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Using Strings in Cognos TM1

Cognos TM1 is very powerful at aggregating numerical data but does not always meet a project’s requirements regarding string or textual analysis.


The problem with strings in Cognos TM1

Cognos TM1 depends on hierarchies within a dimension to aggregate the data stored in a cube. Strings by nature don’t aggregate and are only useful at the level in a dimension they are entered. If the users of your system are entering string measures one comment you will often hear is that they want to be able to view all of the string data they entered. A string measure is often times different than the “Comment” functionality available in “TM1 Application (formerly TM1 Contributor)” as a comment is often times made on a contribution node or an element in a dimension where string measures will often times be used to explain detailed financial numbers. One other thing to keep in mind as of the writing of this article on TM1 10.2 and Cognos BI 10.2.1 strings entered in Cognos TM1 can only be consumed through Cognos BI list reports, cross tab reports cannot display string data stored in TM1 cubes.


Reporting on Cognos TM1 string measures in Cognos BI

As I mentioned above string measures in Cognos TM1 can only be consumed through Cognos BI list reports, not cross tab reports. To get around this problem there are some solutions you can try:

  • Export Data through CAFE – You can export the data to CAFE or Go Office and then build top sheets on your string data to do Analysis. This is taking people out of BI and back into Excel but may be a necessary step for your project.
  • String Analysis Cube – You can create a separate string analysis cube that pulls all the strings into a dimension so that string data can be aggregated and analyzed.
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