Top Ten Cognos and Planning Analytics Features in 2023

IBM Planning Analytics is an integrated planning solution that uses artificial intelligence to automate forecasting, budgeting, and planning and supports highly intelligent workflows.

With IBM Planning Analytics as a Service, companies can attain high flexibility and availability, scalability, and fast performance- all features on a platform. This helps to improve forecast consistency and accuracy to gain organizational real-time insight and agility.

Let’s understand how IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics features effectively streamline and integrate forecasting, budgeting, and planning across the organization.

Insight into Top IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics Features

Top IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics Features

1. Workspace in Planning Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics Workspace is a web-based interface for IBM Planning Analytics with Watson. It offers an interface for TM1 data and ways to develop, plan, and analyze your content. TM1 Planning Analytics is a web-based interface that you can use to interact with Planning Analytics data.

Planning Analytics workspace helps you to be more business oriented. You can uncover and understand relationships and patterns in data. Business users can use this information to predict what might happen and understand why things happen. It opens the door to advanced analytics for all business people.

2. AI Assistant

In Cognos Planning Analytics 11.2.2 and 11.2.3 version, time-specific filtering is added by the AI assistant. For instance, features like:

  • Show sales for camping tools from April 10-20
  • Show sales this Monday
  • Show November 2023 sales by product
  • Show sales for 2023
  • What is the total income between Holi and Diwali?
  • Show sales between last Tuesday and last Thursday.
  • MTD, QTD, YTD, and abbreviations such as Xmas for Christmas, Tue for Tuesday, Sat for Saturday, and much more are added to narrow your search in the AI assistant.

3. Planning Analytics Applications and Plans

They have seen immense enhancements in recent years. Mentioned below are some new applications and plans:

  • Approval and rejections of submissions: Enhancements to email notifications and the overall submission mechanism make it easier to work with plans. When you design a project, you can add approvers for each contribution. These approvers can approve or reject the submissions.

  • Monitoring the plan: Allow visibility to all information in a plan via a monitoring screen.
  • Task dependencies: Help to automate tasks to open and close based on dependent tasks.

  • Plan and unlock: Plan manager capable of locking and unlocking contributed data, enabling more contributors such as experience in Planning Analytics.

  • Schedule plan open and close: Enable you to open and close plans depending upon pre-set dates and the planning cycle. Design your schedule, set it, and forget it.

  • Visual workflow authoring: Provide clarity about the planning process flow to create a visual workflow of the planning process.

4. Dashboards

IBM Cognos Analytics has added many formatting improvements through fonts and colours. Several advanced visualizations fight with other BI tools accessible. You can even export the dashboard to a PDF document.

5. Navigation Paths and Relative Time

You can use navigation paths and relative time in Cognos Analytics to expand your reports and dashboard through data sets and models.

  • Navigation paths: It has a drill-up and down ability to your data. In dashboards or data models, click on the navigation path section and design your drill path. In data and visualization, go from city to state to country with the click of a button.

  • Relative time: You can create MTD, QTD, YTD, current month, last month, and many more relative time filters with your data across Cognos.

6. Data models and data sets

IBM Cognos Analytics features allow you to use data modeling, which enables you to consolidate data from several sources. This includes Hadoop-based tools, text files, relational databases, Microsoft Excel reports, and others. These sources help create a data module used in explorations, dashboards, and reports.

Data sets are customized collections of data items that a user uses frequently. After making any updates to the data set, the explorations, stories, or dashboards which use that data set reflects updated changes the next time you run them. You can design data sets from data modules or packages and use them as sources to create stories, data modules, explorations, and dashboards.

7. IBM Planning Analytics for Excel

Through Planning Analytics for Excel, users get Excel experience in IBM Planning Analytics while inputting, exploring, and reporting data. You get to create various items in planning analytics. This includes:

  • Explorations: Slice and dice your data

  • Static: Design a report which is disconnected from the Planning Analytics database and send it to anyone

  • Dynamic: Design presentation-style reports and develop data input files

  • Custom: Begin from scratch and create what you want

8. Cognos Analytics Explorations

You can delve into and evaluate data in a versatile workspace at Explore. Additionally, you can investigate pre-existing visualizations featured in a dashboard or story, unveiling concealed relationships and identifying patterns that transform your data into valuable insights. A green icon with a number on the x-axis, y-axis, or chart title indicates these correlated insights.

9. Insights into Visualizations through Analytics Panel

Visualizations offer analytic insights that enable users to identify and validate significant relationships and meaningful distinctions within the presented data. The type of insights provided varies depending on the data displayed in the visualization. Some available insights include Average, Predictive Strength, Meaningful Differences, Fit Line, and Most Frequent.

For instance, Average provides the mean value of the displayed summaries, while Most Frequent indicates the category that appears most frequently in the data. The other insights require more advanced analytics and statistical tests.

The ultimate objective is to provide reliable information that enhances the description of the viewed data and aids in discovering expected relationships within the population represented by the data.

10. Learn Panel in Cognos and Planning Analytics

IBM has invested significant resources into ensuring the quality and utility of documentation for its products. The Learn panel is designed to be user-friendly, enabling users to find answers to their queries quickly and even suggesting additional resources to view during their search. These resources encompass webpages, videos, tutorials, and documents.


Cognos and Planning Analytics are powerful tools that offer an extensive range of features and functionalities for BI and financial planning. Cognos provides a broad set of capabilities for reporting, dashboards, data visualization, and robust data modeling and analysis tools. Planning Analytics, on the other hand, focuses on financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and scenario analysis, providing users with a unified planning platform that integrates seamlessly with other IBM tools.


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