On 2nd October 2020 IBM released a major update to Planning Analytics (PA) with significant changes to the “Planning Analytics Workspace” (PAW) component. PAW is the web enabled user interface where application content is created and consumed, and where much PA’s administration occurs.
I’ve outlined below the five new areas of focus in this release, all of which are significant improvements to the user experience of PA:
Continuing the journey to unify the look & feel as well as the administrative functionality across multiple IBM applications; specifically bringing PA and Cognos Analytics (CA) closer and closer together. This has been on the IBM roadmap for a while and users of both PA and CA will recognise how the authoring tools and outputs (charting, dashboards, etc) are becoming more and more aligned.
The introduction of “Applications and Plans” which restructures how user content is organised. The old system of folders is now much more controllable where content can be grouped into “steps”, essentially establishing a type of workflow which can include reviewers and approvers.
New functionality around predictive modelling which IBM is calling “Forecasting” in PA. Predictive modelling is simply automated processes that evaluate past performance looking for patterns in order to establish future outcomes. This output could then be used within an organisation’s forecast or plans.
Major improvements to the content authoring tools which give users much greater control when building reports, dashboards, input screens and user navigation. This will probably be the change that users appreciate the most as past versions of PAW could be a little finicky at times.
Users will now have the ability to properly size and position elements with greater precision, and the ability to manage the colour pallets should also be much better. Again, this aligns with point #1 above, where PA and CA are becoming more and more similar.
Finally, continued migration of the administrative functionality away from the desktop tools (Architect, Performance Modeler, Operations Console) and in to PAW.
Simpson Associates will continue to evaluate the new release in our labs over the coming weeks, in order to provide our customers the best information on the new features and functionality, as well as guidance on if and when moving to the new version is appropriate for your organisation.
For further information, I recommend looking at the following resources:
- Release notes
- IBM PA Community
- Watching Soufiane Azizi’s (Software R&D Program Director for PA & CA) series of short videos on Linked-In
If you would like to know more about the new features in PAW, or simply if you want to understand if IBM Planning Analytics is the right solution for your planning, budgeting and forecasting needs, feel free to contact us.
Marc Koenen, Business Development Manager, Simpson AssociatesBack to blog