IBM Planning Analytics

IBM is one of the world’s largest vendors of IT hardware, software and services. The company, which generated $81.8 billion in revenues during 2015, has a global workforce of approximately 380,000 employees and is active in over 170 countries.

At the end of 2007, IBM purchased the Canadian software vendor Cognos for about $5 billion to extend its BI product portfolio.

IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of business intelligence, performance management and advanced analytics solutions. The core offerings are IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Watson Analytics, and the IBM SPSS Predictive Analytics portfolio. This product review focuses solely on IBM Cognos Analytics.

TM1 – IBM’s strategic planning product – has been on the market since the early 1980s. Cognos acquired the product as part of its takeover of Applix shortly before Cognos itself was purchased by IBM. Due to TM1’s rich functionality for planning and analysis, and its in-memory technology, the product plays a strategic role for IBM. TM1 is essentially a high-performance, multidimensional in-memory database for planning and OLAP analysis. The solution offers Excel and Web front ends and has capabilities for publishing Excel content on the Web.

TM1 is targeted at business power users who build individual planning and analysis applications based on the in-memory database. The product is used by enterprises of all sizes and industry sectors. It 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. TM1 resources and expertise are widespread.

User & Use Cases

IBM Cognos TM1 is primarily a planning/budgeting and OLAP analysis product. Unsurprisingly these are the main use cases of many TM1 customers alongside standard/enterprise reporting and ad hoc query based on Excel as a front end. Advanced analysis and dashboarding are seen as future use cases for many TM1 customers.

The product is aimed at business power users for creating planning and BI applications. Many tasks, including modeling and enrichment of data, can be carried out by business users in Excel.

TM1 is mostly used in large and mid-sized companies. The typical installation has a median of 150 users. The mean figure of 5,200 users gives a strong indication that there are significantly larger accounts as well.

Current vs. planned use

n = 33

5 products most often evaluated in competition with IBM Cognos TM1

n = 270

Percentage of employees using IBM Cognos TM1

n = 33

Licensing models

n = 32

Number of users using IBM Cognos TM1

n = 25

Tasks carried out with IBM Cognos TM1 by business users

n = 30

Company size (number of employees)

n = 33

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IBM Planning Analytics

Peer Groups Integrated performance management products, Large international BI vendors, OLAP analysis-focused products
Number of responses33
OfficesWorldwide (locations in more than 170 countries)
Employees380,000 approx.
Revenues (2015)USD 81.8 bn