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It is important to understand what Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) enables clients to do within Anaplan. In short, ALM enables clients to effectively manage the development, testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of applications in Anaplan. With ALM, it is possible to introduce changes without disrupting business operations by securely and efficiently managing and updating your applications with governance across different environments and quickly deploying changes to run more “what-if” scenarios in your planning cycles as you test and release development changes into production. Learn more here: Understanding model synchronization in Anaplan ALM Training on ALM is also available in the Education section 313 Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
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What happens to History when I delete a user from a workspace?
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Dimension Order Affects Calculation Performance Ensuring consistency in the order of dimensions will help improve the performance of your models. This consistency is relevant for modules and individual line items. Why does the order matter? Anaplan creates and uses indexes to perform calculations. Each cell in a module where dimensions intersect is given an index number. Here are two simple modules dimensioned by Customer and Product. In the first module, Product comes first and Customer second, and in the second module, Customer is first and Product is second. In this model, there is a third module that calculates revenue as Prices * Volumes. Anaplan assigns indexes to the intersections in the module. Here are the index values for the two modules. Note that some of the intersections are indexed the same for both modules: Customer 1 and Product 1, Customer 2 and Product 2, and Customer 3 and Product 3, and that the remainder of the cells has a different index number. Customer 1 and Product 2 is indexed with the value of 4 in the top module and the value of 2 in the bottom module. The calculation is Revenue = Price * Volume. To run the calculation, Anaplan performs the following operations by matching the index values from the two modules. Since the index values are not aligned, the processor scans the index values to find a match before performing the calculation. When the dimensions in the module are reordered, these are the index values: The index values for each of the modules are now aligned. As the line-items of the same dimensional structure have an identical layout, the data is laid out linearly in memory. The calculation process accesses memory in a completely linear and predictable way. Anaplan’s microprocessors and memory sub-systems are optimized to recognize this pattern of access and to pre-emptively fetch the required data. How does the dimension order become different between modules? When you build a module, Anaplan uses the order that you drag the lists onto the Create Module dialog. The order is also dependent on where the lists are added. The lists that you add to the 'pages' area are first, then the lists that you add to the 'rows' area, and finally the lists added to the 'columns' area. It is simple to re-order the lists and ensure consistency. Follow these steps: On the Modules pane, (Model Settings>Modules) look for lists that are out of order in the Applies To column. Click the Applies To row that you want to re-order, then click the ellipsis. In the Select Lists dialog, click OK. In the Confirm dialog, click OK. The lists will be in the order that they appear in General Lists. When you have completed checking the list order in the modules, click the Line Items tab and check the line items. Follow steps 1 through 3 to re-order the lists. Subsets and Line Item Subsets One word of caution about Subsets and Line Item subsets. In the example below, we have added a subset and a Line Item Subset to the module: The Applies To is as follows: Clicking on the ellipsis, the dimensions are re-ordered to: The general lists are listed in order first, followed by subsets and then line item subsets. You still can reorder the dimensions by double-clicking in the Applies to column and manually copying or typing the dimensions in the correct order. Largest vs. Smallest? This is the normal follow up question, and unfortunately, the answer is "it depends." Through research we have found that it all depends on the data within the module. Also, it can get very confusing if subsets are used; the Customer list might be bigger than the Products list, but if a subset of Customers is used that is smaller than Products, then what?   Also, we don't advocate ordering the lists in the General Lists setting in size order; the lists should be ordered in hierarchical order top to bottom, so, by definition, that will be smallest to largest. So our advice is be consistent. Think about how you describe the problem. Does the business talk about Customer by Product, or Products for Customers? Agree to a convention, and stick to it. Other Dimensions The calculation performance only relates to the common lists between the source(s) and the target. The order of separate lists in one or other doesn’t have any bearing on the calculation speed.
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Overview G uide for the new  Statistical Forecasting Calculation Engine Models (monthly and weekly).  Includes enablement videos, practice data import exercise, model documentation, and specific steps when using the model for implementations .  1. Enablement Videos & Practice Exercise # Item Details Link 1a Intro and Overview Video Model overview and review of new key features   Video Below 1b Initial Model & Data Import Steps Steps on how to setup model, product hierarchy, customer list and multi-level forecast analysis  Video Below  1c Practice Exercise—Import data to setup stat forecast Two sets of load files included to practice setup for single level product set or multi-level product set w/ customers, product and brand level.  Start on "Initial App Setup" dashboard and load   either Single OR Multi Level files   into model, use Import video as guide if needed.  .Zip File Attached  2. Documentation  # Item Details Link 2a Lucidchart Process Maps Lucidchart Process Map document includes High Level process flow for end user navigation and detailed tabs for each section  **Details & links also on "Training & Enablement" dashboard Process Maps  2b High Level Process Map PDF High level process map PDF format  Attached 2c Forecast Methods PDFs High level version with forecast algorithms list and overview  Detailed version which includes slide for each forecast method, m ethod overview, advantages/disadvantages, equation and graph example output   **These slides are also included on "Forecast Methods Overview & Formulas" dashboard     Attached 3. Implementation Specifics # Item Details 3a Training & Enablement Dashboard Training & Enablement dashboard contains details on process map navigation  3b Initial Model Setup  Initial Setup: current model staged with chocolate data from data hub, execute CLEAR MODEL action prior to loading customer specific data 3c Changing Model Time Scale— align Native & Dynamic Time Settings If a Time Settings change is required, need to review Initial App Setup dashboard to align Native Time with Dynamic Time setup in model   3d Monthly Update Process After initial setup, use Monthly Data History Upload dashboard to update prior period actuals and settings  3e Single Level vs. Multi-Level Forecast Setup Two implementation options & when to use:  Single Level Forecast:  Forecast at one level of product hierarchy (i.e. all stat forecasts calculated at Item level). Most use cases will leverage single level forecast setup. Multi-Level Forecast : Ability to forecast at different levels of the product hierarchy (i.e. Top Item | Customers, Item and Brand level can all have stat forecast generated). This requires complex forecast reconciliation process, review "Multi-Level Forecast Overview" dashboard if this process is needed.   3f Troubleshooting Tips Follow troubleshooting tips on Training & Enablement dashboard if having issues with stat forecast generating before reaching out for support  3g Model Notes & Documentation Module Notes—includes DISCO classification and module purpose   3h "Do Not Modify" Items Module notes contain DO NOT MODIFY for items that should not be changed during implementation process     3i User Roles & Selective Access Demo, Demand Planner, Demand Planning Manager ro les can be adjusted  After Selective Access process run on Flat List Management dashboard then users can be given access to certain product groups / brands etc 3j Batch Processing Details on daily batch processing and how to prepare a roadmap of your batch processes – files, queries, import actions / processes in Anaplan (see attachment) 4. Videos Intro & Model Intro and Overview Video Data Import and Setup Steps  5. Model Download Links Monthly Statistical Forecasting Calculation Engine Weekly Statistical Forecasting Calculation Engine
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Filters can be very useful in model building and are widely used, but they can come at the expense of performance; often very visible to users through their use on dashboards. Performance can also hit imports and exports, which in turn may lead to the blocking of other activity, causing a poor perception of the model. There are some very simple guidelines to designing well performing filters: Using a single Boolean filter on a line item that does not have time or versions applied and does not have a summary is fastest. Try to create a Boolean line item that incorporates all the filter criteria you want to apply. This allows you to re-use the line item and combine a series of Boolean line items into a single Boolean for use in the filter. For example, you may want to filter on three data points: Volume, Product Category, and Active Status. Volume is numeric, Product Category is a list formatted line item matching a user selection, and Active Status is a Boolean. Create a line item called Filter with the following formula: Volume > Min Vol AND Product Cat = User Selection.Category AND Active Status Here’s a very simple example module to demonstrate this… A Filter line item is added to represent all the filters we need on the view. Only the Filter line needs to be dimensioned by Users. A User Selection module dimension only by Users is created to capture user-specific filter choices: Here’s the data before we apply the filter: With the filter applied: A best practice suggestion would be to create a filter module and line items for each filter part. You may want other filters and you can then combine each filter as needed from this system module. This should reduce repetition and give you control over the filters to ensure they can all be Boolean. What can make a filter slow? The biggest performance hit for filters are when nesting dimensions on rows. The performance loss is significantly increased by the number of nested dimensions and the number of levels they contain. With a flat list versus nested dimensions (filtering on the same number of items) the nested filter will be slower. This was tested with a 10,000,000 list versus 2 lists of 10 and 1,000,000 items as nested rows; the nested dimension filter was 40% slower. Filtering on line items with a line item summary will be slow. A numeric filter on 10,000,000 items can take less than a second, but with a summary will take at least 5 seconds. Multiple filters will increase time This is especially significant if any of the preceding filters do not lower the load, because they will take additional time to evaluate. If you do use multiple filter conditions, try to order them so the most effective filters are first. If a filter doesn’t often match on anything, evaluate whether it's even needed. Hidden levels act as a filter If you hide levels on a composite list, this acts like a filter before any other filter is applied. The hiding does take time to process and will impact more depending on the number of levels and the size of the list. How to avoid nested rows for export views Using nested rows can be a useful way to filter a complex set of data for export but, as discussed above, the filter performance here can be poor. The best way around this is to pivot the dimensions so there is only one dimension on rows and use the Tabular Multi Column export option with a Filter Row based on Boolean option. Some extra filter tips… Filter duration will affect saved views used in imports, so check the saved view open time to see the impact. This view open time will be on every use of the view, including imports or exports. If you need to filter on a specific list, create a subset of those items and create a new module dimensioned by the subset to view that data.
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Model Load: A large and complex model such as 10B cells can take up to 10 minutes to load the first time it's in use after a period of inactivity of 60 minutes. The only way to reduce the load time is by identifying what formula takes most of the time. This requires the Anaplan L3 support (ask for a Model Opening Analysis), but you can reduce the time yourself by applying the formula best practices listed above. One other possible leverage is on list setup: Text properties on a list can increase the load times, and subsets on lists can disproportionately increase load times. It is best practice not to use List Properties but house the attributes in a System model dimensioned by the list.  See Best practice for Module design for more details. Model Save: A model will save when the amount of changes made by end-users exceeds a certain threshold. This action can take several minutes and will be a blocking operation. Administrators have no leverage on model save besides formula optimization and reducing model complexity. Using ALM and Deployed mode increases this threshold, so it is best to use Deployed mode whenever possible. Model Rollback: A model will roll back in some cases of an invalid formula, or when a model builder attempts to adjust a setting that would result in an invalid state. In some large models, the rollback takes approximately the time to open the model, and up to 10 minutes worth of accumulated changes, followed by a model save. The recommendation is to use ALM and have a DEV model which size does not exceed 500M cells, with a production list limited to a few dozen items, and have TEST and PROD models with the full size and large lists. Since no formula editing will happen in TEST or PROD, the model will never rollback after a user action. It can roll back on the DEV model but will take a few seconds only if the model is small.
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Details of known issues  Challenge Recommendations Performance issues with long nested formulas Need to have a long formula on time as a result of nested intermediate calculations. If the model size does not prevent from adding extra line items, it's a better practice to create multiple intermediate line items and reduce the size of the formula, as opposed to nesting all intermediate calculations into one gigantic formula. This applies to summary formulae (SUM, LOOKUP, SELECT). Combining SUM and LOOKUP in the same line item formula can cause performance issues in some cases. If you have noticed a drop in performance after adding a combined SUM and LOOKUP to a single line item, then split it into two line items. RANKCUMULATE causes slowness A current issue with the RANKCUMULATE formula can mean that the time to open the model, including rollback, can be up to five times slower than they should be. There is currently no suitable workaround. Our recommendations are to stay within the constraints defined in Anapedia. SUM/LOOKUP with large cell count Separate formulas into different line items to reduce calculation time (fewer cells need to recalculate parts of a formula that would only affect a subset of the data). A known issue with SUM/LOOKUP combinations within a formula can lead to slow model open and calculation times, particularly if the line item has a large cell count. Example: All line items do not apply to time or versions. Y = X[SUM: R, LOOKUP: R] Y Applies to [A,B] X Applies to [A,B] R Applies to [B] list formatted [C] Recommendation: Add a new line item 'intermediate' that must have 'Applies To' set to the 'Format' of 'R' intermediate = X[SUM: R] Y = intermediate[LOOKUP: R]  This issue is currently being worked on by Development and a fix will be available in a future release Calculations are over non-common dimensions Anaplan calculates quicker if calculations are over common dimensions. Again, best seen in an example. If you have, List W, X Y = A + B Y Applies To W, X A Applies To W B Applies To W This performs slower than, Y = Intermediate Intermediate = A + B Intermediate Applies To W All other dimensions are the same as above. Similarly, you can substitute A & B above for a formula, e.g. SUM/LOOKUP calculations. Cell history truncated Currently, history generation has a time limit of 60 seconds set. The history generation is split into three stages with 1/3 of time allocated to each. The first stage is to build a list of columns required for the grid. This involves reading all the history. If this takes more than 20 seconds, then the user receives the message "history truncated after x seconds - please modify the date range," where X is how many seconds it took. No history is generated. If the first stage completes within 20 seconds, it goes on to generate the full list of history.  In the grid only the first 1000 rows are displayed; the user must Export history to get a full history. This can take significant time depending on volume.  The same steps are taken for model and cell history. The cell history is generated from loading the entire model history and searching through the history for the relevant cell information. When the model history gets too large then it is currently truncated to prevent performance issues. Unfortunately, this can make it impossible to retrieve the cell history that is needed. Make it real time when needed Do not make it real time unless it needs to be. By this we mean, do not have line items where users input data being referenced by other line items unless they have to be. A way around this could be to have users have their data input sections, which is not referenced anywhere, or as little as possible, and, say, at the end of the day when no users are in the model, run an import which would update into cells where calculations are then done. This may not always be possible if the end user needs to see resulting calculations from his inputs, but if you can limit these to just do the calculations that he needs to see and use imports during quiet times then this will still help. We see this often when not all reporting modules need to be recalculated real time. In many cases, many of these modules are good to be calculated the day after. Reduce dependencies Don't have line items that are dependent on other line items unnecessarily.This can cause Anaplan to not utilize the maximum number of calculations it can do at once. This happens where a line items formula cannot be calculated because it is waiting on results of other line items. A basic example of this can be seen with line item's A, B, and C having the formulas: A - no formula B= A C = B Here B would be calculated, and then C would be calculated after this. Whereas if the setup was: A - no formula B = A C = A Here B and C can be calculated at the same time. This also helps if line item B is not needed it can then be removed, further reducing the number of calculations and the size of the model. This needs to considered on a case-by-case basis and is a tradeoff between duplicating calculations and utilizing as many threads as possible. If line item B was referenced by a few other line items, it may indeed be quicker to have this line item. Summary calculation Summary cells often take processing time even if they are not actually recalculated because they must check all the lower level cells. Reduce summaries to ‘None’ wherever possible. This not only reduces aggregations, but also the size of the model.
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Overview: A dashboard with grids that includes large lists that have been filtered and/or sorted can take time to open. The opening action can also become a blocking operation; when this happens, you'll see the blue toaster box showing "Processing....." when the dashboard is opening. This article includes some guidelines to help you avoid this situation.  Rule 1: Filter large lists by creating a Boolean line item.  Avoid the use of filters on text or non-Boolean formatted items for large lists on the dashboard. Instead, create a line item with the format type Boolean and add calculations to the line item so that the results return the same data set as the filter would. Combine multiple conditions into a single Boolean value for each axis. This is especially helpful if you implement user-based filters, where the Boolean will be by the user and by the list to be filtered. The memory footprint of a Boolean line item is 8x smaller than other types of line items. Known issue: On an existing dashboard where a saved view is being modified by replacing the filters with a Boolean line item for filtering, you must republish it to the dashboard. Simply removing the filters from the published dashboard will not improve performance. Rule 2: Use the default Sort. Use sort carefully, especially on large lists. Opening a dashboard that has a grid where a large list is sorted on a text formatted line item will likely take 10 seconds or more and may be a blocking operation. To avoid using the sort: Your list is (by default) sorted by the criteria you need. If it is not sorted, you can still make the grid usable by reducing the items using a user-based filter. Rule 3: Reduce the number of dashboard components. There are times when the dashboard includes too many components, which slows performance. Avoid horizontal scrolling and try and keep vertical scrolling to no more than three pages deep. Once you exceed these limits, consider moving the components into multiple dashboards. Doing so will help both performance and usability. Rule 4: Avoid using large lists as page selectors. If you have a large list and use it as a page selector on a dashboard, that dashboard will open slowly. It may take 10 seconds or more. The loading of the page selector takes more than 90% of the total time. Known issue: If a dashboard grid contains list formatted line items, the contents of page selector drop-downs are automatically downloaded until the size of the list meets a certain threshold; once this size is exceeded, the download happens on demand, or in other words when a user clicks the drop down. The issue is that when Anaplan requests the contents of list formatted cell drop-downs, it also requests contents of ALL other drop-downs INCLUDING page selectors. Recommendation: Limit the page selectors on medium to large lists using the following tips: a) Make the page selector available in one grid and use the synchronized paging option for all other grids and charts. No need to allow users to edit the page in every dashboard grid or chart. b) For multi-level hierarchies, consider creating a separate dashboard with multiple modules (just with the list entries) to enable the users to navigate to the desired level. They can then navigate back to the main planning dashboard. This approach also de-clutters the dashboards. c) If the dashboard elements don't require the use of the list, you should publish them from a module that doesn't contain this list. For example, floating page selectors for time or versions, or grids that are displayed as rows/columns-only should be published from modules that do not include the list. Why? The view definitions for these elements will contain all the source module's dimensions, even if they are not shown, and so will carry the overhead of populating the large page selector if it was present in the source. Rule 5: Split formatted line items into separate modules. Having many line items (that are formatted as lists) in a single module displayed on a dashboard can reduce performance as all of the lists are stored in memory (similar to Rule 4). It is better, if possible, to split the line items into separate modules. Remember from above, try not to have too many components on a dashboard; only include what the users really need and create more dashboards as needed.  
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Overview Imports are blocking operations: To maintain a consistent view of the data, the model is locked during the import, and concurrent imports run by end-users will need to run one after the other and will block the model for everyone else. Exports are blocking for data entry while the export data is retrieved, and then the model is released. During the blocking phase, users can still navigate within the model. Rule #1: Carefully decide if you let end-users import (and export) during business hours Imports executed by end-users should be carefully considered, and if possible, executed once or twice a day. Customers more easily accept model updates at scheduled hours for a predefined time—even if it takes 10+ minutes—and are frustrated when these imports are run randomly during business hours. Your first optimization is to adjust the process and run these imports by an administrator at a scheduled time, and then let the user based know about the schedule. Rule #2: Use a saved view The first part of any Import (or Export) is retrieving the data. The time it takes to open the view directly affects the time of the Import or Export. Always import from a saved view—NEVER from the default view. And use the naming convention for easy maintenance. Ensure the view is using optimized filters with a single Boolean value per axis. Hide the line items that are not needed for import; Do not bring extra columns that are not needed. If you have done all of the above, and the view is still taking time to complete, consider using the Tabular Multi Column export and filter "in the way out." This has been proven to improve some sluggish exports.  Rule #3: Mapping objective = zero errors or warning Make sure your import executes with no errors or warnings as every error takes processing time. The time to import into a medium-to-large list (>50k) is significantly reduced if no errors are to be processed. In the import definition, always map all displayed line items (source→target) or use the "ignore" setting. Don't leave any line item unmapped. Rule #4: Watch the formulas recalculated during the import If your end-users encounter poor performance when clicking a button that triggers an import or a process, it is likely due to the recalculations that are triggered by the import, especially if the action creates or moves items within a hierarchy. You will likely need the help of the Anaplan Model Optimization team to identify what formulas are triggered after the import is done and to get a performance check on these formulas to identify which one takes most of the time. Usually, those fetching many cells such as SUM, LOOUKP, ANY, or FINDITEM are likely to be responsible for the performance impact. Speak to your Business Partner for more details on the Model Optimization services available to you. To solve such situations, you will need to challenge the need for recalculating the formula identified each time a user calls the action. Often, for actions such as creations, moves, assignments done in WFP or Territory Planning, many calculations used for Reporting are triggered in real-time after the hierarchy is modified by the import, and are not necessarily needed by users until later in the process. The recommendation is to challenge your customer and see if these formulas can be calculated only once a day, instead of each time a user runs the action. If this is acceptable, you'll need to rearchitect your modules and/or formulas so that these heavy formulas get to run through a different process run daily by an administrator and not by each end-users. If not, you will need to look at the formulas more closely to see what improvements can be made. Remember, breaking formulas up often helps performance. Rule #5: Don't import list properties Importing list properties takes more time than importing these as a module line item. Review your model list impacted by imports, and look to replace list properties with module line items when possible. Use a System module to hold these for the key hierarchies, as per D.I.S.C.O.— Best practice for Module design. Rule #6: Get your Data Hub HUB and SPOKE: Setup a Data Hub model, which will feed the other production models used by stakeholders. Look at the white paper on how to build a Data Hub: Performance benefits: It will prevent production models to be blocked by a large import from an External Data Source. But since Data Hub to Production model imports will still be blocking operations, carefully filter what you import, and use the best practices rules listed above. All import, mapping/transformation modules required to prepare the data to be loaded into Planning modules can now be located in a dedicated Data HUB model and not in the Planning model. This model will then be smaller and will work more efficiently. Try and keep the transaction data history in the Data Hub with a specific analysis dashboard made available for end users; often, the detail is not needed for planning purposes, and holding this data in the planning model has a negative impact on size, model opening times, and performance. As a reminder of the other benefits of a Data Hub not linked to performance: Better structure, easier maintenance: Data Hub helps keep all the data organized in a central location. Better governance: Whenever possible put this Data Hub on a different Workspace. That will ease the separation of duties between production models and meta-data management, at least on actual data and production lists. IT departments will love the idea to own the Data Hub and have no one else be an administrator in the Workspace. Lower implementation costs: A Data Hub is a way to reduce the implementation time of new projects. Assuming IT can load the data needed by the new project in the Data Hub, then business users do not have to integrate with complex source systems but with the Anaplan Data Hub instead. Rule #7: Incremental import/export This can be the magic bullet in some cases. If you export on a frequent basis (daily or more) from an Anaplan model into a reporting system, or write back to the source system, or simply transfer data from one Anaplan model to another, you have ways to only import/export the data that have changed since the last export. Use a boolean line item to identify records that have changed and only import those.
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Learn how to organize your model into logical parts to give you a  well-designed model that is easy to follow, understand and amend at a later date
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As a model builder, you have to define line item formats over and over. Using a text expander/snippet tool, you can speed up the configuration of modules. When you add a new Line Item, Anaplan sets it by default as a Number (Min Significant Digits: 4, Thousands Separator: Comma, Zero Format: Zero, etc.). You usually change it once and copy it over to other line items in the module. Snippet tools can store format definition of generic formats (numbers, text, boolean, or no data) and by a simple shortcut, paste it in the format of the desired line items.  Below is an example of a number format line item with no decimal and hyphens instead of zeros. On my Mac, I press Option + X, I type "Num..." and get a list of all Number formats I pre-defined. I press Enter to paste it. It also works if several line items were selected. The value stored for this Number format is : {"minimumSignificantDigits":-1,"decimalPlaces":0,"decimalSeparator":"FULL_STOP","groupingSeparator":"COMMA","negativeNumberNotation":"MINUS_SIGN","unitsType":"NONE","unitsDisplayType":"NONE","currencyCode":null,"customUnits":null,"zeroFormat":"HYPHEN","comparisonIncrease":"GOOD","dataType":"NUMBER"} Here is the result of a text format snippet. {"textType":"GENERAL","dataType":"TEXT"} Or a Heading line item (No Data, Style: Heading 1). ---- false {"dataType":"NONE"} - Year Model Calendar All false false {"summaryMethod":"NONE","timeSummaryMethod":"NONE","timeSummarySameAsMainSummary":true,"ratioNumeratorIdentifier":"","ratioDenominatorIdentifier":""} All Versions true false Heading1 - - - 0  This simple trick can save you a lot of clicks. While we are unable to recommend specific snippet tools, your PC or Mac may include one by default, while others are easy to locate for free or low-cost, online.
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This article provides the steps needed to create a basic time filter module. This module can be used as a point of reference for time filters across all modules and dashboards within a given model. The benefits of a centralized Time Filter module include: One centralized governance of time filters. Optimization of workspace, since the filters do not need to be re-created for each view. Instead, use the Time Filter module. Conforms with the D.I.S.C.O. methodology as a 'System' module.  More on D.I.S.C.O. can be found here.   Step 1: Create a new module with two dimensions—time and line items. The example below has simple examples for Weeks Only, Months Only, Quarters Only, and Years Only. Step 2: Line items should be Boolean formatted and the time scale should be set in accordance to the scale identified in the line item name. The example below also includes filters with and without summary methods, providing additional views depending on the level of aggregation desired. Once your preliminary filters are set, your module will look something like the screenshot below.  Step 3: Use the pre-set Time Filters across various modules and dashboards. Simply click on the filters icon in the toolbar, navigate to the time tab, select your Time Filter module from the module selection screen, and select the line item of your choosing. Use multiple line items at a time to filter your module or dashboard view.  
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Reducing the number of calculations will lead to quicker calculations and improve performance. However, this doesn’t mean combining all your calculations into fewer line items, as breaking calculations into smaller parts has major benefits for performance. Learn more about this in the Formula Structure article. How is it possible to reduce the number of calculations? Here are three easy methods: Turn off unnecessary Summary method calculations. Avoid formula repetition by creating modules to hold formulas that are used multiple times. Ensure that you are not including more dimensions than necessary in your calculations. Turn off Summary method calculations Model builders often include summaries in a model without fully thinking through if they are necessary. In many cases, the summaries can be eliminated. Before we get to how to eliminate them, let’s recap on how the Anaplan engine calculates. In the following example we have a Sales Volume line-item that varies by the following hierarchies: Region Hierarchy Product Hierarchy Channel Hierarchy City SKU Channel Country Product All Channels Region All Products   All Regions     This means that from the detail values at SKU, City, and Channel level, Anaplan calculates and holds all 23 of the aggregate combinations shown below—24 blocks in total. With the Summary options set to Sum, when a detailed item is amended (represented in the grey block), all the other aggregations in the hierarchies are also re-calculated. Selecting the None summary option means that no calculations happen when the detail item changes. The varying levels of hierarchies are quite often only there to ease navigation, and the roll-up calculations are not actually needed, so there may be a number of redundant calculations being performed. The native summing of Anaplan is a faster option, but if all the levels are not needed it might be better to turn off the summary calculations and use a SUM formula instead.  For example, from the structure above, let’s assume that we have a detailed calculation for SKU, City, and Channel (SALES06.Final Volume). Let’s also assume we need a summary report by Region and Product, and we have a module (REP01) and a line item (Volume) dimensioned as such. REP01.Volume = SALES06 Volume Calculation.Final Volume is replaced with REP01.Volume = SALES06.Final Volume[SUM:H01 SKU Details.Product, SUM:H02 City Details.Region] The second formula replaces the native summing in Anaplan with only the required calculations in the hierarchy. How do you know if you need the summary calculations? Look for the following: Is the calculation or module user-facing? If it is presented on a dashboard, then it is likely that the summaries will be needed. However, look at the dashboard views used. A summary module is often included on a dashboard with a detail module below; Effectively, the hierarchy sub-totals are shown in the summary module, so the detail module doesn’t need the sum or all the summary calculations. Detail to Detail Is the line item referenced by another detailed calculation line item? This is very common, and if the line item is referenced by another detailed calculation the summary option is usually not required. Check the Referenced by column and see if there is anything referencing the line item. Calculation and staging modules If you have used the D.I.S.C.O. module design, you should have calculation/staging modules. These are often not user-facing and have many detailed calculations included in them. They also often contain large cell counts, which will be reduced if the summary options are turned off. Can you have different summaries for time and lists? The default option for Time Summaries is to be the same as the lists. You may only need the totals for hierarchies, or just for the timescales. Again, look at the downstream formulas. The best practice advice is to turn off the summaries when you create a line item, particularly if the line item is within a Calculation module (from the D.I.S.C.O. design principles). Avoid Formula Repetition An optimal model will only perform a specific calculation once. Repeating the same formula expression multiple times will mean that the calculation is performed multiple times. Model builders often repeat formulas related to time and hierarchies. To avoid this, refer to the module design principles (D.I.S.C.O.) and hold all the relevant calculations in a logical place. Then, if you need the calculation, you will know where to find it, rather than add another line item in several modules to perform the same calculation. If a formula construct always starts with the same condition evaluation, evaluate it once and then refer to the result in the construct. This is especially true where the condition refers to a single dimension but is part of a line item that goes across multiple dimension intersections. A good example of this can be seen in the example below: START() <= CURRENTPERIODSTART() appears five times and similarly START() > CURRENTPERIODSTART() appears twice. To correct this, include these time-related formulas in their own module and then refer to them as needed in your modules. Remember, calculate once; reference many times! Taking a closer look at our example, not only is the condition evaluation repeated, but the dimensionality of the line items is also more than required. The calculation only changes by the  day, as per the diagram below: But the Applies To here also contains Organization, Hour Scale, and Call Center Type. Because the formula expression is contained within the line item formula, for each day the following calculations are also being performed: And, as above, it is repeated in many other line items. Sometimes model builders use the same expression multiple times within the same line item. To reduce this overcalculation, reference the expression from a more appropriate module; for example, Days of Week (dimensioned solely by day) which was shown above. The blueprint is shown below, and you can see that the two different formula expressions are now contained in two line items and will only be calculated by day; the other dimensions that are not relevant are not calculated. Substitute the expression by referencing the line items shown above. In this example, making these changes to the remaining lines in this module reduces the calculation cell count from 1.5 million to 1500. Check the Applies to for your formulas, and if there are extra dimensions, remove the formula and place it in a different module with the appropriate dimensionality .
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Dynamic Cell Access (DCA) controls the access levels for line items within modules. It is simple to implement and provides modelers with a flexible way of controlling user inputs. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you implement DCA effectively. Access control modules Any line item can be controlled by any other applicable Boolean line item. To avoid confusion over which line item(s) to use, it is recommended that you add a separate functional area and create specific modules to hold the driver line items. These modules should be named appropriately (e.g. Access – Customers > Products, or Access – Time etc.). The advantage of this approach is the access driver can be used for multiple line items or modules, and the calculation logic is in one place. In most cases, you will probably want read and write access. Therefore, within each module it is recommended that you add two line items (Write? and Read?). If the logic is being set for Write?, then set the formulas for the Read? line item to NOT WRITE? (or vice-versa). It may be necessary to add multiple line items to use for different target line items, but start with this a default. Start simple You may not need to create a module that mirrors the dimensionality of the line item you wish to control. For example, if you have a line item dimensioned by customer, product, and time, and you wish to make actual months read-only, you can use an access module just dimensioned by time. Think about what dimension the control needs to apply to and create an access module accordingly. What settings do I need? There are three different states of access that can be applied: READ, WRITE, and INVISIBLE or hidden. There are two blueprint controls (read control and write control) and there are two states for a driver (TRUE or FALSE). The combination of these determines which state is applied to the line item. The following table illustrates the options: Only the read access driver is set:   Read Access Driver Driver Status True False Target Line Item READ INVISIBLE Only the write access driver is set:   Write Access Driver Driver Status True False Target Line Item WRITE INVISIBLE Both read access and write access drivers are set:   Read Access Driver Write Access Driver Driver Status True False True False Target Line Item READ INVISIBLE WRITE Revert to Read* *When both access drivers are set, the write access driver takes precedence with write access granted if the status of the write access driver is true. If the status of the write access driver is false, the cell access is then taken from the read access driver status. The settings can also be expressed in the following table:   WRITE ACCESS DRIVER TRUE FALSE NOT SET READ ACCESS DRIVER TRUE Write Read Read FALSE Write Invisible Invisible NOT SET Write Invisible Write Note: If you want to have read and write access, it is necessary to set both access drivers within the module blueprint.  Totals Think about how you want the totals to appear. When you create a Boolean line item, the default summary option is NONE. This means that if you used this access driver line item, any totals within the target would be invisible. In most cases, you will probably want the totals to be read-only, so setting the access driver line item summary to ANY will provide this setting. If you are using the Invisible setting to “hide” certain items and you do not want the end user to compute hidden values, then it is best to use the ANY setting for the access driver line item. This means that only if all values in the list are visible then the totals show; otherwise, the totals are hidden from view.
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If you have a multi-year model where the data range for different parts of the model varies, (for example, history covering two years, current year forecast, and three planning years) then Time Ranges should be able to deliver significant gains in terms of model size and performance. But, before you rush headlong into implementing Time Ranges across all of your models, let me share a few considerations to ensure you maximize the value of the feature and avoid any unwanted pitfalls. Naming Convention Time Ranges As with all Anaplan models, there is no set naming convention, however, we do advocate consistency and simplicity. As with lists and modules, short names are good. I like to describe the naming convention thus—as short as practical—meaning you need to understand what it means, but don’t write an essay! We recommend using the following convention: FYyy-FYyy. For example, FY16-FY18, or FY18 for a single year Time Ranges available are from 1981 to 2079, so the “19” or the “20” prefixes are not strictly necessary. Keeping the name as short as this has a couple of advantages: It has a clear indication of the boundaries for the Time Range It is short enough to see the name of the Time Range in the module and line items blueprint The aggregations available for Time Ranges can differ for each Time Range and also differ from the main model calendar. If you take advantage of this and have aggregations that differ from the model calendar, you should add a suffix to the description. For example: FY16-FY19 Q (to signify Quarter totals) FY16-FY19 QHY (Quarter and Half Year totals) FY16-FY19 HY (Half Year totals only) etc. Time Ranges are Static Time Ranges can span from 1981 to 2079. As a result, they can exist entirely outside, within, or overlap the model calendar. This means that there may likely be some additional manual maintenance to perform when the year changes. Let’s review a simple example: Assume the model calendar is FY18 with two previous years and two future years; the model calendar spans FY16-FY20 We have set up Time Ranges for historic data (FY16-FY17) and plan data (FY19-FY20) We also have modules that use the model calendar to pull all of the history, forecast, and plan data together, as seen below: At year end when we “roll over the model,” we amend the model calendar simply by amending the current year. What we have now is as follows: You see that the history and plan Time Ranges are now out of sync with the model calendar. How you change the history Time Range will depend on how much historical data you need or want to keep. Assuming you don’t need more than two year’s history, the Time Range should be re-named FY17-FY18 and the start period advanced to FY17 (from FY16). Similarly, the plan Time Range should be renamed FY20-FY21 and advanced to FY20 (from FY19). FY18 is then available for the history to be populated and FY21 is available for plan data entry. Time Ranges Pitfalls Potential Data Loss Time Ranges can bring massive space and calculation savings to your model(s), but be careful. In our example above, changing the Start Period of FY16-FY17 to FY17 would result in the data for FY16 being deleted for all line items using FY16-FY17 as a Time Range. Before you implement a Time Range that is shorter or lies outside the current model calendar, and especially when implementing Time Ranges for the first time, ensure that the current data stored in the model is not needed. If in doubt, do some or all of the suggestions below: Export out the data to a file Copy the existing data on the line item(s) to other line items that are using the model calendar Back up the entire model Formula References The majority of the formula will update automatically when updating Time Ranges. However, if you have any hard-coded SELECT statements referencing years or months within the Time Range, you will have to amend or remove the formula before amending the Time Range. Hard-coded SELECT statements go against best practice for exactly this reason; they cause additional maintenance. We recommend replacing the SELECT with a LOOKUP formula from a Time Settings module. There are other examples where the formula may need to be removed/amended before the Time Range can be adjusted. See the Anapedia documentation for more details. When to use the Model Calendar This is a good question and one that we at Anaplan pondered during the development of the feature; Do Time Ranges make the model calendar redundant? Well, I think the answer is “no,” but as with so many constructs in Anaplan, the answer probably is, “it depends!” For me, a big advantage of using the model calendar is that it is dynamic for the current year and the +/- years on either side. Change the current year and the model updates automatically along with any filters and calculations you have set up to reference current year periods, historical periods, future periods, etc.  (You are using a central time settings module, aren’t you??) Time ranges don’t have that dynamism, so any changes to the year will need to be made for each Time Range. So, our advice before implementing Time Ranges for the first time is to review each Module and: Assess the scope of the calculations Think about the reduction Time Ranges will give in terms of space and calculation savings, but compare that with annual maintenance. For example: If you have a two-year model, with one history year (FY17) and the current year (FY18), you could set up a Time Range spanning one year for FY17 and another one year Time Range for FY18 and use these for the respective data sets. However, this would mean each year both Time Ranges would need to be updated. We advocate building models logically, so it is likely that you will have groups of modules where Time Ranges will fall naturally. The majority of the modules should reflect the model calendar. Once Time Ranges are implemented, it may be that you can reduce the scope of the model calendar. If you have a potential Time Range that reflects either the current or future model calendar, leave the timescale as the default for those modules and line items; why make extra work? SELECT Statements As outlined above, we don’t advocate hard-coded time selects of the majority of time items because of the negative impact on maintenance (the exceptions being All Periods, YTD, YTG, and CurrentPeriod). When implementing Time Ranges for the first time, take the opportunity to review the line item formula with time selects. These formulae can be replaced with lookups using a Time Settings module. Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Considerations As with the majority of the Time settings, Time Ranges are treated as structural data. If you are using ALM, all of the changes must be made in the Development model and synchronized to Production. This gives increased importance to refer to the pitfalls noted above to ensure data is not inadvertently deleted. Best of luck! Refer to the Anapedia documentation for more detail. Please ask if you have any further questions and let us and your fellow Anaplanners know of the impact Time Ranges have had on your model(s).
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Thinking through the results of a modeling decision is a key part of ensuring good model performance—in other words, making sure the calculation engine isn’t overtaxed. This article highlights some ideas for how to lessen the load on the calculation engine. Formulas should be simple; a formula that is nested, or uses multiple combinations, uses valuable processing time. Writing a long, involved formula makes the engine work hard. Seconds count when the user is staring at the screen. Simple is better. Breaking up formulas and using other options helps keep processing speeds fast. You must keep a balance when using these techniques in your models, so the guidance is as follows: Break up the most commonly changed formula Break up the most complex formula Break up any formula you can’t explain the purpose of in one sentence Formulas with many calculated components The structure of a formula can have a significant bearing on the amount of calculation that happens when inputs in the model are changed. Consider the following example of a calculation for the Total Profit in an application. There are five elements that make up the calculation: Product Sales, Service Sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), Operating Expenditure (Op EX), and Rent and Utilities. Each of the different elements is calculated in a separate module. A reporting module pulls the results together into the Total Profit line item, which is calculated using the formula shown below. What happens when one of the components of COGS changes? Since all the source components are included in the formula, when anything within any of the components changes, this formula is recalculated. If there are a significant number of component expressions, this can put a larger overhead on the calculation engine than is necessary. There is a simple way to structure the module to lessen the demand on the calculation engine. You can separate the input lines in the reporting module by creating a line item for each of the components and adding the Total Profit formula as a separate line item. This way, changes to the source data only cause the relevant line item to recalculate. For example, a change in the Product Sales calculation only affects the Product Sales and the Total Profit line items in the Reporting module; Services Sales, Op EX, COGS and Rent & Utilities are unchanged. Similarly, a change in COGS only affects COGS and Total Profit in the Reporting module. Keep the general guidelines in mind. It is not practical to have every downstream formula broken out into individual line items. Plan to provide early exits from formulas Conditional formulas (IF/THEN) present a challenge for the model builder in terms of what is the optimal construction for the formula, without making it overly complicated and difficult to read or understand. The basic principle is to avoid making the calculation engine do more work than necessary. Try to set up the formula to finish the calculations as soon as possible. Always put first the condition that is most likely to occur. That way the calculation engine can quit the processing of the expression at the earliest opportunity. Here is an example that evaluates Seasonal Marketing Promotions: The summer promotion runs for three months and the winter promotion for two months. There are more months when there is no promotion, so this formula is not optimal and will take longer to calculate. This is better, as the formula will exit after the first condition more frequently. There is an even better way to do this. Following the principles from above, add another line item for no promotion. And then the formula can become: This is even better because the calculation for No Promo has already been calculated, and Summer Promo occurs more frequently than Winter Promo. It is not always clear which condition will occur more frequently than others, but here are a few more examples of how to optimize formulas: FINDITEM formula The Finditem element of a formula will work its way through the whole list looking for the text item, and if it does not find the referenced text, it will return blank. If the referenced text is blank, it will also return a blank. Inserting a conditional expression at the beginning of the formula keeps the calculation engine from being overtaxed. IF ISNOTBLANK(TEXT) THEN FINDITEM(LIST,TEXT) ELSE BLANK Or IF BLANK(TEXT) THEN BLANK ELSE FINDITEM(LIST,TEXT) Use the first expression if most of the referenced text contains data and the second expression if there are more blanks than data. LAG, OFFSET, POST, etc. If in some situations there is no need to lag or offset data, for example, if the lag or offset parameter is 0. The value of the calculation is the same as the period in question. Adding a conditional at the beginning of the formula will help eliminate unnecessary calculations: IF lag_parameter = 0 THEN 0 ELSE LAG(Lineitem, lag_parameter, 0) Or IF lag_parameter <> 0 THEN LAG(Lineitem, lag_parameter, 0) ELSE 0 The use of formula a or b will depend on the most likely occurrence of 0s in the lag parameter. Booleans Avoid adding unnecessary clutter for line items formatted as BOOLEANS. There is no need to include the TRUE or FALSE expression, as the condition will evaluate to TRUE or FALSE. Sales>0 Instead of IF Sales > 0 then TRUE ELSE FALSE
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PLANS is the new standard for Anaplan modeling—“the way we model.” This covers more than just the formulas and includes and evolves existing best practices around user experience and data hubs. It is a set of rules on the structure and detailed design of Anaplan models. This set of rules will provide both a clear route to good model design for the individual Anaplanner and common guidance on which Anaplanners and reviewers can rely when passing models amongst themselves.  In defining the standard, everything we do will consider or be based around: Performance – Use the correct structures and formula to optimize the Hyperblock Logical – Build the models and formula more logically – See D.I.S.C.O. below Auditable – Break up the formula for better understanding, performance, and maintainability Necessary – Don’t duplicate expressions. Store and calculate data and attributes once and reference them many times. Don't have calculations on more dimensions than needed Sustainable – Build with the future in mind, thinking about process cycles and updates        The standards will be based around three axes: Performance - How do the structures and formula impact the performance of the system? Usability/Auditability - Is the user able to understand how to interact with the functionality? Sustainability - Can the solution be easily maintained by model builders and support? We will define the techniques to use that balance on the three areas to ensure the optimal design of Anaplan models and architecture.       D.I.S.C.O As part of model and module design, we recommend categorizing modules as follows: Data – Data hubs, transactional modules, source data; reference everywhere Inputs – Design for user entry, minimize the mix of calculations and outputs System – Time management, filters, list attributes modules, mappings, etc.; reference everywhere Calculations – Optimize for performance (turn summaries off, combine structures) Outputs -  Reporting modules, minimize data flow out   Why build this way?   Performance Fewer repeated calculations Optimized structures and formulas Logical Data and calculations reside in logical places Model data flows can be easily understood Auditable Model structure can be easily understood Simplified formula (no need for complex expressions) Necessary Formulas and structures are not repeated Data is stored and calculated once, referenced many times, leading to efficient calculations Sustainable Models can be adapted and maintained more easily Expansion and scaling simplified     Recommended Content: Performance Dimension Order Formula Optimization in Anaplan Formula Structure for Performance Logical Best Practices for Module Design Auditable Formula Structure for Performance Necessary Reduce Calculations for Better Performance Formula Optimization in Anaplan Sustainable Dynamic Cell Access Tips and Tricks Dynamic Cell Access - Learning App Personal Dashboards Tips and Tricks Time Range Application Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions
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How do we keep our users in the Anaplan platform to do their work which requires a high level of advanced customization, faster and more easily than their previous Excel environment? The solution is called “Smart Filters”. Check it out !
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Learn how small changes can lead to dramtic improvements in model calculations
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Overview The Anaplan Optimizer aids business planning and decision making by solving complex problems involving millions of combinations quickly to provide a feasible solution. Optimization provides a solution for selected variables within your Anaplan model that matches your objective based on your defined constraints. The Anaplan model must be structured and formatted to enable Optimizer to produce the correct solution. You are welcome to read through the materials and watch the videos on this page, but Optimizer is a premium service offered by Anaplan (Contact your Account Executive if you don't see Optimizer as an action on the settings tab). This means that you will not be able to actually do the training exercises until the feature is turned on in your system. Training The training involves an exercise along with documentation and videos to help you complete it. The goal of the exercise is to setup the optimization exercise for two use cases; network optimization and production optimization. To assist you in this process we have created an optimization exercise guide document which will walk you through each of the steps. To further help we have created three videos you can reference: An exercise walk-through A demo of each use case A demo of setting up dynamic time Follow the order of the items listed below to assist with understanding how Anaplan's optimization process works: Watch the use case video which demos the Optimizer functionality in Anaplan Watch the exercise walkthrough video Review documentation about how Optimizer works within Anaplan Attempt the Optimizer exercise Download the exercise walkthrough document Download the Optimizer model into your workspace How to configure Dynamic Time within Optimizer Download the Dynamic Time document Watch the Dynamic Time video Attempt Network Optimization exercise Attempt Production Optimization exercise
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