New in Planning Analytics Workspace 79

New in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
New in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
Written by Mike Bernaiche, September 15th 2022

On September 1, 2022, IBM released Planning Analytics Workspace 79 or 2.0.79.  There are a number of enhancements, especially within the applications and plans area in this update.  I wrote and spoke about this in a prior blog post titled, What is Coming in Applications and Plans.  Well in Planning Analytics Workspace 79, we now have a lot of what is coming.  Please read below for more details.

Latest versions of Planning Analytics Components.  We highly recommend staying up to date on versions for all the fixes contained in the below link.

  • Planning Analytics Workspace – 2.0.79
  • Planning Analytics for Excel – 2.0.80
  • Planning Analytics TM1 Web – 2.0.79
  • Planning Analytics Server – 2.0.9.14

For all fixes in each component of Planning Analytics please see below link.
IBM Planning Analytics 2.0 Fix Lists

Applications and Plans

  •  Track and report on plan progress with the new Overview Report.  You can view a plan  oriented report on the progress of your plan in Planning Analytics Workspace 79. 
  • The Overview Report contains 3 main areas:
  1. Timeline - The Timeline panel shows the status of tasks within a plan against a timeline, which can be configured to show either months or weeks.
  2. Contributions - The Contributions panel provides details for individual contributions in a plan.
  3. Plan Progress - The Plan Progress panel displays progress for all contributions and for individual tasks in a plan.
Applications and Plans in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
Contributions in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
Plan Progess in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
  • Send email reminders to contributors of a plan.  You can now send an email reminder to plan contributors from the Contributions panel of the Overview report.
Email Reminders in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
  • Set task dependencies to automate plans.  You can now automatically open a task upon completion of one or more dependent tasks.  When you create or edit a task, use the Task Dependency option on the Task Details tab to set the dependencies.
Set Task Dependencies in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
Dependencies in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
  • Set a task start and end date  
Task Start and End Date in Workspace 79

Cloud Enhancements

  • Planning Analytics Workspace Classic no longer available on Cloud 2.0.79 – guidance was previously given that in 2.0.79 the classic workspace was no longer available.
  • Features and Configurations Tiles – Separated into two tabs now in the administrator area to make your experience easier.
  • Configure an Inactivity Timeout on cloud – previously this was set to 60 minutes.  You are now able to set as you see fit.

Miscellaneous Enhancements

  • Process editor only available on Workbench – Starting in Planning Analytics Workspace 79, the process editor is only available on the Workbench.
  • Use new interface to manage chores in a specific process – simplifies chore management by presenting two distinct options when you open the context menu for a process in the Databases tree: Edit related chores and remove from chores.
  • Select multiple variables in process editor - You can now select multiple variables in the process editor.  When multiple variables are selected, you can apply any option on the selected variables bar to multiple variables simultaneously.
Multiple Variables in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
  • Apply formatting to an axis in a visualization 
Formatting in Planning Analytics Workspace 79
  • Wrap text in data cells – you can now format string values in a data cell to wrap text.
  • Chore Editor to only be available on the Workbench in Planning Analytics 81.

Summary

Well, there you have it!  Everything that is new in Planning Analytics Workspace 79.  Applications and Plans provides a ton of enhancements and if you are using this, you should look to upgrade as soon as possible to take advantage of these great new features.  IBM continues to update Planning Analytics bringing a ton of new functionality to make your planning experience industry best.  If you want to discuss an upgrade or see a demo of the latest and greatest, please reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

New in Planning Analytics Workspace Version 77 and 78

New in Planning Analytics Workspace versions 77 and 78
New in Planning Analytics Workspace versions 77 and 78
Written by Mike Bernaiche, July 28th 2022

It is that time again!  Providing you everything new in planning analytics workspace version 77 and 78.  As most of you know, IBM releases a new version of planning analytics workspace about once a month.  Workspace version 77 was released in June and version 78 was just released on July 13.  I will break down everything new in planning analytics workspace version 77 and 78 below.

Version 77

Enable Feature to Use New Experience for Explorations – a toggle switch to try out the new explorations experience is in version 77 in the administration area.  This feature will be standard in version 78 and you can find more details further down this page.

Enable Feature to Use New Experience for Explorations

Update Text Properties for Explorations – you can now change the text properties for columns, rows, and data cells.  Each area has their own properties so you can set individual text properties for each.  More information can be found here: Changes to text properties for explorations - IBM Documentation.

Select the Sets that Display in Dimension Drop Down – using the new experience you can limit the number of sets that appear in a drop down.  You are able to select up to 20 sets.

Select the Sets that Display in Dimension Drop Down

Upload Files to Planning Analytics Database with Action Button - You can now upload a file through an action button to use in a process.  This can be helpful if you want to, for example, import data from a specific file into a view you are using.

Upload Files to Planning Analytics Database with Action Button

File Manager – a new tool has been added to your Planning Analytics toolbox called file manager.  File manager is only available in the workbench.  To access the file manager, click on the database in workbench and find the file manager option.  You can do the following with file manager:

  • Upload a file, or multiple files at once
  • Delete a file, or multiple files at once
  • Create folders
  • Organize uploaded files into folders
  • Delete folders
  • Download files
  • Refresh files

Expand and Collapse Regions in the Process and Rules Editor

Expand and Collapse Regions in the Process and Rules Editor

View the TM1 Database Version – Admins only can view the TM1 database version in the admin area. Simply click on the database in the admin area and go to configuration and look towards the bottom of the screen.

Auto Complete in the Search Pane – First, if you aren’t using the learning area you are missing out.  Prior to version 77 you could type in what you are looking for and PA would return tons of helpful information.  Now, with auto complete, the learn pane helps you find what you are looking for.  Have you ever googled something and noticed google is being helpful trying to auto complete what you are searching for?  Well, IBM has added that similar feature.  Simply start typing something and let IBM help you finish it.

Auto Complete in the Search Pane

There are a number of other items new in version 77.  Please see this link for a complete list. 
2.0.77 - What's new, June 2, 2022 - IBM Documentation

Version 78

Rules Must be Created and Maintained in Modeling Workbench – Starting with Planning Analytics Workspace version 78, all rules must be created and maintained in the modeling workbench.

New Experience View now available on Modeling Workbench – This will now apply to all existing views and new ones.  The new experience provides a more efficient and easier way to navigate experience when working with explorations and the set editor.  There is a lot to unpack with the new experience and everything can be found here: New experience view now on modeling workbench - IBM Documentation.

Approvals and Rejections in Plans plus Improved Email Notifications – Approvals and rejections are now (finally) available in the planning process.  In addition, improvements to email notifications and the overall submission process make it easier to work with plans.  When you create a plan, you can now add approvers for each contribution.  These approvers can approve or reject the submissions.

Approvals and Rejections in Plans plus Improved Email Notifications

Event triggered emails are now sent to relevant users in a plan when any of the following occur.

Event triggered emails

You also have a new area to track submission and rejections with a logging screen.

logging screen

Updated Menus for rows, columns, and data cells - There is no change in how the menu options function, but the new design includes usability improvements.  Several menu options were renamed:

  •  Create calculations is now Calculation options
  • Format values is now Format
  • Conditional format is now Conditional rules

Several menu options are now grouped so you can easily see all related options together. For example:

  •  All sorting options are now under Sort
  • Word wrapping options are under Text format
  • Show totals options are under Show totals

Adjust Page Size in Books – You can now adjust the sizes of explorations in books with the new zoom feature.

Adjust Page Size in Books

Update to Planning Analytics Local Install on Windows Server 2016 - In Planning Analytics Workspace Local version 2.0.78 and later, the Docker service file is no longer bundled with the installation kit.  In previous versions, Docker is a prerequisite for installing Planning Analytics Workspace Local on Windows Server 2016.

When you now install Planning Analytics Workspace Local on Windows Server 2016, the installation script looks for Docker and if an existing version is not found, displays an error.  To resolve the error and continue the installation process, you need to download Mirantis Container Runtime.

Before Planning Analytics Workspace Local 2.0.78, the installation script used the Docker file that was bundled with Planning Analytics Workspace to continue installation if Docker was not found on your system.

Enable Email Notifications in Planning Analytics Local - Planning Analytics Workspace Local now supports both SMTP and SendGrid email services.  For instructions on how to set up, please see: Enable email notifications in Planning Analytics Workspace Local - IBM Documentation.

Depreciation Notice for Classic Experience – In August Planning Analytics Workspace 79 will be released and the classic experience will no longer be available.

For all items in release 78 please check out 2.0.78 - What's new, July 13, 2022 - IBM Documentation.

Summary

As you can see Planning Analytics Workspace version 77 and 78 has brought many enhancements and improvements.  IBM continues to improve this excellent product.  I will be writing a blog in the coming weeks on everything coming to applications and plans and trust me, you will want to read it!  We are here to help you with your upgrades.  Please reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.  Also we have upgrade bundles that can save you lots of money.  For more information check out this blog from Lodestar Solutions,  Solving the IBM Cognos Upgrade Challenge - Lodestar Solutions.

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What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 75 and 76

What's New in IBM Planning Analytics Workspace 75 and 76
What's New in IBM Planning Analytics Workspace 75 and 76
Written by Mike Bernaiche, May 19th 2022

Typically, once a month, IBM updates Planning Analytics Workspace.  In April version 75 was released and the most recent version is Planning Analytics Workspace 76, released in May 2022.  Both of these updates bring some new features, enhancements and depreciation of certain items.  Please read below for the full details of both recent releases.  Please note that each update is cumulative.  Upgrading to Planning Analytics Workspace version 76 will add all features in previous versions.

Planning Analytics Workspace 75

  • Display parents, children or leaves for selected members – the new experience set editor now allows you to show parents, children or leaves for selected members.
planning analytics workspace 75 set editor
  • Update to predictive forecasting service – additional capabilities added for outlier and detection and correction, meaning more accurate predictive forecasting.
  • Adjust for outliers in your forecast – click adjust outliers button to adjust.
adjust outliers in your forecast
forecast preview
  • Cube creation – cubes can now only be created in the modeling workbench.
  • Add variable in TI process editor – up until now PA automatically created variables based on the number of columns in the data source.  You can now add more variables to the process.
  • Search and filter on hierarchies – now have an option to search and filter hierarchies.
  • Depreciation notice on editing processes – Starting with version 78 all processes must be created and edited in the modeling workbench.

Planning Analytics Workspace 76

  • Custom theme for Planning Analytics Workspace - You can now create and upload a custom theme to reflect your corporate branding in Planning Analytics Workspace. You can use a theme to modify the colors of the application bar and the navigation bar, set the corporate name shown on the home page, and specify an image to display on the home page.
  • Send email notification when step in a plan is opened – send an email notification to user when you open a step in your plan created in Planning Analytics Workspace 76.
Email notification in planning analytics workspace 76
  • Create control objects in Modeling Workbench – you can now create control objects for cubes, dimensions and processes in the modeling workbench.
Create control objects in Modeling Workbench
  • Preview additional rows in the TI process editor – a button has been added to preview more rows of data when creating a TI process.
  • Sort members in new experience set editor – option to now sort available members in set editor ascending or descending.
  • Delete sets from new experience set editor – previously you could only delete sets from the data tree.  You can now delete sets from the new experience set editor.
Experience Set Editor in Planning Analytics Workspace 76
  • Cell comments updated with new look – cell comments have been updated to review comments in an easier way.
  • Enhanced search features – you can now search by using “match all of the following” or “match any of the following”.
  • Customize the color or background of data and header cells – you can now use the extensive color pallet to customize the color of data rows or headers to provide a better look and feel for your data.  This can be found in the visualization properties under custom.
  • Updated design for data spread options – IBM is working hard to standardize the look and feel in the entire Planning Analytics Workspace experience.  In Planning Analytics Workspace 76, they have updated the spread options look and feel.
Spread Data Options in Planning Analytics Workspace 76

Summary

As you can read Planning Analytics version 75 and Planning Analytics version 76 added a number of new features.  To see all of the details please check out 2.0.76 - What's new, May 5, 2022 - IBM Documentation and 2.0.75 - What's new, April 7, 2022 - IBM Documentation.

Did you know that some versions of Planning Analytics are reaching end of life?  Read more here - IBM Planning Analytics Versions Are End of Life - Lodestar Solutions.

To read all Lodestar blogs related to PA - Cognos TM1 Blogs by IBM Cognos Expert Consultants & Coaches (lodestarsolutions.com)

If you have any questions or need some help upgrading, please reach out to me at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

What’s New in Planning Analytics Workspace 73 and 74

What's New In Planning Analyitcs Workspace 73 and 74 copy
What's New In Planning Analyitcs Workspace 73 and 74 copy
Written by Mike Bernaiche, April 7th 2022

Typically, once a month, IBM updates Planning Analytics Workspace.  In February version 73 was released and the most recent version is Planning Analytics Workspace 74, released in March 2022.  Both of these updates bring some new features, enhancements and depreciation of certain items.  Please read below for the full details of both recent releases.

Planning Analytics Workspace 73

  •  Depreciation notice for IBM Planning Analytics Workspace classic experience.  What does this mean?  This refers to the look and feel of Planning Analytics workspace prior to the 56 release from October 2020.  If you are on version 56 or higher you are using the “new experience,” and this will not affect you.  If you are on version 55 or before you will see a new look and feel when you upgrade and will not be able to revert back to the classic experience.  The “new experience will be standard starting in July 2022.
  • Creation of Modeling Books – Starting in version 73 you create models in the workbench area and will no longer be able to create modeling books.
  • Copy assets or folders to shared or personal folder – Now you can copy all assets to a different location.
  • Copy and paste images, links, pictures, webpages, and text directly into a workspace book.
  • View all and view less replaced by new menu.
  • Sort members, attributes, and properties in the new set editor.  To enable the new set editor in version 73 you will need to ask your administrator to turn on that feature in the admin area.  You can see the new set editor below.
New Set Editor
  •  New Process Editor – IBM is working to standardize all areas of Workspace and as you can see below they have updated the process editor to be more in line with other areas.  You can read more about all the changes to the process editor here -  New process editor - IBM Documentation.
New Process Editor

Planning Analytics Workspace 74

In the most recent update, Planning Analytics Workspace 74, IBM has added a number of great items.  You can see the list below.

  •  Windows 2019 Support (Local only) – For more information - Install Planning Analytics Workspace Local on Windows Server 2019 - IBM Documentation.
  • Add a view by dragging it from the data tree.  In the data tree, expand the cube that contains the data you want to use.  Select the view that you want to add and drag it on to a cube viewer (new or classic).  If you drag a view on a cube viewer that is not empty, you can either replace the existing view with the new one, or add the view as a new widget.
  • Apply text styles to axis labels in visualizations.
text styles to axis labels in visualizations
  •  Color pallets for conditional formatting now available.
  • Border lines and zebra stripes now available for explorations.  Find in properties.

Border Lines -

Border Lines In Planning Analytics Workspace 74

Zebra Stripes -

Zebra Stripes in Planning Analytics Workspace 74
  •  Updated Rules editor.  Like the process editor update in version 73, Planning Analytics Version 74 updates the rules editor to be more in line with the look and feel of other areas of Planning Analytics.

Summary

As you can read Planning Analytics version 73 and Planning Analytics version 74 added a number of new features and even Windows Server 2019 support.  To see a list of all new versions of Planning Analytics check this out. 

What's new in Planning Analytics Workspace - IBM Documentation

Did you know that some versions of Planning Analytics are reaching end of life?  Read more here - IBM Planning Analytics Versions Are End of Life - Lodestar Solutions.

To read all Lodestar blogs related to PA - Cognos TM1 Blogs by IBM Cognos Expert Consultants & Coaches (lodestarsolutions.com)

If you have any questions or need some help upgrading, please reach out to me at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Planning Analytics Workspace – Now What?

Planning Analytics Workspace - Now What?
Planning Analytics Workspace - Now What?
April 30th, 2021

Recently, it came to my attention that some Planning Analytics (formerly TM1) clients are not clear about Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw) and think that they have to complete a number of steps or model rebuilds to use their data in PAw.  Below I will try and explain everything you need to know about Planning Analytics Workspace and your existing models and provide some tips for future work to take advantage of PAw.

Do My Existing PA / TM1 models work in PAw?

The short answer is, YES!  As you can see below in the screenshots that my models that were built in older versions of TM1 are available in Planning Analytics Workspace and I can bring over a view to the workspace area.  Of course, you will need to make sure you have users set up in PAw to access workspace, but all of my data is there without any modifications to the models.

Existing Models
Existing Models

Can I create or change cubes, dimensions, processes, rules, and chores in Planning Analytics Workspace?

Again, the short answer is, YES!  You have the ability to create or change dimensions, cubes, rules, Turbo Integrator processes and chores.  See below for screen shots of each.

Dimension Options:

Dimension Options

Cube Options:

Cube Options1
Cube Options2

Rules Options:

Rules Options

TI Process Options:

TI Process Options

Chores Options:

Chores Options

Now that we have covered the above in Planning Analytics Workspace, let’s cover some of the newer items that you may want to start planning to use. 

Comparing Sandboxes

In the later versions of Planning Analytics you have the ability to compare sandboxes in explorations or visualizations.  Maybe you have never heard of sandboxes and are wondering what they are?  Sandboxes are a simple way to create what if scenarios with changing your base budget or forecast information.  I’m sure over the past year dealing with Covid, management has asked for a number of what if budgets or forecasts.  With sandboxes you can create as many what if scenarios you want and then when everyone agrees on a path forward you can promote that version to the new base version or just keep it and compare with it.

Comparing Sandboxes

Virtual Hierarchies

We have a great blog that talks in detail about virtual hierarchies.  In short, these are a great way to add data to your cubes and perform analysis without having to rebuild your cubes or add dimensions!  Please click here for all of the information.

Knowledge Center

Have you ever been in Planning Analytics or TM1 and wondered how to do something and then spent countless hours searching google to hopefully come up with the right link to solve your issue?  I have and it was a pain.  IBM has spent considerable time and energy to create a knowledge center directly in Planning Analytics Workspace.  Simply click the question mark at the top right of the home page and type in what you are looking for and you will be presented with relevant links to solve your issue.  See below what was provided when I typed in cubes.  You can even click through to a forum and talk with others looking to solve problems.

Knowledge Center

Summary

As you can see and read, starting with Planning Analytics Workspace is easy and your existing models can be used right away in PAw.  I highly suggest that if you don’t own or are unsure if you own PAw, you reach out to us at sales@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you!  If you own PAw and have yet to start using it, I highly suggest you start today.  Log in and take a look around.  Start building out your first workspace book.  You can start simple, but I guarantee you will start to think about how you can use Workspace for dashboards, budget entry and everything in between!  Plus, IBM’s go forward strategy will be Planning Analytics Workspace.  If you have any questions about getting started reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

For all things new in Planning Analytics check out this link.

Benefits to Using IBM Planning Analytics Workspace

Planning Analytics Workspace
September 17th, 2020

If you are a TM1 or Planning Analytics client and you are not using Planning Analytics Workspace, it’s time to evaluate if you are using the best available tools.  There are many benefits to using IBM Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw) as it greatly improves the end user experience, but it does so much more! 

Planning Analytics Workspace

What is IBM Planning Analytics Workspace?

According to IBM’s knowledge center, “IBM Planning Analytics Workspace is a web-based interface for IBM Planning Analytics. It provides an interface to TM1® data, with ways to plan, create, and analyze your content. ... Planning Analytics Workspace opens up the world of advanced analytics to all business users.”

Translation, it is a cool front end to the TM1 platform that can also be used to build new applications and dashboards by combining cube view, web sheets, scorecard and visualizations.

As our gift to you, at the end of this blog you will find a special link to a video overview of PAw.

Deeper Dive into Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw)

IBM Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw) is a web-based interface for IBM Cognos TM1. It brings exciting new possibilities in terms of visualization of your TM1 data. IBM succeeded in expanding the TM1 interface options with a user-friendly and attractive experience aimed at a wide user community.

It is a view-based application which allows you to analyze data, plan and create new content. This is achieved primarily by using the built-in drag and drop tools, that come shipped with the product to build dashboards and reports. The tools themselves are visually intuitive and are easy to get started with. The created content can then be shared with others within or outside of the business.

Dashboards and reports are structured around the concept of “books”. You can think of a “book” in the same way as you do when visualizing a workbook in Excel. A “book” can have multiple sheets and each sheet can contain multiple objects.

PAw Objects and Modeling Tools Available

Objects:
  • Cube views
  • Single-cell widgets
  • Filter controls
  • Imbedded web sheets
  • Pictures
  • Text boxes / shapes
  • Visualizations (like charts or maps)
Modeling Tools:
PAw Modeling Tools

Reporting in PAw

As PAw strongly focuses on ad-hoc analysis and quickly generating reports/dashboards, it should suit the needs of the Business Analyst, CFO and Financial Manager quite well.

If the user need is more focused on intensive data input or capturing of large amounts of data, TM1Web/Perspectives/PAX may be a better fit. Financial controllers and planners may benefit here more by using TM1Web/Perspectives/PAX, or others that are part of the budgeting, planning, or forecasting process. Each organization’s needs are different though, so the choice should be considered.

Planning Analytics Workspace & Natural Language

Another great component of PAw is the data discovery interface with natural language processing. This helps end users find what they are looking for when they cannot remember the name of the report or cube.  They just type sales and a listing of objects they may be looking for appears.

Planning Analytics Workspace and Collaboration

When you are in the budgeting cycle it is common to want to add comments or dialog about the changes you are making.  So, IBM added an online chat feature.  No more having to email change requests about the budget, just put them in the chat of PAw.

Planning Analytics Video Series

Recently Lodestar created a Planning Analytics video series that goes through Planning Analytics Workspace and Planning Analytics for Excel.  It includes overviews, modeling tips, input and spread options, sandboxes, virtual hierarchies, an admin overview and a how to on how to promote from development to production.  Stay tuned to our blog for new info and links each week.

Here is the link to the first video in this series.

This video is the first of our new, 7 part Planning Analytics series. Click here now to join our Planning Analytics mailing list and receive a link to each video as they are released. 

Summary

Planning Analytics Workspace is an incredible addition to TM1 and now Planning Analytics.  For years, many had to find other options like Cognos Analytics or other BI tools to report their budget and planning data from TM1.  You may not inherently have PAw in your IBM entitlements.  It is an add-on to Planning Analytics and Lodestar is here to help navigate those choppy waters for you.  Please reach out to sales@lodestarsolutions.com and schedule your free license review.  We will walk through what you own and provide a way forward to owning Planning Analytics Workspace.  By reaching out for this review we will offer you a live demo of PAw and PAx and work to set you up for future success in your budgeting and planning process!

Is it Time to Redesign Your TM1 Planning System?

Is it Time to Improve and Enhance Your Planning Environment
December 12th, 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 some of your pain points and discuss some ways Lodestar Solutions can help you redesign your TM1 planning system.

TM1 Model Issues

We all have models or work with models in the past that we either inherited or have built a long time ago. Overtime, TM1 models can become sluggish and start to perform poorly. Some of this is due to poor design and or accumulation of large amounts of data. A lot of this also has to do with not fully understanding how multidimensional models work.

If you have a relational mindset you will take a little bit of retraining of the mind in order to adjust to multidimensional models. People who come from a relational background and built multi-dimensional models in a lot of cases added dimensions that were not necessary in the cube. These dimensions could have easily been attributes off a dimension and not an actual dimension within the cube. As you may know, adding more dimensions to a cube introduces complexity and likely makes the cube sparse and subsequently will perform poorly. As time goes on and more data is added to these cubes they start performing poorly and you end up with a sluggish environment. Add feeders to the problem and in a lot of cases data points are overfed and this results in higher memory consumption overtime. This all snowballs into problems that some of you may be familiar with, such as complaints from end users. Lengthy maintenance cycles in the shape of drawn out data loads, reconciliations and poorly performing reports.

So now that we have outlined all your pain points, how will Lodestar help you fix your TM1 Planning System? In the latest version of TM1 which is called Planning Analytics, IBM has introduced certain features that address the problems that we have outlined. We're going to attempt to provide certain ideas on how you can improve and enhance your current planning and forecasting environment by upgrading to the latest version of Planning Analytics. By putting in a little bit of work up front, you can not only fix the issues outlined above you can also take your planning and forecasting to the next level by employing latest technology and utilizing our expertise to create models that perform better and use the latest industry standards in creating a predictive forecast that ends up in a solid business plan. Here are some methods we can use to do it.

Ideas to Enhance and Improve your TM1 Environment

In Planning Analytics there is a feature called hierarchies. This is probably one of the biggest enhancements to TM1 to date. Dimensions in Planning Analytics are a collection of hierarchies. You can have unlimited amount of hierarchies in Planning Analytics. You can not only use hierarchies as an alternate consolidation of elements but you can also use hierarchies as virtual dimensions. What do we mean by virtual dimension you may ask? It's just a dimension that is created either temporarily or permanently and can be used in a cube for analysis. Any attribute within a dimension can be converted into a hierarchy. If you have cubes with dimensions that only have a few elements in them, you can actually remove those dimensions from your cube and use them as attributes for another dimension. Subsequently these attributes can be used as a virtual dimension and now you can do the same analysis as previously done but with a dense cube that uses less memory. It also gives you the flexibility to include or exclude this dimension at will.

Opportunity to Redesign

Using hierarchies as a virtual dimension will require a redesign of cubes and will provide the opportunity to look at the environment and do a deep health check. This may possibly include, removing redundancies in the form of cubes, dimensions or elements. Combining cubes and reducing the memory footprint. A health check will also provide the opportunity to create new models, possibly create a predictive model that provides a better forecast using statistical analysis, or maybe use algorithmic artificial intelligence to create models that help in decision optimization.

What Else Do You Get?

With Planning Analytics you get Workspace (PAW) which is a state of the art modeling, dashboarding and reporting environment. This is the new platform for all your needs. You do not need Architect to create models anymore. You also get the updated version of Perspectives which is called Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX). In PAX you can do everything that you are able to in Perspectives and more. Staring a new report takes seconds and within minutes you can have something presentable for any audience. All cubes are available at your fingertips and simple drag and drop capabilities make things a breeze. There is a huge improvement from years ago when the only reporting was Perspectives, TM1 Web or Cognos BI. Now you have modeling, reporting and dashboarding all in on space.

The point is that it your models are probably outdated, and they need an overhaul. We are here to provide you the knowledge and expertise to get there. Make Lodestar your partner in this new journey to improve and enhance your TM1 Planning System, and we will make you look like a Rockstar! Contact us now at services@lodestarsolutions.com

Here are some links to information regarding Planning Analytics and Hierarchies

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.

7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase Workspace (PAw)

 9/11/2018 

7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase Workspace (PAw)

You have probably heard a lot about Planning Analytics Workspace (PAw).  However, like most TM1 / Planning Analytics shops you are probably creating reports using web sheets in perspectives and publishing them on TM1 web.  Now is the time to understand why you should purchase Workspace (PAw) if you do not already own it.

7 Reasons Why You Should Purchase Workspace (PAw)
  1. First and foremost PAX and by extension workspace does not have the inherent WAN issues with perspectives. You can publish on workspace and you eliminate the need to have a VPN or Citrix to report off TM1

  2. No need to use fancy macros and or VB to make you reporting dynamic and turn key.

  3. There are some very slick features in PAX that make reporting a breeze. Too many to go over here. 

  4. Now you have the ability to build powerful dashboards quickly and you also have the ability to collaborate among your team on a centralized dashboard.

  5. The ability to use powerful visualization within workspace.

  6. Simple language querying capability in Workspace.

  7. IBM's go forward strategy is to build all models in Workspace.
Helpful Workspace Links
Contact Lodestar Now!

Are you ready to purchase the workspace add on?  Contact us at sales@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule a quick call to review your situation and receive a quote for the workspace add on if you do not already own!

If you already own workspace and are not sure where to begin or you need some help taking your workspace to the next level contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com

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