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TM1 10.1 – IBM Cognos Insight Review Pt 2

In the first part of this review we had a look at the workings of IBM Cognos Insight and how it can effortlessly “munch down” a multitude of file formats an “crap out” a sexy looking dashboard. The scariest part of this is that it really works – and it looks great!

Quick little Sales Dashboard
Quick little Sales Dashboard

The Pro’s

Instant Data Visibility
Brilliant for data reconciliation and quick ‘n’ easy to step through. I can see this replacing MS Access for the administrators who (reconcile data and) are still encountering Excel 2003’s row limit. Once the file is dropped, data can be sliced any which way.

The common sense approach
The data interpreter may add too many dimensions or add Customer ID and Name as two separate dimensions but who cares. With a couple of clicks the superfluous dimension is removed from the cube. The ease or use is propagated throughout the solution for Cube, Dimension and Element renaming.

Stable Build?
Unlike some previous versions of TM1 upon release, We haven’t noticed a single bug or crash (or indication of such) in IBM Cognos Insight at all during the review.

Migration to a TM1 Server
With a flirt through the menu’s I could easily find the option to publish my sales dashboard into “IBM Cognos TM1 Applications”. This requires a specific license.

The Con’s

You’ll notice a lack of cons here. Every time I had something to add to this list I found that the targeting of this product doesn’t go into that particular weakness. I can conclude from this that this product simply shines in the areas it was built for being ad-hoc analytics and a step into the door of data based decision support.

Migration to a TM1 Server
You’ll notice that this is listed as a benefit also, but I must stress here that I personally think this needs a bit of work in order to become a sustainable feature. If you look closely at the image below you’ll notice that this actually creates a new TM1 Server Instance for the given workspace (if created by dragging in a file). Once I logged in to this new server in Perspectives I must admit I felt a little ripped off – The Dimensions weren’t nicely renamed, nor was the cube or elements. Its all aliases and attributes sitting in hidden cubes which only Insight and Performance Modeler recognises. I’ve attached a gallery at the bottom of this post which shows the actual control cubes holding these names.


Publishing a Workspace to IBM Cognos TM1 Applications
Publishing a Workspace to IBM Cognos TM1 Applications

The Conclusion

If considered an alternative to PowerPlay or a “Big Data” Ad-hoc analysis tool, this application shines like none I see on the market today. Given that there is a 30 Day free trial available why not take a look and see what insight you can generate from this powerful tool and your personal data.


Note: Sorry about the delay in posting this. Technically this post is slightly outdated. There are some really cool additional features not listed here.


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