Anaplan – Connected Planning

Many organizations are facing a common challenge in consolidating data plans created by the multiple planners working in different location using spreadsheet with no cross-enterprise collaboration. Spreadsheets are essentially user driven whereas Anaplan provides a platform where in multiple planners can work together & create modelling capabilities as per business requirement. This makes Anaplan a perfect candidate for a tailor-fit planning solution for any kind of use cases.

Any complex models can be built in a real-time environment with scenario modelling capabilities to check & observe how different trigger points can affect overall planning capabilities.

Unlike other planning tools, Anaplan provides a single platform to build planning models based on different use cases like – Profit & Loss Forecasting & Consolidations, Workforce Planning, Supply Chain Planning, or any customized planning requirement. Organizations tends to expand their planning requirement once they gain more exposure into benefits of Connected planning. With predictive planning & self-learning capabilities, business can take informed decision quickly & more accurately.


Key Benefits of Connected Planning –

  • Single Source of Truth – All relevant data across different business units can be stored together in one place (Data Hub), which can be used subsequently in various spoke models


  • More Informed Decisions – Planners can take well informed decision based on real time data for more detailed modelling scenarios


  • Modify Plans – Planners can modify plans on a real time basis and identify performance drivers of the business. It can be further used retrospectively to check how performance differed from the plan


  • Define Future Performance – A common challenge faced by many planners is that they spend too much time on data consolidation and too less time on analyzes (especially considering historic data to predict future performance).  With the help of Data Hub, users can focus more on analytical part of the planning instead of data consolidation.


  • Cope with Rapid Change – A major requirement of any planning model is to ensure that its flexible enough for any future changes or adjustment as per business requirement. During volatile & uncertain times, its important to ensure that multiple planners can make changes or adjustment to the model in real time, and everything should be in-sync with each other


  • Predictive Scenario – Scenario modelling allows planners to create alternative plans based on different inputs or trigger points. Using Anaplan fast calculation engine, planners can develop multiple scenario models & arrive at the most optimum solution. More recently, Anaplan has introduced PlanIQ, which uses a AI/ML technique to forecast more accurately & quickly

Things to consider – Connected Planning

  • Data Hub – Data Hub acts like a central repository of data. Data Hub is integrated with various spoke models which ensures that all spoke models stay consistent with the data that they are sourcing. Additionally, data hubs can be used to export only specific set of data to spoke model improving performance of the spoke model. Without Data Hub, data (necessary & unnecessary) are imported into spoke models reducing overall performance of the model


  • Consider the Honeycomb method – After implementing the first planning solution, business can start thinking on how to bring other teams into the connected planning environment. “Honeycomb” as a scoping method technique to list all business function in the organization around the first implementation use case and start developing new opportunities around it.


  • Build Connections Between Teams – Teams working in silos creates a lack of collaboration within the organization to perform accurate planning. Connected Planning can be used to mitigate this issue by ensuring collective collaboration between teams for more accurate forecasting


Selective access can be provided so that multiple planners can work simultaneously at the same time without any difficulties. At the same time, Anaplan calculates data in real time, so that the users will always use the most up to date set of numbers.


Moreover, importing data from one model to another is also possible, whether its from the same workspace or different. Data Import can be performed manually or an automated process can be setup using Anaplan Connect – task scheduler


Integration options –

  • Manual Import/Export
  • Anaplan Connect
  • Anaplan Connecters (incl. Mulesoft, Informatica, Dell Bhomi etc.)
  • Cloud Platform – CloudWorks, OneCloud
  • Anaplan APIs 2.0


To conclude, Connected Planning can be used to host and connect with all kinds of operational plans across the organization, creating one version of the truth.

Author Details

Abhishek Banerjee

8+ years in SAP, Oracle EPM & Anaplan. Good functional & analytical skillsets. Actively contributing to EPM/Anaplan offerings, knowledge sharing and pre-sales activities.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.