IBM Cognos TM1 Review

Saves time when creating reports but I'd like to see automation of feeders and more intuitive and interactive reporting

Valuable Features:

This product is entirely designable and flexible, you can answer to very complex requirements.

Cognos TM1 is particularly adapted to Budget planning. You can input data and comments easily. Real time calculation, TM1 calculate reports in real time, each time you refresh it. Ownership: one of the goal of this product is that end users like CFO's can make modifications (model, business rules, etc.) without the help of the IT.

Improvements to My Organization:

As a consultant I implemented this product in many organizations, mainly in finance departments. Their reporting and budgeting processes were improved at several levels: Time saving to produce the reports, budget/forecast cycle shortened from quarters to months, access and security of data and more. Many improvements can be gained from this process automation.

Room for Improvement:

The product need to be more integrated. It is easy to be lost in all the Cognos suite and to make them communicate/connect it to TM1, and the pricing is too complex too.  

TM1 is a bit expensive, especially for small companies who shoud look more at products like Jedox or Tableau etc.. Who propose all in 1 products with good looking vizualisation components

TM1 need to automate more things like feeders.  When you write a business rule in TM1, you also have to write another rule called “feeders” to tell TM1 where to do the calculation. But it appears to be difficult to automatize for IBM engineers. 

Use of Solution:

6 years

Deployment Issues:

As with all IT projects we encountered several issues: servers not received in time, users workstations configuration not ready for Cognos TM1, lack of communication around the project. I don’t remember any issue caused by the product itself.

Stability Issues:

Cognos TM1 can be sensible to changes of configurations. Sometimes it implies several files and services on the user workstation (Excel, web, ISS). You need to remember the technical requirements of the product before your change something if you don’t want to have some bad surprises.

Scalability Issues:

One of the advantages of TM1 is it's adaptability and it's capacity to calculate a lot of data in real time. The issues you can encounter with this kind of product will be mainly due to a problem of design of TM1 database. With the experience you learn how to design your model flexible enough to resist to any scalability issues.

Previous Solutions:

I created a model with Qlikview at its early beginning in France. But it was more adapted to simple data/KPI visualization than budget planning with complex business rules which are the main parts of my projects.

Initial Setup:

For me the first times was a little complex, management and finance are more my specialty than IT. I had to learn how to install the product and what to ask IT to prepare the installation.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Most of the setup cost come from the consulting charges, around 130, 000 euros for a 6 months project. After you add the cost of the TM1 licenses, not so expensive, depends of the number and type of users.

Other Solutions Considered:

I did a comparative study between Qlikview, Cognos TM1, and Microsoft BI several years ago for a one of the world leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. QliKview was more “sexy” than the others products but couldn’t match with all the business requirements, and Microsoft BI was not flexible enough.

Other Advice:

Before implementing this kind of product you have to make sure that it matches with your needs. Its unnecessary to implement such a product to replace 2 or 3 reports on Excel. Then for implementation, look for experienced TM1 professionals, which have successfully implemented this tool several times and with almost the same needs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
2 visitors found this review helpful
ConsultantConsultantTOP 10

Great read !

19 March 14
UserReal User

Good article but got one question- Is qlikview used for financial planning, budgeting and forecasting for Mfg orgnisations?

12 October 14
Exe Director at a mining and metals company with 501-1,000 employeesUserTOP 20

Helpful review because it's enlightening to my recent project.

02 July 15
IT Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employeesConsultant

@Kedar Vaidya : Qlikview is more of a BI Tool. Cognos TM1 is mainly used for Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting.

15 April 16
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