Complete Model Development in Planning Analytics Workspace

Model Development in Planning Analytics Workspace
November 11, 2019

As business analytics coaches it is our passion to talk about latest innovations in the financial planning and analysis space. Today we're going to talk about Planning Analytics and the ability to create complete models using Planning Analytics Workspace.

With Planning Analytics version 2.0, IBM has added capabilities to create fully functional models that were only possible by using TM1 architect in the past. This approach worked fine for seasoned developers and modelers that knew their way around TM1, (legacy name for Planning Analytics) and its components. New modelers and developers had to familiarize themselves with all the components of TM1 which created a bit of a learning curve.

IBM's go forward strategy is to take Planning Analytics to a place where all model development and reporting can be done in one platform.

Key Features

Let's talk about some of the key features that should encourage seasoned developers to consider modeling and developing in Planning Analytics Workspace.

  1. Processes - At the top of this list is writing complex Turbo Integrator processes. In Planning Analytics Workspace, you can use your TI processes from your existing code library and with little modifications you can use them in Workspace. Once you have converted these TI processes you can continue to use them in Workspace for future projects. The intellisense and code completion capabilities within Planning Analytics Workspace is very robust and helps you write extensive lines of code in a short period of time. The 4 advanced sections of a TI process are available on one page and it is extremely easy to follow the flow of the Prolog, Metadata, Data and Epilog when it is on a single page.
  2. Rules - Rule writing is equally easy and has the same intellisense and code completion capabilities as Turbo Integrator processes. You can drag and drop items from the object tree into the rule editor. All the find and replace features are still there along with a multitude of other short cuts that make rule writing a breeze.
  3. Control Objects - All control objects like Element attribute cubes, Element security cubes and Picklist cubes are available to modelers just like they were in architect. They all appear under the object tree in Workspace and can be used normally for data manipulation and or reference.  
  4. Administration - In our opinion this is the best feature and capability in Planning Analytics Workspace. Modelers can create specific books just for administration. Each tab can represent an aspect of administering either a dimension update, data loads or element attribute updates. When organized in specific tabs along with documentation, it becomes very easy to manage a model. We have embedded specific videos regarding certain aspects of administration within the book to help a novice or new modeler manage the model.
  5. Documentation – We are finding ourselves doing less documentation in external places and we all know how much we love to do documentation. Workspace is the perfect place to document procedures, definitions and descriptions regarding the planning process right where it is relevant. As an example, a workforce planning book can have steps listed in relevant tabs as to how to add an employee, or transfer or select benefits for a new employee. These instructions are available to the planner right where they are needed and makes for a quicker, productive user experience.
  6. Security - Just like administering a model you can have a specific book just for security, and each tab can represent a different area of security. You can have a specific tab for users, groups, cubes and dimensions. And this way a security administrator can go from tab to tab checking security for a certain user or group.
  7. Server Administration - IBM recently added administrative capabilities for planning analytics servers. You can manage the actual servers, control threads and conduct most of the activities that were previously done through the operations console. In in every new version IBM is adding more capabilities to manage the servers and have a central place for all administrative activities.
  8. Workflow - IBM shared their plans to bring workflow capabilities into planning analytics at the 2019 Data and AI form in Miami FL. This new workflow capability is going to be centered around specific steps of the planning process like Workforce planning, capital planning, etc. It is going to be highly customizable and, in our opinion, will fill the gaps that exist currently in Planning Analytics today.
Workflow

In Conclusion we think IBM’s emphasis on using Workspace for model development is the right step in reducing the number of tools needed to create a fully functional, robust planning model. This is going to be enormously helpful for our sales team when compared to competing industry products.

We are certainly continuing to use it and taking all our clients on this path of success. If you would like us to share these ideas with you in detail feel free to reach to us at. Sales@LodestarSolutions.com.

For more information on how to Model in Planning Analytics Workspace click here.

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