Welcome to this three-part, best practice series: CloudWorks—This is How We Use It. Here we will help you understand why and how to use CloudWorks, covering the basics, setup, and APIs.
CloudWorks simplifies the data integration process, allowing end users to easily access the data they need within the Anaplan platform. It can be described by it's three key benefits:
CloudWorks makes Connected Planning intelligent and agile by orchestrating integrations with external sources such as cloud-based data and service providers, as well as with internal sources such as Anaplan models, using an application user interface.
Integration administrators can import and export model data to/from AWS S3 and leverage the automation capabilities via scheduling. CloudWorks has a low-code approach to bring data into Anaplan. It allows integration users to setup integrations quickly without requiring them to download data and upload it with Anaplan Connect.
Note: CloudWorks is not a replacement for ETL tools and does not support data transformation.
Typically, Integrations Administrators are ideal CloudWorks users. They can use it to easily bring in data from multiple sources and can leverage the scheduling capability to keep Anaplan models up-to-date with minimal effort.
Business Analysts can also leverage the integration-automation capabilities of CloudWorks to make their tasks more efficient with the automated integrations. This allows them to easily build scenarios and perform what-if analysis with the latest data, analyze a greater set of historical and forecast data to pinpoint new trends, and quickly reflect any changes within Anaplan for highly accurate planning.
Users across a variety of use cases can use CloudWorks to efficiently access the information they need without compromising data integrity. Below are some common use cases we've seen in the field.
Financial Planning: Financial planning often relies on tedious manual processes, leading to inaccuracies in planning revenue, OPEX/CAPEX, accounts receivables, collections, etc. With CloudWorks, users can automate data refreshes and syncs, ensuring data is always up to date for highly accurate financial planning.
Workforce Planning: Managing a volume of complex data can make workforce planning difficult. Reliance on multiple data sources across people, skills, work shifts, channels, and geographies can quickly become out of sync, resulting in inaccurate plans. CloudWorks allows users to schedule data flows from multiple sources, providing more accurate planning.
Sales & Revenue Planning: Sales and revenue data are often complex and outdated across multiple systems, typically requiring support from technical resources to keep up to date. This can result in inaccurate deal forecasts if not constantly monitored. CloudWorks can help automate predictions from diverse sources, so you gain greater accuracy in your forecasts.
Demand Planning: Demand is constantly shifting across channels, geographies, and SKUs at the same time, requiring manual efforts and long planning cycles that result in outdated plans once finalized. With CloudWorks, users can automate demand planning at the most granular level and shorten the cycle time to deliver more agile planning.
Sales Quota Planning: One of the most frequent situations we see is the need for disparate sources to be combined, which can be quite challenging for some organizations. Users can leverage CloudWorks to pull data from multiple locations with no technical knowledge and automate integrations, empowering teams to focus on understanding and achieving their quotas.
Marketing Spend Planning: It can be challenging to reconcile budgeted and actual data, especially at a granular level across geographies; it is even more difficult to regularly update and forecast. With CloudWorks, users can set up budgets and actual integrations on a weekly basis and generate an updated, reliable forecast.
Let's move on to Part 2: Setup.