA), financial accounting, payroll accounting, budget construction, and procurement and payments. These on-demand standard reports have built-in filters and groupings that allow you to easily run them by entering specific report parameters on the prompt page.


  • Managed reports designed for enterprise-wide consumption, such as the Account Summary Report (ASR) and Labor Distribution Reports
  • Self-service reports (available for financial accounting), which are created on-demand by users to serve their individual needs
  • Ability to schedule automated delivery of reports
  • A modern user interface (UI) that is searchable by partial or full codes and/or names
  • Ability to export reports in multiple formats such as PDF, Excel, or comma separated values (CSV)
  • Personalized profile for every Cognos customer to save and organize reports and queries
  • For select reports, parameters can be changed on-demand within the report interface
  • Ability to create custom reports using a drag-and-drop interface for decision support (self-service reporting only)
  • Account data security including, account level security (ALS), Organization Level Security (OLS) and payroll region level security (RLS) as well as flexible data, report and folder-level security


USC faculty and staff are eligible to use Cognos, subject to approval. For more information, see the Access Request User Guide [PDF].

Getting Started

To access Cognos, log in at using your USC NetID username and password. You may also access Cognos from the Kuali portal by clicking the Business Intelligence button located in the upper right-hand corner of the portal.

Technical Requirements

USC supports accessing Cognos using the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari

USC supports exporting Cognos data in the following formats:

  • PDF (9, X)
  • Excel (2002-2010)
  • Comma Separated Values (CSV)
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • HTML


If you would like to make a service-related request, search the knowledge base for self-service support, or report an issue with Cognos, log into the ITS service portal at


There is no fee to access Cognos.

System Availability

Cognos is typically available daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. If Cognos is unavailable during these hours, please consult the following resources for additional information:

  • Outage notifications and alerts are posted at the top of the ITS website.
  • Scheduled maintenance notices are posted in the left column of the ITS website in the Scheduled Maintenance section. Scheduled maintenance notices are also available on a separate page.