Tips for Simplifying IBM Planning Analytics for an End User

Longtime Data41 IBM Planning Analytics Architect, Chris Maling, offers up some quick tips on how to better navigate and use IBM Planning Analytics from an End User perspective.   1. Get to the Excel Add-in area quicker through the Developer menu The Developer menu has shortcuts to the Add-ins.  If you do not have the Developer menu showing in the Excel menu, then add it in: Developer menu Go to File – Options: go to file Select “Customize Ribbon” on the left and then click on the “Developer” on the list of menu items.  Click OK. IBM Planning Analytics Customize Ribbon The Developer menu is now available: developer menu Click on the Developer menu, and take note of the Add-Ins section: IBM Planning Analytics developer menu From here you can:
  • Add the “IBM Framework for Office” add-in by clicking on the “COM Add-Ins” icon
IBM Framework for Office
  • Add the two “IBM Cognos Office…” add-ins by clicking on the “Excel Add-ins” icon
IBM Cognos Office NOTE: All three add-ins need to be selected for PAX to work correctly.   2. The Task pane can be moved around and resized The Task Pane normally defaults to the right side of your sheet: Task Pane Simply drag it to other areas of your sheet if it gets in the way: drag and drop …or completely remove it if not needed by clicking on the Task Pane icon on the PAX menu.  If you need to get it back, just click on the Task Pane icon again. ask Pane icon on the PAX menu   3. Use the “Convert To” menu button to quickly convert to different report types The Viewer is great for ad-hoc browsing of data or rearranging an existing view.  The current layout in the Viewer can quickly be converted into a report at any time.  Just click on the rectangle icon in the top left of the Viewer, then click on your desired report type. Viewer TIP: If you select an “Exploration” report type, it can quickly be converted into any other report type by clicking on the “Convert To” dropdown Exploration   4. Connecting to multiple databases concurrently PAX allows you to be connected to multiple databases at the same time.  To do so, connect to your first database by using the regular Connect icon PAX When the Task Pane is showing, additional databases can be connected to it by clicking on the drop-down arrow in the Task Pane. Task Pane Select the connection that you wish to connect with once connected, the Task Pane will show the objects in the latest selected connection.  Previously selected connections will remain open until they are disconnected. IBM Planning Analytics Task Pane .   5. Making Quick Reports more dynamic Quick reports are great for simple reports and data entry templates.  By default, there are no subsets that drive the row and column elements.  This can be a major limitation in real-world situations. This can be achieved by using Lists In the PAX menu, select the “List” item: list A-List object will get created on a new sheet: list object In the Task Pane, locate the set that you want to use and drag it onto the List object.  This example uses a set in the “plan_time” dimension: plan_time The elements in the set will appear in the List: list On the Quick report, reference the row or column items from the List.  If you anticipate more elements to be used than what is currently in the List, then reference the blank lines below the List: quick report Changes to the Set will reflect on the List… list …which will also reflect on the Quick Report Unpopulated column or row title cells that show a “0” can be fixed using conditional formatting: ibm planning analytics reporting   6. Keyboard Shortcut keys Here are a few useful IBM Planning Analytics shortcut keys:
  • Shift + F10 – Show the context menu for whatever item or cell is selected.  Note that there is an IBM Planning Analytics sub-menu on the context menu for any cell on a sheet
  • Alt + F9 – Rebuilt a Dynamic Report
  • CTRL+M, A – Edit an annotation for a selected cell (hold Ctrl+M while pressing A)
  • CTRL+M, C – Commit a value for the selected cell, or for the current Quick Report
  • CTRL+M, R – Refresh the current Quick Report or Exploration View
  • CTRL+M, P – Shows the properties for a Quick Report
  • CTRL+M, Z – Undo the most recent action in an Exploration

Frequently Asked Questions

IBM Planning Analytics with Watson (PDF, 850 KB) is an AI-infused continuous integrated planning solution that allows you to transcend the limits of manual planning.

Read about what’s new or updated in IBM® Planning Analytics with Watson and components that are installed with Planning Analytics, such as TM1® Server, TM1 Web, TM1 Performance Modeler, and TM1 Architect. Some updates affect only IBM Planning Analytics Local.

Chris Maling

Based in Orange County, California, Chris Maling is a consultant for the IBM Cognos practice. Chris brings a strong technical background to Data41 with more than 18 years working in Business Intelligence and IT. This experience has proved to be an immense asset to Data41 and our clients. Outside of Data41, Chris enjoys cycling, hiking and fixing cars.

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