Why Upgrade Planning Analytics?

Why Upgrade Planning Analytics
Why Upgrade Planning Analytics
Written by Heather L. Cole, May 18th, 2023

Are you challenged to get the funding or resources to upgrade your IBM Planning Analytics?  Maybe your team is too busy just keeping their heads above water with all the requested changes to your Planning or Budgeting models.  Maybe IT says it’s not a priority… Today I’ll share 3 talking points to help you make upgrading a priority.

1. Lack of Support for outdated Versions -

The most important reason for upgrading your IBM Planning Analytic software with the latest version is that older versions are not supported by IBM.  Like all software companies IBM only supports a specific number of versions.  At some point they will announce that a version will be sunset which means they will no longer offer support for the old version.  What this means is if you have an issue like the Log4G issue that presented itself in Dec 2021, they may require you to upgrade to resolve the issue or security risk. 

You may be thinking, but we haven’t had to log a support ticket with IBM in years.  What we find is disaster strikes, not because Planning Analytics had a bug, but rather because a client upgrades their SQL or other 3rd party software, and it breaks the connect with the old version of Planning Analytics. 

Imagine this… You are in the middle of your budget cycle and Microsoft updates their software.  But the new Microsoft update is not compatible with your version of IBM Planning Analytics and suddenly your Planning software is not working.  End users start calling and emailing.  After a little investigation you log a support case with IBM.  Then you get the news, that the update from Microsoft is not compatible with your version of IBM Planning Analytics but since you are on an old unsupported version, IBM will not create the patch, and you must upgrade.  All this in the middle of a budget cycle.  How stressed would you feel?  What would you do? 

Well, this has happened to a client.  The client was extremely stressed because the CEO, was apprised of the situation.  They called Lodestar Solutions, in a panic.  We were able to restore them to where they were before the update, but you could feel the panic.

Another client had the SSL Certificate expire 3 days before their budget cycle.

So, it happens, but you don’t want it to happen to you.  So, if you are on an old version, reach out to us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com  and let’s discuss your plan.

In order to see if you are on an old version of IBM Planning Analytics check out this link.

2. New Functionality will save you time!

Another reason you should upgrade your IBM Planning Analytics is that they are always releasing new functionality.  IBM continuously adds functionality to the software.  The functionality is based on what clients are asking for, so the enhancements are often game changing.  But here’s the thing, if you don’t take time to learn what’s new you will continue to use the software the way you always have.

Imagine trading in your 2010 car and never using the auto breaking, blue tooth or airplay that comes with a modern car, because you didn’t bother to ask about the new functionality.  Well, with software it happens more than we would like to admit.  Clients upgrade and they never stop to explore the new features.  But there is a simple resolution.  Email Services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can discuss all the cool new stuff and share how our clients utilized the functionality.   Here’s the link to a previous blog on the new functionality.

3. Keep Talented Team Members

Would you mow you ½ acre lawn with a weed eater?  Probably not.  You would want the right tool, a lawn mower for the task.  Well top talent is the same way.  Top analytics performers want the latest tools to perform their jobs.  Keeping updated IBM Planning Analytics software and investing in their growth and learning will help you attract talent, keep it, and win the analytics race.

Call to Action

So, what are you waiting for?  Take the first step.  Open your IBM Planning Analytics and check your current version.  Then click the link Life cycle to see if it’s supported.  Next contact Lodestar Solutions to discuss the functionality you might not know exists in your current version.  Email Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

5 Reasons People Object to Upgrading Cognos

5 Reasons People Object to Upgrading Cognos
5 Reasons People Object to Upgrading Cognos
Written by Heather L. Cole, March 9th 2022

Are you trying to get funding for a Cognos or IBM Planning Analytics upgrade?  Maybe you want to get some TM1 or Cognos Training and need to ask for funding.  Did you know there are 5 reasons people object to upgrading?  That’s right only five main reasons.  So today I thought I would walk you through the primary objections and relate it to upgrading and expanding your usage of Cognos and Planning Analytics. 

First let me say I did not create this list.  Bari Baumgardner, a very successful businesswomen was presenting at a conference I attended this weekend hosted by Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins.  The conference is really designed for the coaching industry.  However, the nuggets of information are very applicable to the world of Business Analytics.  So, if you are an employee running a Cognos or IBM Planning Analytics upgrade, or a consultant you will want to understand and learn to overcome the 5 reasons people object to upgrading.  They are time, money, social support, fear, and doubt.

1. Time -

The most common objection to upgrading your Cognos, IBM Planning Analytics or other solution is time.  As a firm specializing in upgrading clients to the latest business analytics technology we often hear, “We don’t have time.”  But is that really true? 

The thing about time is you never think you have enough, and you can never get it back.  It’s the scarcest resource.  I love Bill Gates’ quote:

"We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.  Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction."

But let’s talk about your time, and the time of your team.  How valuable is it?  If you could invest a couple months of focused work that would eliminate a number of redundant monthly tasks, would you do it?  Imagine automating reporting processes and empowering end users to leverage the data and analytics you provide!  What if you could help create a culture shift so everyone in the organization explored the data and made game changing decisions to help the company accomplish their goals.

How long have you been trying to deliver self-service to your users?  If it’s been a long time, we need to talk.  (See our blog, Find More Time for Analytics Projects)

There are steps you can take that can turn the objection on time into the very reason you can’t wait any longer to upgrade and modernize your Cognos and IBM Planning Analytics environments.  Our clients that have upgraded and modernized their Planning Analytics and Cognos deployments all have said the same thing, “Why did we wait so long?”  To schedule a chat email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

2. Money -

The second objection to upgrading we hear is we don’t have any budget.  I fully understand the need to have funding, but what if I told you that many CFO’s have a magic stash of money.  And that when they see a project that will have a significant return on the investment and help them accomplish their strategic goals, they open the money bag and fund the project.  Seriously, I have seen it many times! 

But the secret is that they must see the value.  If you are telling them you need to upgrade to get on a supported version, that probably is not compelling enough.  We need to present a reason that is more important to them. 

Executives are very focused on making or saving money and achieving their strategic goals. 

Cognos and IBM Planning Analytics are amazing tools that when deployed correctly can have a huge impact on the success of the company and the achievement of strategic goals.  The problem is that there are not enough analytic professionals that appreciate the massive impact they can have by delivering the latest IBM solutions to their executives.  When the right information is put in the right hands for better decision-making it will make the company more money. 

So, again.  The objection of not having money is exactly the reason why you must act NOW to upgrade and empower your teams with data.  You know your competition is….

See our blog Secrets to Getting Funding for Your Cognos Projects.

3. Internal Support -

The third objection I hear as an analytics coach to executives and their teams is that they don’t have enough internal support.  Maybe IT doesn’t support your IBM Planning Analytics upgrade, or you have an executive that is saying we should move everything to Microsoft.  Well, you are not alone.  There are other clients that have this struggle.  However, with the correct internal influence and that art of persuasion you can build the support you need.

Lodestar Solutions is happy to have a chat with you to strategize how to gain the support you need.  Email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.  It all begins with helping others see the vision you have as to the role of data and analytics in achieving strategic goals.

4. Fear -

The fourth objection to upgrading is fear.  Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection fear of change… Fear is almost always secretly lurking in the background. 

Try this little exercise to help overcome hidden fears.  Write down the worst-case scenario.  Maybe you ask for funding and get rejected.  Maybe you get everyone to support the project but don’t deliver it on time….  Write down every possible bad outcome.

Now write down what you would do if that bad thing happened and what you would have learned from the experience.  Finally write down how you will feel 2 years from now when you are in the exact same place you are now. 

You see people don’t regret acting if even if they don’t succeed.  Successful people don’t have failures; they have learning experiences.  

Theodore Roosevelt

5. Doubt -

The final objection is doubt.  You might think that doubt and fear are the same thing, but I believe they are different.  Doubt is that little voice that says, you aren’t good enough.  Who do you think you are believing you can have a massive impact on the company’s profits?  You don’t even really know how to use the software.  Have you ever heard that voice? 

I have.  She gets really loud in my head at times.  But you know what I discovered?  I never hear the voice when I am binge watching Netflix.  Nope.  She’s silent.  But when I am considering taking a bold move, making a big impact or trying something outside my comfort zone, poof there she is. 

Did you know it has a name?  Imposter Syndrome.  See this Forbes article Imposter Syndrome In Your Business And How To Overcome It

What I have learned is that when that voice pops up, it’s GAME ON!  Something amazing maybe even life changing is about to happen if I just lean in and surround myself with people that will be my cheerleaders. 

But for some of you, you don’t have cheerleaders.  If that’s your case, let’s talk.  The Lodestar Solutions community is full of amazing minds that can help cheer you to success.  Email Services@lodestarsolutions.com.


Now you know the 5 reasons people object to upgrading their Cognos and/or Planning Analytics are time, money, social support, fear, and doubt.  Don’t let these objections stop you from being amazing at your job!  Overcome these objections and lead your organization to analytic success.  The first step can start today.  Just email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can chat about your unique situation.  You were born to make an impact.  Start now.

Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?

Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?
August 27th, 2019 

The Situation

You are currently using IBM Cognos BI 10.2.x and you are wondering why you should upgrade to Cognos Analytics.  Upgrades can take time; you worry that you will have to rebuild reports and are concerned that you just don’t have time to learn everything about Cognos Analytics.  Ultimately you wish that you had a simple to read blog that has everything you need to know about the upgrade process.  Well, look no further – HERE YOU GO!

The Why

Technology is always changing. Imagine for a minute that you are the Quarterback BI and Analytics person for your organization. You take the snap and drop back to pass, you wait, no one is available. So you assess the field again, you just don’t see the right play, and BOOM, you are sacked. Just like in football, if you spend too much time assessing on why you should upgrade to Cognos Analytics and you don’t execute, you might get sacked. Don’t get sacked, upgrade to Cognos Analytics today.

A big factor to consider is that if you are on Cognos BI 10.2.x or older, you are likely out of support from IBM.  You may be on an extended support agreement but that is very costly.  Please refer to the following links to see end of service for Cognos BI versions. Our recommendation is that you take advantage of the newest software instead of running the risk of getting sacked by not being supported.

IBM Software Lifecycle Overview

IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 Unsupported in April 2018

Lastly, you may be struggling with Cognos end user adoption, building quick dashboards or modeling your data to fit your needs.  Again, why not upgrade and take advantage of the latest software and solve these issues and more.

The Improvements and Efficiencies in Cognos Analytics 11

When you choose to upgrade you get all of the below and so much more

  • Brand new modern user interface
  • Dedicated efficient Dashboard Module
  • Impressive mapping down to the street level
  • Intent driven data modeling
  • The power of Report Studio in a new user interface
  • PowerPoint like storytelling
  • Navigation paths to create drill up and down on flat data
  • Ability to upload data easily and model, report and dashboard quickly
  • Easier install options
  • Updates to software approximately 4 times a year
  • Even more improvements in the latest version, Cognos Analytics 11.1.3

  • Explorations modules gives you augmented intelligence to drive analysis
  • AI assistant to reduce the learning curve and allow quick start
  • Relative dates to provide quick month over month, year over year analysis
  • New and improved visualizations
  • Export dashboards to pdf
  • Share stories and dashboards to Slack
  • This is just a sampling of what is new and what you get when you upgrade to Cognos Analytics!

    The Prep

    Here are some easy to understand steps to prepare for your upgrade to Cognos Analytics.

    • Turn auditing on immediately
    • Assess your Cognos Analytics content store
    • What to keep, what to delete
    • Run the Motio script
    • Consider the Motio Inventory Module & Motio CI  
    • Estimate the cost to upgrade to Cognos Analytics
    • Sell benefits of your Cognos Analytics upgrade internally
    • Request the new environment for your upgrade
    • Review licensing to ensure new environment is in compliance (ILMT Questions and Answers) 
    • Learn new functionality
    • Determine what to deploy and create a timeline
    • Leverage Lodestar’s BAAM (Business Analytics Agile Methodology) for success 

    The How

    The first step is to contact us at services@lodestarsoltuions.com and schedule a quick initial complimentary, “Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?” discussion.  We will discuss your specific situation. Provide you with a high-level Cognos Analytics upgrade questionnaire (which can be previewed on our blog here). Explain your Cognos Analytics licensing and discuss why we recommend Motio products for your Cognos upgrade. During our follow up call we will schedule a brief walk through of Cognos Analytics and show you how it can help you and your organization. We will also provide an estimate of services to complete your Cognos Analytics upgrade and explain our BAAM methodology for success. 

    The last step is to schedule a call with our technical consultant and discuss specifics of your upgrade to Cognos Analytics, adjust the estimate if necessary, provide a SOW and schedule your upgrade!  It is a really simple process and we at Lodestar Solutions are here to guide you every step of the way!

    The Bonus Info

    Check out the links below to find more bonus information!

    Don't be the quarterback that gets sacked! Contact us now at services@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule your, complimentary "Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?” consultation today!