Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening? It’s Your Memory!


​Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening? It’s Your Memory!

As a Business Analytics Coach with over 15 years of experience implementing Enterprise Cognos Planning, I often get calls from clients saying, Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening is a huge problem, please help!

IBM Cognos Planning has performance and memory issues when the size of the cubes or contributor models you’re opening includes large amounts of data. Cognos Planning was built on a distributed architecture. This means when the end users, contributors, open their models, it downloads the data appropriate to them to their machine. When the end user changes, the data system uses the memory of the end users machine to calculate the new values. The values are then sent back to the server when the contributor hits “save” or “submit”.

Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening

Back in the day, the distributed architecture was how Adaytum, the predecessor to Cognos Planning, was a leader in deploying budgeting and forecasting solutions to thousands of end users over the web. But today, we want more data so we add items and dimensions to our models causing memory errors. Unfortunately, IBM Cognos Planning has size limitations. If you are trying to open multiple nodes at the same time, you are very likely to have memory issues.

Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening - quick fix

Short term fixes include:

  1. Add more memory to the power user and end user machines
  2. Leverage the “No Data” setting on the access tables to cut down what is passed to the contributors. See IBM site for information on No-Data Setting -
  3. Add dummy nodes in your elist so you can open fewer nodes at one time.

This is where reality sets in. With today’s increased demand for data, the issue ends up being bigger than just adding more memory.

IBM Cognos Planning is outdated technology!

The good news is that IBM does have a solutions for you. TM1, also called IBM Performance Management, was purchased in 2007 for its tremendous calculation engine. Over the years, IBM has merged the things we love about IBM Cognos Planning and the powerful 64 bit in memory calculation engine of TM1. The result is a powerful solution that can be deployed to a large number of users, while eliminating the memory issues Cognos Planning has inherently. The calculations are done on the server…not the end users machine. TM1 allows for large cubes and faster response times. Lodestar Solutions has migrated many clients from Cognos Planning to TM1. Many of them were able to merge multiple Planning applications, which were broken down because of size issue, into a single TM1 model.

Benefits of TM1

There are so many benefits to moving to TM1 I can’t cover them all here. Lodestar Solutions created a series of videos on the benefits and how to migrate from Cognos Planning to TM1. To get access to our private library, go to

Link to Express demo:

If you would like to talk to one of our Cognos Planning/TM1 coaches about your specific situation, email us at or call 813-254-2040.

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