Bayer UK effectively manages
corporate performance with Cognos Series 7

by Cognos Staff

The Business Environment

Bayer UK is a subsidiary of Bayer AG - one of the world's largest and most diversified chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Bayer UK is the major company in the Bayer Group's United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland region. Bayer's products are involved in every major area of industrial, commercial and domestic life including diagnostic instruments, medicines, agrochemicals, building and construction, automotive components, electrical white goods, computers, business machines, food and drink, textiles, animal health and eco-protection.

The Challenge

Bayer UK needed a highly scalable business intelligence system that offered both enterprise-proven performance, security and scalability, while at the same time provided an easy-to-use environment accessible through a central, Intranet-based console for its business users. So Bayer's requirements included:

  • An efficient managed reporting system
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Give remote sales force quick access to critical data
So when Bayer was looking for a business intelligence and ETL solution in 2000, the IT group needed to ensure they implemented a managed reporting system that could meet their reporting requirements, and provide an easy-to-use interface for the sales force.

The Solution

The company selected Cognos PowerPlay, Impromptu Web Reports (IWR) and DecisionStream. In early 2002, Bayer upgraded to Cognos Series 7, the industry's most comprehensive, enterprise-class business intelligence solution. Cognos Series 7 offers mission-critical performance, reliability, and scalability, as well as unique operational event detection and alerting to wireless devices.

Cognos Series 7 Business Intelligence Framework

Bayer UK today uses the full, integrated range of robust reporting, analysis, ad hoc query, scorecarding, visualization, and data integration capabilities offered in the Cognos Series 7 solution. The result is a Web-based business intelligence solution that offers Bayer UK managers and sales representatives split-second access to customer, marketplace, and operational trends across a broad array of operational and relational data stores including SAP R/3.

"Our users don't want a cumbersome and complicated computer system that doesn't perform well," explains John Culverhouse, Senior Analyst, Bayer UK. "They want to be able to click on something they know will work and get a report back with the information they need. Cognos meets that need."

Bayer uses Cognos robust prompting capabilities to ensure that individual users receive the information that is useful to them. By enhancing the end user experience through powerful prompting and ease of use, the IT department is assured of high user acceptance.

"Users love the flexibility," said Dave Gardner, Project Manager, Bayer. "We really wouldn't be able to do managed reporting without the Cognos prompts."

Benefits Realized

  • Increased integration
  • Easier maintenance
  • Stable server environment

Bayer uses DecisionStream to pull information from various databases including Oracle, Lotus Notes, Access and SAP into one coordinated BI data center. The unified view of data allows the company to spot trends earlier and take faster action.

And with Series 7 now in production, John and Dave have noticed many new benefits. They appreciate the integration of IWR with Upfront, the Cognos Web portal. "Our users can go into Upfront and easily access data from a number of different sources," said John. "Originally users would spend ages trying to find one answer to a critical business question. Now they can go straight to Upfront and find all the answers in one central portal that users like."

Many new features including portal integration and custom views within IWR provide a unified user interface for Bayer users, and also provide an easier BI environment to maintain.

In addition to less maintenance, Series 7 also provides a more stable server environment. "We haven't had any problems in version 7. It's working very well," notes John.

The new Configuration Manager within Series 7 also proved to be a time-saving feature for Bayer. Being able to see the different configurations for all products in one place makes maintenance far easier than before.

"Our business users are happy with Cognos," said Dave. "They told us they were happy working with Cognos and wanted to carry on with it. The unified user interface in Series 7 has made it easier for our users to get answers quickly, to spot trends and to take action. It's easier for us from a maintenance perspective and it has a lot of excellent features."

About Cognos

Founded in 1969, Cognos employs more than 2,600 people and serves more than 20,000 customers in over 135 countries. Its customers are involved in every industry sector including automotive, banking and insurance, energy and natural resources, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Check the tour of Cognos Series 7 at

For more information about Cognos go to

Questions for Analysis and Discussion

  1. What DSS technologies is the company using? What is a business intelligence and ETL solution?
  2. What type of DSS was implemented?
  3. What caused the change in technology at Bayer UK?
  4. How successful has the new DSS and technology change been at Bayer UK?
  5. What are the claimed benefits of the new system?
  6. Why would users like a portal interface and Impromptu Web Reports (IWR)?
  7. Why would the remote sales force need access to the new system?
  8. How will this change affect other companies in the industry?
  9. Do you anticipate any problems with the system? If so, explain them.

Sean Reid, Public Relations Manager at Cognos, provided permission to use this case study at DSSResources.COM on Thursday, July 25, 2002. This case is based on a shorter case titled "Cognos Series 7 is Bayer's Prescription for Success" and a press release of August 14, 2002 titled "Bayer UK effectively manages corporate performance with Cognos Series 7". Posted at DSSResources.COM August 26, 2002.

Please cite as:

Cognos Staff, "Bayer UK effectively manages corporate performance with Cognos Series 7", Cognos, Inc., August 2002, at URL DSSResources.COM.

Used at DSSResources.COM by permission. Product names and trademarks may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

This case study is for informational purposes only. DSSResources.COM makes no warranties, express or implied, in this summary.