What is the Goal of an Import?

Importing data is a central activity in Anaplan. It allows user to:

  • Import master data (stores, customers, legal entities, products, etc.).
  • Import transactional data (sales, orders, invoices, etc.).
  • Copy data within a given model or from one model to another.

Users can import data in two types structures:

  • Lists: standard or numbered.
  • Modules.

Users can import data from various data sources:

  • External:
    • CSV files.
  • Internal:
    • Lists.
    • Modules.
    • Saved views.

I recommend using only files or saved views as it allows you to filter precisely what data will be imported.

To create an import, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Create the data source.
  2. Map the data.
  3. Execute the import.

This article focuses on the best practices concerning the second step.

Mapping Best Practices

Mapping Data in a Standard List (non-numbered)

Figure 1: Mapping parameters for list importFigure 1: Mapping parameters for list import

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Properties Mapping

When mapping list formatted properties or the parent, always use a data source that contains the code (text formatted) of the element to map to ensure that the element is correctly identified.

I recommend always specifying a Code as it allows you to identify elements easily (imports, mappings, find item calls, …).

Import Options

When importing in a standard (non-numbered) list, elements must have unique names, so you can import either using Name and/or Code.

A combination of properties is unpractical for this case as you always have to provide a name or a code.

Mapping Data in a Numbered List

Figure 2: Mapping parameters for list importFigure 2: Mapping parameters for list import

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Properties Mapping

When mapping list formatted properties or the parent, always use a data source that contains the code (text formatted) of the element to map to ensure that the element is correctly identified.

I recommend always specifying a code as it allows you to identify elements easily (imports, mappings, finditem calls, …).

Import Options

When importing in a numbered list, elements can have non unique names, so I recommend using only Code or Combination of properties.

Mapping Data in a Module

Figure 3: Module import mappingFigure 3: Module import mapping

 

There are several target dimensions you can map in a module:

  • Standard dimensions:
    • Time (if applicable).
    • Versions (if applicable).
    • Line items.
  • Specific dimensions corresponding the list you used as a dimension in the target module.

Mapping Tab

For each dimension, you can specify either to use:

  • A fixed element (to be defined in the following tabs).
  • A prompt for a selection each time the import is run.
  • Column headers (for data presented in columns).
    • NB: Most of the time this is used for Time columns.
  • The content of a specific column.

There is no specific best practice for using a fixed element or prompt as it depends on the use case. The following chapters will cover column mapping.

Time Tab

cmaurice_3-1583855279216.png

 

The Time tab is unique and allows user to define specific mapping format. If possible, use the same period format than Anaplan and use “Match names”. If not define precisely the format pattern.

 

Dimension Tabs

Each dimension tab allows the user to control if the mapping is correct.

Figure 4: Dimension mapping tabFigure 4: Dimension mapping tab

There should not be a reason that manual mapping should be required on this step. So, to ensure automatic mapping, you should use mapping based on a code (i.e. the source must expose the element code in a text formatted cell or line item).

If element count exceeds 5000 entries, you’ll see the following message. And you won’t be able to perform manual mapping.

cmaurice_5-1583855279238.png

Line Items Tab

Line items tab is similar to the dimension tabs.

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If possible, use the same source/target names so that you can use automatic mapping by selecting “Match on names or codes”.

Always go through manual mapping (“Map items manually”) to set unused elements to “Ignored”, or else it will produce annoying warning upon execution

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