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QueBIT Blog: Upgrading from Cognos Planning to IBM Planning Analytics #3

Posted by Gary Quirke

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Jul 12, 2018 9:18:00 AM

Blog#3: The six best things from an Administrator’s Perspective.

Cognos Planning (formally known as Adaytum Planning) has had a good run, but the state-of-the-art solution, with respect to planning and forecasting systems, has moved on since the early 1990s. Today, we have higher expectations, including:

  • The ability to scale to support models with larger volumes of data, brokeperformancen out into many more dimensions for analysis. In 1995, most financial planning models could get by with the 4 “classic” dimensions: Versions, Periods, Departments and Accounts. Today, we need to plan by product (or even by SKU!), by customer, by employee, etc.
  • The ability to build complex interlinked financial models, with real-time calculations, which are performant.
  • Rich, built-in reporting capabilities, including Excel reporting, dashboards with attractive dynamic visualizations, and self-service analytics – without having to export data or invest in a separate reporting tool.
  • Spending less time doing low-value time consuming administrative tasks, and more.

Many QueBIT customers have successfully transitioned to IBM Planning Analytics (a.k.a. TM1), and former Cognos Planning (CP) Administrators have been glad to say goodbye to CP’s administrative challenges. 

What are the six main reasons administrators will have a much easier life when they upgrade to Planning Analytics (PA)?

  1. In PA, you can design the system to solve your business problems the way that you want, without having to adapt those requirements based on the limitations of the tool.  Designing around limitations of CP is precisely what every CP developer has had to do for the past two decades.  This concept simply does not exist in PA.  You build the system the way you want, at the level of detail and scale that you choose.  You design the user interface precisely as your users want, and you can design the back end to precisely meet the needs of your users, without compromise, ever.  Best of all, you can do all of this with less time and effort than you did when you implemented CP.
  2. PA works equally well in the Cloud or on Premises.  You deploy the system the way that best meets your needs.
  3. In PA there are no equivalent things to the time-consuming CP administration processes like Synchronize, Go to Production, Import, Publish, and Administration Links.  CP administration processes often take hours to run, and users cannot be in the system when these processes are running.  This is not so with PA.  Change a cube, a dimension, a rule, or a report, and it implements in real-time, while the users are busy in the system doing whatever they are doing.  Want to run a data update from your systems during the middle of the day? You can do this as many times as you want throughout the day.  You can also put this power in the hands of your users allowing them to update the data, perhaps following a last-minute journal entry in the general ledger.  During the typical monthly close process, this kind of flexibility can save hours/days in processing time.
  4. In PA you can secure the system the way that you want to.  If you want all users to have access to a model, but want to limit which ones can see payroll data, it is no problem in PA.  You can secure access at the cell level if you prefer.
  5. Did you ever wish you could transform data that has been extracted from your source systems, before it is loaded to CP?  Perhaps you had to build a separate data mart, with complex ETL processes, that must be run before the data can be imported into CP.  Not so with PA.  In PA, you have an inbuilt ETL tool called Turbo Integrator, that enables you to directly connect to data sources, and then perform all the desired and necessary transformational work, directly in the tool.  Translate data from one code structure to another, no problem.  Aggregate data coming from a source system, no problem.  Determine if new elements are being added to a dimension and how to handle these, no problem.  Turbo Integrator, or TI for short, has a rich library of functions and capabilities that business administrators can easily learn and handle, without the need for IT support.  If you want to get more technical, you can embed Java programs directly in TI, or you can use the rich REST.API that comes with the solution, to perform custom tasks, or develop complete custom applications.
  6. PA is compliant with regulations like GDPR.  Unfortunately, CP is not compliant with these regulations.  This is a very serious matter that cannot be ignored.  Get compliant today and upgrade to Planning Analytics now.

Please check out our other blog posts in this series:

Contact QueBIT at upgrade@quebit.com for more information.

 

Topics: Planning, planning analytics, Planning Analytics Workspace

   

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