IBM Planning Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics (formerly TM1) is essentially a high-performance, multidimensional in-memory database for planning and analysis. The solution, which uses Excel as its main front end, offers capabilities for creating content (e.g., modeling, templates) in Excel and publishing it to the web. The product is a development environment targeted at power users that, like Excel, is initially open for all kinds of applications (planning, analysis, strategy management).

IBM is one of the world’s largest vendors of IT hardware, software and services. The company, which generated $ 79.9 billion in revenues in 2016, has a global workforce of approximately 380,000 em-ployees and is active in over 170 countries. At the end of 2007, IBM purchased the Canadian software vendor Cognos for about $ 5 billion (including Planning Analytics, formerly TM1) to become the center of its future BI product portfolio.

IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of on-premises and cloud BI, performance management (planning, financial consolidation, disclosure management) and advanced analytics solutions. The core offering consists of IBM’s Analytics portfolio, Planning Analytics, Watson Analytics and SPSS Predictive Analytics.

Planning Analytics (formerly Cognos TM1) – IBM’s strategic planning product – is a core element in IBM’s performance management portfolio and has been on the market since the 1980s. Cognos acquired the product as part of its takeover of Applix shortly before Cognos itself was purchased by IBM. Due to Planning Analytics’ rich functionality for planning and OLAP analysis, and its in-memory technology, the product plays a strategic role for IBM.

Planning Analytics is a development environment targeted at power users that, like Excel, is initially open for all kinds of applications (planning, analysis, strategy management). Therefore Planning Analytics has no dominant focus on any one particular topic and only a little predefined business content is available with the product.

Planning Analytics is based on a classical, three-tier client-server architecture that consists of a database, application server and front ends. All components use the multidimensional database for data storage. The data is stored centrally in the memory of the OLAP server.

User & Use Cases

IBM Planning Analytics is primarily a planning/budgeting and OLAP analysis product. Besides ad hoc query, budgeting/planning and standard/enterprise reporting (Planning Analytics’ main use cases), customers frequently perform basic data analysis (typically OLAP). 45 percent of respondents plan to use it for dashboards/scorecards and 45 percent also plan to use it for advanced analysis in the future.

IBM targets large corporations and mid-sized companies across all industries. 78 percent of our sample of Planning Analytics customers come from large corporations (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 175 users. The mean figure of 444 users indicates there are also significantly larger implementations.

Planning Analytics is geared to business power users with broad functionality for various CPM and BI tasks. Typical tasks carried out with Planning Analytics by business power users include viewing, exploring and navigating data, and creating reports, which demonstrates the feature-richness of the product.

Current vs. planned use


5 products most often evaluated in competition with IBM Planning Analytics


Percentage of employees using IBM Planning Analytics


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Tasks carried out with IBM Planning Analytics by business users


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IBM Planning Analytics

Peer Groups Integrated performance management products, Large international BI vendors, OLAP analysis-focused products
Number of responses49
ProductIBM Planning Analytics (formerly IBM Cognos TM1)
OfficesGlobal offices in more than 200 countries worldwide
Employees> 380,000
Revenues (2017)$ 79.1 billion