As the name implies, COBOL was intended for business data processing.
      Also, It was intended that the language could be used by novice 
      programmers and read by the managers.


      COBOL introduced the following concepts or features:
       1. data description which really is machine independent
       2. recursive data definitions
       3. a powerful conditional struture ( IF - THEN - ELSE)
       4. specifications for a high level language macro
       5. clear separation of procedural statements and the description
          of data
       6. useful metalanguage
       7. semi-automatic segmentation
       8. a machine independent language based on realistic hardware facilities

Source: SIGPLAN notices