IBM Cognos TM1 proves Flexible and On-Demand!
Christopher Redmond | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 13, 2016

IBM Cognos TM1 proves Flexible and On-Demand!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
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Overall Satisfaction with IBM Planning Analytics Local

Internally, at BPM NW Cognos TM1 is used for financial performance management including budgeting, planning, forecasting as well as operational reporting of balance sheet, P & L and Cash Flow analysis. The financial forecasting is partly driven by a second TM1 application which predicts sales pipeline and consulting revenue activities.

Externally, BPM NW offers ten individuals with nearly 70 years of combined TM1 development experience using IBM and industry standard best practices in a wide variety of industries including healthcare, retail, banking, hospitality, transportation, manufacturing, government and many others. These applications are often developed in conjunction with IBM Cognos BI report development and/or Data Warehouse development.
  • TM1 is tremendously more flexible than the competitor products due to its ability to calculate real-time.
  • Hierarchy changes are instantly available to take advantage of the real-time calculation. No pre-consolidations needed!
  • Native write-back capability allows for simple, integrated budgeting, forecasting and what-if analysis.
  • IBM is constantly improving the product and integrating with new products like Cognos BI, SPSS and is now beginning to integrate it with Watson Analytics.
  • New cloud versions of TM1 are now providing some really great web-based tools to simplify and streamline the presentation development and strengthen the self-service reporting, analytics and what-if analysis capacity.
  • The ETL tool (Turbo Integrator) is very powerful, but a bit clunky: It has no debugging tool provided and doesn't even offer a simple Find function. As a result, many developers use Notepad++ with a Language template to assist in development.
  • Cube rules are an extremely powerful tool that is hard to match in the industry. The problem here is similar to TI, there is no debugging tool available, though the Rules Editor at least provides a Find/Replace function.
  • The relatively new Performance Modeler (PM) has some nice features and can be a nice tool as a replacement for Turbo Integrator (TI) and Rules. The problem is that once you develop with PM, you cannot go back to TI or the Rules Editor and you cannot "tweek" the PM code to improve performance or allow for exceptions or special circumstances that the PM interface does not handle.
  • Internally, using TM1 has streamlined our inter and intra-team communication.
  • Internally and externally, TM1 has improved our accuracy in predictive analytics of our project costs and completion targets.
  • Externally, we are better able to deliver the project needs of clients through transformation of their raw data into meaningful, appropriate, timely and insightful information.
  • TM1 is an in-memory solution which provides on-demand calculations and consolidations with the flexibility to instantly apply hierarchy changes and allows storage and reporting of text.
  • TM1 has an extremely fast ETL tool which can consume most data sources.
  • Cube rules virtually stand alone among the competition.
  • Most competitor products strive to match TM1 performance, flexibility and functionality.
  • As an IBM product, TM1 continues to be integrated into many other "sister" products and has a vast R&D team with deep pocket resources available and committed to continued product development.
TM1 is first and foremost an analytical tool which lends itself very well to budgeting, forecasting, what-if analysis and model design flexibility.

Often times, users not familiar with analytical concepts view the tool as little more than another data source to extract data into MS Excel or MS Access to "rotate the cube". What they fail to realize is that TM1 is already a cube environment with Excel interfaces available as well as report publishing on the web and other capabilities.

IBM Planning Analytics Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
10
Financial budgeting
10
Forecasting
10
Scenario modeling
10
Management reporting
10
Financial data consolidation
10
Journal entries and reports
7
Multi-currency management
9
Intercompany Eliminations
10
Minority Ownership
10
Local and consolidated reporting
10
Detailed Audit Trails
9
Financial Statement Reporting
10
Management Reporting
10
Excel-based Reporting
10
Automated board and financial reporting
10
XBRL support for regulatory filing
8
Personalized dashboards
10
Color-coded scorecards
10
KPIs
10
Cost and profitability analysis
10
Key Performance Indicator setting
10
Benchmarking with external data
10
Flat file integration
10
Excel data integration
10
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
9