List Item

I have a numbered list with (with 3 hierarchy levels) which is populated using data source nightly. However, User also requires the ability to manually add items to this numbered list at any of this 3 level with dummy name. Based on this dimension (numbered list) user will be planning and forecasting values. 
I want to get your feedback on best practice in managing the dummy list items.
As per the business process after a certain period these dummy name in the list need to be updated with real code which will be loaded from the data source. Therefore, I either manually update the dummy item with real code in Anaplan or let the data flow into the model (now I have two duplicate list item, one created manually in Anaplan and other other real one populated from the data source) then copy the values from the dummy item to the real code and then delete the dummy item from the list or manage this process more effectively. Any ideas to manage this update process will be appreciated. thanks. 

Best Answer

  • bram.kurstjens

    Hi Asslam,


    There are a few options and which one you chose kind of depends on how you want to treat the dummy items. If the dummy items should be treated mostly the same as normal items, then I would suggest to add the dummy items to the production list, so that you do not have to duplicate a lot of modules. I would make sure there is a clear indicator in the production list, which tells you whether it is a manual dummy or an automatic load. 


    I think my approach would be to copy the data from the dummy item to the real item. You can then decide to delete the dummy item and the user would see their input values on the real item (instead of building line items that combine dummy & real item data). Changing the dummy code to the real item would probably create a similar problem that the data you loaded on the real item will need to be transfered and would require an administrator to do the exercize, while I would prefer the user to do it. The following steps I would take:


    - Create a mapping module where the user can choose which dummy item should be mapped to a real code. (You would probably want to filter this module to only show dummy items to avoid user mistakes).

    - Create a line item per input module that displays the mapping via a lookup

    - Create a view per input module that shows the mapping line item and the input line items and filter it to only show mapped items. You might also want to add a check here that the real item should not have any values.

    - Create import per input module that imports the input data from the dummy to the real item

    - Delete the mapped dummy items



    Hope this helps,


    Bram Kurstjens



  • @Asslam 

    This is quite a common requirement (new products, new headcount etc.) and as you've articulated it is tricky.


    The best option (although manual), is as you outline, and change the code (and display name) of the dummy item to reflect the new item.  This might be OK on a small scale, but it could be quite a labour intensive task.

    Having two items (1 dummy and 1 real), might work in some cases, as you could map the dummy item to the new item, but you could end up with actuals on one item and forecast data on another


    So, I solution I have often implemented is a combination of the two:


    When you know the code and description of the new item, you map these to the dummy items in a module.

    Then for each data source (that is manually entered), you create an internal import to copy the data from the dummy items to their new counterpart.

    Once that is completed, you clear or delete the dummy item.


    So it is a 4 step process

    1. Update the list for the new items

    2. Map the new items to the dummy items

    3. Copy the data from the dummy items to the new items

    4. Clear/Delete the dummy items


    One word of caution.  If the dummy item forecast was driven from higher level attributes and assumptions, you will need to be mindful that the new item has the same attributes that pull from the higher level.  Otherwise, you may find you get a different forecast


    I hope this helps



  • @DavidSmith  & @bram.kurstjens 


    Thanks for your response, I tried you options but came across some issues. Which I had been trying to resolve. 

    Could you please elaborate on the mapping module structure and action to copy the data, as the data (both actual & forecast) is on the level L2,and mapping is required to happen at both the level (L1 & L2) to fully map the dummy item to the new item. Does that mean I need to two mapping module or use one model with two different line items for L1 & L2.