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What is TM1?

TM1 (Table Manager 1) is a multidimensional, in-memory OLAP database with a cell-orientated structure–like spreadsheets–that allows users to create sophisticated financial models and perform advanced calculations while benefiting from control and governance.

TM1 is an example of a class of software products which implement the principles of the functional database model (link resides outside ibm.com).

The functional database model was developed from the need to perform “spreadsheet” analysis to large volumes of multidimensional data. This is done by applying database security and governance to overcome the data volume and complexity limitations of the spreadsheet. In TM1, data is stored as multidimensional arrays or "cubes," which can be easily manipulated and analyzed in real-time.

Cell-orientation is a key aspect of TM1. Data is stored and processed at the level of individual cells, rather than in pre-defined structures such as tables or columns. This allows for a high degree of flexibility in modeling and analyzing data, as cells can be easily manipulated and combined to create new views and analyses. Additionally, because cells can be easily linked to other cells or data sources, cell-oriented databases are highly dynamic and can be updated in real-time as new information becomes available.

The evolution of TM1

Manny Perez invented TM1 (Table Manager 1) in 1983 to solve complex, forward-looking business modeling problems associated with budgeting, forecasting and financial reporting. In 1996, Applix purchased Sinper Corporation. Cognos bought Applix in 2007, which was soon after acquired by IBM branding it as IBM Cognos TM1.

In 2016, IBM rebranded the product name to Planning Analytics, reflecting its expanded capabilities beyond traditional business planning and analytics into business intelligence by introducing the web interface–a highly visual, self-service data exploration and dashboarding tool. Currently, TM1 is still used to define IBM Planning Analytics core component–the TM1 Server.

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How does TM1 work?

TM1 provides the flexibility, interactivity and modeling power of spreadsheets, but retains the control, security and scalability of a database. Find the most important concepts, functions and benefits below.

Key components

Cubes, dimensions, hierarchies and rules are essential components of TM1. They provide a powerful framework for organizing and analyzing enterprise planning data and can help businesses gain valuable insights into their operations, performance and trends.


Cubes are the central building blocks of TM1. They are multi-dimensional arrays of data that allow users to analyze and explore data from different perspectives. For example, a company might wish to summarize financial data by product, by time-period and by city to compare actual and budget expenses.


Dimensions are the categories or attributes by which data is organized within a cube. Dimensions provide context and meaning to the data and allow users to slice and dice data along different axes. Typical dimensions a cube might contain are time, versions, regions, products, departments and metrics.


Hierarchies are the logical organization of dimension members into a parent-child relationship. They provide a structure or organization to a dimension, allowing users to navigate and analyze KPIs at different levels of granularity or detail. For example, a time dimension hierarchy might include levels such as year, quarter, month and day.


Rules are statements or instructions that govern the behavior of the database. Rules define how the database processes and calculates data, and how it responds to user queries and requests. Rules can be used to calculate purchase costs, exchange rates, inventory levels, inventory depletion and final production costs.

Key concepts

The storage of data is in computer memory instead of on disk or other external storage devices. This allows for faster access to the data, which is particularly useful for processing large amounts of data quickly and enables real-time data analysis and reporting. By storing data in memory, TM1 can perform calculations and generate reports much faster than traditional databases.


Write-back capability, a feature of cell-oriented databases, enables users to update and save changes made directly to cells in the database, rather than exporting and importing data for editing. In a cell-oriented database, data is stored and processed at the level of individual cells, rather than in pre-defined structures such as tables or columns.

Real-time calculation

TM1 optimizes calculations by performing them only on data that has actual values or changes, instead of recalculating everything in the cube. It saves time by reducing the amount of data processed during calculations and identifying only the cells that need to be recalculated based on updated or modified data.

Benefits This software platform is designed to help businesses with decision-making based on real-time data, collaborating seamlessly with multiple stakeholders and forecasting future outcomes using advanced statistical and predictive algorithms without the need of IT. Flexibility and scalability

Allows for a high degree of flexibility in data modeling and analysis, making it easier to accommodate changes in business requirements and adapt to evolving business needs. Can scale to handle large volumes of data, making it suitable for large enterprises and complex business environments.

Speed and performance

Designed for high-speed, real-time data analysis and modeling, making it ideal for large, complex data sets. The in-memory database architecture allows for rapid data retrieval and processing, enabling users to analyze data quickly and make informed decisions.

Data integration

Using TurboIntegrator, it can integrate data from a variety of data sources, including spreadsheets, leading EPM (such as Oracle, SAP), and other data management systems, making it easy to combine data from different sources for analysis and report authoring.

Real-time collaboration

Provides a platform for collaborative planning, budgeting and forecasting, enabling multiple stakeholders to contribute to the workflows and share insights and feedback in real time.

Granular security

Provides granular security capabilities, allowing for data access to be restricted to specific end users or user groups, ensuring that sensitive data is only accessible by authorized users, leading to increased trust and confidence in the data.

Prospective analytics

Can perform prospective analytics by using predictive modeling and forecasting techniques to analyze historical data, identify trends and patterns, and perform what-if scenario analysis and make predictions about future outcomes.

IBM Planning Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics is an integrated business planning platform that unifies and synergizes organizational business data in a single platform that allows enterprise-wide collaboration and transparency. All users have access to real-time data to create more accurate, consistent and timely plans, budgets and forecasts–without requiring a data scientist.

Its intuitive front ends: the web interface, IBM Planning Analytics Workspace, and native Microsoft Excel add-in make IBM Planning Analytics for Excel incredibly user-friendly, ensuring a seamless adoption process.

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How you can use TM1

IBM Planning Analytics is a versatile solution used by organizations ranging from the largest corporations and government agencies to small businesses for budgeting, planning, forecasting, management reporting, analysis and consolidations on demand. The solution is as flexible as a spreadsheet, but with better performance, detailed security, and no broken links.

Finance Financial planning and analysis

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Supply chain Supply chain planning and analysis

Blend hierarchy advanced analytics and an unlimited sandbox of “what-if” scenario analysis into your supply chain processes. With the foresight to pivot quickly, you can turn disruptions into opportunities.

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Sustainability Sustainability planning and analysis

Use IBM Planning Analytics for sustainability planning, simulation and optimization at any granularity level—even calculate the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF).

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Sales Sales planning and analysis

Track and analyze sales rep performance and sales capacity data in real-time. Use the power of AI to optimize effective sales processes, enhance productivity and reach revenue targets. Automate resource allocation and territory planning to get a competitive advantage and increase market share.

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HR Workforce planning and analysis

Automate and streamline HR management processes–employment, salary, bonuses, headcounts, and benefits planning–all in one platform. Develop accurate AI-guided workforce plans and forecasts based on changes in staffing, location, return to work, remuneration, retention, churn rates and more.

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Marketing Marketing planning and analysis

Use AI-infused marketing analytics solutions to improve digital marketing ROI. Gain a deeper understanding of your target markets’ needs before they even know it. Deliver a seamless personalized experience while reaching your marketing objectives.

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Read the blog posts and discover the many use cases and practical applications of IBM Planning Analytics.


Join the community and connect, learn and share with over 10,000 users across IBM Business Analytics.


View the documentation and take a deep dive into IBM Planning Analytics.


Find the right training and explore all learning paths to build knowledge or gain certification.

Take the next step

Predict outcomes with flexible AI-infused forecasting and analyze what-if scenarios in real-time. IBM Planning Analytics is an integrated business planning solution that turns raw data into actionable insights. Deploy as you need, on-premises or on cloud.

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