If you’re familiar with Anaplan, you’ve probably heard the buzz about having a data hub and wondered why it’s considered a “best practice” within the Anaplan Community. Wonder no more: Below, I will share four reasons why you should spend the time to build a data hub before Anaplan takes your company by storm.
1. Maintain consistent hierarchies
Hierarchies are a common list structure built by Anaplan and come in a variety of options depending on use case—e.g., product hierarchy, cost center hierarchy, and management hierarchy, just to name a few. These hierarchies should be consistent across the business whether you’re doing demand planning or financial planning. With a data hub, your organization has a higher likelihood of keeping hierarchies consistent over time since everyone is pulling the same structure from one source of truth: the data hub.
2. Avoid sparsity
As you expand the use of Anaplan across multiple departments, you may find that you only need a segment of a list rather than the entire list. For instance, you may want the full list of employees for workforce planning purposes, but only a portion of the employees for incentive compensation calculations. With a data hub, you can distribute only the pertinent information. You can filter the list of employees to build the employee hierarchy in the incentive compensation model, while having the full list of employees in the workforce planning model—and keep them both in sync using the data hub as your source of truth.
3. Separate duties by roles and responsibilities
An increasing number of customers have asked about roles and responsibilities with Anaplan as they expand internally. In Anaplan, we recommend each model have a separate owner—for example, an IT owner for the data hub, an operations owner for the demand planning model, and a finance owner for the financial planning model. The three owners combined would be your Center of Excellence (COE), but each has their separate roles and responsibilities for development and maintenance in the individual models.
4. Accelerate future builds
One of the main reasons many companies choose Anaplan is for the platform’s flexibility—its use can easily and quickly expand across an entire organization. Development rarely stops after the first implementation—model builders are enabled and excited to continue to bring Anaplan into other areas of the business. If you start by building the data hub as your source of truth for data and metadata, you can accelerate the development of future models since you already have defined the foundation of the model, the lists, and dimensions.
As you begin to implement, build, and roll out Anaplan, starting with a data hub is a key consideration. In addition to this, there are many other fundamental Anaplan best practices to consider when rolling out a new technology and driving internal adoption.