Data is a set of discrete values that describe amount, quality, fact, statistics, and other fundamental units of meaning, or simply sets of symbols that can be further analyzed. Big Data is the larger sets of data that cannot be handled by typical data-processing application software due to their size or complexity. IT industry has been using and improving technology/tools to enhance the accuracy of data and data-based decision making.
We accept the fact that we thrive for more relevance and accuracy in our data. For that, we are using technology to minimize human errors. AI & ML are being used to train the machines, to design the algorithm and to perform human tasks with minimal errors.
Anaplan on its own is enabling us to design the dashboards and giving users the ability to keep a record, plan accordingly while managing the large set of data be it financial, workforce, inventory, etc.
One of the native features is PlanIQ which combines AI & ML to Anaplan and forecasts more accurately. Let’s deep dive into PlanIQ.
Primary focus is to define PlanIQ, explain the set-up process, benefits and advantages of PlanIQ.
Anaplan PlanIQ enables companies to develop accurate projections based on internal and external drivers using statistical, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)-based forecasting methodologies. It is a user-friendly interface that puts cutting-edge intelligent forecasting technology in the hands of business users, automating and repeating advanced forecasting across the organization.
By taking on the onerous process of producing and forecasting data, Anaplan PlanIQ frees up your team to concentrate on strategic planning for your company using the data.
Configuration steps to setup:
· Subscribe to PlanIQ as a workspace admin.
· Set your model calendar with past years (Historic data) and future years (Predictions)
· Create historical data module in Anaplan while setting the time dimension and list item which you want to use for prediction. And create an export action from this module to CSV and then to PlanIQ.
· Create a forecast module with same list dimension as historic data module, add line items according to your requirements and one page selector as a list action name (forecast_1, 2, etc.)
· Add an import action to transfer predictions from PlanIQ to CSV and then to forecast result modules to analyze.
· Navigate to PlanIQ and create new data collection. From the dropdown choose your historic module.
· Create forecast model by selecting your data collection and algorithm to use for forecasting.
· Create an import action which will populate the predictions from PlanIQ to your result module where you can analyze and see the trend.
How does it work?
1. Getting your Anaplan instance ready: –
Creating and populating the Anaplan data input models that will guide and influence your PlanIQ projection.
Creating a results module that displays the outcomes of your PlanIQ forecast and enables you to use the data as part of your broader planning process.
As explained in the configuration steps, user must follow module creation for historic, forecast result and data set collection.
2. Configuring PlanIQ: –
Set up the data collection so that you may specify the data you wish to utilize for the forecast.
Choose the algorithm you want to use to train the forecast model. Use Anaplan AutoML to have PlanIQ choose the best algorithm for your data, or manually choose an algorithm from the drop-down selection.
Auto ML selects the best algorithm from the list of what are there in Anaplan (DeepAR+, CNN-QR, NPTS, etc.) except MVLR by seeing the properties of dataset. It selects that which gives the best result of MASE (mean absolute scaled error).
3. Running the Forecast: –
Create a forecast action and configure it to transmit the forecast to the results module.
Forecasts can be run in sync with the planning cycle or on demand by embedding the action button in a new UX page.
This action will publish the prediction to the result module where user can analyze the trend.
4. Incorporating forecasting into your planning: –
To assist you in making wiser choices, review the forecast results and take them into consideration while planning.
Run ad-hoc projections when new data becomes available to react rapidly to fresh information.
This will trigger the data as soon as the fresh data is inputted in Anaplan and forecast is done on that. This can be done using Anaplan connect and using simple scripts on your frequency choice.
Benefits of PlanIQ:
· Accuracy- ML algorithms can run more scenarios and identify correlations and trends that would not otherwise be identified, by bringing in new data such as related data and attributes.
· Scalability- Anaplan’s direct interface eliminates the need for additional processes to transport data into forecasting tools, eliminating data reconciliation concerns, and saving time. As the organization grows, it’s simple to expand the use case by simply adding new data to Anaplan.
· Accessibility- PlanIQ translates data into forecast engine-friendly formats automatically, allowing users to focus on value-added tasks rather than data preparation. The wizard-like user interface simplifies model design and training, placing forecasting in the hands of business users.
· Automatic & Iterative- PlanIQ takes large sets of data and runs automatic analysis and results to give better insights. It also chooses best suited predictive model to forecast using ML technology.
Although there are many options for EPM such as Board, Vena, IBM Planning Analytics with Watson, Planful, etc. but Anaplan and PlanIQ has an upper edge due to AI/ML integrations via PlanIQ, data integrations from other sources such as PowerBI, ALM techniques.
Also, Anaplan is continuously finding ways to fulfill each requirement of the end user by updating and integrating new features.
Advantages of PlanIQ:
· Much easier to use than current Anaplan forecasting.
· More features and functionality
· Results in more accuracy with the help of AI/ML.
Scope of PlanIQ:
1. Supply Chain- Demand Planning, Inventory planning
2. Finance- OpEx forecasting, Revenue forecasting.
3. Human Resources- Workforce Planning
Conclusion: The market-leading enterprise SaaS- Anaplan has changed how various industries perceive, plan, and influence business performance. The same way PlanIQ being a native Anaplan feature has given industries an easy approach to see the trend, forecast with much more accuracy and plan for future.