Using List subsets or creating distinct lists ?


Hello, One Anaplan nice feature is the ability to create Subsets in List. I often use this feature for reporting purposes, or for designing allocations targets, or for filtering avalable product according to time, ...    However, we still have the possibility to create two or more quite similar lists with one list having all the items (I call it tha master list) and the other list having only a selection of items (I call it the child). Then we can "link" the two lists together by creating a property, and by using function such as sum or lookup to transfert data from one module into the other module. Of course it creates a redundancy in lists, because the Child List is a subset of the Master List. From a functional point of view, the Anaplan subset feature is more direct, more efficient in a way (no sum nor lookup in the formulas).  However, I sometimes use this solution of master List and Child list when it comes to create Data Entry module. I found that the Tick / Untick (or flg / unflag) feature of the subset is a little too dangerous for data entry module, at least if done manually. And if you untick (unflag) a list item subset you will loose all the data that have been entered manually.  With the Child List solution, you of course can delete a List item by mistakes, but I feel it is nevertheless a bit more safe, it's less easy to delete a List item than to untick(unflag) a subset.  Thus for data entry module, I rather use a duplicate list (child list) and have several lists than using the native Subset feature, which I mostly use for non-data entry modules. Pehaps a more robust solution from a psychological point of view, even if far less esthetical, and even if it requires additional list maintenance. Any comments welcome. Best regards. Michel.  


Best Answer

  • DavidSmith
    Hi Michel
    I'm new to Anaplan so still learning, but if the "child" property were a boolean, could you use that property to filter the screen to display only the children.
    It saves on a duplicate list but Is there reason why this isn't a good idea?
    I guess potentially the module could be unnecessarily large if lots of items were hidden.
    I'd welcome your thoughts.
    Best regards


  • Hi Michel,

    Thanks for sharing, haven't thought about this before.
    As you say, I can see in certain situations that it is a safer and better way to design a model.

  • Hi Simon,
    thanks for your comment.
    I am always glad to share such experiences.

    One of the worst events which can happen to us as Anaplanner is to loose the end users data entry... Of course ANaplan allows us to revert back to a given date back in the history, but one needs to notice the issue immedialty. If one only realize the mistakes somes days latter, done with the users' data.

    Kind regards
  • Hi David,
    your solution will work very nicely too, and filtering is an often use feature in my customers model. Perhaps filetring will be more used on line items to be showned rather than of list elements, but that's a matter of habbits.

    The advantage of your solution is that no data will be lost is the property were to be untick by mistake, and of course only one list will be created instead of two, which is a clear advantage in favour of your approach.

    The only impact of your solution is the size of the module : this is not a technical issue for Anaplan which can handle huge volumes, but why bothering with a 1 billion cells module if only 1 item out of 10 need to be showned ? If your all model is really very very large, having 20 module of 1 billion cells versus 20 modules 10 times smaller may have an impact.

    Of course there will be also the need to filtering off / on when ticking / unticking a property to allow the screen to refresh with the up to date list elements, but that's a small impact.

    A yet to come feature of managing the Hide / show elements on a massive scale will be an alternative going in the same way as your proposal, which is definitively a good and valid solution.

    That's the beauty of Analan : lot of solutions are valid!

    Thanks for your very good solution.