IBM Planning Analytics
IBM is one of the world’s largest vendors of IT hardware, software and services. The company has a global workforce of close to 350,000 employees and is active in over 170 countries.
IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of on-premises and cloud analytics and performance management solutions (in particular, for planning and financial consolidation). The core offerings consist of IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson and IBM Planning Analytics with Watson. For financial consolidation and regulatory reporting, IBM Cognos Controller is part of the performance management portfolio.
IBM Planning Analytics – the vendor’s strategic enterprise planning product – is a core element in IBM’s performance management portfolio and has been on the market since the 1980s. Due to its rich functionality for planning and OLAP analysis, and its underlying in-memory TM1 technology, the product plays a strategic role for IBM. Planning Analytics is available in both classical on-premises and cloud versions. Essentially, Planning Analytics is a high-performance, multidimensional in-memory database for budgeting, planning and forecasting with Excel and web front ends. The product is targeted at business power users for building all kinds of applications (planning, analytics, strategy management). Therefore it has no dominant focus on any one particular topic (financials, sales, HR, etc.). In recent versions, IBM has strengthened the product’s web client user experience, charting options and visualizations, as well as workflow and predictive forecasting capabilities based on historical time-series data and a series of predefined algorithms.
IBM Planning Analytics is used by enterprises of all sizes and industry sectors, and is suitable for creating data entry screens for multiple sub-budgets, consolidating their results, and running simple to highly complex calculations. Hundreds of solutions – from small-scale departmental tools to installations with thousands of users – have been implemented worldwide. Resources and expertise for Planning Analytics are widespread.
IBM’s enterprise BI and analytics solution Cognos Analytics provides functionality for dashboards, pixel-perfect reporting, stories, data modeling and analysis in a web-based, integrated user experience. Included in Cognos Analytics’ wide range of analytics capabilities are smarts focused on enabling ease of use for new users as well as customization and governance features for administrators. The solution offers search-based analysis (NLQ) with encapsulated cognitive capabilities aimed at business users. IBM has also extended Cognos Analytics in the area of advanced analytics. For instance, Jupyter Notebooks has been incorporated in the user interface to provide greater flexibility in data preparation and statistical analysis. The product can scale to larger scenarios supporting the needs of many concurrent users as well as large data volumes.
User & Use Cases
Customers mainly use IBM Planning Analytics for ad hoc query (89 percent), budgeting/planning (81 percent), analysis (73 percent) and standard/enterprise reporting (70 percent). 59 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analytics in the future.
IBM Planning Analytics targets large corporations and mid-sized companies across all industries. 65 percent of our sample of IBM Planning Analytics customers come from large companies (with more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 100 users, but the mean of 636 users indicates there are also several larger implementations.
IBM Planning Analytics is geared to business power users with functionality for various analytics and planning, budgeting and forecasting tasks. Typical tasks carried out with IBM Planning Analytics by business users include viewing reports/navigating dashboards (92 percent), analyzing/exploring data (84 percent) and creating reports/dashboards (73 percent), which demonstrates the feature-richness of the product.
Customers achieve an average of 8 percent usage penetration among all employees, which is a long way below the survey average of 21 percent. This indicates that the product is focused more on trained business power users than the majority of employees.
Current vs. planned use
5 products most often evaluated in competition with IBM Planning Analytics
Percentage of employees using IBM Planning Analytics
Number of users using IBM Planning Analytics
Tasks carried out with IBM Planning Analytics by business users
Company size (number of employees)
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