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IBM® Cognos® TM1: The Official Guide

Book Description

The only official guide to IBM Cognos TM1

Deliver timely, accurate, and actionable performance management solutions to users across your enterprise. Filled with expert advice from a team of IBM professionals, IBM Cognos TM1: The Official Guide shows you how to deploy and maintain a dynamic planning, forecasting, and scenario analytic solution. Learn the latest Cognos TM1 10.1 best practices on how to model Cognos TM1 cubes, develop highly agile performance management solutions, generate feature-rich reports, and employ dashboards and scorecards. Securing, sizing, and performance tuning are also covered in this IBM-authorized resource. This book can also be used with former TM1 versions.

• Build Cognos TM1 models with cubes, dimensions, rules, and TurboIntegrator processes

• Load data and establish workflow using the TurboIntegrator

• Model and analyze multidimensional business processes

• Develop applications using Excel and Cognos TM1 Web

• Manage high user volumes with scaling and concurrency

• Assign and enforce roles, privileges, and permissions

• Deliver custom reports to end users through dashboards

• Use KPIs and balanced scorecards to monitor performance

From the Authors

Why We Wrote This Book

It is not surprising that in 25 years, best practices and fantastic ideas of how to use Cognos TM1 have evolved. For many business problems, excellent solutions already exist. We participated in this development process and learned from experienced people. But knowledge about Cognos has been like a patchwork. Only a few sites and communities exist, and most experience has been gained by intuition and trial and error. Every novice has to go the hard way and build solid knowledge from various more or less trustworthy sources. It often takes years to become an expert. We have felt this ourselves: to train our colleagues in the secrets of Cognos TM1 takes time and effort.

Our intention is to increase the speed of the diffusion of Cognos TM1 into the business world. For this, of course, marketing is necessary, but good and comprehensive knowledge is more important. So we want to provide everything that is necessary to work with Cognos TM1 effectively, or at least what we think is necessary to work with it.

The obvious question is: why hasn’t there been a book about Cognos TM1 before now? Perhaps Cognos TM1 has been a tool for insiders. You definitely need critical mass for a book project. However, with Cognos TM1 becoming part of the IBM software family, the time is right: the first comprehensive book is now available.

Who This Book Is For

Who should read this book? Everybody who is interested in increasing their company’s performance can profit from it. External and internal consultants in particular will find a broad range of solutions.

Do you already work with Cognos TM1? Do you want to improve your existing applications? You can find lots of practical tips and tricks for projects and your daily work in this book. If you are a consultant, you can find ideas to improve your service offerings. Are you an implementer or a so-called end user? Although we provide concrete implementation advice, our conceptual proposals help users to understand better what is possible with Cognos TM1. This facilitates the communication between the user and the developers.

Perhaps you plan to use Cognos TM1, or are you simply interested in the core concepts of Cognos TM1? You can see what is possible with a modern multidimensional solution.

This Book Will Help You…

Why should you read this book? We are convinced that you will find what you are searching for:

• A better understanding of how Cognos TM1 works internally

• Techniques for applying Cognos TM1 to the most difficult performance management problems

• A better understanding of the Cognos TM1 tools (including the new ones)

• A better understanding of how to model with Cognos TM1

Although this book has a limited academic orientation, we hope we provide a sufficient explanation of the business background that is necessary to implement the solutions.

We structured this book in three parts. The first part gives an introductory overview of Cognos TM1. What are the typical problems and how can Cognos TM1 address these? You can learn how other companies profited from using Cognos TM1. All tools available for use with Cognos TM1 are briefly introduced.

If you want to get a better understanding of how Cognos TM1 works and how to use the tools, a technical deep dive in the second part of the book provides the necessary insights. For performance optimization, a sound understanding of how Cognos TM1 works internally is necessary. All core concepts are explained in detail.

The last part of the book covers the business solutions. The business requirements drive everything. The best tool can’t help if you don’t understand the business background. We will provide the business background and small, easy-to-understand models. These techniques should help you to solve typical business challenges and can become the foundation of your own solution. We try to span a wide area to cover the intelligent usage of Cognos TM1.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover 
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. About the Authors
  6. About the Technical Editor
  7. Contents at a Glance
  8. Contents 
  9. Foreword
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. Preface
  12. Part I: Introduction
    1. 1. Challenges to Meeting Enterprise Performance Management Requirements
      1. Increased Forecasting and Budget Cycles
        1. Long Planning Cycles
        2. Disconnected Operational and Financial Plans
        3. Spreadsheet-Based Plans
        4. Lack of Ownership and Accountability
        5. Lack of Control, Transparency, and Governance
      2. Rise of Scenario Analytics
        1. Explore and Test “What If” Scenarios
        2. Reduce Risk and Create Contingency Plans
        3. Formulate Growth Strategies
        4. Profitability Analysis
        5. Challenges with Profitability Analytics
      3. Heightened ERP Requirements
      4. Rising Demands on Data Warehouses
        1. Data Warehouse Challenges
        2. Two-Tiered Data Warehousing
        3. Key Software Requirements
      5. Summary
    2. 2. The Promise of In-Memory Analytics with IBM Cognos TM1
      1. In-Memory Analytics with Cognos TM1
        1. Basic Features
        2. Special Features
        3. Reporting Features
        4. Dimensional Control Features
      2. Enterprise Planning
        1. First Command
        2. Eraring Energy
      3. Scenario Analytics
        1. Sun World
        2. British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB)
      4. Extending Your ERP Solution
        1. Mitsubishi
        2. DHL Global
      5. Extending Your Data Warehouse
        1. Impregilo
        2. Giant Tiger
      6. Summary
    3. 3. Evolution of IBM Cognos TM1
      1. TM1 Architecture
        1. Compressed Data Storage and Data Explosion
        2. Sparsity Handling
        3. Multicube Architecture
        4. Enterprise Deployment and Scalability
      2. Cognos TM1 Server
        1. Dimensions
        2. Cubes
        3. Applications Folders
        4. Processes
        5. Chores
      3. Cognos TM1 Clients
        1. Cognos TM1 Administration
        2. Excel-Based Solutions
        3. Desktop Workspace
        4. Managed Contribution
        5. Enterprise Portal
      4. Summary
  13. Part II Develop and Manage Cognos TM1 Solutions
    1. 4. The T of Cognos TM1
      1. The Cognos TM1 Server
      2. Cognos TM1 Clients
      3. Data Sources
      4. Cognos BI Integration
      5. Summary
    2. 5. Cognos TM1 Building Blocks: Cubes, Dimensions, Elements
      1. Dimensions
        1. Static Subsets
        2. Dynamic Subsets
      2. Cubes
      3. Cognos TM1 Inside: Control Objects and Security
      4. Cognos TM1 Inside: Cube and Dimension Attributes
      5. Summary
    3. 6. Building Business Logic: Rules
      1. The Principles of Calculation
      2. Understanding Consolidations
      3. Understanding Rules Calculation
        1. Comparing Rules to Excel Formulas
        2. Following the Flow of Calculations
        3. Understanding the Flow in an Example
        4. Validating Calculation with the Rules Tracer
      4. Cooperation of Consolidation and Rules
      5. Who's Afraid of Feeders?
      6. Conditional Feeders
      7. Checking Overfeeding
      8. Further Thoughts about Rules
        1. Using the DB Function
        2. Lifetime of a Feeder Flag
        3. C Elements in Feeder Statements
        4. Check and Trace Feeders
        5. Feeding a Populated Cell
        6. Persistent Feeders
      9. Summary
    4. 7. Cognos TM1 Building Blocks: TurboIntegrator
      1. Automating Cognos TM1 Models with TurboIntegrator
        1. Data Source
        2. Variables
        3. Mapping
        4. Advanced (the Script)
      2. Principles of Running a Process
        1. Starting a TurboIntegrator Process
        2. Executing a TurboIntegrator Process
      3. Using Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator Processes as Building Blocks
      4. ODBO, SAP, and IBM Cognos Package
        1. ODBO
        2. IBM Cognos Package
        3. SAP
      5. Implement Business Logic and Workflow with TurboIntegrator Processes
      6. Export Data
      7. Summary
    5. 8. Deploying Cognos TM1 Solutions via Microsoft Excel
      1. Cognos TM1 Perspectives
        1. Classic Slice to Microsoft Excel
        2. Active Forms
      2. Cognos TM1 Web
        1. Delivering Components to a User’s Desktop
      3. Creating a Guided Web Application
      4. Building a Common Framework
        1. Naming Conventions
        2. Standard Attributes
        3. Sequences of Dimensions
        4. Handling Messages
        5. Templates for Excel Sheets/Websheets
      5. Summary
    6. 9. Enhancing the User Experience
      1. Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler
        1. Model Design
        2. Application Design
      2. Cognos Insight
      3. Application Development with Business Insight
      4. Summary
    7. 10. Under the Hood
      1. Cognos TM1 Caching
        1. “Stargate” or View Caching
        2. Cube Dependency
        3. Garbage Collection
      2. Understanding Object Locking
        1. Parallel Interaction
        2. Cognos TM1 Transactions and Locking
        3. Chore Transaction
      3. Regarding Cache and Locks
        1. Locks and Cube Dependency
        2. Dynamic Subsets in Older Versions
      4. Summary
    8. 11. Data Loading and Scaling
      1. Loading Metadata and Data
        1. Parallel Loading
        2. Serial Loading
      2. Scaling the Application
        1. Large Cubes and Complex Calculations
        2. Logical Partitions
      3. Summary
    9. 12. User Scaling
      1. Spreading Users over Multiple Server Machines
      2. Avoiding Contention Issues
        1. Using Parallel Interaction
        2. Scaling the Model
        3. Using Sandboxes
        4. Distributed Clients
      3. Summary
    10. 13. Cognos TM1 Server in Production
      1. Security
        1. Authorization
        2. Authentication
      2. Backup and Reliability
        1. Backup
        2. Reliability
      3. Sizing
        1. Calculation Criteria
        2. Forecasting the Number of Concurrent Users
        3. Forecasting the Number of CPU Cores
        4. Forecasting the Amount of Memory for Concurrent Users
        5. Forecasting the Amount of Memory for the Cognos TM1 Model
        6. Considerations for 64-Bit Systems
        7. Forecasting the Amount of Hard Disk Space
        8. Cognos TM1 Web Server
        9. Network Considerations
        10. General Sizing Recommendations
      4. Monitoring and Logging
        1. Cognos TM1 Logging
        2. Performance Monitor
        3. Cognos TM1 Performance Counters
      5. Sharing Cognos TM1 Models Between Environments
        1. Transport by File Copy
        2. Transport by Replication
        3. Transport with Performance Modeler
        4. Mixing Transport Methods
      6. Summary
  14. Part III Business Solutions with IBM Cognos TM1
    1. 14. Business Modeling with Cognos TM1
      1. Complexity and Dynamics
      2. Build or Buy
      3. Potential Limitations of Business Modeling with Cognos TM1
      4. Modeling Principles
      5. What to Expect in the Following Chapters
    2. 15. Sales and Profitability Analysis
      1. Cognos TM1 for Sales and Profitability Analysis
      2. A Simple Multidimensional Model
      3. Calculating Variances
      4. Stepwise Fixed Costs Assignment
      5. Multidimensional Cost Assignment
      6. Filter Dimensions vs. Dynamic Aggregation
      7. ABC Analyses
      8. Summary
    3. 16. Budgeting
      1. The Business Challenge
      2. Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Budgeting
      3. Improve Data Quality with Validation
      4. Working with Line Item Detail
      5. Reducing Budgeting Effort with Seasonal Factors
      6. New Elements During the Budget Process
      7. Investment Planning
      8. Create Your Own Workflow
      9. A Planning Calendar with E-mail Notification
      10. Summary
    4. 17. Costing
      1. The Business Challenge
      2. Costing Is Simple
      3. Start with Allocations
      4. A Generic Allocations Approach
      5. Differentiate Cost Allocation with Cost Vectors
      6. Allocation with Cycles
      7. Using Linear Algebra
      8. Dynamic Budgeting: Splitting Costs into Fixed and Variable Parts
      9. Activity-Based Costing
      10. Coordination Process
      11. From Costing to Multidimensional Profitability Analysis
      12. Summary
    5. 18. Production Planning and Costing Analysis
      1. The Business Challenge
      2. How Cognos TM1 Can Help
      3. Bill of Materials (BOM) Explosion
      4. Cost Calculation
      5. Building a Bill of Material Structure
      6. Working with Lead Times
      7. Routing and Capacity Planning
      8. Product Calculation with BOM and Routing
      9. Production Costing
      10. Inventory Valuation
      11. Top-Down-Oriented Target Costing
      12. Summary
    6. 19 Profit and Cash Flow Planning
      1. The Business Challenge
      2. How TM1 Can Help
      3. Integrated Profit, Asset, and Cash Planning
      4. Working with Payment Terms
      5. Working with DSOs and Factoring
      6. Financing
      7. Interest Iteration
      8. Summary
    7. 20. Driver-Based Planning with Rolling Forecast
      1. Modeling a Rolling Forecast
      2. The Process of Rolling Forecasting/Planning
      3. Rolling Forecast with TM1: Linking Year-Based and Dynamic Models .
      4. Forecasting with Dynamic Horizons
      5. Advanced Topics: Trends and Other Statistics
      6. Measuring Forecast Accuracy
      7. Summary
    8. 21. Multiyear Scenario Planning
      1. A Base Cube
      2. Value-Based Calculation
      3. Working with Strategic Projects across Multiple Years
      4. Linking Projects with the Company View
      5. Copy versus Reference
      6. Goal Seeking with TM1
      7. Summary
    9. 22. KPIs, Dashboards, and Balanced Scorecards
      1. The Business Problem
      2. How Cognos TM1 Can Help
      3. KPI Calculations
      4. Objectives, Measures, and Activities
      5. Variances and Aggregation
      6. Model Cause-and-Effect Diagram
      7. Activity Control
      8. Summary
    10. 23. Group Performance Management
      1. An Overall Group Performance Management Architecture
      2. Currency Conversion
      3. Account Mapping
      4. Complex Structure Mapping
      5. Organization by Period
      6. Elimination
      7. Stepwise Intercompany Elimination
      8. Working with Elimination Differences
      9. Proportional Consolidation
      10. Intercompany Matching on the Document Level
      11. Margin Calculation in Groups
      12. Summary
    11. 24. Risk Management
      1. The Business Problem
      2. Cognos TM1 Can Help
      3. Working with Warning Indicators
      4. Mitigating Risk
      5. Using Risk Portfolios with TM1 Web
      6. Maintaining Risks with Time-Based Attributes
      7. Creating New Risks with Automatic Key Generation
      8. Reporting Risk
      9. Aggregating Risk with Monte Carlo Simulation
      10. Working with Correlations
      11. Summary
  15. Index