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.
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-organisations and versioning.
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.
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.