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IBM Planning Analytics OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Planning Analytics is #5 ranked solution in top Business Performance Management tools. IT Central Station users give IBM Planning Analytics an average rating of 6 out of 10. IBM Planning Analytics is most commonly compared to Microsoft BI:IBM Planning Analytics vs Microsoft BI. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is IBM Planning Analytics?

IBM Planning Analytics is an integrated planning solution that uses AI to automate planning, budgeting, and forecasting and drive more intelligent workflows.

Built on TM1, IBM’s powerful calculation engine, this enterprise performance management tool allows you to transcend the limits of manual planning and become the Analytics Hero your business needs. Quickly and easily drive faster, more accurate plans for FP&A, sales, supply chain and beyond.

IBM Planning Analytics is also known as Cognos TM1, IBM Cognos TM1.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Business Performance Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM Planning Analytics Customers

ManpowerGroup, Convergys, AIG, Orchard Brands, Citibank, InterGen, Northwestern University, EF Education First, Ironside, Bazan Group, CSOB Insurance, Macquarie Group, Charles Stanley, SATO, Government of Sint Maarten, BMW Financial Services

IBM Planning Analytics Video

Archived IBM Planning Analytics Reviews (more than two years old)

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KS
IT Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It provides data storage with write-back ability. Businesses who are familiar with Excel can use it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the TM1 Perspective client and the storage of data with write-back ability. Since most businesses are familiar with Excel, they are easily able to use this tool. Also, calculations are faster compared to any other tool for quick forecasting and budgeting.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool is able to promptly consolidate all business unit data for enterprise-view and understand the area of improvement, instead of a traditional Excel-based disparate solution.

What needs improvement?

Data visualization and development interface are areas which need to be worked on.

Improvement in data visualization
Currently in TM1, web and perspective data is visualized with limited dashboarding capability and also for creating fancy reports for top management. There is a need for incorporation of functionalities similar to QlikView or Tableau solutions.

Improvement in development interface
In TM1, the conventional development interface of process and rules are not development friendly, thus reducing productivity. I would suggest to have functionalities similar to that of Java development with Eclipse, auto population of functions and validations, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for around more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is one of the stable tools available for forecasting and budgeting.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Since this tool is in-memory based, it also vastly depends on the hardware infrastructure capability, especially the RAM.

How are customer service and technical support?

Moderate level of support is required for this tool. Business individuals can perform some of the activity themselves, provided they are equipped with necessary access and appropriate solutions during initial training.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, multiple Excel sheets were used by us. We not only found it difficult to consolidate but also calculations were not centralized and had no security around the data. However, TM1 provides centralized data in a secured manner and calculations are done on the fly without any delay.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. IBM provides a license based on the requirement and infrastructure, which need to be provisioned as per estimated size of the model.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing policy depends on your requirement and IBM provides an entire range of options as per the need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Tool evaluation has been done based on the requirement and capability of the tool. TM1 is the best capable tool to satisfy most of our requirements.

What other advice do I have?

For forecast, budgeting and reporting financial data, TM1 is the best tool in the market. So, I would say that it would be wise to proceed with this tool in any organization for improvised end results.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
TM1-Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Allows you to plan, analyze, and report data.

What is most valuable?

  • Flexible: You can do almost anything you want
  • Can be combined with other software
  • Calculates values
  • Decides who can write and read the values
  • Can be used to design your reports, almost exactly as you want
  • Can be used to plan/analyze/report anything. If you miss some stuff, you can program it and combine it with TM1.

I don't think there are many tools out there that are as flexible as this solution.

What needs improvement?

The surface design needs to be improved. The disadvantage is the old-fashioned surface of IBM Cognos TM1.

I would like to see a more modern design for IBM Cognos TM1 Perspectives/Architect. It is not as modern as some of the other products with which you can do your analysis and planning.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The last version,10.1, was not really stable at the beginning. However, the latest version is fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. You can also find lots of answers in different forums on the internet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were not using any other solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I personally have not evaluated other options. However, my company has looked at other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is the best solution you can have. However, you have to know what you need for sure and what you want to do with the tool.

Every product is established for some special needs. It depends on what you need. You can choose the right tool accordingly.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a premium business partner.
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Board International, Jedox and others in Business Performance Management. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Managing Consultant/Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It is a modeling tool that allows us to create customized budgeting, planning and reporting solutions.

What is most valuable?

It provides all the required functionalities for Financial Performance Management, such as planning, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and dimensional reporting and analysis.

TM1 is actually a modeling tool that allows us create our own customized budgeting, planning and reporting solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been using this software to implement solutions in many different areas of business.

For example, in budget applications, it helps a lot in running the budgeting process properly. All budget inputs, calculations, submissions, reporting and analysis during the budgeting process are handled with TM1 properly.

What needs improvement?

The CAFE Excel plug-in needs to be improved to handle all the features of older TM1 Perspectives plug-in for Excel.

CAFE is an Excel add-in that allows interacting with TM1 data from within Excel, especially for generating Excel-based reports out of TM1 data. It is actually called IBM Cognos Analysis For Excel, but usually referred to as IBM Cognos CAFE. It comes with TM1. For the same purpose, we have been using IBM Cognos Perspectives for Excel for many years. CAFE is a newer tool than Perspectives, and it needs to be improved to cover some of the functionalities that already exist in Perspectives.

We know that IBM is already working on improving CAFE. In the upcoming release, probably, we will see a lot better functionality in CAFE.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for the last seven years, since version 9.4.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable software product; no major stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the best feature of TM1; it is highly scalable. As the data and model grow, all we need to do is to keep the HW aligned with the increasing size of the model.

How are customer service and technical support?

All technical support information is available by Google search, but for new issues, IBM provides a good level of remote support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to TM1, we had been using IBM Cognos Planning.

TM1 is a lot more scalable than IBM Cognos Planning. IBM Cognos Planning is only an Enterprise Planning tool. However, TM1 is also an OLAP reporting and analysis tool, in addition to being an enterprise planning tool. TM1 provides more capabilities for customization.

How was the initial setup?

TM1 is not a packaged application. It is an application development platform and toolset for performance management. Hence, you need to do a good implementation project to get an application built based on your requirements. Therefore, it is important to work with people with the proper technical skills and business knowledge. Technical installation of the platform was relatively straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

For companies that require less than 50 users in TM1, it might be better to get IBM Cognos Express PM licenses. If you require more users, then you might need to get IBM Cognos PM licenses. There is also an unlimited user licensing model, which is based on server PVUs.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend making a proper requirement analysis and model design before start developing models with TM1.

In your first implementation of TM1, it is very important to work with experienced TM1 developers.

It is better to choose TM1 consultants with both technical and financial skills and knowledge.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM Business Partner and we provide implementation services to companies using IBM Cognos TM1.
ITCS user
Business Intelligence Consultant - IBM Cognos at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
With in-memory processing, performance is a strength.

What is most valuable?

This software uses in-memory processing, so performance is a strength, as are the flexibility to make development changes and the facility to learn the programming language.

How has it helped my organization?

I work at a company that implements this software for a lot of clients. The clearest improvement is that, after the implementation, the clients have a lot of more time to analysis their results and make strategic decisions, as opposed to wasting time creating operation jobs.

What needs improvement?

I think the software front-end on Cognos Contributor should be developed further to provide the final user with a better and clear design. The view where the user makes inputs and analyses data is not user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using it for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have some problems with a few clients. I contact the vendor support, and in some cases I have experienced some difficulty getting a quick resolution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. I have the biggest server operating in a client with IBM Cognos. We have never had a big issue with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

On a scale from 0-10, I rate technical support 7. I have had some problems, but in general, my issues have been resolved quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

It was a little complicated to implement a proper setup that ensures future performance and prevents issues. It takes some time to gain enough implementation experience with different environments.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You have to negotiate to have some advantage, but with more clients, you are in a better position to negotiate.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For most clients, they evaluate other similar software, but in general this software has more flexibility to make changes and adapt their business rules to the tool.

What other advice do I have?

Have employees participate in a lifecycle project, to learn and understand all the power the software can provide the company. In some cases, the clients are not focused during participation and at the end, they lose the opportunity to use all the functionalities the tool can provide.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company it’s the biggest partner with IBM in Latin America implementing IBM Cognos TM1.
it_user93822
BI Expert at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Saves time when creating reports but I'd like to see automation of feeders and more intuitive and interactive reporting

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped 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.

What needs 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. 

For how long have I used the solution?

6 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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.

How was the 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.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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.

What other advice do I have?

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.
ITCS user
Vice President & Business Head at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
You can analyze data, and create models to reflect a constantly evolving business environment.

Valuable Features:

IBM Cognos TM1 is an enterprise planning software platform that can transform the planning cycle, from target setting and budgeting to reporting, score carding, analysis and forecasting. Available as an on-premise or on-cloud solution, and with extensive mobile capabilities, Cognos TM1 enables you to collaborate on plans, budgets and forecasts. You can analyze data, and create models to reflect a constantly evolving business environment

Improvements to My Organization:

In terms finance the return on investment (ROI) can be increased. What-if analysis and business modeling options which users can run without IT involvement

Room for Improvement:

  • Pulling data from planning crashes very often. if this can be stabilized in next version that would be great
  • Include a performance modeller feature at architect level
  • Automation of feeders
  • Cognos reporting modules can be improved to be more intuitive, and interactive like QlikView. And more generally, I think the BI solution's data visualizations based on maps are too poor, they should improve it by interfacing their product with Google maps for example

Cost and Licensing Advice:

The unlimited licensing is valuable.

Other Advice:

I would strongly recommend to go with TM1 Enterprise in terms of stability, scalability and performance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user7716
BI Expert at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Integration- Cognos BI & TM1
I'm glad to see progress made on integrating TM1 and BI as it is sorely needed. TM1 is much more scalable than Enterprise Planning and our users love the fast refresh of reporting cubes from contributor cubes. However, they miss their BI reports. Replicating the functionality offered by the EP Framework Manager Extension is very difficult. We miss several features, most notably flattening of hierarchies and automatic generation of a base package from the model and not from individual cubes. We need a package so we can do links between cubes for validation reports. If TM1 is going to be "owned by Finance" as EP was, these features are crucial.

I'm glad to see progress made on integrating TM1 and BI as it is sorely needed. TM1 is much more scalable than Enterprise Planning and our users love the fast refresh of reporting cubes from contributor cubes. However, they miss their BI reports. Replicating the functionality offered by the EP Framework Manager Extension is very difficult. We miss several features, most notably flattening of hierarchies and automatic generation of a base package from the model and not from individual cubes. We need a package so we can do links between cubes for validation reports. If TM1 is going to be "owned by Finance" as EP was, these features are crucial.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user6966
Principal Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Cognos BI/TM1: An Expected Integration
In recent years, IBM has worked towards the integration of two major components of its Information Management offering: Cognos BI and Cognos TM1. The pairing of the two IBM IM flagships is gradually becoming an appealing combination for the vendor on the BI front. In this article, I will describe some of the main integration points from a technological point of view, some of their advantages for the business and related considerations. Portal integration Historically, the first effort made towards the integration of the two products consisted of making TM1 components available in Cognos Connections. Today, we have a series of widget and servlets serving this purpose. A user can, for example, access TM1 Applications (formerly TM1 Contributor) from within Cognos Connection or browse a TM1…

In recent years, IBM has worked towards the integration of two major components of its Information Management offering: Cognos BI and Cognos TM1.

The pairing of the two IBM IM flagships is gradually becoming an appealing combination for the vendor on the BI front. In this article, I will describe some of the main integration points from a technological point of view, some of their advantages for the business and related considerations.

Portal integration

Historically, the first effort made towards the integration of the two products consisted of making TM1 components available in Cognos Connections. Today, we have a series of widget and servlets serving this purpose. A user can, for example, access TM1 Applications (formerly TM1 Contributor) from within Cognos Connection or browse a TM1 cube in Business Insight. Although this approach provides a single point of entry for both products and represents a first step towards the integration, it can barely be considered an applicative integration as no real communication occurs between the two toolsets. For example, users are forced to identify twice (once in Cognos BI, once in TM1) even if they seem to be working in the same application. The workaround for this issue is discussed in the paragraph on shared security.

TM1 as a datasource of Cognos BI

Since Cognos 8 latest versions, TM1 cubes are fully supported datasources of the BI suite. This allows the TM1 cubes to be analysed and reported on within the various Cognos BI studios. The direct advantage of this is that TM1 has renowned performance when handling large amounts of data and can be leveraged in the Cognos BI reporting suite. Another not so direct advantage is the ability to mix budgeting and forecasting data from the TM1 cubes with operational data from a classic data warehouse. This requires both TM1 cubes and the data warehouse to be prepared upstream, but the benefit can be huge (actual vs budget data comparison, strategic dashboard). It has to be emphasized that in order to use TM1 cubes in Cognos BI, some additional developing effort is necessary. For example, in TM1, it is important to create aliases for the elements of the dimensions so that they are properly displayed in the BI reporting tools. A measure dimension has to be explicitly defined as well and named levels have to be created to allow the use of all the Report Studio functionalities when consuming a TM1 cube.

Framework Manager as TM1 logical Layer

Thanks to the more recently introduced IBM Package Connectors, Framework Manager Packages can now be used as datasources in TM1 Turbo Integrator, not unlike Cognos Transformer using Framework Manager Packages (or Impromptu IQDs for those who have been in the game for longer) as a datasource. The difference being that TM1 requires dimensionally modelled packages. This means that all the dimensional modelling happens in Framework Manager and that TM1 role is limited to storing and retrieving the data. Cognos FWM acts in this case as the sole semantic layer for classical BI packages (relational or dimensional) and TM1 cubes. If governed properly, this strategy will facilitate data consistency across the TM1 and Cognos BI platform and ensure the business logic is the same across all the solutions. This method requires the creation of TI process based on Framework Manager DMR package. The main TI process then generates a series of sub-processes (one per imported dimension) automatically. The code created this way is not necessarily easy to read (and probably was never intended to be read), which can be confusing for TM1 developers used to be in control of their TI processes.


You can now browse your FWM DMRs and use them as datasource in your TI processes.

Security

Major steps towards a unique authentication/security service for the two products have been taken in the recent years. TM1 can access Cognos BI authentication namespaces, including the third-party authentication provider namespace, meaning that BI users and user groups can be used to implement security in TM1. The implication for the end user is that they can use the same login to access both TM1 and Cognos BI content by identifying only once in the Cognos Connection portal. However, row-level security strategy implemented in Framework Manager (using security filter, for example) will have to be re-implemented in TM1 using element or cell level security.

On the other hand the groups on which the security is based won’t need to be recreated as they can be imported from Cognos BI. Ways of reducing the amount of duplicate work include creating and maintaining a relational table on which both Framework Manager Security filters and TM1 element/cell security would be based.


Cognos BI Groups and Users are available in TM1 Security.

As we have seen, TM1 and Cognos BI are more integrated version after version. Although the integrating process is not entirely smooth yet, it is already possible to achieve very interesting outcomes using this combination. As for all BI toolsets, there is no one size fits all and this may not be the best option for your needs. Generally speaking, the TM1 / Cognos BI combination is an option to be seriously considered when TM1 is already implemented in the company as a forecasting solution.

Disclosure: My company is partners with SAS, SAP, MicroStrategy, Informatica, Panorama & AnalytiX

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user6852
Developer at a non-tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Several new features in TM1 9.5
IBM Cognos TM1 (formerly Applix TM1) is enterprise planning software used to implement collaborative planning, budgeting and forecasting solutions, as well as analytical and reporting applications. Data in IBM Cognos TM1 is stored and represented as multidimensional OLAP cubes, with data being stored at the "leaf" level. Computations on the leaf data are performed in real-time (for example, to aggregate numbers up a dimensional hierarchy). IBM Cognos TM1 includes a data orchestration environment for accessing external data and systems, as well as capabilities designed for common business planning and budgeting requirements (e.g. workflow, top-down adjustments). Several new features were added to IBM Cognos TM1 9.5, the most visible being TM1 Contributor, which combines an OLAP engine…

IBM Cognos TM1 (formerly Applix TM1) is enterprise planning software used to implement collaborative planning, budgeting and forecasting solutions, as well as analytical and reporting applications. Data in IBM Cognos TM1 is stored and represented as multidimensional OLAP cubes, with data being stored at the "leaf" level. Computations on the leaf data are performed in real-time (for example, to aggregate numbers up a dimensional hierarchy). IBM Cognos TM1 includes a data orchestration environment for accessing external data and systems, as well as capabilities designed for common business planning and budgeting requirements (e.g. workflow, top-down adjustments).

Several new features were added to IBM Cognos TM1 9.5, the most visible being TM1 Contributor, which combines an OLAP engine with the enterprise planning capabilities of IBM Cognos Planning in a Web-based client. Other features include an "Undo/Redo" capability that lets users store a collection of data value changes and walk back through the actions to undo them; pick lists for cells to reduce the amount of data entry performed; sandboxes for creating personal modeling scenarios; and data entry shortcuts.
Another Web client option for IBM Cognos TM1 is IBM Cognos TM1 Web, which enables business users to develop and publish web-based applications, using Microsoft Excel as an authoring medium. IBM Cognos TM1 Web is developed in ASP.NET, and is compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
With its flagship TM1 product line, Applix was the purest OLAP vendor among publicly traded independent BI vendors prior to OLAP industry consolidation in 2007, and had the greatest growth rate.
The latest version, IBM Cognos TM1 10.1, became publicly available on February 7th, 2012.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user6849
Project Manager at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Provides the users with flexible modeling environment that does not call for much of the programming or IT skills
Performance Management is an integral part of Business Intelligence Software and Analytics. As mentioned in the article on Performance Management. Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting and Analysis need a systematic approach. There are challenges experienced in each of these processes. When these activities are carried out in a traditional way, they take longer time delivering limited value. Technology is used to support the best practices and address the full life cycle planning processes – analytics, modeling, contributing and reporting on common IT platform. Streamlining the planning process demands technological tools capable of supporting a faster, more flexible and adaptive approach. IBM Cognos TM1 software is used exactly for this purpose. In addition to enabling collaborative…

Performance Management is an integral part of Business Intelligence Software and Analytics. As mentioned in the article on Performance Management. Planning, Budgeting, Forecasting and Analysis need a systematic approach. There are challenges experienced in each of these processes.

When these activities are carried out in a traditional way, they take longer time delivering limited value. Technology is used to support the best practices and address the full life cycle planning processes – analytics, modeling, contributing and reporting on common IT platform. Streamlining the planning process demands technological tools capable of supporting a faster, more flexible and adaptive approach. IBM Cognos TM1 software is used exactly for this purpose. In addition to enabling collaborative participation by all users, IBM Cognos TM1 can radically transform the enterprise processes by using powerful analysis and flexible modeling.

If we look at the history briefly, the word TM used to stand for Table Manager. A company called Applix developed TM1 software and this was absorbed by IBM about 5 years back. And then this became part of the Cognos software family and part of OLAP – Online Analytical Processing architecture. Though we can figure out several other planning and forecasting software tools, including competing SAP BPC or Oracle’s Hyperion essbase OLAP, IBM Cognos TM1 is extensively found used by enterprises drilling down large datasets. According to IBM, Cognos TM1 can reduce planning cycles in enterprises by 75 percent. The power to various layers and slicing the complicated financial data of a large or even medium-size company means TM1 can be used to perform a number of functions.

It is well known that IBM Cognos Business Intelligence (BI) software provides a proven enterprise BI platform with an open data strategy, providing customers with the ability to leverage data from any source, package it into a business model, and make it available to consumers in various interfaces that are tailored to the task. From business intelligence to financial performance, from strategy management to analytics applications, Cognos software makes enterprise top-performing and analytics-driven. In the featured Cognos software products – Cognos TM1 is used by Finance line of business for planning and reporting. Cognos TM1 provides the users with flexible modeling environment that does not call for much of the programming or IT skills. Also, there are interfaces choices for the users like Microsoft Excel or it can be TM1web interface. Participation by all is facilitated by Contributor client.

When we look at the features and capabilities of Cognos TM1, we find that in addition to collaborative planning, budgeting and forecasting solutions, analytical and reporting applications are definite attractions. Data in IBM Cognos TM1 is stored and represented as multidimensional OLAP cubes. OLAP can be termed as a computer based technique for analyzing data and OLAP cube is a multi dimensional data set. IBM Cognos TM1 also includes a data orchestration environment for accessing external data and systems, as well as capabilities designed for common business planning and budgeting requirement including work flow. Unique value propositions of Cognos TM1 are excel spreadsheet based approach, usage facility by non technical users, large data base handling and real time faster performance. TM1 is available as Modular, Contributor and Viewer licenses. The current version is 10.1. Personal, Mid Market and Enterprise editions are available.

As corporate performance management (CPM) supports cost optimization leading companies worldwide take steps to manage this effectively. Budgeting Planning and Forecasting (BP&F) is one of the important constituent of CPM. IBM’s core strength remains in BP&F with its offering of TM1. It is not only TM1 users are growing but it is also reported most of the cases most of the user acceptance is on the higher side. IBM Cognos TM1 is packed with right features and certainly considered as a leader in this space.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.