Board vs Worksheet when Planning


Boards are fantastic for dynamic Management Reports, worksheets are loved by Financial Analysts. The user community seems to be unified about this and @Fwolf has given us a comprehensive guide to navigate the Board Page vs Worksheet Page question between these two common use cases. Yet, I feel like there is one major topic not really addressed. What to use when building a planning toolbox for common business users? (meaning the bulk of users like account managers, cost center owners etc.). I have experienced that they spend mostly just a brief time in Anaplan to update their weekly or monthly forecast. This means that the entire toolbox and process needs to be efficient. Drafting out their user stories puts me often somewhere inbetween a Board and a Worksheet, where they require features like graphs for review, larger grids for edit & override and small modules for plan settings in ONE simple UX. Classic was perfect for this, you could have everything compressed on one dashboard. However, recreating this experience in NUX makes Boards very clunky. The alternative is to split them out into several boards & worksheets with navigation in-between them (but... that's a nightmare to maintain). Worksheets on the other hand lack versatility, are too static and overload easily people with data. How do you experience this? What are your learned best practises?


  • I don't have a good answer for you! But situations like this are why I hope Anaplan doesn't do away with classic dashboards entirely
  • @PhilippErkinger 


    That is a very valid question. Personally I am not a huge fan of Worksheets just because it is not as flexible as Boards. Hence I use Boards to the maximum extent because I can publish many grid cards if I wish to. At the same time Boards can get clunky if we dump more cards and it becomes difficult for users to comprehend. On the other hand Worksheet allows me to do that very easily but it doesn't go beyond one primary grid & one secondary card - one thing I like about Worksheet is Additional Insights Panel. 


    Even I am of the view that we need additional insights panel in boards, it would mean a mix of both the worlds. To answer your question, it depends. Also when we move from Classic to NUX we don't move as - is. Check out this latest article on transition process and see if this helps in your decision making.



    @anirudh I hope they do get away with classic otherwise NUX will never scale up 🙂



  • Hi @PhilippErkinger,

    great question, probably many of us already asked ourselves that. Few observations:

    - Actually lately I started using worksheets more and more, especially for big grids, you can take advantage of Additional Insights panel, and still include quite some info on a Page, while I have impressions that it looks cleaner

    - For Board, I think it is important not to just replicate classic dashboards (something that @Misbah mentioned too), but adapt to new way of building, I often struggle with some empty spaces or the grid being too huge (one column for half a page), but it's going better and better after some time

    - it's great if you can avoid scrolling, but I always find it very hard to accomplish

    - While transitioning from Classic to UX for one model, I indeed in few cases split one old dashboard into few Pages, as it made sense and looked better

    - Overall, it depends of course... 🙂 depending on what you need to show, what clients want to see. I think it takes practice as well, I am fully using NUX for around 6 months now, and becoming more and more comfortable and (I hope) now I am able to decide between Board and Worksheet much easier. 


    Some notes regarding the Page design below:

    Approach the Problem

    • Solution Focused (provide clear direction about the problem)
    • Built for Action (provide inputs, actions & feedback for solutions)

    Design the Solution

    • Data Selection (leverage progressive disclosure & custom filters)
    • Screen Optimization (avoid complexity, horizontal and vertical scrolling)


    For me, personally, there are few really blocking points to work with NUX, I actually posted them all already on Idea Exchange, I do not mean to promote it here, but you can find there more explanation also of my findings. I really hope that Anaplan team responsible for NUX (which is doing great job by the way, releasing new functionalities quickly) can take these points into account:

    1. Filtering on nested dimension with Line Items, very often needed

    2. Selection of Line Items on nested dimensions

    3. Filters Overview (people cannot see which filters are applied to the view, and claim something is missing, as we do not have this visibility!)

    4. Select Items or Levels and Pivot (something more for Page Builders)

    5. Line Items as Context Selectors

    6. Controlling Worksheet Context Menu


    For me, the above mentioned points still cause a gap between classic dashboards and UX. While there are so many cool features to take advantage of NUX, and many clients are really happy with it, sometimes it's hard to be convinced if very small basic possibilities are missing.


    Well, let's keep the discussion going, I think NUX is becoming better and better, and we will be able to do even more soon.