Dynamic Cell Access in Anaplan

Last week I was given a customer requirement which allowed me to use a new Anaplan feature – Dynamic Cell Access.

My remit was to limit a user to be able to map/configure only a single option from the specific list’s items and disable the other options.

For example, if the user needed to set a ‘Proficiency level’ for a particular job role, the functionality had to disable the other options once one option had been selected or leave all options open, writeable.

The Proficiency Level for an Area Manager for a particular role had to be set as one of the following, Expert, Practitioner or Foundation level and once one had been set to TRUE the other options/list items should be read only.

What is Dynamic Cell Access?

Dynamic Cell Access (DCA) is a powerful tool in an Anaplan Architects toolbox giving them the ability to set Read, Write or no access, to a cell, an entire row or column.

When I investigated further, I looked at the Anaplan’s tutorial app and was impressed by the variety of uses and how helpful it could be.

With DCA, a model builder can provide the ability to control a users’ read or write access from a dashboard, rather than the old and more conventional way of a Workspace Admin setting this access via the settings tab.

For example, if your model had a list of Regions but only certain users should see or have write access to particular data for specific Regions items.

By creating a module dimensioned by users and a particular list – in this case our Regions list – and using Boolean line items, we can build a dashboard that displays a nice user-friendly way of setting these permissions to Read or Write or not showing the cell values at all.

I was also very impressed after looking at the Learning App on the various uses from straightforward to the more complicated solutions, on how DCA can add value to a model’s design.

Some Examples…

Summaries and Subtotals

You can use DCA to apply different security at different levels of a hierarchy. Very powerful if you want to suppress total levels for certain users. For example, in a line which calculates employee salaries, you could use DCA to control a users’ ability to see individual salaries, and then also use DCA to hide the summary totals from them (as this might allows them to calculate the missing values!)

Controlling Workflow and User Experience

When Actual data for a year is mixed with Forecasting data, in the months where Actuals existed a planning adjustment line item could be made read only or invisible so nothing could be entered into these cells, eliminating the need for validations.

Another good use of DCA could be where we want to create a workflow. For example, approval might be required before the next steps of data entry can begin. Lines Items can be set to read only until approval had been granted.

The uses in fact are endless and I for one will be incorporating more Dynamic Cell Access into my future Models