MR: User to select columns for variance


Hi fellows,

New variance feature is a long awaited one. And finally we have it!

But this feature is almost a hardcode and it does not allow an end user to select which of the two columns to be compared.

Would be great if a user could decide it while presenting something like he can do with page selectors. Or any similar way...

I want to know what you guys think. How would you resolve this inconveniance? Or maybe you agree and want to add something. Let me know below.

I'd like to raise it in Idea exchange, but first want to discuss it here.




  • @lis.degeusthanks for your comment.

    Totaly agree with you! Could you tell a little bit more about the prototype? Are you saying that it had some additional UI to select columns while presenting or in edit mode only?

  • Yes!
    Not sure if you've ever done a user research session with the team, but they show really a "fake" prototype. Kind of like a slideshow of how they want to make the product look like, but nothing actually working in the tool at that point, as it's usually very early stage. So I usually don't expect something exactly like what I tested.
    But indeed if I remember correctly (this was 2-3 years ago), the users had a button "add comparison card" or something similar. This would prop up a screen where they could select Columns 1 and 2 to compare (could be a month, a version, a cost center, whatever dimensions applied to the table). Then add as many variance columns afterwards (choose from difference, % variance, etc). It looked awesome 🙂

  • @lis.degeus 

    Sounds promising! Thank you for revealing it.

  • What was the point if the end user can't just do it?

    This is literally a waste of time/coding otherwise. I as a workspace admin would include it in the line items if needed otherwise.

    It is a sparsity saving thing??? Silly, because if that is how close you are to making out a workspace, you have other issues with regards to sparsity that can relieve them...

    I am so glad Anaplan is spending their time on features that are beneficial/helpful, versus something that makes no sense /s
  • @KirillKuznetsov I absolutely agree that an easy to use and select variance feature should be built into Anaplan. Ability to select which columns to compare would be a huge improvement.  For this to be a truly value-add feature, it needs to be on Boards and Worksheets, not just Management Reporting.  After all, a key part of any planning process is to look at variance analysis.  While there are definitely ways to build variance analysis into an Anaplan model, it tends to take space and time to build, and there are still tradeoffs that need to be made.  This feature would help keep Anaplan a strong competitor in the market space.  

  • Great mention - I lost steam on my excitement for this new feature when I realized it requires continual maintenance to the report design (i.e. the hard coding you mentioned).  Flexible variance calculations would be a game changer and go a long way towards enabling the autonomous planner!  

  • Hi everyone, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I have submitted the Idea. Please support User to select columns for variance analysis