Strategies for clear and significant business insights


Author: Judee Dimapilis is a Certified Master Anaplanner and co-founder at Malaya Tech Consulting.

Within the ever-changing landscape of business operations, reporting that is both accurate and informative has never been more crucial. However, there are common reporting challenges that many businesses encounter that makes it difficult to draw actionable conclusions. This article will focus on two very common reporting challenges I see, and offer solutions to make sure your efforts result in significant and useful business decisions.

Constant change of reporting lines

Fast-changing industries, like technology or finance, may see regular modifications to financial reporting to reflect changing competitive environments, legal constraints, or market situations. It might be difficult to deal with continuous changes in reporting lines within a company, but you can successfully navigate this dynamic environment if you have the correct tools and a planned strategy.

Solution: Dynamic report list

In one of the organizations that I worked for, we managed frequent changes in their segment reporting lines by using a dynamic reporting list in Anaplan. We set up a dynamic list in Anaplan, wherein end users could add, update, edit, reparent items anytime as deemed needed. We created a mapping module where they could then tag companies into the dynamic reporting list. This functionality allowed us to have flexibility in our reports and made it quickly available. It improved visibility and enhanced analysis for those businesses.

End users can

add, edit, reparent

Company List

Mapping Module

Segment Report

(Dynamic List)

Company 1

Company 1

Segment 1

Segment 1

Company 2

Company 2

Segment 1

Segment 2

Company 3

Company 3

Segment 2

Data overload and storage

Many companies find themselves drowning in a sea of data, struggling to sift through the noise and extract relevant information. The challenge is to turn the abundance of data into clear and useful insights that drive strategic decision-making. In Anaplan, large number of data points to space usage. Effective space management is essential for achieving peak performance and avoiding wasteful spending.

Solution: subset report

One of the solutions that we came up with is by utilizing the subset in Anaplan. One of Anaplan's most useful features is the subset function, which lets you build a personalized, filtered view of a list or a subset of line items inside a module. Subsets help with simplifying navigation, enhance user experience, and improve model efficiency.

As we deal with multi-dimensional module needed in the report, we applied subset for every list. We automated the selection of the subset by using import actions and published it to the dashboard. It enables the end users to focus on relevant information without the unnecessary clutter.

Step 1: Select items that you want to include in the report

List 1 – Cost Center

List 2 - Cost Element

List 3 - Product

➤ Subset 1

➤ Subset 2

➤ Subset 3

☑ CC1

☑ CE1

☑ P1

☑ CC2

☐ CE2

☐ P2

☐ CC3

Step 2: Only the selected items are reflected in the report


Flexibility and storage capacity issues is a common challenge in building reports, but with the right strategies, organizations can transform it into an opportunity for growth and efficiency. By addressing constant changes in reporting lines, and data overload and storage, businesses can elevate their reporting processes to a new level of effectiveness, driving success in a setting where competition for business opportunities is growing.


  • @JLD Awesome!!! Thanks for putting this together. These are real world challenges and these solutions would definitely help.

  • @JLD I would like to appreciate your effort. I would like to add a few things:

    In addition to the second point regarding subsets, it's crucial to use it in only Output or Reporting Modules. Applying subsets in Input Modules can risk data loss if subsets are unchecked and checked again.

    Sometimes, there's a need to generate user-specific dynamic reports, where subsets come in handy to limit list items. However, with a large user base, this can inflate cell count, resulting in a bulky module. To address this, creating a 'Fake User List' and restricting access to selected users who actually need the report can significantly reduce cell count.

    Here's a detailed solution:

    1. Create a 'Fake User List' and populate it with, let's say, the email IDs of 10 users out of 350 who will utilize the report.
    2. Enable Selective Access and grant access to respective users based on their email IDs.
    3. Utilize this list in modules to tailor user-specific calculations. This approach effectively streamlines cell count.