Cognos Analytics Planning Analytics Under One Roof

Post: The Benefits of Sharing a Single Roof

Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics Under the Same Roof


IBM has just announced that Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics are now under one roof.  We have one question –  What took them so long?  There are a number of obvious benefits to integrating these two applications.  There are advantages for IBM, if only for market leadership and breadth of functionality.  The key benefits are for the consumer. Benefits of Cognos Analytics And Planning Analytics Together In One



Self-service is made simpler.  There’s now a single point of entry. Plus, the first decision — which tool to use – is removed from the decision flow matrix.  The user can now more easily use, and navigate the BI / Analytics / Planning landscape.



Because of the single point of entry, there will be less time spent looking for the right tool  or right report/asset.  An improved workflow leads to improved efficiency and productivity.



Working from a single perspective eliminates distractions and inconsistencies. Consolidation leads to Increased reliability, accuracy and consistency.  A trusted source of truth is created. A trusted, single source of truth breaks down silos and increases organizational alignment.   Lack of consistency between business units or departments potentially leads to confusion and lack of productivity as staff try to make sense of conflicts.. 



With Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics integrated, the user is presented with a better continuum of capabilities.  Related data makes more sense in a single application.  With data from multiple sources in a single application you’re better able to see context.  There isn’t a good business sense to separate related data into multiple silos.  With additional views to the same data, you can better interpret it.



This long-awaited arrangement allows the user to get the same numbers against the same data, in the same tool.  Having a common architecture allows the organization to seamlessly connect and pass data between applications.  Data flows more seamlessly across the organization with enforceable policies.



Until now, Planning has been in the realm of Finance, but Planning isn’t only for Finance. Finance will benefit from the additional capabilities of Cognos Analytics.  On the other side of the equation, Operations, Sales, Marketing, and HR in particular all need fast, flexible planning and analysis:  Analytics and Planning should be for everyone across the organization.  Bringing the two under the same roof breaks down silos of data and information.



It may not be more secure, but it will be just as secure. Furthermore, it will be easier to manage and enforce a single point of security and related Identify management.

Master data management and data governance


Similarly, managing and governing the data will be simplified.  Governance establishes the policies and procedures, whereas, data management enforces those policies.  

The Benefits


The roof may be metaphorical, but the benefits are real.  For a point of comparison, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that software integration provides more than $400B cost and efficiency gains.  Share a piece of the $400 billion with improved ROI, time savings, and business value with IBM Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics integrated, under one roof.

Scroll to Top
As the BI space evolves, organizations must take into account the bottom line of amassing analytics assets.
The more assets you have, the greater the cost to your business. There are the hard costs of keeping redundant assets, i.e., cloud or server capacity. Accumulating multiple versions of the same visualization not only takes up space, but BI vendors are moving to capacity pricing. Companies now pay more if you have more dashboards, apps, and reports. Earlier, we spoke about dependencies. Keeping redundant assets increases the number of dependencies and therefore the complexity. This comes with a price tag.
The implications of asset failures differ, and the business’s repercussions can be minimal or drastic.
Different industries have distinct regulatory requirements to meet. The impact may be minimal if a report for an end-of-year close has a mislabeled column that the sales or marketing department uses, On the other hand, if a healthcare or financial report does not meet the needs of a HIPPA or SOX compliance report, the company and its C-level suite may face severe penalties and reputational damage. Another example is a report that is shared externally. During an update of the report specs, the low-level security was incorrectly applied, which caused people to have access to personal information.
The complexity of assets influences their likelihood of encountering issues.
The last thing a business wants is for a report or app to fail at a crucial moment. If you know the report is complex and has a lot of dependencies, then the probability of failure caused by IT changes is high. That means a change request should be taken into account. Dependency graphs become important. If it is a straightforward sales report that tells notes by salesperson by account, any changes made do not have the same impact on the report, even if it fails. BI operations should treat these reports differently during change.
Not all reports and dashboards fail the same; some reports may lag, definitions might change, or data accuracy and relevance could wane. Understanding these variations aids in better risk anticipation.

Marketing uses several reports for its campaigns – standard analytic assets often delivered through marketing tools. Finance has very complex reports converted from Excel to BI tools while incorporating different consolidation rules. The marketing reports have a different failure mode than the financial reports. They, therefore, need to be managed differently.

It’s time for the company’s monthly business review. The marketing department proceeds to report on leads acquired per salesperson. Unfortunately, half the team has left the organization, and the data fails to load accurately. While this is an inconvenience for the marketing group, it isn’t detrimental to the business. However, a failure in financial reporting for a human resource consulting firm with 1000s contractors that contains critical and complex calculations about sickness, fees, hours, etc, has major implications and needs to be managed differently.

Acknowledging that assets transition through distinct phases allows for effective management decisions at each stage. As new visualizations are released, the information leads to broad use and adoption.
Think back to the start of the pandemic. COVID dashboards were quickly put together and released to the business, showing pertinent information: how the virus spreads, demographics affected the business and risks, etc. At the time, it was relevant and served its purpose. As we moved past the pandemic, COVID-specific information became obsolete, and reporting is integrated into regular HR reporting.
Reports and dashboards are crafted to deliver valuable insights for stakeholders. Over time, though, the worth of assets changes.
When a company opens its first store in a certain area, there are many elements it needs to understand – other stores in the area, traffic patterns, pricing of products, what products to sell, etc. Once the store is operational for some time, specifics are not as important, and it can adopt the standard reporting. The tailor-made analytic assets become irrelevant and no longer add value to the store manager.