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IBM Planning Analytics with Cloud Pak for Data

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What is IBM Planning Analytics with Cloud Pak for Data?

IBM offers Planning Analytics for on-premise and on the IBM Cloud; why have they added IBM Planning Analytics on Cloud Pak for Data?  We will cover this question with the following explanations:

  1. Why IBM Planning Analytics?
  2. What is IBM Cloud Pak for Data?
  3. How does Planning Analytics fit with Cloud Pak for Data?
  4. What is available today versus planned in the future?

Why IBM Planning Analytics?

Every organization must plan and forecast to succeed.  Many face challenges with problems such as:

  1. Siloed planning workflows – departments have the methods they have developed to create a plan, and divisions can differ in methodology and definitions.
  2. Inflexible spreadsheet-based planning systems – each area has a different set of spreadsheets that flow together or copy/paste to another. Unmanaged spreadsheets are inherently error-prone and hard to change. Also, data must be manually extracted from source systems and pasted correctly into spreadsheets.
  3. Time- and labor-intensive planning activities – employees must manually enter data and formulas, as well as error checking and copying the output to other spreadsheets. This massive effort results in a lengthy planning process with opportunity cost for the labor.  It also prevents frequent forecast revisions of the plan.

Enter IBM Planning Analytics:

  1. Creates a unified planning process.
  2. Simplifies the planning environment.
  3. Provides scale without increasing planning resources.
  4. Automates the planning cycle.
  5. Streamlines analysis.
  6. Agility to plan more frequently with greater detail and is conducive to regular forecast updates and what-if analysis – plans can be easily adjusted in realtime to adapt to changing business strategies or external conditions.

Planning Analytics is powered by the in-memory online analytical processor engine of IBM TM1 and deployable on cloud or on-premises.

What is IBM Cloud Pak for Data?

To explain IBM Cloud Pak for Data, we will need to briefly cover the explanation and benefits of the following concepts and products:

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Container Virtualization
  3. Kubernetes
  4. Redhat OpenShift
  5. IBM buys Redhat
  6. IBM Cloud Pak for Data is a container in Redhat OpenShift

Cloud Computing

Cloud services can give you on-demand data, computing, and applications that can scale as needed.  A problem arises because there are multiple cloud providers in addition to on-premise servers and a variety of operating systems.  It becomes difficult to install and integrate applications where you want them.

Container Virtualization

Container virtualization addresses this problem by virtualizing an environment such that your application sees all resources in its native operating system, and the container can be deployed on any operating system.

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source system to automate deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift is a hybrid cloud, enterprise Kubernetes application platform.

IBM buys Red Hat

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IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019 and developed IBM Cloud Pak for Data based on the Red Hat OpenShift platform.  IBM Cloud Pak for Data streamlines deploying and integrating applications and storage such as AI, business analytics, and data management.  Cloud Pak can enable performance improvement by bringing software to the data rather than moving data using ETL processes.  It also simplifies integration among various applications.

IBM Cloud Pak for Data supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and private cloud deployments.

How does Planning Analytics fit with Cloud Pak for Data?

Using IBM Cloud Pak for Data allows easy installation of Planning Analytics on any cloud platform or operating system and easy integration with IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM Watson Studio, and IBM Decision Optimization.  Integrating these other tools with on-premise or IBM Cloud versions has been difficult with many configuration settings.  Integrating with IBM Cloud Pak for Data is almost zero configuration.

Planning Analytics on Cloud Pak for data is also ideal for deploying a quick proof of concept.  Installation and configuration are reduced from days to hours.

An important feature is the ability to elastically scale as large as necessary.  Continue to build out the planning system with more and larger cubes without increasing your staff or buying hardware.

What is available today versus planned in the future?

The first application deployed to Cloud Pak for Data was Planning Analytics Workspace.  This feature was originally deployed using Docker and was a configuration nightmare.  IBM Cloud Pak makes the deployment easy and also allows Planning Analytics Workspace to be used with older versions of TM1 v10.

Currently, the TM1 engine is available on IBM Cloud Pak for Data for quick and easy installation and integration.

The future roadmap includes adding:

  1. TM1 Web spreadsheets
  2. A next-generation TM1 database on OpenShift promising high availability, scaling, and elasticity.

For more information you can check out IBM’s pages:

Planning Analytics on Cloud Pak for Data

IBM Cloud Pak for Data

See related blogs on IBM Cloud Pak:

IBM Cloud Pak for Data Unifies and Simplifies

Accelerate Your Cloud Journey with IBM Cloud Pak for Applications

Integrate Data from Anywhere with IBM Cloud Pak for Integration

About the Author

Will Thrash is a business-focused and outcomes-driven Business Intelligence Leader, with a senior-level executive consulting and thought leadership background. He has over 20 years of data warehouse, data management, and business intelligence experience.

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