Consultant’s Cognos TM1 Tricks (Part 2)

We finish off our 2 part series blog with 5 more Cognos TM1 tricks:

6.  LEVERAGING CONTROL CUBES FOR SECURITY – Control Cubes can be useful to view attribute or security information.  If migrating from Planning, it may even be possible to use an existing Excel spreadsheet to load security via a TI Process [into the Control Cube].

7.   CONFIRMING PROPER DIMENSION UPDATES -If a dimension, particularly a GL related dimension, is being updated via a TI Process, periodically open the dimension via the dimension editor and click All followed by a Hierarchy Sort.  Condense the top parent.  If the entire dimension doesn’t collapse or there are lone ‘n’ items visible, the dimension may not be updating properly.

8.  DEFINING RULES – Avoid using Aliases in Rules.  Yes, Rent is easier to understand in a rule than [Account] 7552 and TM1 can read an alias however an alias is more apt to be modified.  If Rent because Bldg Rent, the Rule is now broken.  Use comments to explain the purpose of the Rule e.g  #This rule calculates monthly rent (Account # 7552).

9.  USING A TEXT EDITOR LIKE NOTEPAD – The 9th of our TM1 tricks is to always use a text editor to copy Rules.  The TM1 Rule editor cannot read the smart quotes used by Word.

10. FIXING A CORRUPT RULES EDITOR – If your rules editor corrupts, try copying the rules to a text editor, delete the Rules [cube via Architect or Perspective], [re]creating the rules [cube via Architect or Perspectives] and copying the rules back from the text editor.

For more information on Cognos TM1 tricks or just TM1 in general, feel free to contact us a and to see part 1 of our Tricks from the field, click HERE.

Consultant’s Cognos TM1 Tricks (Part 1)

Just wanted to list some TM1 tricks that we've learned from our time in the field:

  1. CREATING ALIASES – When creating aliases, use consistent attribute names.  Name or Desc will usually suffice.  (We frequently find that name is used on one dimension, desc is used on a couple others and description is used on a few more.)  This reduces those “uh oh, what did I call that attribute” moments when creating a process or updating rules.
  2. IS A DYNAMIC SUBSET REALLY DYNAMIC? – Generally the extensive use of dynamic subsets is not recommended due to performance concerns.  However, many subsets are dynamic only at the beginning of a cycle, not throughout the process.  If the subsets are dynamic only at the beginning of a cycle consider creating them using a Turbo Integrator process.
  3. BUILDING PHASE SUBSETS – Views have a tendency to morph during the initial build phase and creating subsets can be time consuming if they are in flux, especially if one needs to add items back [since you must start over from the entire dimension list].  Set up an attribute on your row and/or column dimension that corresponds to the items that may be needed in a particular view; add a simple ‘Y’ to the attribute and create an attribute based subset that filters on the ‘Y’.
  4. UPDATING DIMENSIONS WITH A TURBO INTEGRATOR PROCESS -If there are multiple dimensions that use the same data source and are updated on a consistent basis, consider using only one TI Process.  It is frequently possible to update an overall P&L dimension along with a Revenue account dimension and an Expense account dimension, especially when the Revenue or Expense Account dimensions require coding.
  5. LARGE CUBE OR SMALLER CUBES? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  Yes, TM1 cubes can include as many as 256 dimensions but that doesn’t mean a model should consist of one cube with every dimension possible.  Smaller cubes are both admin (rules/feeders are less cumbersome) and user friendly (easier to understand) as well as performance friendly.

Our list of TM1 tricks in Part 2 can be seen HERE.