Designing for Performance and Scale

Community Manager

Designing for Performance and Scale

Duncan Pearson, Anaplan's Chief Architect, joins us for this session of AMA. From planning to problem-solving,  Duncan's a key player in the Anaplan ecosystem.

Tell us a little bit about your background. How long have you been at Anaplan?

I’ve worked in the planning/operational research space for 30 years, working for BA and Nestlé before setting up a small consultancy and then spending a number of years working with our founder Michael Gould at Adaytum and Cognos before he set off on his own to found Anaplan. I actually joined Anaplan just over 4½ years ago working in York on the core engine and then moved into my current role two years ago.

As Anaplan’s Chief Architect, what are some activities you might do in a typical day?

I don’t really have a “typical” day, but one thing I am never short of is meetings. I try to keep up with all the major development projects, which means working some Pacific time, giving guidance particularly on the impact different projects have on each other. I also spend time working with the more customer-facing parts of the organization, such as support and the OEG, to keep abreast of any challenges our customers might be facing.

What’s your favorite thing about Anaplan?

So there are two things really and I can’t decide which is the best. On the one hand, it’s the people I work with. I have more good friends within Anaplan than I have ever had at work before, and everyone I work with is so committed to Anaplan, and particularly to its customers’ success. It’s great. The other thing is Anaplan itself. I love using the platform to solve problems and to build things. It is something I don’t get to do enough of in my daily work but every time I do it lifts me up.

Give us one fun fact about yourself!

I once tried to teach Michael J Fox to row. I was working as an extra in a feature-length episode of Family Ties, called “Family Ties Vacation,” and as part of the story, he had to win a race in the crew that I was part of. He was a great guy and really friendly.

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

Link to the YouTube video Duncan referenced:


Community Manager

We're looking forward to next week when Chief Architect, Duncan Pearson, joins us to host the next AMA. Get your questions ready and post them here beginning Monday through Wednesday. If you think the Chief Architect is all work and no play, be sure to read Duncan's bio to learn more about his brush with fame!

Community Manager

The AMA is now open. Select the Reply button to post your questions today through Wednesday. If you haven't participated here before, now is your chance to connect directly with our Chief Architect. Duncan is looking forward to your questions!

Occasional Contributor


What are the biggest opportunities you see for improvement in our current platform?  Could be specific functionality or general theme.



Super Contributor

Do you have a vision or view of how you see Anaplan being used in the next 10 years.   Anaplan's core technology dramatically changes how planning is understood and executed.  In your view what are they key things that the technology will change.

Community Boss

What are you most proud of during your time at Anaplan?

Community Manager

Today is the last day to get your questions in for Duncan's AMA. Check out the questions that have already been posted, give a Kudo to those you like, and then add your question here. Ask Duncan Anything!

Certified Master Anaplanner


I am curious about your experience with calculators/utilities in Anaplan. We have developed a unit economics calculator for "plug and play" metrics on a given loan subset. Since users are performing inputs (i.e. loan mix, interest rate, etc.), adjusting lookups, etc. on a dashboard, we cannot allow users to use the same model at the same time without impacting the calcs. Because of this, we have multiple versions of the model with 10+ users and have to communicate use. This is not a scalable approach and would love to hear your thoughts on potentially better ways to do this.





The maximum workspace size is 130 gig.
Is there any impact on performance when the size is reaching 130 gig.

If so at what size does the performance start to impact.

If a customer has 130 gig space and has two models and lets say each 50 gig each, does it make any difference if the split it 2 workspace or have it in 1 workspace?

Do we have checklist which we can use to ensure a model is designed for performance and scalibility.

I am sure that the Performance Team does the analysis manually to detect where impreovements can be made.

It would be good that this process on identifyiing bottlenecks and perfoemance can be shared so we can do or own checks.