Cognos Interview Questions

Last updated on Nov 20, 2023

Learning HKR’s recently designed Cognos Interview questions with answers will help you to crack any type of Interviews which are conducted by top companies. This Cognos interview question section contains a brief introduction to contents and its features. HKR’s Cognos interview question blog has covered advanced technical and analytical topics for both freshers as well as working professionals. As per the Naukri job portal, an average salary for Cognos professional earns more than Rs. 12, 00, 000/annum. Let’s start learning Cognos Interview Questions with answers;

Most Frequently Asked Cognos Interview Questions

What do you mean by Cognos?

Ans: Cognos is an analytical platform mainly used in the development of AI-based business tool. This tool is used to perform data aggregations, web-based integration, and generate user-friendly reports. Cognos is an Ontario-based company that supports business intelligence and performance development software. This analytical tool also provides an option to export the user-friendly report in XML or PDF formats and also enables you to view the reports in XML format.

What are the key features of the Cognos tool?

Ans: The following are the key features of the Cognos tool;

·        Offers flexible master data management for metrics, perspectives, strategic targets, and the relationships between the applications.

·        Automated transfer, distributed entry, or calculation of actual period values.

·        Ability to enter action information and status for metrics in red status.

·        Highly flexible and automated management of security permissions at any level.

·        Pre-built report and analysis templates for metrics

·        Ability to construct interactive impact diagrams between metrics in each scorecard.

Mention the difference between Tableau desktop and Cognos?

Ans: The below table explains the difference between Tableau and Cognos;

Tableau Desktop IBM Cognos
Tableau offers platform compatibility with windows, web-based, and android devices Cognos is compatible with Windows, Linux, and web-based platforms
Tableau works better than Cognos in data transformation and data modeling Cognos is better in functionalities such as standard reporting and ad-hoc reporting
Tableau offers less access control and security functionalities Cognos is better than tableau in access control and security functionalities

What is Dynamic cube in Cognos?

Ans: Dynamic cubes are the in-built memory that helps to load the data directly from relational data management sources that are well structured.


  • This is one of the new feature developed in IBM Cognos BI 10.2
  • This is a part of the IBM Cognos BI query stack
  • The goal of the dynamic cube is to provide quick responses to reports and analyses on the large volumes of data.
  • Enables high performance over terabytes of data.

Cognos dynamic cube consists of what element?

Ans: The Cognos dynamic cube consists of three major elements, they are;

·        Cognos cube designer

·        Cognos Dynamic cubes server

·        Aggregate advisor (this is a part of Cognos dynamic query analyzer)

When to use Dynamic cubes in Cognos?


  •  When you working with data warehouse with star or snowflake schema
  •  A server with Adequate memory
  •  A database consists of more than 25 million table rows.

Explain the Cognos cube designer modeling workflow?

Ans: The following are the important steps involved in modeling workflow;

·        First select the database schema

·        Import the amount of metadata required

·        Defines the dimension and measurements

·        Creates the dynamic cube

·        Auto generates the Cognos cube

·        Using the primary-foreign key relationships and populate the dimensions

·        Deploys the options in Cognos cube designer with publishing option.

Explain about the Aggregate Advisor?

Ans: The aggregate advisor is a type of performance optimization utility;

·        This advisor is a part of the Dynamic query analyzer

·        Suggests the database aggregate table columns and in-built memory functionalities

·        Make use of the Cognos cube’s model and statistics

·        Make use of the log files that are generated from the execution of reports

·        Run during the off-peak and offers non-critical business hours.

What is Model Durability?

Ans: The following are the important factors which meet to have what is considered to be a durable model;

·        You need to create the design language for the model which is not the same as the user who chooses the design for the English language.

·        The design language consists of namespaces, query subjects, and query items that are published in a package initially.

·        The structure of the published package namespace, query subjects, query items, and dimensions should not change over time.

·        This structure is stored in a specification definition, along with the design language’s names.

·        All the elements are stored in a model. XML and usage of reference ID which are set to true.

. How do you create security features for Cognos cubes?

Ans: The below steps involved in the creation of security features in Cognos cubes such as;

  • Starting or stopping of the cube
  • Monitoring the cube
  • Managing the cache memory
  • Scheduling the refresh of the cache memory management.

. What is the Framework manager?

Ans: Framework manager is a type of tool that allows users to make sure that data sources should be available for various Cognos suites. And also enables you to add additional logic details. Within the logical Cognos architecture environment, a framework model consists of logic and important information which are required to use of Cognos tools in the time of software development.

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. What are the layers available in the Framework manager model?

Ans: There are three types of layers available in the Framework manager model such as;

·        Database layer

·        Logical layer

·        Dimensional layer.

. What is a Query mode?

Ans: A query mode is used by IBM to perform predictive maintenance and quality reports. This Query model is considered to be the supported mode for all the reports.

. What is IBM predictive maintenance and Quality?

Ans: The important factors of predictive maintenance and quality are as follows;

  •       This predictive maintenance and quality is an integrated solution that helps to perform many useful tasks.
  •       Predict the failure of an instrumental asset so that users can prevent costly unexpected downtime.
  •       Helps to make adjustments to predictive maintenance schedules and also reduce the repair costs and minimizes downtime.
  •       Helps to repair the procedures and maintenance cycles.
  •       Identify the root cause of asset failure faster so that you can take corrective actions.

. Can you brief me about message flows?

Ans: The following activities can be done with message flows;

  • Helps to acquire and store the data
  • Helps in aggregating the data
  • Supports in running the predictive models
  • Provides data back to external systems or starting the external processes.

. What are determinants?

Ans: Determinants are the advanced features first introduced in Cognos 8 offers control over granularity when aggregating the data. This is also used to ensure that repeating data and offers index information in a database. These determinants are used by the framework manager to determine levels in default hierarchy when auto-generates the regular dimensions from the data query subjects.

. What is a model Advisor?

Ans: Model Advisor is one of the useful tools used to detect the modeling issues, incorrect determinants, and cardinality issues. This advisor helps in easy configuration and import checks for areas where we need further investigation. This tool also provides direct links to the problem area and help.

. What is dimensional modeling for reports and analysis?

Ans: This dimensional model relational database constructs the classic query mode structures. The following activities are such;

  • Offers a logical dimensional layer over the top of the relational model.
  • Provides single measurements over multiple regular dimensions
  • Enables drill-up and drill-down analysis in the model studios.
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. What are regular dimensions and explain?

Ans: The regular dimensions are used to create the model query subjects or database query subjects. This also helps to define the hierarchies to organize levels and drill paths. With the help of a regular dimension, users can specify the multiple hierarchies in a single dimension.

. What is SQL generation?

Ans: This SQL generation determines the model query subject and establishes the relationships between model query subjects. Here filters, macros, and calculations can be used as data source query subjects.

. What are all the types of indexes in Cognos?

Ans: There are mainly four types indexed used in Cognos such as;

  • Bitmap index type
  • B-tree index type
  • Function based Index type
  • Reverse key and composite index type.

. What are all the types of reports?

Ans: The below are the few report types available in Cognos;

  •       Blank report
  •       Cross report
  •       List report
  •       Repeater report
  •       Chart report

. List the types of prompt?

Ans: The prompt types in Cognos are as follows;

  1. Value
  2. Text box
  3. Select and search
  4. Date
  5. Time
  6. Date and time
  7. Interval
  8. Generated
  9. Prompt button

. Mention the types of studios present in Cognos?

Ans: There are five types of studios available in Cognos;

  •       Query studio
  •       Metrics studio
  •       Analysis studio
  •       Event studio
  •       Report studio.

. What are all the types of the gateway used in Cognos?

Ans: The list of the gateway used in Cognos such as;

  •       Common gateway interface (CGI)
  •       Internet service Application Interface (ISPAI)
  •       Tomcat

. Mention the types of hierarchies used in Cognos?

Ans: The two levels of hierarchies used in Cognos;

  • Attribute Hierarchies
  • User-defined hierarchies.

. What is the different type of securities can we apply in framework manager?

Ans: The Cognos framework manager security helps to restrict the access of metadata and control the unauthorized access to the application.

The different types of securities we can apply in framework manager;

Data security: with the help of data security you can create the security filters and applying security methods to the query subject. This type of data filter controls the data when you want to use them during the time of reporting.

Object security: here you can secure the object directly by allowing users to access the proper data, denying the users access to the data objects, and keeping it invisible from all users.

Package security: Here users can apply security to the package and identify who can access these packages.

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. What are the advantages of using shortcuts?

 Ans: There are two types of shortcuts available such as;

  1. Local
  2. Global

 Local is used for maintaining the local repository whereas Global shortcuts are used for the global repository. The main advantage of using shortcuts is to rescue an object instead of creating multiple data objects.

. What are the differences between a cascading report and drill through the report?

Ans: A cascading report is used to extract data from one prompt to another prompt.

Drill through the report is used to extract the data by selecting the report columns and this can be drilled down by clicking the column data.


. How do you create security features for cubes?

 Ans: To create any kind of security features to cubes such as class views and dimension views.

 Dimension view helps to hide certain data from the cube this depends on what type of view you are using.

The class view is used for making the data available for certain role groups in a cube.


From this Cognos interview question article, you can learn only the very important questions asked by any top company. But to get thorough knowledge of the content, you should have real-time as well as hands-on experience, this will add extra mileage. To obtain complete knowledge in Cognos technology, join our HKR’s Cognos training course today and unleash the skill sets. I hope this article may help a few of you those who are looking for the top 30 Cognos interview questions

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As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.

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