What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 90

what’s new in planning analytics workspace 90
what’s new in planning analytics workspace 90
Written by Mike Bernaiche, September 22nd, 2023

Planning Analytics Workspace 90 was released on September 19, 2023, and there are several items in this update to talk about.  For those of you who went to IBM Tech Exchange in Las Vegas in early September, you heard that there is some amazing stuff coming to Planning Analytics soon.  Stay tuned to our blogs for some big announcements concerning Planning Analytics.  Now on to what’s new in Planning Analytics Workspace 90.

Learn Pane in Planning Analytics Workspace 90

AI-Generated Recommendations Available in Learn Pane - The Learn Pane now provides dynamic AI-generated recommendations as well as static recommendations.  When you interact with the content inside the Learn Pane, the recommendation engine makes daily updates based on what you and other users are viewing. For example, if you and other users use books and views more often, more content about books and views is generated in the Learn Pane.

Learn Pane in Planning Analytics 90

Books and Reporting in Planning Analytics Workspace 90

Set Synchronization Properties for Multiple Widgets Simultaneously – You can now set synchronization on multiple widgets at the same time.  Previously you could only do this one widget at a time.  Simply “ctrl-click” on the widgets and then under properties go to synchronization and choose the items you want to synchronize on.

Removed Ability to Use Delete Key to Remove Single Cell Widgets – You can no longer remove the delete key to remove single cell widgets.  You must now use the delete icon in the icon bar.  Also, a new property in a single cell widget called “Show as Cell”. This must be enabled to modify a single-cell widget.

Select a Member or Set by Typing its Name in an Exploration View – You can now search for a member by typing that info.  Simply click the 3 dots next to a dimension and select enter member.  Now type in that member name and your exploration will update with selection.

Select a Member or Set by Typing its Name in an Exploration View in PAW 90
Select a Member or Set by Typing its Name in an Exploration View in PAW 90

Insert Spacer Rows or Columns – you can now add spacers to your explorations to make the end-user experience better.

Insert Spacer Rows or Columns in PAW 90
Insert Spacer Rows or Columns in PAW 90

Replace Button Now Works on Current Selections in Set - The Replace button in the set editor now also works on the selections you make in the Current set pane. You can select members on both sides of the set editor, either the Available members or the Current set, and replace members in the view.

Modeling in Planning Analytics Workspace 90

Work with Database Logs in Modeling Workbench - You can now access a database's server log, transaction log, and audit log directly from the modeling workbench in Planning Analytics Workspace.

Work with Database Logs in Modeling Workbench in PAW 90

New Baseline Forecast Option - A baseline forecast is a new Planning Analytics Workspace asset that administrators and modelers can create and share with other users in your organization. Administrators, modelers, and analysts with the appropriate permissions can run the baseline forecast at any time and use the forecast to improve the planning process. Consumers cannot run baseline forecasts.

Baseline forecasts enhance the existing forecasting capabilities in Planning Analytics Workspace. You can still create and run ad-hoc forecasts on explorations in a book.

New Baseline Forecast Option in PAW 90
New Baseline Forecast Option in PAW 90
New Baseline Forecast Option in PAW 90

Administration in Planning Analytics Workspace 90

Simplified process to Rename Databases, Snapshots, and User Groups - A new Edit option on the Databases, Lifecycle Management, and Users and Groups pages simplifies the renaming process.

View Users Last Login - An enhancement in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.87 added the ability to view the last login for a user when you downloaded a user report from the Users and Groups page. You can now view the last login for a user directly in Planning Analytics Administration without downloading a report.

View Users Last Login in PAW 90


Planning Analytics Workspace 90 brings good enhancements to your Planning Analytics deployment.  We recommend staying current on the latest releases as many enhancements and bug fixes are included.  Reminder updates are cumulative so if you update to 90, you will get everything from prior releases.

To find fixes that have been included in updates please see this link.  

IBM put together a great list of everything added since Planning Analytics Workspace 58.  You can find this list here

To schedule an upgrade discussion please contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Escaping the Budgeting Blues: Rolling Forecasts with IBM Planning Analytics

Escaping the Budgeting Blues Rolling Forecasts with IBM Planning Analytics
Escaping the Budgeting Blues Rolling Forecasts with IBM Planning Analytics

Written by Heather L. Cole, September 1st 2023

Budgeting – the word alone can send shivers down the spines of even the bravest financial warriors. It's like a necessary evil, a financial straitjacket that stifles our creative dreams of abundance. In this blog, we're diving into the reasons why budgeting can be a real buzzkill and exploring a financial superhero - rolling forecasts, here to save the day with a little help from IBM Planning Analytics!

The Scarcity Mindset of Budgeting

Picture this: traditional budgets are like the Grinches of the financial world, setting a "maximum spend" for departments and a "minimum earn" requirement, making us feel like we're always one step away from bankruptcy. While we need benchmarks, budgeting can sometimes feel like having a budget babysitter watching our every financial move.

(Reference: Annual Budgeting is for the Birds)

The Excel Nightmare

And oh, the horror of using Excel for budgeting! It's like trying to build a sandcastle in a windstorm. Here's the lowdown on why Excel can be a real party-pooper:

  1. Siloed Data: Excel budgeting often results in data islands, where different departments use their own spreadsheets, creating a maze of disconnected plans.
  2. Human Error: Fat-fingered numbers can easily sabotage our formulas, leading to financial fiascos that are harder to spot than Waldo in a crowd.
  3. Endless Changes: Executives have a knack for demanding last-minute changes. Updating Excel sheets with these tweaks is like trying to juggle flaming torches – it's bound to end in chaos.
  4. Lack of Agility:   Excel budgets are as flexible as a brick wall - they can't adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.

A Better Way: Rolling Forecasts

But fret not, for there's a shining knight in financial armor - rolling forecasts. But what's this magical solution all about?

What is a Rolling Forecast?  

Rolling forecasts are the agile acrobats of financial planning. They keep things fresh by continuously planning with a set number of periods. For example, if your forecast covers 12 months, as each month ends, another month magically appears, ensuring you're always peering 12 months into the future. Rolling forecasts can be like a box of chocolates - you can have 12, 18, 24, or even 36 months! (Rolling Forecast According to Gartner)

 Why Use Rolling Forecasts vs. Traditional Budgeting? 

The deal-breaker with rolling forecasts? They're nothing like traditional budgeting:

  1. No Countdown:   Traditional budgets create an annual countdown, making us feel like we're stuck in a financial time warp. Rolling forecasts are the cool kids - they're a living document, no more annual budget dread!
  2. Accuracy:   Traditional budgets often become relics before they're even finished. Rolling forecasts allow for quick fixes, preventing financial fiascos from piling up.
  3. Agility:   Rolling forecasts can adapt to the ever-changing business landscape, like a chameleon changing colors. Your outlook is continuously updated, giving you the power to make informed decisions faster.
  4. Driver-Based:   Rolling forecasts aren't stuck in the past; they use key business drivers like market share and customer satisfaction to improve forecasting accuracy.

IBM Planning Analytics: Your Financial Superhero

But here's the real game-changer - IBM Planning Analytics. It's like giving your financial planning a superpower boost! With IBM Planning Analytics:

  • Interconnected Components:   All the components of your plan are interconnected. No more scattered spreadsheets; it's like having a financial control center at your fingertips.
  • Dynamic Adaptability:   Easily change components to meet your dynamic business needs. Just as having the right gear is essential to finish an Ironman, having the right tool is crucial for a successful rolling forecast.

Challenges of Rolling Forecasts  

Rolling forecasts aren't without their hurdles. Some organizations resist change because they're stuck in the quarterly earnings rat race. And yes, transitioning to rolling forecasts can require a bit of a financial facelift.

Is Rolling Forecasting Right for Your Organization?  

Ask yourself:

  • Is your organization stuck in a time warp when change is needed?
  • Have budget targets been missed, and the reasons are shrouded in mystery?
  • Does your budgeting process feel like an episode of "Survivor," with siloed departments and unclear ownership?
  • Are budget discussions more about financial mysteries than business operations?
  • Does the annual budget process feel like a never-ending episode of "Groundhog Day"?

If you nodded along, rolling forecasts might be your financial superhero, and IBM Planning Analytics is your trusty sidekick.

Join Our Event on October 19th.

The Pain of Outgrowing Excel Midmarket CFOs Discover Relief with IBM Planning Analytics

Ready to learn more about the financial superhero known as rolling forecasts and how IBM Planning Analytics can help you conquer Excel's clutches? Join us for our event: "The Pain of Outgrowing Excel: Midmarket CFOs Discover Relief with IBM Planning Analytics."

Date: Thursday, October 19th, 2023
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern

In this event, we'll uncover the secrets of breaking free from Excel's grip and embracing a world of financial freedom with rolling forecasts and IBM Planning Analytics. Don't let Excel rain on your financial parade. Register now to secure your spot and set your financial plans free:


Budgeting may have its woes, but it's not all doom and gloom. Rolling forecasts are here to save the day, offering flexibility, agility, and the power to adapt to the ever-changing financial landscape. With IBM Planning Analytics by your side, you're not just escaping the budgeting blues; you're soaring to new financial heights! So, let's bid farewell to budgeting blues and welcome the future of finance with open arms – it's time to roll with the forecasts and let IBM Planning Analytics light your financial path!

For more insight on some of what we are discussing in our upcoming Webinar, check out another recent Lodestar blog - Unleashing Profits with Strategic Analytics: Introducing the PROFIT Framework.

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 87

What's New in Planning Analytics Workspace 87
What's New in Planning Analytics Workspace 87
Written by Mike Bernaiche, June 28th, 2023

On May 17, 2023, IBM released Planning Analytics Workspace 87.  A reminder that each update to Workspace is cumulative and all enhancements and fixes from previous releases are included in Planning Analytics Workspace 87.  This update includes some nice enhancements and fixes.  You can always find a detailed list of fixes by clicking here

I suggest checking this link out to see if any of the issues you may encounter have been solved in a recent release of Planning Analytics, Planning Analytics Workspace, or Planning Analytics for Excel.

Books and Reporting

Search and Filter Capability Available for Current Set in Set Editor - The Current set pane in the new experience set editor now has search and filter capabilities. Previously, these features applied only to the Available members pane in the set editor.

Search and Filter Capability Available for Current Set in Set Editor
Search and Filter Capability Available for Current Set in Set Editor

Target Selection Design and Usability Improvements – The target selection is now available on the toolbar in a book.

Expand and Collapse Rows and Columns asymmetrically or symmetrically - You can now expand and collapse rows and columns in a view either asymmetrically or symmetrically.  Click the new Expand/Collapse icon in the toolbar and select how you want to expand and collapse rows and columns.

Expand and Collapse Rows and Columns asymmetrically or symmetrically in PAW 87

Zoom Bar now Available in Additional Visualizations - The Zoom bar is now available in the following visualizations.  The Zoom bar allows you to scroll and focus on a smaller area of a visualization.

  • Box plot
  • Marimekko
  • Heat map
  • Waterfall
  • Bullet

New Properties in Map Visualization – New properties include World View, Icon, Allow Overlap, and Show Map Labels.

New Properties and Changes for the Bullet Visualization

  • New Categories Slot - A new slot under Fields lets you draw multiple bullets without the use of Repeat slots. The Categories slot allows additional sorting capabilities such as sorting by Target and Bar values.
  • Padding Properties – You can now set bullet and target marker padding under Chart in Properties.
  • Style Gridlines, Axis lines, and Labels - You can style gridlines, axes lines, and axes titles and labels.
  • Zoom Bar
  • Manual Range Values - You can now specify minimum, mid, and maximum range values manually under the new Ranges section in Properties.

Ledged Alignment in Visualizations - You can now align a legend vertically to display at the start, center, or end of the plot area in visualizations.  In combination with the Legend position, this new property allows you to position the legend in twelve different areas in the visualization.

Configuration Modification for Learn Pane - The cognitive Learn Pane in Planning Analytics Workspace Local is now hosted on a new domain.  This change requires the following configuration modifications to Planning Analytics Workspace Local and Planning Analytics on Cloud Pak for Data to ensure continued access to documentation and other information through the Learn Pane.

This is an important change and I have put a detailed link HERE for instructions to make this change and continue using the learn pane.

Applications and Plans

New Tabs on the Contribution Panel Show Submissions and Approved Tasks

New Tabs on the Contribution Panel Show Submissions and Approved Tasks in PAW 87


New View Related Cubes Option - You can now quickly identify which cubes on a Planning Analytics database include a specific dimension.  This is helpful when you are thinking about deleting a dimension and want to see the impact of the deletion on the cubes in your database.

Import a Data Source with Multiple Data Value Columns to an Existing Cube - If a data source includes multiple data value columns, you can now create mappings to import all data columns simultaneously into an existing cube. This is useful when importing data that has multiple value columns for days, weeks, or months.

Use New Editors to Manage Attributes and Security for Data Objects - New settings editors are available from the Databases tree on a modeling workbench, which simplifies the task of managing attributes or security for your database objects.

Manage Cell Security with a More Flexible Control Cube Structure - Previously, a cell security control cube contained all dimensions from the data cube, plus the }Groups dimension. In Planning Analytics Workspace 87, you can select which dimensions to include in a cell security control cube, which can make it easier to manage security.


View the Last Login Date for Planning Analytics Users - The last login date is not exposed in the Planning Analytics Administration interface but is included when you download a user report to a .csv file.

Include Modeling Workbenches in LifeCycle Management Snapshots - You can now include modeling workbenches when you use Lifecycle Management to copy and deploy Planning Analytics assets.


Some great enhancements in Planning Analytics Workspace 87.  Please make sure you read the bit on the Learn Pane.  This does require a small change in the setup and we are here to help you!  Reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Have you heard about our Analytics Success Klub (ASK)?  We believe that the best investment you can make is in yourself.   But analytic professionals are often too busy to attend expensive training. So, Lodestar Solutions in partnership with Heatherized, Inc. is bringing a unique membership program for ambitious analytic professionals that want to go to the next level. Regardless, of whether you use IBM, Power BI, Tableau, or Qlik, social skills are the secret to promotions, raises, and interesting projects.

Check out the full blog on ASK here.

The Power of IBM Planning Analytics for Mid-Market Companies: Leveling Up from Excel

The Power of IBM Planning Analytics for Mid-Market Companies Leveling Up from Excel
The Power of IBM Planning Analytics for Mid-Market Companies Leveling Up from Excel
Written by Heather L. Cole, June 14th, 2023

In the fast-paced world of mid-market companies, there's a hero waiting to rescue you from the clutches of outdated spreadsheets.  No, it's not a caped crusader, but something even better - IBM Planning Analytics!  Buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey as we uncover the game-changing benefits of IBM's solution and bid farewell to Excel, the aging superhero of yesteryears.

Pricing that Won't Give You Nightmares:

Forget about breaking the bank or sacrificing your firstborn for a planning and analytics tool.  IBM understands that mid-market companies have budgets too, which is why they offer pricing options designed specifically for smaller deployments and departmental use.  Finally, a solution that won't leave you in tears when you check your bank account!  Email sales@lodestarsolutions.com to get a quote and save yourself from financial frights.

Join Forces with the Mid-Market Masters - Lodestar Solutions:

Who needs a trusty sidekick when you have Lodestar Solutions by your side?  We have been laser-focused on making mid-market companies successful with IBM Planning Analytics since 2004.  With IBM Planning Analytics’ superpowers of robust budgeting, planning, and what-if capabilities, Lodestar Solutions will guide you through the planning galaxy and help you conquer any data-related challenges.  Schedule a call with them at sales@lodestarsolutions.com and unleash your inner superhero!

AI, the Crystal Ball of Analytics:

Prepare to be mind-blown!  IBM Planning Analytics has been infused with AI, giving you the power of advanced forecasting capabilities.  No more relying on fortune cookies or flipping a coin to make critical decisions.  With AI-driven insights, you'll feel like you have a crystal ball that predicts market trends, demand patterns, and future scenarios.  

Lodestar is consistently releasing blogs on all the latest updates for IBM's Planning Analytics and much more! Be sure to follow us on Linkedin and check out all our blogs

Excel's Retirement Party:

Let's face it - Excel has served us well, but it's time for a retirement party.  Bid farewell to the days of dealing with complex formulas, error-prone fat-fingering, and hair-pulling frustration.  IBM Planning Analytics is here to save the day with its intuitive interface, real-time data consolidation, and advanced modeling capabilities.  Say goodbye to Excel's wrinkles and hello to a streamlined planning process that will make you dance like nobody's watching!  To learn more about what is possible with IBM Planning Analytics and how it compares to Excel see our video - Have You Outgrown Excel for Budgeting & Planning? 

Expand Your Way to Success:

With IBM Planning Analytics, the fun never stops.  Extend your planning processes beyond finance to include sales, marketing, and distribution... all connected to reflect the constant changes in business today.  Say goodbye to spreadsheet nightmares and hello to features like multidimensional modeling, scenario modeling, driver-based planning, and dynamic reporting.  You'll be dancing with joy as you uncover deeper insights, make accurate forecasts, and outsmart your competition.  Who said planning and analytics can't be fun?


Get ready to unleash your inner Analytic superpowers and embrace the agile world of IBM Planning Analytics.  With tailored pricing, support from the thought-provoking experts at Lodestar Solutions, AI-driven forecasting, and the retirement party of Excel, mid-market companies can find success while having fun.  So, take the first step and email sales@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule a call and discover how IBM Planning Analytics can turn your financial processes into an industry-dominating adventure.  It's time to level up your Planning with IBM!


Should you choose to partner with Lodestar Solutions as your sidekick, you gain access to several client-only offerings such as our quarterly Planning Analytics User Group where we share all the latest and greatest of IBM’s Planning Analytics tools.  Featuring live demos, Q&A, and breakout discussion time, you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge and support.

Also free to Lodestar clients is our Analytics Success Klub!  Are you ready to ASK for success?  Our Analytics Success Klub is not your ordinary monthly subscription program.  It's a community of ambitious analytics professionals who are serious about their soft skills.  We're talking about communication, influence, facilitation, presentation, negotiation, storytelling, and more.  And this is FREE to Lodestar Solutions clients.  Click here to learn more about our ASK program and contact sales@lodestarsolutions.com to become a client!

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 86

Planning Analytics Workspace 86
Planning Analytics Workspace 86
Written by Mike Bernaiche, May 12th, 2023

On April 18, 2023, IBM released Planning Analytics Workspace 86.  Continuing with their monthly update schedule for Planning Analytics Workspace, this release has a few enhancements of note.  This is not a large update but does include a future change that deals with the cognitive learn pane you can read about below.

Books and Reporting

Synchronize same hierarchies across different databases - when you enable synchronization for the same hierarchy that is in two different databases, changes you make to the data in one widget is reflected in the synchronized widget.  To learn more about how to enable this synchronization please see this link

Disable select spread methods on Planning Analytics Workspace local - You can configure your Planning Analytics Workspace Local environment to disable any combination of the Repeat, Repeat leaves, Equal leaves, and Straight line data spreading methods.  To read more on how to disable select spread methods see this link

Plans and Applications

Duplicate Tasks and sections in Plans and Applications – you can now duplicate tasks and sections easily with a click of a button in Plans and Applications. 

plans and applications in paw 86

New look and usability enhancements in Plans and Applications overview – These include a new progress bar, advanced filtering, new tasks, and submission panel.

plans and applications view in paw 86
plans and applications view in paw 86


Git repository integration for Planning Analytics Database objects – In Planning Analytics Workspace 86, IBM added in Git repository integration.  You can now access a Git repository (GitHub, Microsoft Azure, or AWS CodeCommit) directly from Planning Analytics Workspace. You can use the Git repository to store Planning Analytics database objects such as cubes, dimensions, rules, and processes that are common across multiple models.  You can also use the repository to move database objects from one environment to another.  For example, you might want to copy database objects from a development environment to a production environment.

Git repository integration for Planning Analytics Database objects

Dimension editor search and locate in hierarchy - The dimension editor search function now includes a menu item called Locate.  Searching in the dimension editor acts as a filter to generate a list of members that match the search term.  After searching, right-click a member from the generated list and select Locate to remove the filters and locate the member in the hierarchy.

Hide databases in preferences – you can now hide databases from the database tree on the modeling workbench.

Change in Planning Analytics Workspace 87

The following change is being accounted with Planning Analytics Workspace 86 and will take effect in Planning Analytics Workspace 87. 

Update to configuration for the Cognitive Learn Pane - The cognitive Learn Pane in Planning Analytics Workspace Local will be hosted on a new domain in the near future.  This will require configuration changes to Planning Analytics Workspace Local installations to ensure continued access to documentation and other information through the Learn Pane.  This applies to Planning Analytics local only.  Full details will be provided when Planning Analytics Workspace 87 is released in the next few weeks.


As I mentioned above, this is not a large release but does include some nice enchantments for some.  To read in more detail please see this article from IBM.  

Click here to read other Lodestar blogs on Planning Analytics Workspace

Lodestar is hosting a number of events this month all centered around Analytics Leadership and Requirements Discovery.  I highly suggest you check them out and sign up if you want to level up your analytics knowledge.  Please see our events page for more information. 

We can always be reached at services@lodestarsolutions.com for any questions you have on Planning Analytics Workspace or anything else planning related.  Reach out!

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 85

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 85
What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 85
Written by Mike Bernaiche, April 4th, 2023

In March 2023, IBM released Planning Analytics Workspace 85.  Updates to Planning Analytics Workspace are cumulative.  If you are currently on version 76, you only need to upgrade to 85 and you will have all the new content from version 77 to 84 included.  I provided a list of blogs below that lay out all the new enhancements in recent previous versions. 

Ok, let’s get to everything new in Planning Analytics Workspace 85.

Books and Reporting

Set Editor Usability Improvements – These improvements will make working with the set editor easier and more user friendly.  These changes do not introduce new functionality. Rather, some options on the set editor have been moved or made more intuitive.

  • Available Members Option - now appears immediately adjacent to the Available Members label, rather than beneath the label.
  • Current Set - menu now appears above the current set, rather than on the header.
  • Available Members Search Bar - always visible and you no longer need to click a Search icon to reveal the search bar.
Set Editor in Planning Analytics Workspace 85

Plans and Applications

Improved Approval Process for Plan Submissions - Plan owners and approvers can now approve or reject a submission from multiple contributors in one go.

When approving or rejecting a submission, you can select the contributor(s) whose submission you want to approve or reject.  You can also click Select All to apply your action to all the contributors for that submission.

Approve Submission in Planning Analytics Workspace 85

Save Task Flows in Plans as PDF - You can now save your plan's task flow as a PDF file. In the task flow view on the Plan tasks tab, click the Export icon to save the task flow as a PDF.

Save Task Flows in Plans as PDF in Planning Analytics Workspace 85


Modeling in Planning Analytics Workspace 85 sees the most enhancements in this update.

Reopen Recently Opened Objects from Any Database - You can now reopen recently opened objects from any database.  The recent list contains the last twenty objects that were opened, with the most recent at the top.  To remove an object from the recent list, click on the x next to the object name.

Workbench Preferences – There is now a preferences icon always visible in the Workbench.  By default, all sections are collapsed, but retain their previous state when the user opens or closes the Preferences panel.  Opening and closing Preferences also refreshes the selected values.

You can set the following preferences:

Database tree

  • Display members.

Dimension Editor

  • Compact header.
  • Show value bar.
  • Show dimension editing warning.
  • Page size.

Cube viewer

  • Show hierarchy name. 
  • Show context information.
  • Show icons.
  • Show section header.

Process editor

  • Font
  • Font size.
  • Enable line wrapping.
  • Lock generated statements.

Rules editor

  • Font
  • Font size.
  • Enable line wrapping.

Process Editor Preferences – You can now set a toggle to lock or unlock generated statements in the process editor.  When the Lock generated statements option is enabled, users cannot edit the process script between the #****Begin generated statements and #****End generated statements lines.

Lock Dimensions in Planning Analytics Workspace - A user must have either Admin or Lock privilege for a dimension to lock the dimension.

When a user locks a dimension, only those users who have Admin rights for that dimension can modify the dimension. Even the user who locks the dimension cannot modify it, unless they have Admin rights for that dimension.

When a dimension is locked, options are disabled for these actions:

  •  Add members to any of the hierarchies in the dimension.
  • Remove members from any of the hierarchies in the dimension.
  • Create a hierarchy in the dimension.
  • Delete a hierarchy in the dimension.

Users can create, delete, or update subsets under any locked dimension.

To lock a dimension, right-click the dimension on the Databases tree in either a book or a modeling workbench, then click Lock dimension.  A lock icon appears on the dimension name indicating that the dimension is locked.

Lock Dimensions in Planning Analytics Workspace 85

Create Formulas when Importing via .CSV - When you use the Import data or Import members options to import from a .csv file into a workbench, you can define formulas to manipulate the source data.

Create Formulas when Importing via .CSV in PAW 85

New Location Data Source Option via TI - You can now specify a local or network location for a TurboIntegrator process data source.

New Location Data Source Option via TI in PAw 85


Lots of great stuff in this update, especially in the Modeling area.  Definitely worth checking out in my opinion.  For a detailed list of everything new from IBM check out this link

For Lodestar blogs on all new items in recent updates to Planning Analytics Workspace 85 check out the below link.  If you are on an older version of Planning Analytics you should really consider upgrading.  We offer great programs to help you upgrade at a reasonable cost.  Reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.84

What's New in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.84
What's New in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.84
Written by Mike Bernaiche, February 16th 2023

It is time again to discuss what is new in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.84.  In February 2023, IBM released updates to workspace and while this isn’t a large update there are a few items of note that make an already great product even better.  As a reminder, IBM releases updates to workspace every month. 

Books and Reporting

  • Synchronization for Visualizations Improvements – in previous versions, the user interface showed dimensions instead of labels.  You now see the hierarchy synchronization option in the Synchronize feature under Visualization properties. Dimension names also display above the hierarchy names now for easy identification.
Synchronization for Visualizations Improvements
  • New Forecast Capabilities for Line Chart – Line visualization now includes 3 slots for forecast.  High bound, Low bound and Forecast.  As with current forecasting capabilities, High bound and Low bound are used to draw the envelope and Forecast indicates the forecasted values.  Additionally, you must specify a Forecast start to indicate when the forecast data starts.
New Forecast Capabilities for Line Chart
  • View Section Icons – To enable or disable section icons in the cube viewer, click View options, and then toggle section icons by clicking the check box next to Section icons.
View Section Icons

Applications and Plans

Revert Approvals in Plans – plan owners can now revert approvals in plans.  To revert a task approval:

  1. Open the plan in edit mode.
  2. Under Plan tasks, click the Submissions link on a task to open the Submissions log.
  3. Click Pending approval or completed to find the approved submission.  Submissions that require multiple approvals and were only partially approved are under Pending approval.  Submissions that were fully approved are under Completed.
  4. Click the menu next to the task for which you want to cancel an approval and select Revert approval.
  5. Select the approver group(s) from whom you want to remove approval(s) and click Revert.

Where there are multiple approvers for a task, when you revert an approval, approval is also removed from any next-in-line approvers.  In the following example, if you remove Group A's approval, Group B's is also removed.  Both Group A and Group B will need to approve the submission again.


  • Copy Object Names from Database Tree - You can now copy name objects from the Databases tree. You can copy the object name into your clipboard by hovering your cursor over the item that you want to copy and then pressing CTRL+C (Windows) or CMD+C (Mac).  When copying the object name for a member, the value copied is the MUN (Member Unique Name).
  • Turbo Integrator Debugger - The process editor in Planning Analytics Workspace includes a debugger user interface that allows you to set line breakpoints, continue to the next breakpoint, and step over to the next line. Conditional breakpoints are also supported. You can enable the debug mode only on one process at a time.  A welcome addition!
  • Rename levels in Dimension Editor –
Rename levels in Dimension Editor
Rename levels in Dimension Editor

Depreciation Notice

In Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.84, the classic dimension editor is no longer available from the modeling workbench.  The classic dimension editor remains available on books.

All dimension creation and maintenance in the modeling workbench must now be performed in the new experience dimension editor.  The new experience dimension editor was introduced on the modeling workbench in Planning Analytics Workspace 2.0.82.


Thank you for taking the time to read about what’s new in Planning Analytics 2.0.84.  To catch up on previous version you can check out these blogs here.

If you are running Planning Analytics Workspace in a Microsoft Environment, you MUST read this blog!

Docker Support – Every Planning Analytics Customer Must Read

Planning Analytics Workspace
Planning Analytics Workspace
Written by Mike Bernaiche, January 10th, 2023

If you own Planning Analytics and use Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw) on Microsoft servers, you most likely have Docker installed.  Docker is required to run PAw in windows server environments.  Recently Microsoft sold Docker to Mirantis and Docker is now called Mirantis Runtime Engine. This change has brought some potential issues for Planning Analytics clients.  Please read below for all the information you need regarding this change and potential ways to overcome this change.

Mirantis Runtime Engine


Previously when you installed Paw, the IBM install executable simply checked for a version of Docker and called the MS install script if Docker wasn't found. This was based on installing in a windows environment. 

Currently, if you are installing PAw for the first time you need to get the Docker install files directly from Mirantis.  This started with PAw 2.0.78, released in July 2022.

If you are running PAw in a Linux environment, Docker is not required, and this doesn’t apply to your environment.

What the Future Holds

Starting on April 30, 2023, Mirantis will assume support for Mirantis Runtime Engine (formerly Docker Engine) from Microsoft.  Mirantis will then directly provide all support, defect fixes, and security patches.  While you have a couple of months before this change takes place, you should start the planning process today.

This change impacts the ability of IBM Planning Analytics on-premises customers to download Mirantis Runtime Engine.  Mirantis Runtime Engine is required to deploy Planning Analytics Workspace on Windows Server 2016 and 2019.


Microsoft Server Environments

As mentioned above, if you are running Microsoft Server 2016 or 2019 you may want to plan for support of Docker (Mirantis Runtime Engine) through Mirantis. 

Existing customers would need to purchase if they want updated versions or support from Mirantis. Security (future vulnerabilities being identified in Docker) will likely be the motivating factor for updates.  You can find more information at the here.  In short, there will be an annual cost to keep support.  

Linux Environments

Linux environments do not require Docker or Mirantis Runtime Engine. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 deployments do not require Mirantis Runtime Engine as Podman is used as the container runtime.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 continues to support the version of Docker Engine that it packages with the RHEL7 extras package.

Other environments such as Ubuntu do not require Docker or Mirantis Runtime Engine. 

IBM Planning Analytics SaaS Environments

This change does not impact Planning Analytics on Cloud customers, or Red Hat OpenShift based deployments of Planning Analytics Workspace on-premises.


  •  Take the risk and not purchase support and continue to run PAw as you have.  You would not have access to any updates or security patches, if needed.  This would be my least favorable option.
  • Contact Mirantis to purchase support if you are required to stay on Microsoft servers.
  • Consider moving your PAw deployment to a Linux based server like Red Hat or Ubuntu.
  • Consider moving your licensing to IBM PA on cloud (PA SaaS).

Lodestar solutions is here to help you through this process.  Please reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule a brief call to discuss your situation and allow us to help you will the best path forward.  We can help move Paw to Linux servers or can discuss your current licensing to see if a move to the PA cloud makes sense for you.  Whatever your situation and each client will be different, and we are here and ready to help! 

For the latest on Planning Analytics Workspace, you can check out some of our recent blog posts here.

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 83

New in Planning Analytics Workspace 83
New in Planning Analytics Workspace 83
Written by Mike Bernaiche, January 26th 2023

It is a new year and IBM has released the first update to Planning Analytics, Planning Analytics Workspace 83.  This is not a huge update, but there are a few things included that I wanted to make you aware of.  Reminder that updates to Planning Analytics Workspace are cumulative. This means that if you are on version 71, for example, you can upgrade to version 83 without having to install 72 73, 74, etc.  On to the changes!

New in Books and Reporting

Set Default Background Color in Tabs – You now can set background color for all tabs in a workspace.  Any new tabs will have the default background color.  You can, however, select a different color for individual tabs.

Set Default Background Color in Tabs in PAw83

Customize Styling for Repeat Column and Row Titles – Formatting properties for repeat columns and rows are located in their own section in properties.

Customize Styling for Repeat Column and Row Titles in PAw83

New Properties in Bubble and Scatter Visualizations – several new properties were introduced in Planning Analytics Workspace 83.

  • Enable Zoom Bar - The zoom bar allows for horizontal and vertical scrolling in bubble and scatter visualizations.  You can now enable the zoom bar in bubble and scatter visualizations to scroll and focus on a smaller area of the visualization.
Enable Zoom Bar in Planning Analytics Workspace 83
  • Bubble Size Limits - You can specify bubble size limits in bubble and scatter visualizations in the Chart section under Properties.  In bubble visualizations, you can specify the minimum and maximum values for the bubble size. Bubbles for values that are below the minimum size appear as the minimum size, while bubbles for values that are above the maximum size appear as the maximum size.
Bubble Size Limits in Planning Analytics Workspace 83
  • Show Item Values and Axis Grid Lines - Two new properties, show item value grid lines and show item value grid lines, have replaced the show grid lines property in bubble and scatter visualizations.  These new properties now let you show or hide item value and axis value grid lines independently of each other.
Show Item Values and Axis Grid Lines in PAw83

New Properties in Line and Column Charts –

  • Enable Zoom Bar – This works the same way as above in the bubble and scatter charts.
  • Formatting Options for Column Value and Point Value Labels - You can format column value labels and point value labels in line and column visualizations.  Value labels can now display as values or percentages of a category or color.
Formatting Options for Column Value and Point Value Labels in PAw83
  • Alignment Position for Zero - In line and column visualizations, you can control whether the line and column sections have zero in the same position with the new Align axes zero property.
Alignment Position for Zero in PAw83
  • Change Line Width - You can now change the line width in line and column visualizations by specifying the thickness of the line.  By default, the line width is set to 2 px.
Change Line Width in PAw83

Depreciation Notice – Planning Analytics Workspace 83

Starting in Planning Analytics Workspace 84, the classic dimension editor will not be available in the modeling workbench.  All dimension creation and maintenance in the modeling workbench must be performed in the new experience dimension editor.  The new experience dimension editor was introduced on the modeling workbench in Planning Analytics Workspace version 82.


There you have it, everything new in Planning Analytics Workspace 83.  If you missed my other blogs on new features in previous versions, I’m providing links below for you to read.  Over the past year, IBM has added a ton of features and enhancements to Planning Analytics Workspace.  If you have any questions or want to discuss upgrading, please reach out at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

For a complete listing direct from IBM, please visit What's new in Planning Analytics Workspace.

Links to Blogs -

2023 Lodestar Solutions Services

2023 Lodestar Solutions Services
2023 Lodestar Solutions Services
Written by Mike Bernaiche, December 23rd, 2022

Lodestar Solutions Services team is ready to help in 2023!  I wanted to take a minute and provide details on everything Lodestar Solutions Services team offers.  Whether it is a big project or small, redesign or upgrades, we can deliver on all of your needs for Cognos and Planning Analytics.  We even provide consulting on Power BI!  Plus, with our partner network and addon products, we can help take your analytics initiatives to the next level!  Please reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com to discuss your needs and let us put a plan in place to take your analytics to the next level.

Technical Services – Installations and Upgrades

At Lodestar Solutions Services, we can handle all your installs and upgrades on:

  •  Planning Analytics
  • Cognos Analytics
  • Cognos Planning
  • Cognos Controller
  • ILMT
  • Data Connections to IBM SaaS offerings

Our technical expert has over 15 years of experience on IBM Analytics products and can perform the upgrade on their own or work with your team to guide your internal resources on a successful install or upgrade.  Over the years we have performed hundreds of installs or upgrades on IBM products and we are here to help you be successful!

We offer upgrade bundles that can save you time and money on your install or upgrade and provide extra technical support hours for those pesky issues that come up from time to time.

Planning Analytics Services

Lodestar has a vast array of Planning Analytics Consultants that can handle the smallest project to the very large and complex.  Utilizing best practices and the newest technology that Planning Analytics has to offer so we ensure all your Planning Analytics needs are exceeded.  Lately, we have been performing model redesigns to utilize some of the newer features in Planning Analytics, like virtual hierarchies.  Maybe you have outgrown your current models and it is time for enhancements.  Whatever your needs are we are here to support you and make you successful.

Our services include but are not limited to:

  •  Architecture
  • Dimension builds
  • Cube builds
  • Integration with Data
  • Model Redesign
  • Planning Analytics for Excel Reporting and Data Entry Points
  • Planning Analytics Workspace Dashboards and Entry

Cognos Analytics Services

We also have you covered on Cognos Analytics Projects.  Lodestar has several excellent consultants to meet your needs on reporting, dashboards and modeling in Cognos Analytics.  Perhaps you want to learn about some of the new features in Cognos Analytics or just need some simple reporting work, we have you covered. 

Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Framework and Data Modeling
  • Dashboard Design
  • Reporting
  • PowerPlay and Transformer
  • Explorations
  • Bursting Reports
  • Power BI Services

    Recently we started consulting on Power BI Reporting.  We have an excellent Power BI resource that can work with your team on dashboards, reporting, and data.  Reach out to us to discuss your Power BI needs and let our expert work hand in hand with you. 


    Lodestar offers several different training programs on both Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics.  Let our certified trainers help your organization get up to speed on everything from model design to Dashboarding.  We can come onsite or deliver virtual training for your organization at a very cost-effective rate.

    Cognos Analytics

    •  Framework Manager
    • Data Modules
    • Explorations
    • Basic and Advanced Reporting
    • Dashboards
    • Administration

    Planning Analytics

    •  Complete Modeling in Workspace
    • Workspace end user set up and design
    • Planning Analytics for Excel
    • Administration

    Add on Software

    Did you know that Lodestar partners with and sells several different addon software platforms to take your Cognos or Planning Analytics to the next level?  Read below for information on each product and don’t forget to reach out to us if you are interested.  We can set up demo’s and take care of everything to get that product ordered for you!

    TM1 Connect – Do you own Planning Analytics and need to create reports in something other than Cognos Analytics?  TM1 Connect solves that problem!  You can connect your PA data to Power BI, Tableau, Qlik and pretty much any other BI tool through an ODBC connection and provide that reporting in your BI software. 

    TM1 Connect

    Digital Hive – Those of you with multiple BI/Data systems need to check out Digital Hive.  It is your single-entry point to all of your data and so much more.  We recently had a demo of this product in our client only user group and it was amazing.  Reach out to us for more info and a demo today!

    Digital Hive
    Digital Hive

    Motio – Tools for the CA administrator or power user to make your life so much easier!

                MotioPI Pro - MotioPI Pro gives Cognos Administrators tools and automations to bring even more efficiencies to your work with Cognos.  MotioPI Pro saves you time, effort, and frustrations across a world of Cognos administrative tasks.

                MotioCI - MotioCI provides Cognos authors and administrators with new capabilities including faster upgrades, change management & version control, faster deployments, automated testing, and improved cleanup.

    ReportWorq - enables you to generate and distribute personalized reports across your organization with ease.  You can develop stunning dashboards and professional reports with all the power of Microsoft Excel from IBM Planning Analytics.  When it’s time for distribution, ReportWORQ’s scalable bursting functionality is like an enterprise mail merge, generating, collating, and distributing personalized reports across your organization through Network Drives, Email, SharePoint and even Slack Channels. Yes, burst PA data!

    ControlWorq – extends Planning Analytics by providing a framework of controls that facilitates financial reporting.

    Key Benefits:

    •  Controlled, balanced, authorized, and auditable journal entries
    • Excel and web user interfaces available
    • Automated recurring and reversing journals
    • Journals can be posted individually or in a batch
    • Reconciliation reporting for inter-company balances
    • Automatic elimination of journals of inter-company balances
    • Real‐time visibility of the impact of journal entries in IBM Planning Analytics


    As you can see Lodestar Solutions Services team has you covered.  Our consultants have many years of experience and hundreds of successful projects on our resume.  Reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com and schedule a consultation today.