Model Building Problem Solving

Community Manager

Model Building Problem Solving

Tell us about your time at Anaplan. How long have you been here? What is your current role, and how do you help customers succeed?

Erin Lauterbach: I have been at Anaplan since February 2018. I’m currently on the Global Presales Operations team supporting the Supply Chain LoB. I help customers succeed by building and demoing models to them that showcase the latest capabilities of the Anaplan platform and show them how they can expand their use of Anaplan.

Sam Wong: I’m a Presales Operations Consultant for the Global Presales Operations Team, specializing in Supply Chain. I’ve been here 9 months, and I help customers understand the power, speed, and flexibility of Anaplan through tailored proof of concept models, statistical forecasting applications, and Optimizer use cases and support.

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

Frequent Contributor

Lots of "stuff" rolls up to site, but they don't all relate to each other.  For example:

Fill rate rolls up to site but has no relationship to the grape programs, which also roll up to site.

Also if there is an item that could possible roll up thru grape program to site, there would be tons of sparcity. 

So I'm currently sticking to the old hierarchy.  Thanks!

Occasional Contributor

Hi, I have some issues while model building which i have mentioned below :

1) Is it possible to create Action Button on Numbered List if No Parent is assigned ? If Yes, then how ?

2) I have Employee dimension which rolls upto Cost Center.For example Emp 1 is assigned for Cost Center Africa then Whenever he enters any new item in numbered list , he will be having rights only for Africa from Cost Centers List to select. How this can be build up

Any help will be appreciated!





@priyanka1029 here are the answers to your questions: 


Repsonse to Question 1: 

A parent is required, if there is no actual parent for the numbered list then you can create a placeholder parent list without any list items (just “All”) and make this the parent hierarchy



Reponse to Question 2:

- Selective Access can be used to give employees access to only certain List items. 

- Dynamic Cell Access can be used so employees can only read/write, view or have no access to certain Line items.


We setup an example of both below: 


Step 1: Setup Cost Center and Employees list, in Cost Center list select “Selective Access Enabled?” Boolean



Step 2: Update access for employees, under “Settings” -> Users, find employee and give them read/write access to applicable cost center.


Step 3: Employee 1 who has Write access to Africa cost center will now only see Africa cost center in the list dropdown (Note: USA Cost Center is setup in list but Employee 1 does not have access)



Step 4: Selective Access can also be used to give employee read/write access to certain line items applicable to the Africa Cost Center. Setup Boolean line item then use this Boolean as the “Read Access Driver”



Step 5: Publish module to a dashboard, now Employee 1 can only view “Actuals” line item and can edit “Inputs” line item and enter data here



- Erin & Sam


What is the biggest challenge in building well performing fast models?
What tools and information would help you in this process?

Occasional Contributor

How to integrate and communicate between 2 Anaplan applications. How to configure output fron one model is input for another model?



Occasional Contributor

I want to know how can i instruct system to save a list member, when an user updates or add new member in a list item with all its properties. If all properties not updated, system should not auto save it?

How can i set it up?

Appreciate your help!




@imerchant here are the responses to your questions: 


- You can setup an Import staging module that the properties are loaded into first, this module can have logic/booleans setup to validate all applicable data is there before it gets imported into the actual List. 

- In the import staging module, line items can be setup with conditional formatting to validate required data was loaded, if not the missing/blank lines will be flagged. This view can be published to a dashboard so end user can review and upate missing data. 

- Example of this process is below. We setup a staging module that Product Hierarchy data is imported into to first check if all required data was imported (Product Name and Product Code). If it’s missing these are highlighted yellow using conditional formatting for end user to update before executing full import action which then imports data from staging module into product hierarchy Lists.




If “View Missing Instances” option is selected it brings user to data clean up dashboard:


Once missing data is populated then user can execute “Add Products to Hierarchy” action which will import data from staging module into Lists.


- Erin & Sam


Occasional Contributor

@imerchant: For models in the same workspace, you can use an import processes to bring data from a source model into the target model. This process is made easier with Saved Views.


  1. In your export module, filter the view to display only the line items and hierarchy levels you want to export. Line items should be in “Columns” and hierarchy levels should be in “Rows”. Once set up, make a Saved View:
    Screenshot 1.png
  2. In your import module, select Import, from another Anaplan model, then select the saved view in your source model. Configure the rest of the process normally.Screenshot 2.png
  3. Once Import is complete, you can rename and publish the Import action to a dashboard so that same import can be run again or done in a demo. (Highlighted below)Screenshot 3.png


-- Sam & Erin


@MarkWarren - here are the responses to your questions: 


Response to Question 1:

Dimensionality and sparsity — fix with modules and line items to include only the relevant dimensions. This means taking out “Applies To” on certain line items when it’s not relevant for that line item to help reduce sparsity and module size (i.e. removing Time dimension if it’s not relevant).

Can be helped by following DISCO design, designing up front to not build redundant and/or unnecessary functionality. 

Use line item subsets when needed and break long formulas into multiple line items if required to help with performance.


Response to Question 2: 

- Article on Community - DISCO & How to Model 


- Two great previous AMAs --


- Erin & Sam