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The Bedford Coach - List Management

February 1, 2019

 

What is a List?

 

Lists are groups of related items, such as people in a department, products on a shopping list, or the regions comprising a geographic area. They are fundamental to Anaplan as they define the structure and content of a model.

 

Anaplan can use a single list as a component in multiple list hierarchies, making list management flexible and adaptable. Composite lists and parallel hierarchies can both be used to maximise the number of ways that the data in a list can be used. List items that belong to a list that doesn't have a parent hierarchy are called orphans.

 

When a list changes, all the modules associated with it are immediately updated.

Items in a list are referred to as child items, list items, members, or roll-up items (child items are said to ‘roll-up’ into their parent item).

 

 

 

 

What are the different types of List?

 

The types of lists used to build models include:

  • Flat lists

  • Simple lists

  • Composite hierarchies

  • Parallel hierarchies

  • Numbered lists

  • List subsets

 

Each of these list types has distinct features and is used in particular ways.

 

What are the List settings?

 

When you open a list, you will see five tabs:

  • Tree View

  • Grid View

  • Properties

  • Subsets

  • Configure

 

 

Tree View

 

Tree View displays a hierarchical view of the selected list. As well as importing and exporting list items, you can add, delete, and move them in this view.

 

 

 

There is a limit of 1000 items in Tree View. Where there are more than 1000 items, you will be automatically taken to Grid View.

 

Grid View

  • Grid View shows list items with the attributes Parent, Code, Properties and/or Subsets.

  • Parent drives the aggregation / hierarchy of list items.

  • Code can be used as an alias for the item name. Imports will automatically match list items on either item name or Code.

 

Properties

 

List Properties contain metadata: additional information about list items. For example, in a list of Employees, you could add properties such as Employee Preferred Name, the Department they work in, etc.

 

Properties can be used in line item calculations or to drive the aggregation of data through a model.

 

Properties Settings

 

Format

Select and configure the line item formatting: number, Boolean, date, text, time period, list, no data.

 

Formula

The property formula. To enter a formula or edit an existing formula, double-click in the cell.

 

Data Tags

Shows any data tags applied to the list property. To apply a data tag, click the ellipsis … and then select one or more data tags.

 

Notes

Shows any notes added to the property.

 

Referenced By

Shows the line items and properties whose formula reference the property.

 

List Subsets

 

Subsets contain some, but not all items from a list. This enables efficient use of the items in a list (without unnecessarily increasing the size of the model). List Subsets can be used in the same way as the list from which they are derived.

 

You can create several subsets from a single list.

 

When you create a subset of a list, a column is added to the Grid View of that list. Check boxes are displayed to select the items to include in the subset.

 

Subsets Settings

 

Notes

Shows any notes added to the list subset.

 

Referenced in Applies To

Shows the module and subsidiary line items where the List Subset has been applied as a dimension

 

Referenced as Format

Shows the module and list properties where the List Subset has been set as the line item format

 

 

Configure

 

The Configure tab enables you to change options for the list.

 

 

 

Top Level Item

Shows the very highest level in the hierarchy or the subtotal into which all lower level members in the list will roll up into. It's important that you populate this field to ensure that links and lists will map correctly from module to module. You'll want a top level in nearly all cases, with the exception being a list that is only used as a flag. You can add the top level either on the main General Lists view or on the Configure tab for a specific list.

 

Parent Hierarchy

Indicates whether another list is going to be used for the next level 'up' from the list shown. For example, Opportunities might roll up into Sales Reps, and Sales Reps could roll up into Organization.

 

Category

Can be used to group lists based on what type of data the list holds, for example: Organization, Geography, Products, etc.

 

Data Tags

Shows any data tags applied to the list. To apply a data tag, click the ellipsis (…), select one or more data tags, then click Apply.

 

Selective Access Enabled?

Used to limit users' access to parts of the hierarchies but should be set up with help from Anaplan support. See Selective Access.

 

Production Data?

Used to set the list as a production list. This is an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) feature.

 

Managed By

Reserved for future use and not available for editing.

 

Workflow Enabled?

Used to monitor progress towards completion of a forecast. One list in the model would be set to drive Workflow. See Workflow for more information.

 

Numbered List?

Used to mark the list as a numbered list.

 

List Management (Best Practice)

 

While you can manage list settings from within the list (as shown above), it is best practice to setup list property management modules to provide optimal user experience.

 

Benefits include:

  • Application of filters

  • Better management via dashboards

  • Floating formula editor

  • Increased user access control

  • Ability to make properties dynamic by applying Time to the module

 

Note:

  • List subset updates from the management module may require running an action/process

  • Composite hierarchies may require a separate module for each level of the hierarchy

  • A dedicated functional area can be setup for list management
     

 

 

Step 1

 

Create a list as normal; choosing the type of list based on your specific needs for that list. In the example above, we have a simple list with a composite hierarchy over two levels:

  • Customer L1 (parent)

  • Customer L2 (child)

 

Step 2

 

Create a module for each composite level of the list and add line items to reflect the desired properties / characteristics of the list (at that specific level).

 

Step 3

 

Apply required logic / dimensions to the modules to best utilise the list properties. In the example above, there are default debtor days by Customer L1; which are referenced by Customer L2 if there are no specific debtor days input for Customer L2.

 

Customer L2 Properties also references Customer L1 Properties to show the parent of each Customer L2 item. This is a visual aid as well as a source of reference for a lookup formula within the module.

 

Step 4

 

Publish all relevant modules to a dashboard for easy access by end users. At this stage, user experience and selective access should be considered to tailor the interaction to your needs. The example above shows both list management modules published to a dashboard called Customer List Properties.

 

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Bedford Coach!

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