What is TM1? History, Components and Uses
IBM Congos TM1 is a multidimensional, in memory OLAP engine which allows write back to the TM1 database. Originally known as Table Manager 1, TM1 a client/server software platform. It uses Microsoft Excel and various web applications on the client side with an in memory, multidimensional datastore on the server side. TM1 allows write back from users and is commonly used for corporate planning, reporting and analysis.
History of TM1
TM1 was originally created in 1983 by Manny Perez at Sinper Corporation. In 1996 Sinper was purchased by Applix. Then Cognos bought Applic 2007 and Cognos in turn was acquired by IBM soon after.
Development by IBM
Since acquisition, IBM has dramatically improved the performance of the product, added a number of new front ends and integrated it (now) quite well with Cognos Analytics.
The most recent change has been IBM renaming TM1 to Planning Analytics. With this, we have also seen the migration to the cloud, where it can now be hosted by IBM in a SaaS environment or hosted locally, or managed in a hybrid configuration.
Additionaly, there has also been the introduction of Planning Analytics Workspace, a highly visual data exploration and dash boarding tool with write back into the source data.
IBM has also replaced the original Excel add-in, Perspectives, with Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX), significantly increasing the usability for the Excel user.
The primary components of TM1 include the following:
- Elements (the individual members of a dimension, usually rolled into hierarchies)
- Cubes (combining dimensions into a storage repository called a cube)
- Rules (the formulae that determine how elements are calculated)
- Processes (for loading data and managing the overall environment)
- Chores (scheduled jobs)
- Security (by cube, dimension, element or even cell)
- Excel Reports and Forms
- Dashboards and visualisations
Uses for TM1
TM1 is now in use by organisations from the world’s largest corporations and government agencies to quite small companies. In those organisations, it is used for everything from budgeting, planning and forecasting, to consolidations, management reporting and analysis.
TM1 Compared to Spreadsheets
Check off these questions and ask yourself whether you could use TM1 in your organisation:
- Do you have a spreadsheet based model that is used by multiple people?
- Does your model contain multiple files?
- Should you have security on your model that is more granular than just access to a file?
- Can you refresh your model on demand with actuals?
- Can you roll the spreadsheet model from month to month easily?
- Should the spreadsheets be the source for BI reporting?
- Do you have users who are not located physically together?
- Are your calculations consistent right across your spreadsheet model?
- Do you need instant update of all changes right through your model?
- Can you change formulae in every spreadsheet instantly?
- Are you able to create and compare new versions of a plan on the fly?
In short, with TM1 you can take a complex set fo excel spreadsheets and convert them into a highly controlled, secure, blindingly fast model.
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