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What is Anaplan - Anaplan Tutorial

Starting with an introduction to Anaplan, we will go through its benefits, features, pricing, and how the Anaplan model-building process works. If you want to understand "What is Anaplan" and its advantages, read this article thoroughly. You will receive all the information you need to successfully implement the Anaplan procedure across your entire organization, which will be provided to you.  

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Anaplan is an advanced planning and performance management platform that runs in the cloud. It has marketing, sales, finance, human resources, and IT applications.

Anaplan links companies with individuals who can assist them in making more decisions. By merging different data sources, building simulations and models, and collaborating in real-time, Anaplan may improve cooperation, assist people in reaching better decisions, and streamline company processes.

Some things to know about Anaplan:

  • Anaplan, headquartered in San Francisco, boasts over 200 partners and over 2,000 customers across the globe.
  • In June 2022, private equity company Thoma Bravo acquired Anaplan.
  • To compete with SAP and Oracle, two other integrated business processing providers, and supply chain vendors like Blue Yonder and Kinaxis, Anaplan's $10.7 billion acquisition is a game-changer.

Anaplan's solution will make keeping track of things more straightforward. No matter where you are in the company's operations, the reliable Anaplan platform will satisfy your organization's budgeting, forecasting, and planning needs.

What is Anaplan - Table Of Content

What is Anaplan?

Anaplan is a web-based planning application for businesses. It is also the name of the company that made the platform.  The name "Anaplan" is made up of the words "analysis" and "planning." It is best known for its in-memory database and calculating engine called "HyperBlock."

Anaplan is a game-changing tool for strategic corporate analysis, planning, and execution. With Anaplan's exclusive Hyperblock technology, users can contextualize the real-time performance and consider what might happen in the future. It enables them to make decisions more quickly and confidently. By providing you with a unified business strategy and planning system for your entire organization, Anaplan aids in the expansion of your company.

What is Anaplan

If you wish to become a certified Anaplan professional, go for "Anaplan Training." This training will help you in attaining excellence in this field.

What is Anaplan used for?

Anaplan is used for CPM, which stands for "corporate performance management." It is a platform for collaborative business planning and business information at an enterprise level. 

The Anaplan software can often improve operational performance because it links planning and analytics.

Business users of enterprise customers can organize and analyze fragmented sets of enterprise data coming from the finance, human resources, sales, and other business divisions by uploading data to the Anaplan cloud.

Using Anaplan for collaborative planning could help the following types of businesses:

  • Sales: It can help set and predict sales goals and give incentives.
  • Finance: It is helpful for capital expenditures (CAPEX) planning, handling taxes, bringing together finances and treasury, and reporting and analysis.
  • Information technology (IT): It can also be used for the planning and implementation of Agile, as well as the financial management and cost transparency of information technology and facilities management.
  • Supply chain management: It can be used for trade promotion planning, predictive analytics, and analysis of distribution needs.

Simply put, Anaplan ensures that your spreadsheets are up-to-date to meet the needs of the modern world. We put together a lot of different systems on a single platform that is scalable and easy to use. This platform also has all of the spreadsheets that go with those systems.  In addition to being a grid system, it is also an architecture built on the cloud that offers a wide range of services. If you use Anaplan, you'll be able to move faster and organize all the different parts of your situation in a way that's easier to handle.

What is Anaplan used for

What is the Anaplan Model building?

The Anaplan model building represents your business and may be used for integrated planning.

The Anaplan modeling process has been updated to use PLANS as the new standard, often known as "the way we model." It encompasses more than just the equations; it also incorporates and improves upon the best practices already in place for data hubs and user experience. It is a rule set that governs the overall structure and the detailed design of the Anaplan models. This collection of rules will give each individual Anaplanner a clear path to efficient model design and uniform guidelines they can rely on when exchanging models between themselves.

Before developing a model, consider the sales, budgeting, and planning use cases you want to address. You'll then be able to focus on the specifics of your business that will be used to create your model. 

The components of an Anaplan model building are 

  1. App Hub
  2. Workspace
  3. Models
  4. Dimensions
  5. Lists
  6. Modules
  7. Line items
  8. Data Imports/Exports
  9. User Experience

Anaplan model building

Use these Anaplan modeling components to represent each aspect of your business.

#1. App Hub

When you first start learning Anaplan, you must be familiar with the basic vocabulary. 

  • The Anaplan model construction process uses App Hub as the initial stage. 
  • In the initial phase, it is applied to the process of pre-building models that customers can use.

#2. Workspace

  • Each organization (or self-governing workgroup) has its own office space. A workspace can have any number of users assigned to it, as well as any number of models.
  • A workspace contains all the models associated with your organization or division.
  • Creating a strategy for the entire organization? Make sure to include the company name in your Workspace.

#3. Models

  • Evaluating the business cases you want to address before constructing an Anaplan model is necessary. 
  • Some examples of business model cases are budgeting, sales, and planning. 
  • Following that, you will be able to identify the aspects of your business that contribute to the development of your model. For example, your locations, the products you sell, and the people who work there.
  • Models are self-contained, but their dimensions can be linked to other models' dimensions and updated with data from other models.

#4. Dimensions 

  • When constructing the framework of a module, dimensions should be used. The pivot feature allows you to change the module's columns, rows, and pages.
  • All models include time and version dimensions and the organization's and user's default lists. Lists are another dimension type that can categorize model elements like product categories, department personnel, or geographic regions. Lists are used to organize people within a company by role.
  • Use the time axis to determine the time interval that will be the foundation for your model's schedule. Depending on your preferences, you can schedule monthly, quarterly, or annual planning sessions.
  • A model's versions allow you to see its various iterations side by side. Every model has two versions: the actual data and the predicted future state. By comparing historical sales figures with projected figures, for instance, you can use model versions to evaluate the accuracy of your projections.

#5. List

  • Lists are collections of related items, such as the people employed in a department, the things on a shopping list, or the actual places that make up an area. They determine a model's composition and structure, making them a crucial part of Anaplan.
  • Whether they are employees in a department, places in the world, or products, things that fall under the same category are arranged in a list. Workspace administrators can design them as Anaplan module dimensions on rows, columns, or pages.
  • A list can be used to format a line item so that it looks like a picklist.

#6. Modules

  • Modules are the basic building blocks of an Anaplan model.
  • Every module is a distinct task, such as planning labor costs, figuring margins, or generating profit and loss statements. Use modules to enter data and determine values.
  • You can group the modules you have into various categories, each of which has a specific function.
  • Users are more likely to comprehend and interact with a model successfully if the module data is available on a dashboard. To view the data from different angles, you can save alternative data views from the modules you're using to analyze the data.

#7. Line items

  • Use line items in your model to enable measurement of the data.
  • When using the "Profit and Loss" module, for instance, you might want to figure out your cost of sales, revenue, costs, profit, and margin. In the Blueprint of the module, add a line item for each business area and then configure each line item individually.

#8. Data Imports/Exports

  • A list of modules can be imported directly from a dashboard by users with the necessary permissions. Administrators of workspaces can import users and versions as well.
  • A Workspace administrator must create an import before it can be published to a dashboard.
  • After it has been published, any user can start the import from the dashboard with access to the data and the necessary permissions.
  • After then, the Workspace administrators can configure exports to make it possible for data from Anaplan models to be used in other systems. You can select one of three export layouts whenever you export data from a module or dashboard.

#9. User Experience

  • The User Experience (UX) is the medium through which end users interact with an Anaplan model.
  • The UX provides users with the necessary data for planning in various formats. These windows may also enable the user to enter data directly into the system.
  • The user experience is tailored to the end user, and the customizable security settings in Anaplan define what a user can view or modify in the application.
Are you preparing for the Anaplan Interview? Then prepare well using "Anaplan Interview Questions & Answers" to get the job.

Benefits of Anaplan

The best things about Anaplan are its amazing benefits that help businesses make smart decisions, its powerful in-memory engine, and its easy-to-use interface.  

Here are a few benefits for your business that will help you from switching to Anaplan.

#1 Hyperblock

The Hyperblock platform allows users to create intricate and complex planning models using all pertinent business data, including transactional models like production SKUs. It is made possible by the adaptable and powerful in-memory Hyperblock engine.

#2 Quickly able to adapt

One of Anaplan's most notable benefits is that it facilitates quick adaptation to new circumstances. You have time to consider your options before reacting in real-time giving you and your team access to everything you might need. 

Furthermore, due to the user interface and mobile app, this can be done wherever you are. You may quickly and effectively get the most recent Anaplan insights from wherever you need to adapt.

#3 Dynamic Planning

Planning as we know it is over with Anaplan. It won't have to be done yearly, which is time-consuming and inefficient. Planning used to be rigid, hard to understand, and unable to adapt to changes. So, businesses couldn't be needed to respond better to changing circumstances.

The process of dynamic planning is a group effort. With Anaplan, everyone in the company may participate in the planning process and provide input. As a result, you may regularly adjust your strategies in response to changes you perceive in the market with the help of the abundant data at your disposal.

With Anaplan, you can implement transformative change that significantly benefits business performance because of how quickly you can respond to changes.

#4 Easy to Use

The Anaplan software is designed to be simple and easy to use. To clarify, users of the platform do not need any prior experience to use it. Managers and other corporate decision-makers can explore and use the program with minimal specialized technical knowledge. There is no requirement for relying on assistance from IT.

#5 Stay Focused and On Target

When it comes to making judgments about your company, scenario planning is really necessary. You can evaluate the feasibility of potential outcomes by using Anaplan's "what-if" scenario capabilities. Because of this, you can maintain your concentration and stay on track. You can make appropriate adjustments when new information about the future, unforeseen events, or weather patterns, for example, is provided to you.

To stay on track with your objectives, you must consider a wide range of market conditions. Understanding how unusual weather patterns or changes in consumer habits will affect your business is critical. You maintain control by being able to quickly perform calculations for various scenarios and use the results to make quick changes.

#6 Intelligent Decision-Making

If you go with Anaplan, you'll be able to improve the quality of your company's decisions. When you need it, the platform will present you with all the relevant information required to make informed decisions. There are no hiccups or awkward stretches in which you have to wait to receive data that back up your decision.

By conducting many "what-if" scenarios, all available options can be considered before settling on a particular action plan. It enables you to explore the actual repercussions of various options and observe how many different variables influence those repercussions.

Planning for several possible outcomes is a concept that has yet to be developed, but the speed with which it can be accomplished with Anaplan is a significant improvement. The management now has the knowledge to take action in as little as a few hours, although running several scenarios previously required several days or more to accomplish.

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What are the Features of Anaplan?

Let's look at some of the features that Anaplan offers.

  • Feasibility: Data can be shared between Anaplan and other systems like Tableau and Salesforce. Users can now access information from many different sources in one place.
  • User Interface: The user interface of Anaplan was made to make it easy for people all over the organization to work together. Additionally, Anaplan contains many security safeguards to guarantee that only authorized users can access important data. These features include Anaplan, which can be grown to meet the needs of even the biggest businesses because it is scalable. It is possible to handle billions of rows of data and millions of users simultaneously. Some of the security features that Anaplan offers are data encryption, user authentication, and access control.
  • Security: The compliance and security measures that Anaplan offers are meant to keep your data safe and ensure it follows all laws and rules. Anaplan gives you access to the features you need, whether you're looking for a simple way to share data or a complete way to run your business.
  • Enterprise scaling: Anaplan is the first and only planning tool made specifically for businesses. It was used from the ground up with parts that support scalability, enterprise-wide collaboration, and security to meet the needs of large businesses.
  • Collaboration: Users will have an easier time working together on projects because of the collaboration options offered by the platform.
  • Integrations and Data sharing: Many of Anaplan's features let users share data and combine it with data from other software. Users can quickly get data from different places and work on projects together. The platform has a feature that lets users share information with each other

Features of Anaplan

Cons of Anaplan

Some disadvantages of using Anaplan need to be discussed in more detail below.

  • Workflows: Users have noticed that custom workflows couldn't work better.
  • Adoption: Although it only requires basic coding skills and doesn't need any special training or support, the platform is hard for casual users to use.
  • Difficult to learn: Even though Anaplan has an on-demand course library with training videos that show you how to use the software, it will take you more than sixty hours to watch them all.
  • Volume limitations: When bigger models are used, the system's ability to compute is tested. Some users say that best practices for formatting data must be used correctly for the system to work well.
  • Reporting: A few reviewers said that the functions for reporting were "strict." Even though the ability to make reports is a skill, formatting and personalizing them took a lot of work. To meet their needs, some users make reports outside of the system.

Information On Anaplan pricing

Various factors, including the number of users, use plans, and line of business, determine Anaplan license-based pricing. 

Anaplan Pricing is also determined by the number of workspace gigabytes purchased by the customer. Anaplan pricing can skyrocket as the tier and application complexity rise.

Although Anaplan does not provide free plans or trials, the company does provide product demonstrations. By getting in touch with the company, you can find out how much the Anaplan platform costs. The platform has three different levels, each with more services and features than the last.

  1. In light of this, Peerspot says this about pricing: "The entry-level is anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 a year. After that, it goes up a lot, depending on how complicated it is and how much space you use."
  2. To put it another way, for a basic subscription, most businesses can expect to pay much more than $50,000.
  3. When the cost of learning the system and the hidden costs of hiring consultants are considered, it becomes tough to make a case for switching from Excel to Anaplan. Customers have also said they had to pay a license fee of $50,000 just to get started.

Conclusion 

Anaplan is one method that may be used to plan a company's budget strategically. Digital transformation budgets have unique planning requirements. Anaplan could be the right tool for large-scale business planning for large organizations that need to do complex computations or model multiple possible outcomes.

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Last updated: 04 Apr 2023
About Author

 

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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