IBM Planning Analytics Review

Last week on the Infocube website we reviewed IBM Planning Analytics, otherwise known as hosted TM1, or TM1 in the Cloud, or SaaS TM1.  We covered things like:

  • What is it
  • Using Perspectives and Guided Exploration with Planning Analytics
  • Visualisations
  • Uploading Data and Security
  • Why would you use it
  • Inclusion of Cognos BI
  • Licencing for Existing TM1 Users
  • Where to from here

We think it is a pretty good blog post and thought we should post a link to it here as well. So here is the link to the Infocube review of IBM Planning Analytics!


TM1 Tutorials remodelled with added analytics

I’m pleased to announce that TM1 has had a complete rebuild and today we have launched the new site, just in time for IBM Information On Demand (IOD). Please head on over to the new and improved TM1 and see for yourself what all the fuss is about! You can also track our progress at IOD by following @TM1Tutorials on twitter.

The new TM1 Tutorials website is now focuses on the IBM Business Analytics solution stack consisting of:

  • IBM Cognos TM1
  • IBM Cognos BI
  • IBM Cognos Disclosure Management

We have our data-scientist Vangelis working hard on some really impressive SPSS Predictive Analytics tutorials, the first of which has been added to the archives.

How to use SPSS Modeler and Time Series algorithms to forecast revenues – Vangelis K

I hope the changes will help to better support you in your analytical adventures! As always, if you have any feedback please contact us.

IBM Cognos Express 10.2.1 What's new

IBM Cognos Express 10.2.1 is out. Here is a list of what is new:

1. The first notable change is that Cognos Express is on the same version with Cognos Enterprise. This means that integrated under the hood you will find:

  • Cognos BI version,
  • TM1 version 10.2 and
  • Cognos insight 10.2.1.

This also means all the bug fixes and improvements and new features introduced in the enterprise platforms are present here.

New features like:

  • Cognos TM1 Scorecarding,
  • RAVE charting engine
  • Cognos TM1 mobile contributor app for the Apple iPad
  • TM1RunTI, a command line tool that can run TM1 TI processes
  • New TM1 Web
  • New Performance Modeler
  • … and more!

2. IBM Cognos mobile is fully supported.

Users can interact with Cognos Express via their mobile devices, smartphones or tablets. They can view reports, dashboards and active reports from everywhere.

3. Cognos Express now supports Microsoft Analysis Services (MSAS) data sources. More specifically it supports MSAS 2008 and MSAS 2012.

4. New installation wizard consistent with the other versions of Cognos.

5. IBM Cognos Dynamic Query Analyzer (DQA) is now available for Cognos Express.

6. IBM Cognos Analytic Server (ICAS) Operations Console. Or else TM1 Top Utility on steroids. The ICAS Operations Console is installed as part of the standard installation and is run from a web browser.

7. Cognos for MS Office add-in capable of retrieving content from Cognos reports, is now available

8. Support of new operating systems, Windows 8 32 and 64 bit and Windows 2012.

9. In Cognos Express 10.2.1 Advisor and Data Advisor are deprecated. This means that they are available in the current release, but will not be available in future releases.


Below is table that sheds some light on the three different versions of IBM Cognos.

Table 1. Comparison of the key capabilities of Cognos Insight, Cognos Express, and Cognos Enterprise
Key capabilitiesCognos InsightCognos ExpressCognos Enterprise
What-if scenario modelingYesYesYes
Planning and budgetingYesYesYes
Production reportsYesYes
Microsoft Office integrationYesYes
Support for Apple iPadYesYes
Support for other mobile devicesYesYes
Enterprise-wide collaboration100 User LimitYes
Software Development KitYesYes




TM1 Tutorials Consultation – Ben Hill

When I started this site as a freelancer I was happy to cater to the need for non biased technical resources which solve real world problems. Back in Jul 2012 I joined InfoCube Consulting (Australia) as Director and Principal Consultant with the intention of creating something bigger than myself. I’m happy to say that now we are a team of over 10 expert consultants and we are growing quickly. So…

If you ever feel the need for expert advise in the IBM Cognos space, Why not call in the consultants who have been pouring their expertise into sharing best practice development for years. If geographically possible I will be more than happy to attend our first meeting and discuss how we can solve your immediate needs.

Kind Regards,
Ben Hill
Director & Principal Consultant
InfoCube Consulting Australia Pty Ltd

TM1 10.2 – Introducing CAFE

In this article we are going to introduce to you the new Excel Client for TM1 called Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel (CAFÉ). For those of you that have been using IBM Cognos BI you might think that this is not new and that you might have been using it for years. But it is new for TM1 users because IBM Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel is now integrated with IBM Cognos TM1 data sources! And I might add that it looks good too!!

CAFÉ can be used as a perspectives replacement for end-users and possibly in the future it will replace perspectives! It is an excel add in, as perspectives but it looks and feels more modern and updated while perspectives has been static for a couple of years without any significant improvements. One big advantage that CAFÉ has over perspectives is performance. WAN performance has been significantly improved in CAFÉ. All the basic functionality that you expect from a TM1 excel client is there. Like sandboxes, write back and data spreading.

CAFÉ has to modes that you can work. Explorations and Flex Views

Explorations mode

The explorations mode is very intuitive and BI users will feel right at home because it feels like your are working with Business workspace advanced (former business insight advanced).

With the explorations mode you can:

  • Explore data or to create views
  • Drill down, drill up, drag and drop items from the analysis pane
  • Edit the sets that you include in the crosstab or list
  • Filter your data using the context pane
  • Use existing subsets to populate your crosstabs or create new subsets.
  • Create calculated fields
  • Create sets using mdx
  • Convert the exploration into a flex view
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab
  • Use Excel charts

Flex Views mode

The Flex Views feels closer to perspectives. You cannot use it to explore data but to create highly customisable reports. In the Flex Views mode you can:

  • Drag and drop multiple pre-made views from the analysis pane or use a flex view created from the explorations mode. You can also use views from different cubes in the same sheet.
  • Use the dimension tree in the analysis pane to drag and drop items into the columns or rows
  • If you know the member names you can directly type them in the rows or columns and café will get the values
  • In this mode you can use excel formulas to create calculations
  • Use excel charts
  • Have multiple views in one excel sheet and you can use excel references to connect them
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab


Finally, for experienced users, it comes with its own API that you can use to automate the refreshing or publishing of workbook, document, and presentation content. You can also create VBA macros or use a scheduling tool to automate things.