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3 reasons to upgrade from IBM Cognos TM1 to IBM Planning Analytics Local

Recently IBM released the on-premises version of IBM Planning Analytics. But already, dozens of IBM customers are making the switch from IBM Cognos TM1 to this powerful new solution for planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis. What’s so special about IBM Planning Analytics Local (the formal name of the on-premises version)? What would motivate an existing customer to upgrade just weeks after its release, especially considering that they have to pay additional licensing fees?

There are three big answers to that question – and several smaller ones as well.

1. Workspace

The first big reason to upgrade can be found in Workspace, the user interface that is the new face of the Cognos TM1/IBM Planning Analytics solution. Workspace is attractive on several levels. The interface is a highly visual, freeform design with over 25 charts, scorecards, images, shapes, text, and videos.  Quick searching and Snap Commands give it a natural-language-like feel.

Moreover, Workspace is data rich. You can combine data from any cube from any Cognos TM1 database into a single view, using a new viewer, websheets, charts, or cell widgets. There’s no time-wasting data conversion process at all. Workspace coordinates three forms of data selectors–tile, list and slider–so you can intuitively filter your data rich “Books,” using buttons that allow them to navigate across content, carrying context with them as appropriate.

Workspace supports analysis, reporting, and writeback. With the highly interactive viewer, it’s easy to navigate a multidimensional cube and convert “data exploration” into a chart. Then, you can use this chart to present and share results with others. It’s also easy for business users – both report authors and consumers—to create highly interactive Workspace Books. Finally, Workspace is mobile, so you can work with Workspace Books on your iPad.

Planning Analytics Local - Workspace

IBM Planning Analytics features a customizable planning and analytics Workspace.

2. Hierarchies

The new “Hierarchies” capability is a paradigm-changing analysis feature for Cognos TM1 users. In today’s data rich environment, we all want to explore our data using “attributes” that describe the many characteristics of our customers, products, projects, programs, financial instruments and more. With the Hierarchies capability, you’re not limited to the traditional definition of your cubes for analysis.

Leveraging attribute data in the form of ”virtual dimensions” extends that definition using data from the time the cube was created or anytime after – and does it seamlessly. Further, you can see the intersections of several Hierarchies of the same dimension. You are then able to drill into the data to find data points never before possible. Implementing the Hierarchies capability is a natural process, with little setup and an intuitive process. You can also use Hierarchies for dimension re-organizations and versioning.

planning analytics local hierarchies

Perform complex, multidimensional analysis more easily in IBM Planning Analytics.

3. IBM Planning Analytics for Excel (PAx)

With the IBM Planning Analytics for Excel (PAx) feature, you get Microsoft Excel access to the Cognos TM1 database with superior performance over wide-area networks. PAx has several integration points with Workspace and both environments share a common user experience, Cube Viewer, and Set Editor. PAx has four models of interaction to satisfy all Excel user modes:

  • Exploration for slice/dice/pivot analysis
  • Quick Reports for fast worksheet design
  • Dynamic Reports for row interactivity (zero suppression, expand, collapse)
  • Custom Report for highly formatted forms and reports.

Also, all the reports you create in PAx can be published for websheet consumption in Workspace. And these are just some of the many features of PAx that will delight Excel junkies.

planning analytics localWork in a familiar Excel interface.

But wait—there’s more!

In addition to Workspace, Hierarchies and PAx, there are a host of other features that will appeal to Cognos TM1 Web users. The Cognos TM1 Web UX is totally redesigned and websheets can load, scroll and refresh faster than ever before. (Many of our beta customers noted this as the release’s #1 benefit.)

Then, there’s the Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator Debugger. Cognos TM1 developers who design TurboIntegrator processes will be excited about its quality breakpoints and variable analysis. The tight coordination of IBM Planning Analytics with Cognos Analytics (formerly IBM Cognos Business Intelligence) and Watson Analytics is another plus.

Is IBM Planning Analytics Local right for you?

These are the most important reasons why we think you should consider upgrading your Cognos TM1 implementation to the new, on-premises version of IBM Planning Analytics. And please note that, in spite of the solution’s new name, the upgrade process is not really a migration. You can simply install and go, using your current model and mode of operation.

We think Cognos TM1 users around the world will like the direction we’re going with the IBM Planning Analytics Local. We also hope that the improvements we’ve made reflect the desires of those users and directly enhance the value of the software they use every day. We take pains to listen and learn from our customers and our goal is to consolidate capabilities and present a unified Web, Excel, and mobile experience for all the diverse roles of Cognos TM1 users.

Contact Yannick Peeters ( y.peeters@aexis.com ) for more information.

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