Anaplan allows us to spend time on value added instead of spending time consolidating planning results in Excel. We can look at reviewing key trends. Forecasts are broken down into smaller tasks and distributed to the business resulting in less pressure on the FP&A team during forecast/budget rounds.
The reporting timeline is shorter as dashboards can be used for users to login and see their areas results which means we dont have to send out manual reports.
Anaplan allows very complex business modelling but without any of the complex language used in other tools and can be run by the users themselves. Results are recalculated on the fly with no wait time to run the recalc process.
- Forecast consolidation and recalcuation
- Dashboards for entry and review
- Ease of modelling. Its like Excel but simpler to use.
- Some of the charting is limited
- Some formatting options could be better
- Excel Add-in has only just been revamped
- Anaplan does automatically what we had to do manually using Excel in the past. This saves both time and energy for the users.
- Unless you're a technically-minded person, Anaplan doesn't logically make sense. It takes a lot of training and notes to learn how to use the system and can be incredibly frustrating. I often miss Excel and want to dump Anaplan for the archaic process.
- Real - time - the cloud based technology allows all changes & its impact is visible in real time.
- Performance - in the case of complex business cases, the size of Anaplan is increasing drastically, and even a simple click would take more than it should.
- UI - The User interface needs to be improved: group/expand hierarchy, "Ctrl " + select option to allow multi selection, Content page clean up, easier "Drag & drop" when customizing or building exports.
- Review & enhance the type of security user roles.
- I think the greatest strength of Anaplan is that the entire model is interconnected. The ability to update a single variable and have that change propagated through the entire model is unparalleled.
- Another strength is the ability to have multiple users working in a given model simultaneously. We have had the experience of actively modeling to meet a deadline and realizing that some of the underlying assumptions and/or layout needed to be changed to support a new approach. While our model-builder made the back-end adjustments in Florida, our analyst continued to work through a new set of variables. We ended up with a completely refreshed approach in less than a half hour. With only two hours before our deadline, we NEVER would have even entertained making the change in Excel.
- The thing that Anaplan does -- that I haven't seen elsewhere -- is the ability to get to data-driven analysis of the future. BI tools are great for reporting what has already happened, but fall short of predictive analytics and sensitivity analysis. Anaplan handles those with ease.
- The reporting/dashboarding capability is adequate but could be enhanced.
- Anaplan is somewhat intuitive ... but it DOES require an investment of time and energy to become proficient in it. The ability to use it for more and more use cases is limited by the number of personnel who truly understand the tool. The corollary is that unless that knowledge is spread to multiple people on the team, there can be substantial risk were a key resource to leave the group.
- Building a new model does require a fair amount of up-front planning and construction. So there are some things we would rather do in Anaplan than Excel ... but unless they have continuing utility, we find ourselves unlikely to perform quick analyses in Anaplan.
- Hyperbloc architecture -- the ability to see changes to models instantly cascade through all the models.
- Function agnostic platform - the ability to adapt the platform to many different use cases and integrate those use cases into a connected planning environment.
- Cloud architecture. Security and product enhancements come automatically.
- The actions could be improved - make it obvious what the sources and targets of the are so we don't have to guess or put them in the action names. Also get a native scheduler! That's so simple and it's very frustrating and expensive to have to build/buy our own.
- Reporting and UI still have a long way to go. Simple things like being able to alphabetize/order what you see on the screen, or add a rich color pallet to choose from.
- User access management could improve. We need to have model level admins that don't have access to everything in the workspace. Also the tenant admin space doesn't work effectively. I can't remove a user from all models simultaneously. I also can't see all models a user has access to from the tenant admin space.
- Smart Import Features: When you have data in multiple dimensions, as long as you set up the corresponding fields correctly, it can be loaded into your Anaplan space fairly easily.
- Interactive Dashboard: As long as you set up hierarchy correctly, you can publish your numbers on the dashboard and just navigate to the level that you are interested in.
- Productivity: My favorite thing about Anaplan is that you can work on the formulas on a micro level (in my case, individual employee) and you only work on this once and it will apply to the whole and you can have the company view in no time. Doing the same thing in MS Excel could take much longer.
- Graphical feature: Anaplan should explore more graphical features. In my case, I have to export my data to MS Visio to get an org chart. The conditional formatting options are still very limited right now.
- Formula for List Properties: It's only allowed to key in the formulas for these list properties. I'm not sure about the design philosophy. But I wish it could be similar to the formulas in modules to avoid mistakes.
- Training Documentation Version Control: Training documentations have some many mistakes. It seems no version control at all. Since using Anaplan requires to set up time properly, the training documentations need to be updated. Before you publish any document, can you let one of your employees (who are not authors of the documentation) to follow the documentation to see if he can complete tasks based on the directions on the documentation? All the modeler in my company had hard time to teach ourselves by using the documentation so none of us was able to complete the intermediate training.
- Calculate values based on data in other files; we use this for scoring accounts
- See the impact of new scenarios and potential changes; we do this with proposed territory changes
- Quick and easy reporting on your current setup
- Logistics and relationships of data are complicated if you do not have a data background
- Formulas are difficult without a data background
- We need more storage, we have large data sets
- Modeling capability - It has enough control to be a rigid system. Yet, it has enough flexibility to change with the needs of the business.
- One version of truth - Same data source is being shared by many groups via dashboard, so there is no confusion on which version is the most recent.
- Be able to create reports on the fly and provide access to the data set for those who need them.
- Additional reporting capability, especially with formatting of the tables, charts, and graphs. I wish to be able to label axis, change colors of the graphs, define axis.
- Dashboard - unable to place a "picture/logo" on a dashboard.
- No auto e-mail capabilities. Once data is loaded into Anaplan, I would like to send an automatic e-mail that the load has been completed.
- No mobile app is available. I wish there is a version (for dashboard) to see it on mobile device.
- I think that Anaplan is good for workforce planning. The strength is that once you have the raw data of the personnel, one could upload the sheet for a more automated output.
- It is at times difficult to trouble shoot. It would be nice to have better references to the source cells.
- The amount of users that can be in Anaplan and making changes is HUGE. It's great being able to walk end users through the process and then immediately let them explore and check their understanding.
- Real time changes. Being able to make a change and instantly see the impact, even across several complex modules, helped immensely during the budget build. Making changes and being able to immediately tweak them, cut our build time and made the budget more accurate.
- Reduced blackbox budget calculations. This goes hand in hand with real time changes. We were able to walk our end users from start to finish through the process and show how changes in one section impact the final product. Even if the users didn't know the exact process they could see the impact from one input box to the next.
- The most challenging part of Anaplan was getting over its steep learning curve. It was very challenging to adjust logic from the excel language to Anaplan's language. Unfortunately it seems to be a necessary evil to really understand and use the tool.
- Unhelpful error messages. The error messages rarely help diagnosing the problem at hand. Better explanation on error messages could help significantly.
- Lack of formula formatting. This is not a con by itself but a huge opportunity going forward. Being able to add additional, even redundant, brackets would help itemizing formula logic.
Using Anaplan to track simple calculations or small data sets wouldn't being using the tool to its strengths. Anything that can easily be build in Excel probably should be.
- Anaplan is very fast! Instantaneous updates to imported information.
- Getting a blue-box error is the worst. If formula errors could not result in blocking other users out that would be an awesome improvement.
- Manipulation of big data
- Viewing of live data across offices/the globe
- The Hub offers a good area for getting more information
- Standardized training offering
- Lag times with large models
- Product adoption, there needs to be more of a push because it is fairly specialized so finding talent that has used it is tough
- Updates data across various modules and reports
- We have various issues related to the size of our models, space and memory issues. We have 'too' many companies and cost centers apparently for anaplan to handle efficiently and have created co and other group lists in order to accommodate this. This makes maintenance cumbersome and time-consuming.
- Need to be able to see import mappings even if file used to create the mapping is deleted, or don’t allow file delete if mapping is still needed.
- Log related -
- Need a way to purge a log, it must be huge!
- Need all tasks to record, e.g., export tasks don't currently record in the log.
- Need to be able to select current local time vs. UTC for logging, research purposes.
- Need an easy way to clear/delete all data for a version.
- Need to know what users are connected at any point in time.
- Would like Workspace, Model size adn space available information to list on the dashboard when we log in.
- Would be great if field name sizes could be increased from 60 character maximum so we can match source system fields.
- Multi dimensional
- Connected planning
- Better visualization to understand the data at a glance.
- Modeler should be able to copy modules from one model to another.
- Currently we can just import from a model but it would be awesome if we could export too.
- Best suited: Scenarios where you are dealing with more data and fewer dimensions.
- Less Suited: Where your data has too many dimensions. In this case, it will blow up the size of the model and your model's performance will not be up to the mark.
- Automated forecasting.
- Flexibility of the application to add or move components.
- Ease of access to the cloud-based solution.
- Dashboard and charting could be a little more polished.
- Excel addon could be a little more flexible.
The reason why we chose Anaplan is it is a very flexible software yet extremely efficient and allows me to make changes to our plan without having to work with software engineers to do so.
- Very easy to customize access views and add additional users
- Creating and publishing and creating new customized dashboards
- Efficiency and calculation accuracy. Love the drill down feature.
- Anaplan claims that it will totally replace Excel and it is not there yet. But it is an extremely powerful tool.
- Sorting and alphabetizing reports in Anaplan is not good.
- Adding simple subtotals to reports should be very easy but not in all scenarios.
- Easy collaboration on building models at the same time
- One place to go for reporting of actuals
- Easy to change the names across all the models
- Missing Functionality - Multi-select filters. Currently there is only a single selection from a drop down list. Creating multi-select requires over-complication of the logic.
Not sure about specific scenarios when Anaplan does not work well, as I am only starting to use it.
We use Anaplan in some departments:
- Sales Operations
It helps us to improve the reporting process.
- Real-time data
- Easy to implement additional data from our ERP system
- Allows multi-hierarchies
- Dashboard - color selection, not by default, can customize
- Dashboard - printing, can not be fit into one page right now
- Functions - more examples in the Anapedia would be better
I manage the FP&A instance which is used to plan headcount, expenses, capex, and COGS. We also use it for reporting for various cuts of the P&L, headcount, and balance sheet. This instance is only being used by FP&A, but we hope to role it out to business partners later in the year.
- Anaplan is great for headcount reporting. We have reports by dept, office location, and subsidiary that is great for planning and also for full company reporting.
- Although they can be complicated to set up, Anaplan is also great for setting up complex P&L views. For example, setting up a P&L with a combination of subs/depts., that still needs to consolidate to the total P&L.
- Systems-wise, I like that it's impossible to #REF the model! Anaplan shows you where everything is referenced, so it's very difficult to break anything.
- I also like that formulas copy across, so there is no chance of pointing to the wrong cell, like in Excel
- I'd like to see a back button. While there is restore from backup, it is a long process that only Admins can perform. And all users lose changes of course.
- As an Admin, my #1 request is: why can't we select multiple list members with check boxes? For example, if I have a list of depts., and want to see HR + Recruiting (two list members). Yes, I can build a line item that does that. But every combination of list members must be custom built.
- Another one that I get asked for are hierarchies for line items. For example, if I have a List on pages, there will be "+" to group items. For example, I might have Finance, HR, and Recruiting, all in "G&A" which I could then open the "+" to expand and collapse (G&A) to show the detail. If I am pivoted on a Line Item on pages, this isn't possible.
- Another big one I get asked for, is "why can't I save views?!" Of course Admins can, but I think users would really appreciate it this one. Please consider it!
- We really like the Data Hub concept. We are working on multiple projects with regards to aggregating data from multiple sources, and Data Hub has worked well for us thus far.
- Agility is key for our businesses and we feel that Anaplan gives us the ability to remain flexible and reactive to the changes throughout our businesses.
- As a administrator I really like the resources provided by Anaplan such as Anapedia. It makes it really simple to ask questions and find answers if we are having difficulty with certain items.
- I believe user set up within Anaplan is one of the areas that could be improved greatly.
- Workflow is another area that I believe could be improved. Currently, I do not believe, there is a way to create an action against workflow. This would be a great benefit rather than moving the item to complete or in progress if you could write an action for it.
We are really excited and looking forward to exploring the forecasting, and "What If" scenarios. Our current business structure makes it very difficult to forecast and project at any level, and I think Anaplan will be a great solution for us.
I think for any business that has multiple, or dynamic, hierarchies Anaplan is a great solution. We have reduced the time spent on these dynamic views by using subsets and properties with in the models.
I am looking forward to the increased the communication/connected planning aspect that Anaplan brings to our company. In the past we had thousands of Excel workbooks, some that were too large to email or open. We have seen improved interaction and clear lines of communication for our end users by using Anaplan for our budget process.
We are currently in the process of rolling out Anaplan for sales forecasting to increase accuracy and accountability in our sales forecasts.
Lastly, we are in the early stages of planning to use Anaplan for our business intelligence reporting capabilities. It will be used as our one source of truth for business metrics and results - something we desperately need and that Anaplan will work perfectly for.
- Modeling is next level in Anaplan. With a background deep in Excel modeling and the frustrations that come along with it, Anaplan is a breath of fresh air and is actually fun to build and model in.
- Dashboarding and synchronization. The synchronization feature in Anaplan is one of the greatest things ever. As its core Anaplan models are built around hierarchical lists and dimensions and using similar dimensions in dashboards allows you to synchronize to different views of the same data with simple clicks around a dashboard. It makes reporting and BI extremely user friendly and flexible.
- Its fast. If you had the same exact model in Excel and Anaplan. That model in Excel would be like riding and old bike with under-inflated tires, while Anaplan would be like driving a Tesla in Ludicrous mode. The ability to have your entire business modeled on a single platform, potentially across multiple models, where when you make a change the entire model updates within seconds, is invaluable in making decisions.
- Error handling can be annoying. A single formula error can lock up your model for 2-5 minutes while it reverts back to before you pressed enter, and while its improved a little in the year I've been using Anaplan, there are certain situations where I feel like it could be eliminated or made more efficient.
- Time subsets would be really nice.
It's also probably not worth your time to build a model in Anaplan if you're only going to use it once - in this case, if it's not too complicated, Excel is probably a better choice.
- It is a very user-friendly platform that allows individuals without IT backgrounds to build models in simple syntax. If you know how to use Excel, you will be able to pick up model building in Anaplan with relative ease using the guided build methodology.
- Anaplan is a blank slate that allows for multi-dimension models in which we determine the dimensions versus forcing us to adhere to predetermined dimensions.
- Maintaining our company hierarchies in data hub allows us to change information there and have it automatically pushed out to all spoke models versus changing 10-20 spreadsheets.
- The dashboard functionality is basic therefore, we have to bring in Tableau to provide a more professional view of the outputs as well as to allow management to more easily slice and dice data.
- There is an Anaplan learning center however, I have not found it useful when I have questions. We are fortunate to have Aviana Global guiding us through the initial phases of our process. Without our consultants, learning Anaplan would be overwhelming.
- The Anaplan Connect needs to be improved. We are considering a third party ETL, but we prefer that Anaplan have this capability built into its platform.
- Allows non-technical business-oriented individuals create functionality in the system.
- Highly customizable.
- Excellent business partner from a people perspective. Very focused on customer success, not just the next PO.
- Larger workspaces.
- Ongoing support contracts based on LOE.
- Better formula support and explanation within the model.
- Scalability - ability to build out financials with new SKUs spanning multiple financial assumptions
- Timely cross functional data access
- Ability to export data across systems SQL / Tableau
- Difficulty training up users
- Hierarchy of units that are used cross functionally that aren't easily translated between orgs
- Ability to call back parts of models previously built up
- Elegance in design can be make or break between cost accretion and dilution
- Inconsistency of quality of consultants
Oftentimes I've also seen it being used as a place to build out long range planning or similar exercises based on complex functions -- in that case I'd actually recommend Excel. Anaplan is truly used best when scaling large, inconsistently sized data sets across organizations.
- It allows users to set up complex algorithms which then leads to recommendations made by the tool for the planners to make a decision.
- Helps in collaboration across multiple users within our department but across Dish and potentially externally with our suppliers in the future.
- The software is extremely fast and can calculate scenarios fast.
- Partnership with data visualization software such as Tableau is needed.
- More supply chain apps to allow users to see the different applications within supply chain.
Anaplan Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Request a personal demo: https://www.anaplan.com/request-demo/ Free trial for existing customers for any app in the App Hub: https://apphub.anaplan.com/
Anaplan Customer Size Distribution
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||0%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||10%|
|Enterprises (> 500 employees)||Enterprises (> 500 employees)||90%|
Anaplan Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
Anaplan Technical Details
|Supported Countries:||All countries|
|Supported Languages:||Multi-lingual support|