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 more than 350,000 employees and is active in over 170 countries. IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of on-premises and cloud analytics, performance management (in particular, planning and financial consolidation) and advanced analytics solutions. The core offerings consist of IBM Cognos Analytics for BI, IBM Planning Analytics powered by TM1 for planning, IBM Watson Studio and IBM SPSS for advanced analytics and IBM Cognos Controller for financial consolidation and regulatory reporting.
IBM Planning Analytics powered by TM1 – 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 as well as its in-memory technology, the product plays a strategic role for IBM. Planning Analytics is available in both classical on-premises (Planning Analytics Local) and cloud (Planning Analytics on 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.). Only limited predefined business content is available with the product.
In the latest version of Planning Analytics, the web client user experience has been improved, charting options and visualizations have been added, and workflow and predictive functions have been strengthened. The new workflow capabilities support the creation of guided planning scenarios. Planning tasks can be assigned to individual planners and their status can be tracked in a status monitoring overview. Furthermore, some AI-based predictive functions have been introduced to Planning Analytics, 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 (formerly Cognos BI) – provides functionality for dashboards, reporting, analysis and data modeling in a web-based, integrated user experience. Cognos Analytics combines ease of use with elaborate governance features in an end-to-end platform. The solution offers search-oriented analysis (NLQ) with encapsulated cognitive capabilities aimed at business users. IBM is continuing to invest in AI capabilities across data modeling, dashboards, data exploration and AI learning of user preferences. Moreover, it has extended Cognos Analytics in the area of advanced analytics. The product is typically used in larger scenarios supporting the needs of many concurrent users as well as large data volumes.
For advanced analytics and data mining, IBM positions Watson Studio as its primary platform. Besides the widely known SPSS capabilities, Watson Studio also includes new data science modules based on Jupyter Notebooks for development in R and Python as well as AutoAI and embedded decision management.
User & Use Cases
Besides planning, customers mainly use IBM Planning Analytics for ad hoc query and reporting (87 percent), basic data analysis (79 percent) and standard/enterprise reporting (76 percent). 41 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analysis in the future. IBM Planning Analytics targets large and mid-sized companies across all industries. 68 percent of our sample of IBM Planning Analytics customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 130 users (including 100 using planning functionality), but the mean of 662 users (357 for planning) indicates there are also several significantly larger implementations. 66 percent of IBM Planning Analytics users are planning users – exactly matching the survey average of 66 percent – reflecting the fact that IBM Planning Analytics is essentially a planning tool with complementary BI and analytics functionality.
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Percentage of employees using IBM Planning Analytics
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Company size (number of employees)
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