Find the minimum 'Month' across multiple Line Items within the same module



Apologies if this doesn't make much sense but I am fairly new to Anaplan.


I have a module with multiple line items, each retrieving a month from other modules (Formatted to Time Period: Month). I would now like another Line Item (within the same module) to calculate the 'MIN' of those line items. Is this possible?


I have tried MIN('Line Item 1', 'Line Item 2', 'Line Item 3') but this comes up with a formatting error (even though it is formatted as Time Period: Month)


Any help would be greatly received.





Best Answer

  • anikdas
    Answer ✓

    Hi @CarlyBond 

    Was trying to think of an elegant solution. This actually is a kind of problem where "we need to find the minimum excluding certain values from calculation".

    Below is what i could come up with:

    • Continuing with my previous solution, Create just one more line item as date formatted. I called it "Blank Day"
    • You can populate this line item with any date greater than the end date of your model timescale

    Then use the following formula:

    PERIOD(MIN(IF ISBLANK('Line Item 1') THEN 'Blank Day' ELSE START('Line Item 1'), IF ISBLANK('Line Item 2') THEN 'Blank Day' ELSE START('Line Item 2'), IF ISBLANK('Line Item 3') THEN 'Blank Day' ELSE START('Line Item 3')))

     This works for the situation when multiple of the line items are blank. If all are blank, this returns blank.


    Screenshot 2020-06-19 at 10.39.54 AM.pngScreenshot 2020-06-19 at 10.39.43 AM.png

    Hope this helps!





  • Hi Carly,

    Create an equivalent number of number formatted line items as the number of month formatted line items
    Use the formula MONTH(Month1LineItem) for the first line item
    MONTH(Month2LineItem) for the second line item and so on

    Finally, create a min line item and point it to the newly created number formatted line items.

    MIN(MonthNumberLineItem1, MonthNumberLineItem2......)

    Additionally, if you need it, create another line item to format the minimum month number back to month

    Let me know if you need more help


  • Hi @CarlyBond 


    Here is a solution to this. Write the below formula - 

    PERIOD(MIN(START('Line Item 1'), START('Line Item 2'), START('Line Item 3')))

    Here line item 1, line item 2 and line item 3 - all month formatted along with the result line item.

    Let me know if this works.




  • @CarlyBond 

    You need to convert month into dates using start() , then get the minumum date in another line item, then get month back using period()


    here l1,l2,l3 are your month time formatted line items, get minimum date in min date which is date formatted, then convert date to month using period function


    attaching blueprint

  • Thank you for coming back to me so quickly 🙂


    This formula works, however, it includes the blank values. Is there any way in which I can ignore them?


    Apologies, I should have advised there were blank values in the first place.

  • Hi Carly,


    Try this:

    MAX(BLANK, PERIOD(MIN(START('Line Item 1'), START('Line Item 2'), START('Line Item 3'))))

     That is, just do a MAX to the existing MIN line item


    That should work




  • I don't think I have explained myself very well.


    Within Line Item 1, 2, 3, 4, etc there will always be a BLANK cell (i.e. There will only be one or two of the line items with something in them) so the MIN function is always returning a BLANK.


    Therefore the new MAX function is always returning BLANK too.

  • Think I got you now!


    Can you try this:

    1. Follow my approach and have 4 number formatted line items. Formula:

    IF ISBLANK(MonthLineItem) THEN 100 ELSE MONTH(MonthLineItem)

    2. Write your minimum formula referring the number formatted line items. The BLANK months will never show up as their value is 100

    3. Convert MIN line item back into Time




  • Thank you so much, this does work.

  • Glad it works, can you mark my response as a solution for future reference?