Moving at the Speed of Business – Quick Time-Saving Tips

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Blog post by Jill King – Anaplan Pre-Sales

Have you ever been asked for an ad-hoc analysis and by the time you completed it, the request was outdated or no longer needed? You spent hours upon hours, nights and weekends to complete it and at the end of the day, it was not a useful analysis to the decision makers.

Or have you been in the position where your boss comes to you at 5pm and says I need “XYZ” first thing tomorrow morning so you give up your evening plans to put it together because the analysis will take at least 3 hours to compile?

START MOVING AT THE SPEED OF BUSINESS

All too often, I was asked to put together analysis that required me to manually go into each of my department models to sift through the data to find the data and then consolidate it. For example, I was once asked to put together a report of the past 4 years of history of marketing spend by marketing account. Unfortunately for me, the past 4 years of data was not all housed in the same format so it required me to dig through years of spreadsheets in order to pull the data together.  I had to manually input some items, link to old spreadsheets for other items. The end result was a mess of history that only I understood and could explain. After weeks of work compiling the data, it turns out that the Exec team had already made a decision on how it wanted to proceed with marketing spend and didn’t need what I had put together. Urgh!

Anaplan Solution
Anaplan can easily house years and years of data. It makes it easy to consolidate because all of the data is stored in dimensions. The data can be easily pivoted in so many different ways that it makes analysis a breeze.  I recently was speaking to an Anaplan customer and she said, “At 5pm one Tuesday, the VP of Finance asked us to provide an analysis of all Head Count by department and location for an annual period further broken down by division for 20,000 employees and he needed it first thing in the morning.  This previously would have taken the team a few hours to put together and 9 minutes later, one of my analysts sent out the information using Anaplan and we all headed to happy hour.”

Not only can Anaplan save you time like in the example above but it also allows you to do analysis you weren’t able to do before.  For one thing you are no longer spending time on the tedious tasks we talked about in previous “Time Saving Tips” blogs but the ability to take the data and pivot, summarize, rollup, make charts is so simple that you can start to find ways to add value to the business with your analysis.  It transforms the role of a Financial Analyst/Manager from an Excel whiz to a strategic business partner.

Estimated monthly time savings = 1-100 hours (depending on ad hoc analysis requests)

Quick Time-Saving Tips is updated every Monday on the Anaplan Blog. Interested in having Jill @jilleking review a tedious task or want to submit your own Time-Saving Tip? Tweet us at @anaplan and let us know!

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