This is a guest blog post by Revelwood’s Shane Bethea.
For the past year and a half I’ve been a consultant with Revelwood, working on numerous client projects involving IBM Cognos TM1. While I was well-versed in TM1 before joining Revelwood, I’m now really seeing the infinite possibilities that TM1 offers.
When I’m not working, one of my favorite activities is long distance cycling – I discovered it while looking for an outdoor activity my wife and I could do together. Eventually we got into participating in Bike MS, a series of one- and multi-day bike rides to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. One of the things we really like about Bike MS is that they offer rides of varying lengths – we usually do 60 miles on day one and 30 miles on day two. But there are plenty of options.
In a way, it’s like TM1 – there are plenty of options, especially for people of varying backgrounds and experience. Just like the newer cyclist might want to do a 30 mile event while the “pro” cyclist might want to do a “century” (100 miles in one day). In my time at Revelwood so far, I’ve worked with clients new to TM1 as well as clients who have used TM1 for years, and are now expanding their use of TM1.
We show our clients how TM1 can perform a function they are used to doing in Excel, but do so more easily and much more quickly. It’s like learning how to properly use the gears on a 20 speed bicycle. If you don’t know how to use the gears, you expend more energy and it takes more time to reach the finish line. But if you do know how to use the gears, you get maximum performance out of the bike, making the ride easier for you and letting you cross that finish line more quickly.
One recent client experience was a lot like that. Our client needed a demand planning model. Before opting for TM1, they were using a colossal Excel workbook with a lot of formulas. The client wanted to take the demand planning model to forecast a project three monthBethes out, and six months out. Using Excel, it would take the client days to run one scenario through the demand planning “model.” After moving the data into a TM1 model, the client can now change the time parameters on the forecast and see the results in just one click, instantly. In essence, they now have the power and the knowledge of how to use the right “gears” to get the fastest performance possible.
I love the idea of working at maximum efficiency. Sometimes when we work in TM1 we have to perform rote tasks over and over. It can be pretty mundane. So, one of my current activities include learning PowerShell, which will enable us to automate many of these manual tasks required for installing TM1. Similar to cycling, it will satisfy my need for speed and get me where I want to go, faster.