Help! Emergency! My Cognos Planning Cubes are Not Opening!

Help! Emergency! My Cognos Planning Cubes Are Not Opening!

As a business analytics coach with over 15 years of experience implementing Enterprise Cognos Planning, I often get calls from clients saying, “Help! Emergency! My Cognos Planning cubes are not opening! What do I do?"

IBM Cognos Planning has performance and memory issues. This happens when the size of the Cognos Planning 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, the system is using the memory of the end users machine to calculate the new values. If the end users’ laptop doesn’t have a lot of memory, this is when we get the help and emergency calls.

When the end user or contributor hits “save” or “submit”, the changed values are then sent back to the server.

cognos planning cubes

Back in the day, the distributed architecture was how Adytum (Cognos Planning's predecessor) was a leader in deploying budgeting & forecasting solutions to end users over the web. However today, we desire more data so we add items and dimensions till our models blow up in size, causing memory errors. Unfortunately, IBM Cognos Planning has size limitations. If you are trying to open multiple nodes at the same time or very large Cognos Planning Cubes in Analyst, you are very likely to have memory issues.

There are a number of solutions to this problem. Our recommendation is to start looking for a long term solution and we will discuss the option of moving to TM1/ Performance Management as a long term solution in just a moment.

Cognos Planning Cubes Not Opening - Quick Fix

Short term fixes for Cognos Planning Cube Memory errors 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. Another tip is to 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IBM Cognos Planning is outdated technology!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 solution 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. As a result, it 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 as opposed to the end users machine. TM1 allows for large cubes and faster response times. Lodestar Solutions is successfully migrating many clients from Cognos Planning to TM1. Many of them are now able to merge multiple Planning applications, which were previously broken down because of size issue, into a single TM1 model. This is reducing their maintenance and eliminating the Cognos Planning Cube memory issue.

Benefits of IBM Cognos TM1

There are so many benefits to moving to TM1 we can’t cover them all here. Wouldn’t you like a more powerful tool that handles much larger models and doesn’t require time consuming Sync and Go To Production processes? IBM Cognos Performance Management TM1 is a much more flexible solution.

​Here at Lodestar Solutions, we feel the future of Cognos Planning is in question! We encourage you to start considering and defining your migration to a better tool. Check out our blog on the benefits of TM1 over Cognos Planning.

In addition, Lodestar Solutions is wanting you to be educated, so we are creating a library of videos that will help you evaluate TM1. Check out our Move to TM1 Program to get access to our library. There is NO COST TO YOU!

If you have specific questions, please contact us at Coaching@lodestarsolutions.com and one of our analytics coaches will contact you.

If you are learning valuable tips from this blog, we encourage you to refer back to the previous tips in this series....

Check out Tip #1 on what your future plans should be for Cognos Planning by CLICKING THIS LINK.

For Tip #2 on the questions Cognos Planning client are asking, learn more by CLICKING THIS LINK.

Refer back to Tip # 3 on simplifying D-List maintenance by CLICKING THIS LINK.

The previous Tip #4 regarding the re-ordering your E-List can be found by CLICKING THIS LINK.