This is the second piece to the story on why an IBM client would consider moving from Cognos Planning to TM1. If you missed Part 1 of Cognos Planning to TM1, you can read it by clicking HERE.
Power User Benefits in Moving from Cognos Planning to TM1
The power user license is the TM1 Modeler. The role is similar the Enterprise Planning Modeler in that this person typically is responsible for building, modifying and deploying the TM1 Planning model to the end users (Contributors).
- NO SYNC, GTP & RECONCILIATION- In IBM Cognos Planning, changes are made in Analyst then the models are synced with Contributor and the Go To Production (GTP) process is run which then triggers a reconciliation. Depending on the model and the job servers, this can take some time. TM1 changes are available immediately to the end users, no sync and GTP required!
- MODEL SIZE- Because TM1’s architecture is built on a 64 bit in memory, server based cube structure, TM1 can handle huge cube sizes. Many of you may have broken down your Planning models into multiple applications over the years, well now you can put them back together again. End users will be able to see all the data in one place without running links. A TM1 cube can have up to 256 dimensions in one cube. Try doing that in Planning!
- NO LINKS – TM1 doesn’t need links because the rules allow the calculations to reference data in another cube without physically moving the data to another cube. This resembles Excel where formulas allow calculations to use information in another worksheet. This eliminates all the link maintenance and troubleshooting.
- CALCULATIONS AT THE CUBE LEVEL – In IBM Cognos Planning, calculations are really a combination of the formula at the d-list level and the links that feed the data into the calculation. When you trouble shoot a situation, you are exploring both the calculation and the links. However, in TM1 the rules are defined at the cube level making it easier to troubleshoot.
- EASY TO DEFINE ONE OFF CALCULATIONS – Periodically, when you build models, you need a calculation that is unique by version or data point like employee type. We can do this in Planning but requires some interesting calculations that often times require IID references. In TM1 since the calculations are at the cube level, one off calculations are easy to define.
- LESS OBJECTS TO MAINTAIN – TM1 models typically have fewer objects to manage such as the number of dimensions and cubes. Links and a-tables are not needed.
- DRILL THROUGH – TM1 Drills can be defined by the power users and deployed to the end users
- SANDBOXES/PERSONAL SCENARIOS. I love this feature. End users can create their own versions on the fly. This eliminates the need for them to call the admin requesting another version and waiting for a sync, GTP and reconciliation.
- CONDITIONALLY FORMATED DROP DOWNS- If the model requires users to select from a drop down list, (similar to Planning dlist formatted items) the list can be conditionally formatted so they only see accounts that are applicable to their department or applicable to the other data they have entered.
- NO PUBLISHING DATA FOR BI- Are you tired of waiting for the publish process to finish in order to update your BI reports? TM1 provides real-time reporting with IBM Cognos BI. Publishing is not required!
- ALIASES – Power users can use aliases as another name for a data point. This can be very handy if you are pulling data from multiple GL’s with different account numbers. You could have an alias for each GL.
- NO NEED FOR HIDDEN ITEMS FOR CALCULATIONS – As stated previously, TM1 rules allow for calculations to reference cells in other cubes eliminating a lot of hidden items we have in planning.
- WEIGHTED AVERAGES – TM1 allows for separate Consolidation and Details Rules making weighted averages a breeze.
- ROLLUPS CAN HAVE MULTIPLE HIERARCHIES- TM1 allows children to roll to different parents within the same dimension to provide multiple views of the same data (unlike Planning there is no need for another application to view data differently)
IBM continues to add improvements to the Power User’s experience with TM1. As I described, there are a lot of Power User benefitsin moving from Cognos Planning to TM1. In 2012, IBM is scheduled to release TM1 10.0. All I can say is that you will LOVE IT! For more information on TM1 or any of the IBM Cognos modules, feel free to call us or email us at Sales@LodestarSolutions.com.