When to Use Cognos BI vs TM1 Reporting

Cognos BI vs TM1 Reporting - Why Not Use Both?

Do you own or are looking to purchase both Cognos BI and TM1  and want to integrate them for reporting? If so, you may suddenly ask yourself, “Which do I use?” It is often overlooked that TM1 and BI can both be utilized for reporting. So let’s explore your options on Cognos BI vs TM1 reporting

TM1 Reporting Capabilities

With the new licensing model for TM1, IBM has extended the capability of TM1 reporting to include Cognos Insight, Cognos Analysis for Excel (CAFÉ), Scorecarding and Workspace for use on TM1 data. TM1 users have a number of options to meet their reporting needs. They can leverage the Excel add-in for TM1/Perspectives, CAFÉ, TM1 Web, Cognos Insight and Workspace for TM1 to do reporting.

Cognos BI vs TM1 Reporting

BI Reporting

BI reporting is ultra-powerful! If you are looking for robust, fancy reports with visualization; want to leverage direct integration with Microsoft PowerPoint; want to burst reports out to groups of user; or want to leverage data from a data warehouse or other source systems that are not in TM1, you should look to Cognos BI.

Cognos BI vs TM1 Reporting

Things to consider:

Do you need to write back to the data? If the user needs to enter data into a template for a budget or forecast, TM1 allows this capability. Whereas, BI is read only.

Do you already own TM1 or BI licenses? I am a believer that you should use what you have. If you have a user who already has a BI license, but you want to provide them reports on the data in TM1, consider providing them the reports on TM1 data through BI. Cognos BI has real-time integration with TM1. It will save you from having to also buy them a TM1 license. If you have TM1 and the user is only viewing data that’s in TM1, and the TM1 reporting option meets your needs, you might not need a BI license until you need more robust reporting or reporting off data not in TM1.

Do you want to take Analytics to the next level? I recommend that clients leverage TM1 when they need write back capability to the data, and create “what if models”. But I recommend that they also leverage BI for robust reporting with visualization and dashboards that include data from multiple data sources. Depending on your current IBM licensing model, you may need to buy both a BI and TM1 license for your users, or you might be able to purchase a license that includes both.

Are you integrating BI and TM1? When integrating TM1 and BI, the design of BI is very important! Your consultants should ask questions about your reporting needs and have familiarity with BI, or at least have a strong network they can refer to. Define the levels in TM1 so BI has dimensional functionality. I recommend you look at TM1 as a data mart and the principles of data warehousing should be considered. For example, you will want to create reporting cubes that feed BI. These cubes should have all the versions and time dimensions that you might want to leverage in BI. If you build them in TM1, you will simplify the BI report writing experience.

Size matters: When you use BI and TM1 together, you need to make sure your environment is sized properly. You need to anticipate your server and memory needs to accomplish your goals. Because TM1 is an “in-memory” solutions, it can be a hog.

Which IBM representative are you working with?

One thing to note about the IBM Cognos sales processes is that in most territories today, IBM has separate IBM sales reps for TM1 and BI. The sales person may not have knowledge on both Cognos BI vs TM1 Reporting. It’s up to you to be knowledgeable and create your Business Analytics road map. So, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to an Analytics Advisor at Lodestar Solutions. Advisor@lodestarsolutions.com 

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