IBM Planning Analytics Versions Are End of Life

IBM Planning Analytics Versions Are End of Life
IBM Planning Analytics Versions Are End of Life

Written by Heather L. Cole, March 3rd 2022

Are you an IBM Planning Analytics TM1 user that has not upgraded in a while?  If so, you MUST know that this year several versions of Planning Analytics TM1 are being sunset so they will no longer be supported by IBM.  Today we will discuss what IBM Planning Analytics versions are end of life. 

This is very important to know because the world has changed, and hackers are evil.  We all witnessed security teams scrambling to update Log4j vulnerability in almost every software.  For more information check out our recent blog, 911 – Log4j Security Risk Affects IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos… 

 The best way to stop hackers is to be on a current supported version and be on IBM support.

What IBM Planning Analytic Versions are Sunsetting?

If you are on Planning Analytics versions 2.07 or earlier IBM will no longer support it effective April 30, 2022.  If you are on 2.08 IBM will no longer support it after September 30, 2022.  And if you are on a Cognos TM1 version 10.2 or earlier you probably already know you have been unsupported since 2019.  So, it’s time to upgrade PA!  More on that in a minute.

Can you still use TM1 if they sunset your version?

First, it’s important to know if you are on an IBM Planning Analytics TM1 version that is not supported by IBM, you can still use it.  For many of you that own “on-premise” licenses you can even use it if you are not paying support, but we don’t recommend that.  Read our earlier blog, Consequences of Not Renewing IBM Cognos Support.

IBM will not help you.

However, if you are on an unsupported version of TM1 and something happens, IBM will most likely tell you, you must upgrade PA.  And no one wants to upgrade under duress.  You might be thinking, “but we haven’t called IBM for support for years.”  That may be true, however when issues arise, it typically is not the software.  It’s more often that IT upgraded something in your environment and it broke planning analytics.  Why? Because new software doesn’t always play well with old software.  When this happens, you will need to call IBM.  And well, they will tell you to upgrade PA. 

What if I can’t upgrade PA?

I appreciate for some of you upgrading your Planning Analytics when the system is down, and you need to get the reports to the executives is not realistic.  I appreciate the sense of panic this can create.  If you find yourself in this situation, call Lodestar or email services@lodestarsolutions.com with a subject line of 911.  Our tech wizards might be able to help get you up and running.

Planning your TM1 upgrade.

The latest version of Planning Analytics is 2.0.9.11  released December 21, 2021  (see link for more info).  Lodestar Solutions does recommend getting on this version.  There are a few steps you need to think about when you upgrade PA.

  1.  It’s recommended to upgrade PA into a new clean environment.
  2. You should review your license entitlements to ensure you don’t accidentally violate your license.  Email Lodestar to setup a complimentary what the heck do I own session. Services@lodestarsolutions.com.
  3. Learn the new functionality and plan when you will want to leverage the amazing new features. Email Lodestar to setup a discussion of new functionality at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Upgrading does not need to be a stressful experience but preplanning is important.  Lodestar Solutions is here to help!  We offer many options to help you with your upgrades.  We even offer upgrade bundles to make IBM Planning Analytics upgrading assistance more affordable.  See our blog, Solving the IBM Planning Analytics Upgrade Challenge

Take the Next Step.

If you are one of the many whose IBM Planning Analytics versions are end of life or you just want to upgrade to get the new functionality, email us and we can answer all your questions about upgrading Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

What Kind of Audit Trail is Available for Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1)?

Audit Trail in TM1
Audit Trail in TM1
October 29th, 2020

A budgeting and planning solution should always provide a good audit trail.  So, what kind of audit trail is available for Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1)?  IBM Planning Analytics maintains a detailed log of all changes in the system.  The log tracks changes by the users and processes as well as data changes and structural changes.  This is music to your compliance team’s ears, especially if you have to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  (If you want to learn more about SOX and IBM Planning Analytics check out our earlier blog, Is the IBM ILMT tool SOX Compliant when used with Cognos?) 

TM1 Logging Types

The Cognos Planning Analytics administrator can turn off or on two types of logging.

  • Transaction Log - captures all changes to data caused by end users, rules or processes
  • Audit Log - captures changes to metadata, security, logon information and other system activity detail

TM1 Transaction Log

If you want to see a simple list of all changes in values, you will look at the TM1 transaction log.  It also records the cube name, time and date, username and values before and after the change.  Cube logging can be enabled and disabled for specific cubes.  The changes are recorded in the tm1s.log file. 

One thing to note is that transaction logging can be enabled and disabled during TurboIntegrator processes by using the CubeSetLogChanges() TurboIntegrator function.  Lodestar Solutions recommends you consider disabling transaction logging during a TurboIntegrator process that loads a large volume of data to a cube because the file can get quite large.  If a TurboIntegrator process can be rerun to reload the same data into a cube, transaction logging can most likely be disabled during the TurboIntegrator process.  For more information, see CubeSetLogChanges.

For more details on the TM1 Transaction Log see the IBM Knowledge Center

TM1 Audit Log

The TM1 audit log monitors changes to metadata, such as modifications to dimensions, views and subsets. It also tracks login and TurboIntegrator process execution.  By default, audit logging is disabled and must be manually enabled for each server you want to monitor.  When it is on it monitors everything, you can’t only have it monitor certain activity.  Audit logging is enabled and disabled with the AuditLogOn parameter in tm1s.cfg file.

You can query and view the audit log using the Audit Log window, available in TM1 Server Explorer. When you turn the audit log on you might want to monitor it because it can get quite large.  Some of our TM1 clients opt to turn it on only in the final stages of the budget renew process, especially if you are starting with a zero-based budget.  For more details on the TM1 Audit Log see the IBM Knowledge Center.

How to Archive TM1 Audit Logs with IBM Cognos Planning Analytics

We mentioned the TM1 log files can get quite large, especially if you did not limit the auditing to particular cubes and processes.  We all have experienced when you run out of space, weird things can happen.  So, you may want to archive your TM1 audit logs.  To do this we recommend you use the Turbo Integrator (TI) process ‘SYS_IBM_Archive_TransactionLog.pro’.  This process is designed to move old transaction log files from a specified TM1 Log File Directory to a separate ‘archiving’ directory.

Turn on Audit Trail in Cognos Planning Analytics - TM1

Yes, Lodestar Solutions recommends clients to leverage the TM1 audit trail capabilities.  However, we do recommend you do so with proper planning.  Just turning it on and letting it collect data could result in a bloated log file that causes issues. 

Contact Lodestar Solutions

If you have any questions about what kind of audit trail is available for Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) and how you should leverage the various components for auditing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com

Visit our website; www.lodestarsolutions.com.

Creating the COVID Forecast with Cognos Planning Analytics, TM1

COVID Forecast
COVID Forecast
April 30th, 2020 ​

Wow, the world has changed in just a few weeks!  Our way of life as we knew it may never be the same, nor will our businesses. Lodestar Solutions has been working with our Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 clients to respond to the new risks and opportunities they are facing. For almost every business it’s time to update the plans and create a COVID forecast.  But don’t worry, creating a COVID Forecast with Cognos Planning Analytics, TM1 should be relatively easy. 

Steps for Creating a COVID Forecast in TM1 –

Define the COVID Forecast

The first thing you want to do is define what the COVID forecast in Cognos Planning Analytics should look like.  Schedule a Zoom or remote meeting with Senior Managers to discuss what they need in a COVID forecast. Before the meeting send the request and include the goal of the meeting and an agenda. You should also send examples of reports they currently receive and ask them to print them, so they have them handy.  For the meeting I recommend going on camera, as this is your time to shine and show how indispensable you are!Enter your text here...

During the meeting Lodestar Solutions recommends the following: 

  • Ask what information is important to track more granularly for a COVID forecast? Do they want a forecast or budget level details? Do they want more detail for sales and staffing?
  •  Have them write down on sticky notes everything they want in the COVID forecast and prioritize each item.   
Sticky Notes
  • Don’t commit!  Tell them you are collecting their ideas and will look at what’s easily done without massive overhaul of your TM1 models.
  • What assumptions do they want to use as “what if” scenario drivers to model the business in the new COVID forecast?
  • Refer to the current reports that you sent in advanced and have them write down what they want to see differently for the COVID forecast in TM1.  If they make a lot of changes have them screen shot or take a picture of the changes with their phone and send them to you. This will be your audit trail when they change their mind again.
  • Have follow up virtual meetings as you build your new structures to ensure you are on the right path and more importantly find out if they have changed their minds since your initial meeting on the COVID forecast models in TM1.

NOTE:  They almost always change their minds, but rarely do they communicate their new thoughts.  So, the follow-up, status check meetings are very important.

After the Meeting Planning

  1. Review the diagram of your TM1 model. If you don’t have schematic of your model now would be a good time to create one.  We like Visio for this, but PowerPoint or Word can work as well. This should have the various cubes and IT processes displayed.
  2. Update your Cognos Planning Analytics Development or Test environment with the latest version of your models, so you can make your changes in a development environment.  If you don’t have a development environment for TM1 we highly recommend it. Lodestar is happy to help you with any licensing needs for your non-production environment.  See our blog on this topic for more information. 
  3. Look to see which model or components you would need for your new COVID Forecast.  Many Cognos Planning Analytics, TM1, clients have a forecast model that is not as detailed as the budget which could be leveraged for the COVID forecast in TM1.
  4. Check for any Versions dimensions that you could add a COVID forecast too.  For example, if you have a version dimension in TM1 that has Budget, Actual, Q1 Forecast… consider adding COVID forecast to it.
  5. Identify which TM1 TI processes would need to be updated for the COVID forecast and if you need to create new TM1 model components to provide more details in specific areas.
  6. As you identify what changes need to be made, we recommend documenting items to test. The easiest way to do this is just start writing testing idea on sticky notes.  One test per note and create a pile. Later you will use this to create TM1 test scripts.
  7. Create a project plan for the your COVID forecast TM1 model changes. If you don’t have a good tool to manage your projects, Lodestar Solutions recommends and resells  Smartsheet. For more information email us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com.
  8. If you need assistance or just want to get another opinion, seek help from Lodestar Solutions’ team of TM1 consultants.  Email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com  or check out Lodestar’s Small Project Program.

Testing Your New TM1 COVID Models

  1. Create and execute TM1 COVID forecast test scripts based on the testing sticky notes you have been creating.
  2. Demo the updated Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 model to Sr. Managers.
  3. Assuming they love it, move the TM1 models to production.
  4. Celebrate with your kids and family!

Your Moment to Shine with TM1

See that wasn’t too bad was it. A few key points. When creating the COVID forecast with Cognos Planning Analytics, TM1, Planning is the most important point.  Since you are probably working remote, you must not assume you know what the executives want.  Heck they don’t really know what they want.  We have never been in this situation!  So, you MUST schedule virtual meetings with them.  When you meet with them, go on camera.  You want to be seen as indispensable to the organization and this is your moment to shine! 

Remember you don’t have to go it alone!  Lodestar Solutions can help you along the way.  Just email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com and schedule a time to chat about creating your COVID forecast in Cognos Planning Analytics.

Neither Cognos BI nor Microsoft Power BI can Replace Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1)!

Neither Cognos BI nor Microsoft Power BI can Replace TM1!
Neither Cognos BI nor Microsoft Power BI can Replace TM1!
February 13th, 2020

Recently I met with a client who owned and was using both IBM Cognos BI and TM1.  Their IT team was exploring if they should move from Cognos to Microsoft Power BI. Understandably, IT was trying to reduce the number of applications and tools they supported. I explained to them that neither Cognos BI nor Microsoft Power BI can replace TM1 now called IBM Planning Analytics.

What is Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1)?

BM Planning Analytics formerly known as TM1 is a powerful business performance management software designed to deliver collaborative planning, budgeting and forecasting solutions, interactive "what-if" analyses, as well as analytical and reporting applications. Over the years, IBM has added a lot of new capabilities to TM1 including hierarchies, Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX) and Planning Analytic Workspace (PAW).  Planning Analytics Workspace provides not just powerful dashboard capabilities but can be used to build new models as well.  See our earlier blog.  For more information on Planning Analytics Workspace check out our team member Atif’s Video.

Cognos Planning Analytics Workspace

Confusion Between BI and Planning Analytics (TM1)

As IBM enhanced TM1 and added Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW) they delivered amazing dashboarding capabilities.  They added balanced scorecard capabilities too.  Unfortunately, this may have led to the current confusion.  As you know dashboards are usually delivered through business intelligence tools like Cognos BI (Cognos Analytics) and Microsoft Power BI.  Additionally, some finance teams have leveraged TM1 as a lightweight version of a data mart, which IT is not always thrilled about.   So, when IT sees Planning Analytics (TM1) they can jump to the conclusion that the business intelligence tools they usually control like Power BI and/or Cognos Analytics and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) cubes could replace Planning Analytics.

For more information on SSAS check out this link. 
To learn more about the new functionality in Cognos Analytics (BI) check out or earlier blog.

Cognos Planning Analytics Does what BI Does Not

Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 is very different than Cognos BI and/or Power BI!  Although it can handle dashboards and reports, it’s not designed to do bursting of reports and other functionality tools like Cognos Analytics Excel, etc… But, Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 does so much that BI does not.  Planning Analytics TM1 allows users to write back to the TM1 cubes structures to enter in budgeting and forecasting data. You would not want users to be able to change Cognos BI data that is typically historical data.  TM1 is a flexible modeling tool that allows for “What if” analysis, sandbox scenarios and powerful spread capabilities. It’s no wonder why finance departments love the power and flexibility of the new Cognos Planning Analytics version. 

If you  want  more information on the latest information on Cognos Planning Analytics check out the IBM web site or better yet, just email Lodestar Solutions and let’s chat.  Contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Why Finance Needs Unique Tools Like Planning Analytics TM1

It’s important to understand that in finance we live in a constant world of change.  Finance teams need to forecast and plan the affects of changes on the financial statements of the organization. It’s not uncommon for an executive to email the finance team and ask to see data in a new way.  For example, maybe a food distributor’s CFO suddenly wants to see sales by country of origin.  When this happens the finance team previously became stressed out thinking about how they have to rebuild models to incorporate the change.  But with Cognos Planning Analytics finance can leverage virtual dimension and rapidly provide these new insights. Once provided the CFO may then ask, “What would happen to our bottom line if all our avocados from Mexico were recalled.”  With Planning Analytics TM1 the finance team could easily do a what if model entering adjustments to reduce Mexico avocados and increasing sales of avocados from the US.  This on the fly modeling is often foreign to IT and business intelligence professionals that live in a world of governance, and control.  But if IT tries to eliminate TM1, they run the risk of making finance return to the world of Excel which lacks controls and processes provided by Cognos Planning Analytics.

Finance Should Keep their Planning Analytics

In summary, neither Cognos BI nor Microsoft Power BI can replace TM1 because TM1 provides a flexible modeling tool with write back and data collection capabilities not available in most business intelligence.  If your organization is having this internal debate, you don’t have to go it alone!  At Lodestar Solutions we can help you facilitate workshops to define what your unique analytic and business intelligence roadmap should look like. We will provide our expert opinions and network you with other clients that have walked in your shoes.  So, contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Edit Dimensions and Others Greyed Out in Planning Analytics Architect

edit dimensions
edit dimensions
September 20, 2019
The problem - Edit Dimensions and Others are Grey

We get this question from time to time , "Why is edit dimensions and others greyed out in Planning Analytics Architect?" The answer is typically a simple one, your security has not been set correctly, or based on your role you do not have access to certain things like edit dimensions.  If you are supposed to have access the fix is an easy one.  Below I will explain the fix and a number of other things that are important when changing someones security.

How do I Get Access to Edit Dimensions?

Maybe you are a new employee and one of your job duties it upkeep on your dimension structure in Planning Analytics.  You have been granted access through your active directory set up.  Next, you log in and all you can basically do is open a cube or dimension. Uh oh, don't see any process or chores and you might not even see any PA/TM1 servers available. This is a result of your initial log into to Planning Analytics Architect for the first time. Now that you have logged in, your PA/TM1 administrator can provide you with the proper security.  

Here is the really important information. You will need to ensure that your company has the proper licensing for you to be added as an admin to the system.  As you can see below there are a number of different security options within PA/TM1.  Basically, there are 3 types of users in PA/TM1,  Admins, Users and Explorers. Please see this great blog from Heather that details the different types of users and answers to 13 Common PA/TM1 License Questions.

To understand the differences in the below user types please check out this link to IBM explaining the differences. 

edit dimensions
Why is it important to understand your license mix?

 IBM routinely audits customers. It is on each customer to ensure they are in compliance. It is easy to just add someone to the admin group who needs that type of access. However, you will not be given a message saying you do not have a license, like Microsoft or other software. You can see how this could get out of control and then, BOOM, IBM sends the notice that you are being audited. Here is another great blog by Heather that spells out everything you need to know before you are audited. (What To Know Before You're Audited). This blog also contains great information on the ILMT tool, which the majority of Planning Analytics clients will need to make sure is installed for their system. One exception is Planning Analytics Express. Do yourself a favor and read this blog! It may save you lots of money in the long run!

What if our PA/TM1 Admin is No Longer with the Company?

Recently we had a client in this exact situation mentioned above. They were new, logged in and were unable to edit dimensions. Their admin was not available and they needed access to edit dimensions, update process and rebuild cubes, ASAP.  How do you get around this situation?  

Going to preface this with a disclaimer.  Make sure you are following your company policies on access and security. The below solution is an easy solution but you want to make sure you stay in compliance with company regulations.  

In short, you need to change the security mode on the TM1s.cfg file to 1. This sets the security to the default and allows you to log in as admin to the model. Below are the steps to accomplish.

Steps to Accomplish
  • Stop PA/TM1 services on model
  • Open TM1s.cfg file in question with notepad or something like it.
  • Change IntegratedSecurityMode=1 (remember the current setting), see sample file below, yours may not look exactly like this.
  • Save
  • Start PA/TM1 services on model
  • Go back to Architect and log into the model using admin for the user name and no password (this is standard for PA/TM1)
  • If that doesn't work use admin for the username and apple for the password.
  • You should be able to right click on Model/TM1 server name and go to security.
  • Find your active directory login and click the appropriate admin or user group.
  • Save and exit out.
  • Next, stop PA/TM1 services on model
  • Go back to TM1s.cfg file and set your security to original level.
  • Save
  • Finally, Start PA/TM1 services on model
  • Log back into Architect model. You should be all set.
  • edit dimensions
    Success!

    Now that you have access you can edit dimensions, build cubes, run processes, etc. Again, make sure that your licensing supports your level of security.  If you have any questions regarding licensing levels, access or anything else, please contact us services@lodestarsolutions.com

    Data and AI Forum

    Lastly, IBM Data and AI Forum is coming up soon!  It is a great conference to network and learn all sorts of awesome things about Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics.  See this blog for everything you need to know.  Hope to see you down there!  ​IBM Data and AI Forum​​​

    Dashboards in TM1? Legacy Users Need to Purchase Workspace Add-On.

    7/10/18
    Dashboards in TM1
    Dashboards in TM1
    Are you a Legacy TM1 shop and your users are asking about dashboards in TM1?  

    For all of you that currently use Cognos TM1 for budgeting and forecasting, you know how powerful the solution truly is. Are your business users coming to you and asking for more functionality though? Lodestar Solutions has worked with multiple clients that are planning their migration from TM1 to Planning Analytics, but what our clients have found out is that that they need to purchase the Cognos Workspace Add-On for all of their TM1 users in order to take advantage of dashboards in TM1. 

    What is the Cognos Workspace Add On?

    The Cognos Workspace Add-On gives all of your users the ability to create self-service, interactive dashboards and compelling visualizations. The dashboarding capability allows for ad-hoc analysis and gives each user rich insights into the data. It’s time to start marrying sheet data with visualizations for quick insights into your numbers. This will give you a better understanding of what your numbers are saying!

    Get Workspace Get PAx

    One more item of note.  In order for PAx (Planning Analytics for Excel) to function properly, you will need to have Workspace installed and running.  The rely on each other and together their power is unmatched in the industry.

    Are You Ready for the Next Level?

    When you are ready to take your TM1 solution to the next level, call one of Lodestar Solutions’ Business Analytics Advisors at 312-625-2562 to discuss next steps. You can also email services@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule time to speak with a Business Analytics Advisor to find out if you’re a good fit for the Cognos Workspace-Add On.  We can also talk with you about upgrading your TM1 system to Planning Analytics.  Support for older version of TM1 is coming to and end soon!  Now is the time to upgrade.

    Have You Secured Funding Yet? It’s Budgeting Season, Secure Funding Now For IBM Cognos

    Have You Secured Funding Yet?  It's Budget Season.  
    Secure Funding Now for IBM Cognos!

    Do you need process improvement and require funds for Cognos consulting or need additional IBM Cognos licenses? Now is the time to reach out and get your funding in the budget! Far too often we see companies that have a need for a new software solution and services, but they don't factor it in their budget. As a result, this pushes their initiatives out another year!

    We all know it's that time of year: budgeting season! So now that budgeting season is ramping up for most companies it is time to reach out to Lodestar Solutions. You need to solidify IBM Cognos software quotes, Cognos upgrade consulting resources, etc. Therefore, it's more beneficial to get what you think you'll need next year in your budget and secure funding now for IBM Cognos!

    What You Need to Consider 

    Here at Lodestar, we are big believers in helping you realize the importance of how to secure funding now for IBM Cognos. We have found with several clients the earlier you have these software and services conversations the easier it is to get them approved. Hence the longer you wait the less likely you are to get what you want.

    In summary, think about it this way, it's kind of like saying what you want for the holidays now. If you don't start thinking about it and talking about it you're just going to get an ugly sweater you will never wear (no one wants that). You want to make sure to cover all topics: net new install or upgrade consulting,  IBM Cognos licenses, training and Cognos consulting services for next phases, etc. You want to get estimates now to put in your budget. Remember, it's all about securing funding now for IBM Cognos!

    Budget to Upgrade to Cognos Analytics

    Looking to upgrade to Cognos Analytics?   Don't forget Cognos BI 10.2 is unsupported after April 2018!

    To help build your budget, check out our complimentary Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Kit.  

    Challenged to get funding?  ​See our blog on 5 Steps to Get Funding.

    In conclusion, email us at Sales@Lodestarsolutions.com to set up a call to discuss your needs in 2018. Furthermore, we will provide free estimates for your IBM Cognos licensing needs, Cognos upgrades and services needs to get the most out of your analytic solutions.

    Cognos Analytics versus Planning Analytics

    4/5/2017

    Cognos Analytics versus Planning Analytics, what's the difference?  IBM has rebranded TM1 as Planning Analytics and rebranded Cognos Business Intelligence as Cognos Analytics.  With the rebranding came additional dashboarding and data visualization capabilities with Planning Analytics Workspace that leverages the TM1 calculation engine.  This has people asking, "Well, if I can create dashboards and reports  in Planning Analytics, why would I need Cognos Analytics?"  Great question.  In case you have not seen Planning Analytics Workspace, watch this video: 10 Minute overview of Planning Analytics

    ​Planning Analytics is only TM1 data

    ​First, the dashboarding and data visualization available in Planning Analytics Workspace has to come from data that resides in a TM1 cube.  You can load data from multiple sources into TM1, but it's not really efficient to duplicate your data warehouse in TM1.  Even though TM1 can store and calculate huge amounts of data, there is a dollar cost to that.  If you are in an Enterprise model, you may need to increase the Processor Value Units (PVU) for your Analytic Server, which would mean purchasing additional PVU licenses.  If you are in an Express model, you may exceed your 1600 PVU limit.  With Cognos Analytics (BI), you can tap directly into any data source (ie Salesforce, data warehouse, framework packages, etc).  Cognos Analytics is a true Enterprise reporting solution.

    ​Cognos Analytics licenses are cheaper  - expand to more users

    Secondly, what is the price point of a Planning Analytics license versus a Cognos Analytics license​?  Think of Planning Analytics as the fully staffed, gourmet restaurant kitchen and Cognos Analytics as the waiter that servers you your meal.  A fully staffed kitchen is going to cost more than a waiter.

    ​Get the Right Fit for Your Needs

    Therefore, you want to purchase licenses that fit the needs of each user and be at the correct price point for your needs​ in totality.  Planning Analytics (TM1) licenses are for users that need to contribute/write data into your TM1 data base and for power users such as financial analysts that need to work with data at a granular level.  Cognos Analytics (BI) licenses serve the need to provide standard and/or customized reports to users.  Also, CA licenses have different levels that range from non-prompted reporting to custom designing of reports.  Last, CA licenses can also leverage sub-capacity PVU servers that allow you to distribute standard reports to a wide population of users at a lower cost.

    ​For more information on licensing or to schedule a free evaluation of your existing licensing, please contact Zach Spoor at zspoor@lodestarsolutions.com or (630)-724-7390.

    Enter your text here...

    TM1 Websheets to Simplify, Document and Organize TI Process and Tasks

    12/22/2016

    I’m all about easy. It is a phrase I say repeatedly to my clients that are new to IBM Cognos TM1 so that it helps them to focus in on what will be the simplest solution and not to recreate a cumbersome process in new software. This is really a guided example showing how to use TM1 websheets to organize TI Processes, be a tool to document TI Processes, and document TM1 tasks.

    As a TM1 admin, you are pretty adept at toggling around cubes and understanding your data. Maybe you even built the whole model and it’s all second nature to you, so you skipped documenting procedures. Well… it all seemed second nature to you at the time, but a year has gone by and you need to prep for your upcoming budget cycle and now you are trying to remember what needs to be updated.

    In any event, I want to explain how to simplify and manage tasks and documentation in TM1 with websheets. For this, I utilize Perspectives and the Applications folders of Server Explorer to streamline tasks. The Applications folders are great for grouping tasks with the use of links to documentation (ie Word documents), cube views set up for specific needs, and websheets that can take it all to the next level. By next level, I mean that you can create a websheet that provides data pulled from TM1, add-in Excel formulas to do calculations on that data (thus eliminating writing of additional rules in TM1), have an input area to update data points, include Action Buttons to run TI Processes, and insert notations to document the function. This will not only make your life easier, it will help you to remember how the heck you did something last year, allow you to delegate tasks to other team members and documents procedures to give you piece of mind knowing that you did not leave behind an unrewarding treasure hunt for your former co-workers to figure out how you did something after you won the lottery and left the company. You can feel free to relax and have that Pina Colada on a Tuesday while floating in the pool (note, only for lottery winners).

    Here, I will run through where you take your cube that houses rates that are used in an annual budget cycle, from just being a cube for input into  streamlined TM1 Websheets that simplifies the procedure.

    Step One: Create cube for rate input and save view specific for input in TM1 Websheets.

    TM1 Websheets

    What’s missing? Well, now you need to remember that your Seasonal_Factor that you must update is in the Rates cube. That’s not really evident when you first open Server Explorer.

    Step Two: Use Applications folder area to organize tasks in TM1 Websheets

    TM1 Websheets

    Getting closer. You dragged your Seasonal_Factor_Input view up to your Admin folder so that you know it is part of your Admin functions.

    What’s missing? Working with just this view, I don’t see the average of the last two years to figure out what is trending in my data. Also, I will either need to put a HOLD on the Total Year so that if I make any changes, I still balance to 100% for the year, else I need to use the Data Spreading at the Total Year level to ensure I am at 100%. This is more effort than I want and it can be prone to error of Total Year not equaling 100%.

    TM1 Websheets

    Step 3: Create a Websheet and put it in the Applications folder area in TM1 Websheets

    Using Perspectives and my view I created earlier, I do a slice to Excel so that TM1 can put in most of the formulas that I need into my websheet I create. In another tab of the same websheet I add a different slice that pulls in dollar value data from two other years that I select on the first tab. In the third tab, using just Excel functions, I calculate percentage values. I go back to my first tab that I will use for input and again using just Excel functions, add a section that averages two years of data to give me a trend value. I use the SUBMN function for the Year drivers and layer in formulas to make the defaults for them dynamic, while giving me the ability to still select what years I want. I add two Action Buttons, one to set my values in the input area to my Rates cube and the second to run a TI Process that ensures that the Total Year equals 100% for each property. Last, I upload my websheet to the Server Explorer Applications folder called Admin. This will allow me to update my values and see trending in a simple websheet accessed via TM1 Web.

    In TM1 Web, I click on my highlighted websheet.
    TM1 Websheets

    This opens a websheet that looks like this:

    TM1 Websheets
    In conclusion, websheets can handle a variety of tasks to make your planning and analysis procedures easier to manage and include more robust functionality. In this example, we went from a cube view used to input Seasonal Factor values, to a websheet that gave insight to trends, ease of data entry and assurance of accuracy. I can customize the formatting to make it as pretty as I want. I can export this out as a snapshot or pdf to send to others that may need this info, but do not have access to TM1. I could even print it out and hang it on my refrigerator if magnets stuck on my doors.

    Most Excel formulas and formatting are supported in Perspectives and TM1 Web. TM1 Web does render slightly different from Perspectives, so you may need to make some adjustments to get the results you expect.

    To learn more about TM1 Worksheet functions,  click here. 

    The Secret to Reordering Your Cognos Planning E-list

    10/11/2016

    Have you ever tried reordering your Cognos Planning E-list and wondered, ”What the Heck is going on?” For years, I have told clients the E-list in Cognos Planning is the spine of your Cognos Planning Contributor model. Furthermore, you can avoid having surgery by reordering it. But sometimes you just have to reorder the E-List so that the data rolls up properly for the reviewers. So, here are your secrets to reordering your Cognos Planning E-list.

    Let's begin...

    In our example, we notice that location 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC is in the original E-list but it rolls up to 0001- FS1- System Improvement and therefore to Direct Projects. We need 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC to roll up to 0000- Corporate instead of to Direct Projects.

    cognos planning e-list
    cognos planning e-list

    You will notice that 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC already has some data entered and we don’t want to lose the data the end users entered. Notice data entered and saved Employee Hours Cube Budget Version.

    cognos planning e-list

    When we look at the Cognos Planning D-List in Analyst, we see our 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC is in the middle of the list.

    cognos planning e-list

    However, we see 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC is included in the calculation for 0001- FS1 System Improvement. We will need to fix that because we want it to roll up to the 0000- COR -Corporate node instead.

    cognos planning e-list

    Note that the Calculation Order is important. See how 0695 is at the top of the 0001 calculation above. The order of the calculation determines the Contributor E-List order as you can see below.

    cognos planning e-list

    "Ok....what's next?"

    We determined earlier that we needed to move 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC so that it rolls up to 0000- COR – Corporate. So let’s go look again at the calculations in the D-List in Cognos Planning Analyst. We will need to remove 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC from the 0001 Calculation by deleting it from the calculation and click Apply then Save.

    cognos planning e-list

    Now we need to add 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC to 0000 calculation. Once it’s added manually, move it to assure the item will be in the order you want it in the calculation because that’s the order that will be displayed in the Cognos Planning Contributor. Remember to save your work. See below.

    cognos planning e-list

    The next step is to Export D-List from Analyst as an E-List. Select Text to Column creating a .txt file in Excel. Now return to Cognos Planning Contributor Administration and expand the E-list folder for the application to see the structure. Click Import as a .txt file. Make sure there are no errors or warnings received during import. The Cognos Planning E-list is now updated and its appearance is based on the calculation order, not D-list item order in analyst. Notice that 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC now rolls up to 0000 COR- Corporate. However, we are not done yet.

    cognos planning e-list

    You will need to complete the Go To Production Process (GTP) in the Cognos Planning Admin. Make sure you see only changes and no deletions, no destructive changes!

    cognos planning e-list

    As you can now see, 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC rolls up to 0000 COR – Corporate.

    cognos planning e-list

    Finally, you will see that as we open 0695.00.00 Rockingham NC, the data still exists. Due to our previous steps, you'll see we didn’t lose the work already completed by the end users.

    cognos planning e-list

    So, that’s the secret to reordering your Cognos Planning E-list and not losing data. Hopefully this information will help save you time and frustation with Cognos Planning.

    "I still get frustrated and want to better use my time!"

    Let’s now talk more about your time and frustrations with Cognos Planning! Did you know that IBM has a much more powerful tool? One that handles much larger models! It doesn’t require time consuming Sync and Go To Production processes. Furthermore, it does not require the E-list. IBM Cognos Performance Management TM1 is an extremely powerful tool that allows greater flexibility. Here at Lodestar Solutions, we feel the future of Cognos Planning is in question! IBM’s lifecycle page tells you how long IBM will support IBM Cognos Planning.

    We encourage you to start considering and defining your migration to a better tool. To learn the benefits of TM1 over Cognos Planning check out our “Migrating From IBM Cognos Planning To TM1” blog.

    Lodestar Solutions wants you to be educated as possible, so we created a library of videos that will help you evaluate TM1. We encourage you to check out our Move to TM1 Program. And if you have any specific questions, please contact us at Coaching@lodestarsolutions.com and one of our analytics coaches will contact you.

    If you learned something 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.

    Refer back to Tip #2 on how to simplify D-List maintenance by CLICKING THIS LINK.

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