TrustRadius
Anaplan Review 35 of 103
User Review: "Doing it all with Anaplan"
https://www.trustradius.com/corporate-performance-management-cpmAnaplanUnspecified8.5213101
Chris Friederich profile photo
May 19, 2017

User Review: "Doing it all with Anaplan"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Anaplan

We currently use Anaplan for FP&A - essentially having modeled out entire business on the platform. We use it in most all planning and forecasting discussions. Because of its flexibility, ease of use and ability to scenario test, it allows us to quickly and accurately make decisions that have a financial impact that would otherwise take days or weeks to make.

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.
  • Anaplan for Finance
  • Anaplan for Sales
We've only been through one planning cycle with out Anaplan model, and while it wasn't a typical planning cycle given various things that are going on in our business, Anaplan made the process bearable. Had we still been in Excel, I would have needed at least 1, probably 2 more people and another month to do what we did with just 2 people in the timeline we were given.

Anaplan also helps you develop a deeper understanding of the interconnections of your business. It does this in a couple of ways, 1) by forcing you to think about the connections when you're building a model since everything can be linked together, and 2) be freeing up time that would otherwise be spent trying to get a model to work in Excel or some other platform, you get to spend much more time focusing on the context of whatever is driving your plan or goals vs. the process of just trying to get something done.
In my opinion, Anaplan is on a completely different level than any other CPM system. In looking at other systems, the ability to model doesn't even come close to what Anaplan can do. Reporting and BI is made better through synchronization. There is just really no comparison. If you want to have your planning really connected to your actual business, then Anaplan is the only way to go.
BI - We are using Anaplan to help us drive more detailed insights into what is happening in our business. Because Anaplan makes integrating data from multiple systems so easy, we are on the path to using it as our go-to BI tool.

Sales forecasting - we will use Anaplan to drive consistency and accountability in this process

FP&A - we will continue to expand out competencies here to improve and streamline our planning and forecasting process.

Commission planning - a potential future use case where we can see Anaplan greatly improving the process by providing consistency in plan construction and the ability to connect it to sales forecasting and FP&A to get a better understanding of how plans will perform in specific situations.
Anaplan is great for modeling processes that are ongoing, and remain relatively the same over time. In other words, if you don't have a solid grasp of your process, or you know there are significant changes that change the way you do things on a not infrequent basis, you may want to wait to build the model in Anaplan until things are more stable or you have a better understanding of the business requirements of what you are trying to build. Wholesale changes to an Anaplan model can be cumbersome and time consuming - though that is not unlike modeling on any other platform.

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.

Anaplan Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
10
Financial budgeting
10
Forecasting
10
Scenario modeling
10
Management reporting
10
Financial data consolidation
Not Rated
Journal entries and reports
Not Rated
Local and consolidated reporting
Not Rated
Detailed Audit Trails
Not Rated
Financial Statement Reporting
10
Management Reporting
10
Excel-based Reporting
8
Personalized dashboards
10
Color-coded scorecards
10
Cost and profitability analysis
10
Key Performance Indicator setting
10
Flat file integration
10
Excel data integration
Not Rated
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
2

Using Anaplan

Usability

9
There is a dependency in this rating - in that I find Anaplan extremely easy to use, but I've spent the necessary time developing a strong understanding of the platform. Once you understand how to use it, the platform is flexible, easy to use, and fun to use.

Usability Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Slow to learn
Lots to learn

Easy Tasks

  • Dashboarding is easy to learn and use.
  • Construction of individual modules is relatively straight forward
  • User interface is familiar and easy to navigate

Difficult Tasks

  • Here is the deal with Anaplan...you have to want to learn it. If you are just going to have someone else build your model and not take the time to learn the system, you're probably not going to get the most out of it and may find it difficult to use. Anaplan requires a certain level of creativity in modeling - once you understand that and understand how to work within the dimensions you establish, Anaplan is a breeze to use.
  • Error handling is annoying and takes too long.
  • In Anaplan, you are often the creator of your own ails. Because there is nearly infinite flexibility, you can make models nearly infinitely complicated. This requires a lot of forethought before you start building.

Mobile Interface Availability and Impressions

Yes, but I don't use it