AMA: Anaplan on Anaplan User Groups Live!

edited January 2023 in Spotlight Series

If you weren't able to attend User Groups Live!, you probably missed our Ask Me Anything session with members of our internal Center of Excellence. Check out the video below. 

Host: Hannah Cho (VP, Corporate Marketing)

  • Erin Graupmann (Business Operations Manager)
  • Thibaud Raucoules (Lead Sales Operations Analyst)
  • Stephanie Baure (Corporate Finance Manager)
  • Byron Mikowicz (Business Operations Manager)

Note: The live Q&A session is now closed.



  • What is the most efficent way of sorting a numbered list by the Display Name

  • Is there a way to stamp the current user one a  line item.

    The scenario is the user creates a numbered list and in the module, they woulld like to stamp the user who created this.

  • How to use Anaplan to conduct survey (ie ranking of projects) by multiple users?

  • Excel allows a user to adjust the number of iterative calculations to handle circular references.  How can circular references be managed in Anaplan?

  • This stamp is possible only as a result of import, that puts the name of a user who ran the import into the list.
  • How would one handle a ragged people hierarchy using a numbered list ...already applied recursive hierarchy..issues arise such as levels(employees) moving up and down when the parent (manager)transfers is terminated...etc)...What would be the best unique identifier as the code?

  • How do you keep data in sync across all of your spoke models?

  • I've heard you have a SPM model that includes many SPM use cases. How/when do you decide to split many use cases out of a single model into multiple separate models, vs keeping them all in one model?


  • It's important to have Local and Global Lists, so if I have many models, I don't need to copy the same list across all models. Do you have any plans for this?
  • How do you use a sum formula in conjuction with the native user list (line item associated with Users)?  When we try to do this we get an error stating no top level defined.

  • Multi-select feature and advanced user filters that won't have a massive impact on performances or model size are very much needed and welcome!
  • Follow up to my question, when I say native user list I am talking about the built in function rather than a true list that we have created within the general lists area.  Is there somewhere that we can assign a parent for the user dimension?  

  • What's your favourite element of the Anaplan ecosystem?

    What one thing do you wish Anaplan could do but currently can't...?

  • Any improvements on controlling data sparsity besides numbered list solution?

  • I couldn't limit myself to one thing -- so I have one technical and one UX 

    Technical: The ability to suppress 0's besides numbered lists

    UX: More conditional formatting options

  • Answering my own question... dynamic graphs for time rather than the clunky filtering i've got going currently.

  • Do you foresee the addition of a "Now" function being added to Anaplan?

  • If you want to supress zeros for conditional formatting purposes, a workaround that can be used is setting up logic where you simply convert the zeros to N/A by using the function divide(0,0). 

  • Charts ! Our users loves visualization, any enhancement done with chart functionality (more dynamic using list, LISS, sync up with your views/widgets in a dashboard, drill through to other dashboard from chart, more control on axes)?

  • jliu

    1) Any plan on having indentation in formula? This becomes difficult when we're writing long formulas, and they become difficult to find errors. We always need to copy the formulas to Word and do the indentation ourselves. 


    2) Any plan on having a search bar in the field mapping step? When we are doing an import into a module/list, it's time consuming to map the fields (especially when it is the first mapping), but if we have the search bar it would be much faster. 

  • What are some of the best ways you have found to indicate the data displayed on dashboards is still moving and not finalized yet? Are there any suggested methods other than creating a module that acts as a tracker and publishing it to the top of each dashboard that can visually call out that the final numbers are not ready yet?

  • There was a mention of having over 800 users... that combined with many workspaces and different models - how do you manage users (in your data hub?)?  

  • The answer from Stephanie on Formula Wizard is #awesome

  • Here are some ways to reduce sparcity:

    1. Turn off un-needed summaries
    2. Use List Subsets 

    3. Use time ranges
    4. Setup a single conetanated list to help consolidate multiple dimensions

    5. Keep data loads flat

    6. Don't over dimensionalize modules


  • I know some workaround: you can use time 🙂
    Here you have some examples. If you need some exact number of calculations, you can adjust it by formula or number of periods. Just remember to set up Time as a dimension.

    NoLAG(No, 1, 0) + 1
    FactorialLAG(Factorial, 1, 1) * No
    FibonacciLAG(Value, 2, 1) + LAG(Value, 1, 0)


  • Or you'll set @DavidSmith on us!

  • I've always found that Notepad++ (Windows) or Sublime Text (Mac) work much better for editing formulas than Word, especially for troubleshooting issues.  It allows for indentions and highlighting of functions like IF THEN...ELSE. 


    Maybe some adventurous Anaplanner will come up with custom language highlighting for Anaplan!



  • In regards to #2 - to simplify import mapping, make sure that the headers in the upload file match list's field (properties) names. Anaplana will automatically map fields with matchig names.

  • This is something our team has often mentioned would be great to have! Indenting parts of formulas, changing the font color of certain pieces of the formula (or highlighting pieces of the formula), and being able to "pop-out" the formula window to view within a much more enlarged window would make editing long formulas much easier to look at, without requiring the model builder to copy the formula out to a text editor such as Notepad++. I believe there is an idea posted on the community site's idea board related to this request.