Connection: The Road to Anaplan
Anaplanners are, by nature, a unique group of curious, tenacious, problem-solvers—dedicated to a technology that is designed to be agile and resilient. Anaplan connects communities of people with data to enhance and optimize decision-making capabilities. And speaking of connections, that's exactly how Madison Marino began her journey with Anaplan, rising all the way to the ranks of Master Anaplanner! But she's not stopping there. Madison continues to learn and refine her model-building skills every day.
Over two years ago, my Anaplan journey began as an analyst with Spaulding Ridge. As an Anaplan consultant, I was tasked to review business requirements, recommend process improvements, and design solutions using the Anaplan platform. Although I’ve learned a lot on the job, my educational background and prior work experience have influenced my role in working with Anaplan.
Before my Anaplan journey began, I was pursuing my degree in business at The Ohio State University. I was undecided at first but always interested in analytics, and the idea of helping a company improve its business processes to overall make the company better through technology was intriguing to me. The Management Information Systems track stood out to me as an opportunity to explore my interest in analytics as well as further develop my business acumen. My courses highlighted the importance of designing, implementing, integrating, and maintaining computer-based solutions to solve business problems – all of which I use every day as an Anaplan consultant.
During my final semesters at Ohio State, the courses shifted from “theory-based” to design and project implementation focused. One of my required courses was a software requirements analysis course that put into perspective what a job in this field might entail. We covered a variety of use cases where we learned about system modeling and design, requirements specification development, and creating a user experience. Our term project involved us putting together a project implementation plan for a client’s new business idea, and we worked with them to gather our information using the agile methodology. This is only one example of a course I took that reflected the kind of work I was hoping to do. Through this course, I realized that I enjoyed solving a problem and providing a meaningful solution to customers.
My academic courses gave me some perspective into different software systems and project management, but it was not until my internship on a data analytics team at a large automotive company when I realized I wanted to help transform data results into better decision making. My key responsibilities included support in the analysis of data from the different businesses, development of dashboards and reports used by various stakeholders in the organization, support in the development and execution against the data and analytics strategy, and support in the migration of data. I worked daily with the data visualization tool, Tableau, and developed skills around data analysis and visualization. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the Tableau Conference on Tour in London. It was interesting to not only attend training sessions but also hear about how companies leverage their business with Tableau. My experience with Tableau further solidified my interest in pursuing a job that focused on using data visualization and analytical tools.
I knew from my courses, project work, and internship experience that I wanted a role where I was able to learn different software and apply it to a company’s business process. Additionally, I was looking to make an impact in a field that was of interest to me. After exploring various job opportunities, a business school connection led to an opportunity at a consulting firm specializing in Anaplan implementations. When I learned more about the role and Anaplan as a tool itself, I was instantly interested in the position. It was an exciting opportunity for me because I would be able to develop model building skills further and learn the functionality of a new platform while also helping companies drive towards better decision making.
More From Master Anaplanners:
- Certified Master Anaplanner David Elston Shares His Anaplan
- Certified Master Anaplanner Sarah Roberts—Harnessing the Power of Anaplan
Since joining Spaulding Ridge, I have been working on Anaplan implementations for almost two years now. I’ve been able to apply what I have learned from both my college career and internship to develop my model building skills and understand how to implement using the Anaplan Way. As I have continued my journey in Anaplan, I have been able to enhance my skills through project implementations, trainings/certifications, and resources within the Anaplan community. Recently I’ve earned my Master Anaplanner certification and am working towards my solutions architect certification. I’m thrilled to have ended up working with Anaplan and am excited to continue my journey in the platform!
Madison Marino is a Master Anaplanner and an Associate in the Performance Management practice of Spaulding Ridge, LLC. Since joining Spaulding Ridge, she has driven efforts towards multiple use cases, including Financial Planning & Analysis and Sales Forecasting. Madison is experienced in navigating the platform, building solutions for the client, and training the team on using the software.