Common IBM Cognos TM1 Myths Debunked

TM1 development requires years of training to become an expert.

Building dimensions and cubes can start day one of TM1 administrator training! Data can be loaded into a new cube quickly and results ready for end users in a matter of hours.   Although it is true more complex models may need more time (i.e. the inclusion of multiple data sources, integration across multiple cubes, development of rules, etc.) to develop, a beginner admin can make great strides in the creation of functional cubes within the first day or two of their training.

I need to be an excel expert to create awesome reports.

If you know the basics of excel, and can use the core functionality within spreadsheets, then you can create powerful, dynamic reports that can be shared within your organization in a matter of hours.  Yes – the more you know about excel, the better the reports will look and feel – but you don’t need to know how to write buttons, visual basic code, or crazy formulas to create a strong, comprehensive management style reporting book that you can be proud of!

I know Relational tables, so I can figure out TM1 cubes – they are kind of the same.

Although having a IT background, specifically to relational DB tables is a good start, often experts in this area need to adjust their thinking when diving into OLAP (on line analytical processing) tools. Relational Data Models consists of two-dimensional data structure consisting of rows and columns where rows are homogeneous and columns are heterogeneous with respect to their data types.  The Multi-Dimensional Data Model consists of a data cube, which is a data structure consisting of dimensions (which contain members) and measures; within a dimension, members may be in a hierarchical relationship.  

TM1 data is a moment in time.  Loading real time or near real time is not possible.

TM1 can ingest data from almost any relational data table and flat files.  And this can be set up either as a chore or an ‘on demand’ type of refresh.  TM1 loads data quickly and can provide the end users with the ability ‘refresh’ data into cubes and then reports at the touch of a button.  Similarly, budgeting and forecasting data is accumulated in cubes real-time, available in reports when requested with no processes to be run or time lag.

TM1 is only excel based. My organization doesn’t want to rely on just that.

TM1 is has a robust Web version that reduce’s latency and allows users from all geographies to quickly review data and enter forecast and budget information.  In addition, TM1 is a natural data source for IBM Cognos BI (Framework manager model). TM1 calculations can also be pushed into data warehouses for more complex reporting and dashboard creation.

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Topics: IBMTM1Myths Debunked

Matt Wachowski
Written by Matt Wachowski