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22 Mar 2016 at 12:25pm

Planning Analytics Gets Real

Posted by David Usherwood on 22 Mar 2016 at 12:25pm - tagged with budgeting, performance management, cloud

Planning Analytics was 'launched' in December 2015. More recently IBM made it available to partners to test and understand - clearly (IMO) a sensible step towards broader acceptance. These are my findings so far and my thoughts for the future - we should hear more at Vision (Orlando, 9 May) about what's coming:

The Good

  • PA is based on the the TM1 10.3 engine, without doubt the best on the planet for modelling and analysis. Enhancements over the current on-prem release (10.2.2) include features such as Performance Monitor statistics now covering individual rules and feeders
  • IBM have written a totally new web frontend (Planning Analytics Workspace or PAW) for briefing books and data capture. This supports 'natural language' and excel-originated output (Active Forms). It's modern looking and seems fast
  • CAFE (which is - eventually - to replace Perspectives) is making good progress picking up more capabilities (slices/active forms (soon)/action buttons). It is still Wan-friendly and fast. Perspectives junkies (I'm one) have to rethink their approach somewhat but you can now call TM1 functions from VBA so we are well on the way to the new world
  • TM1 Web, and TM1 Applications Web (latter for workflow) are supported
  • Relational content (on-prem and cloud) can be pulled in/pushed out via the Bluemix secure gateway tool, with SFTP available for flat files
  • Cognos Command Center, for managing large multi-instance environments. This is new to most of us but should be useful for that class of application
  • There is also a full Cognos BI stack (10.2.2 - not Cognos Analytics) for bursting, active reports etc over 'TM1' content.
  • Watson Analytics exploration can be done over TM1 content.


  • PA is still quite new and not in extensive use so issues may emerge
  • Watson Analytics interfacing is believed to be via flat files at present - workable but not slick
  • CAFE is some distance from being a full Perspectives replacement


Leaving aside the usual cloud vs on-prem choices (of which, IMO, Capex vs Opex is the least convincing - CEOs have heard of depreciation), what you get is a fully featured, functional, planning/modelling/reporting tool with a plethora of frontends which - if designed and built right - should serve your needs well.