In my previous email, I highlighted IBM’s newest interface Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW), its benefits in relation to TM1 Web, and why we suggest our clients start using PAW.  

Some of those benefits include:  

  • Reducing the amount of time and resources used to customize and maintain websheets and workflows through TM1 Web.  
  • An improved user experience in PAW, instead of navigating through tabs and wasting time spent on exporting and importing data into excel or TM1.  
  • How PAW acts as a “Control Center” for TM1. Users and administrators can manage cubes, hierarchies, reports, and formulas all within the interface, instead of managing different reports/web sheets and having to work directly on the server. You are now able to manage most aspects of TM1 directly within the PAW interface.  

Although our last email was about PAW, the goal of this email series is to help TM1/Planning Analytics users who have any implementation, build a well-oiled engine to help drive insights and strategic recommendations to the business.

If best practices are not followed it is very likely that the long-term productivity of your team will be disrupted. If you’d like to avoid any long-term disruptions, this email could be worth a read as I am going to discuss optimizations for Planning Analytics.


ActionKPI’s Solutions to Optimize Common Issues in Planning Analytics: 

Establishing Intuitive Workflows & Navigation to Improve the User Experience

  • Problem: We often see architecture that is built from a developer’s mindset first instead of being built for the end user. Development teams can often think technically about how to build the solution not how the user is going to interact with the system. We see this challenge occur when TM1/PA is owned by IT instead of the business and finance. 
  • Impact: There is frustration on the user side and low user adoption and usage. This adds to arguments that TM1 is not a viable option for the business, when, really if the environment is setup from a user’s perspective, it is one of the most powerful tools a business can implement.  
  • Solution: Conduct a user-based assessment of your environment. 

Implementing System Control Cubes  

  • Problem:  Without proper implementation of system control cubes, there can be lots of manual overhead, reporting wrong information, and tribal knowledge that forms.   
  • Example: A report that is filtered on Jan 2023 will become out-dated once reporting changes to Feb 2023. Using a centralized look-up, reports can be automatically updated when the administrator changes the current month parameter.  
        • Users may have to investigate several different reports and manually update each report vs having a central control for certain functions that can be applied across various reports automatically.  Sometimes we see users have hard coded elements within a report which can cause reporting issues and redundancy in reporting.  
  • Impact: Without utilizing this type of architecture and data flow, a lot of time is wasted and there can be an increased potential for reporting incorrect information.   
  • Solution: Utilize System Control Cubes & centralizations to have one central location to update changes across the environment. 

Business-Focused Standardization of All Planning Analytics Documentation, Process and Models

  • Problem: Undocumented models and processes create tribal knowledge, and the business does not understand how the data flows.  
  • Impact: Without relevant and useful documentation, trust in the system can be compromised. The architecture can become cumbersome, and the business can lose context. However, when there is useful documentation, the business can understand how the data flows and this can create increased transparency & trust. 
  • Solution: Document models and standardize processes to improve collaboration and communication between leadership, PA administrators, and end users. Enabling leadership to better understand the data presented to help drive organizational strategy and performance. 

These are just a few examples of solutions we utilize to address common issues in Planning Analytics. I hope this has provided some insight to you on how you can increase trust, usage and insights gathered from TM1/Planning Analytics.  

If you happen to have any questions or want any more information on the above optimizations, please feel free to contact me we can book a one-on-one session. 

Written By Mitch Weir

Mitch is a Strategic Advisor at ActionKPI. On a day-to-day basis he helps our team and our client’s drive more profitable activities in their business, freeing finance from the shackles of Excel Hell and helping them navigate the complex integrated business planning journey with a proven robust framework. He aims to help others avoid these challenges, so if you’re always asking “Is there a better way, and can it be easier?” Please send him any questions you have.