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Selecting your Modeling Approach with IBM SPSS Modeler

Coming from a TM1 background (more business than statistics), it is easy to get stated with modeling once you determine your modeling objective, and Modeler can help with that. IBM SPSS Modeler offers an intuitive interface that will appeal to a wide range of users from the non-technical business user to the statistician, data miner […]

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Examining (Data) Relationships

The discovering of relationships within data (between fields) is an important part of any data mining project (in the Crisp-DM methodology, this is described as part of the “Data Understanding” stage). This “relationship discovery” is part of developing a predictive model but is also helpful in answering specific business questions -perhaps even what originally motivated […]

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All about CLEM

SPSS CLEM is the control Language for Expression Manipulation, which is used to build expressions within SPSS Modeler streams. CLEM is actually used in a number of SPSS “nodes” (among these are the Select and Derive nodes) and you can check the product documentation to see the extended list. CLEM expressions are constructed from: Values, […]

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Sampling Your Data

Another interesting feature of SPSS Modeler is its built-in ability to sample data. It is pretty typical to have (in one or more files) hundreds of thousands of records to process, and using complete sets of data during testing can take a huge amount of your time and is inefficient in terms of computer processing […]

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TM1 vs. SPSS Modeler Comparison Continues – Setting to Flags

Consider the scenario where you have to convert information held in a “categorical field” into a “collection of flag fields” – found in a transactional source. For example, suppose you have a file of transactions that includes (among other fields) a customer identifier (“who”) and a product identifier (“what”).  This file of transactional data indicates […]

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Data Indiscretions

Data loaded into a TM1 or SPSS model will, in most cases, include files consisting of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of records. It is not reasonable, given the number of fields and records in files of this size, for you to visually inspect all fields in every record (of every file) for missing or […]

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Performance Testing TM1Web Applications with HP LoadRunner

If you’ve ever attempted to perform a performance test on a TM1 application, you know that there is not really an effective way to manually create sufficient load on a model. Getting “real users” to execute application operations – over and over again – is nearly impossible. Thankfully, an automated testing product can solve for […]

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Guidelines for Deploying Cognos TM1 Rule Changes

Objective Making modifications to TM1 rule files can (potentially) affect both the TM1 application and the TM1 server (that the application is running on). Rule modification or reprogramming can cause loss of data, changes in how the application responds (performance) and unexpected changes in memory consumption. In addition, it can be difficult to effectively test […]

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Software Remediation Excellence

Overview The purpose of this post is to provide a strategy for approaching and resolving a “concern” that has been identified within a application. Overall, the idea is to “add structure” to the process of responding to defects (remediation) in your application. Steps to Remediation Using a resolution methodology referred to as CERT, the steps […]

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Automation of Cognos TM1 Data Loading

In one of my earlier posts I recommended an approach for loading larger amounts of data into TM1 applications, and provided a high-level explanation of this approach, which I call the “File Route” solution. Some More Thoughts                  I like this load-strategy because, in following best practice guidelines, it leverages TM1’s proven ETL tool, TurboIntegrator to […]

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Cognos TM1 Bulk Data Loading

Bulk Absorption Options From a pure architectural perspective, what is sometimes referred to as “bulk uploading” sometimes is (mistakenly) considered to be part of reporting or included in the data consumption component of a TM1 application design.  Loading and/or updating data is part of an applications absorption or configurations components and should be handled with […]

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Autonomous Performance Tuning

I was recently asked by a former colleague of mine to help conduct an appraisal of a large scale Cognos TM1 development project that is planning on sourcing all kinds of data from a large Oracle RDMS. In addition to the “normal” review objectives (is the design appropriate? are best practices being followed? will the […]

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Obstacles on the Road to Excellence – the Three-C’s

  Establishing an organizations center of excellence (COE) takes vision and a strong commitment to overcoming obstacles.  Three common obstacles often encountered on the journey towards excellence are: Complacency, Complexity and Conservatism. Complacency Complacency is the notion that “this works, it’s manageable, so why change it?” This attitude comes from the old saying, “if it’s […]

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IBM SPSS Syntax for File Operations

My start-up predictive analytics organization “Predictive Performers” wants to do some internal planning. We receive extract files from an an accounting service each month that provide the total hours billed per each of our consultants, along with each consultants hourly rate. The files are saved to a folder on our network: The files also breakout […]

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Performance Testing Your Cognos TM1 Application

Performance testing a TM1 model begins with understanding performance testing in general. Performance testing is an iterative process and the expected outcome (acceptable performance) will be based upon both the TM1 application and the environment it is deployed in.  The goal of performance testing is to identify response times, throughputs, and resource utilization of the […]

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Desktop analytics – IBM Cognos TM1 and Insight

So just how easy is it to perform simple forecast modeling using Cognos Insight? Let see. First, I took an MS Excel file and did a “Get Data” and “Import Data…” On the “way in”, Insight let me examine my file and exclude fields I didn’t care about and also (most importantly) tell it which […]

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5 Guiding Principles of a Successful Center of Excellence (CoE)

A Center of Excellence (CoE), sometimes referred to as a “competency or capability center”, is typically a small team within an organization working cross-functionally to build on the organizations past experiences to avoid reinventing the wheel after each project. A few ways the CoE accomplishes this is by: Providing leadership Best practice knowledge share Offering […]

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IBM Cognos TM1 – Cube Naming Ideas

Start Early!  Another important design best practice that should be established early in the development process is establishing naming conventions for your cubes. In fact, it is highly recommended that you introduce your entire project user community – Architects, Modelers, Contributors, Analysts and Consumers – to all of your naming conventions, as part of a […]

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IBM Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator – Comment Your Code

  “Either positive or negative comments are good because it shows I am still relevant” – Justin Guarini In all of my years of coding and testing TurboIntegrator scripts, my biggest pet peeve has to be opening a TI script and seeing lines and lines of unstructured, un-commented code. I’ve heard all the excuses: “self-documenting”, […]

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My Center of Excellence

Every Center of Excellence team must develop the ability to measure and report on the performance of all areas and efforts of the CoE as well as related specific efforts of the organization or practice it supports. Measuring performance allows the CoE to set expectations for current and new work- providing answers to certain key […]

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