1. Modeling
  2. Dimensions
  3. Time
  4. Time ranges
  5. Time Range fundamentals

Time ranges have a number of established concepts and notions which drive their planning, creation and use. These include the time range's length, their granularity and other elements.

To work with time ranges, you must take into consideration the data you need, how it's summarized, and which time ranges will work best.

Time range units

Defined in units of the model’s fiscal year, each time range must have a unique name that is limited to a maximum of 60 characters. These are defined in terms of a start period (effectively the first fiscal year), and a number of fiscal years, with a selection of available aggregations. The Start Period of a time range is tied to the Fiscal Year Start Month of the model calendar.

Note: The minimum length of a time range is one year. The maximum extent of a time range is (nearly) 100 years with the earliest being FY1981 and the latest FY2078. If you choose the earliest available Start Period of FY1981, the maximum number of years is 98. If the Start Period is FY2078, then the maximum number of years is 1.

A time range can begin before, extend after, exist entirely within or outside the Model Calendar. They do not react to changes to fiscal year or the number of past or future years, or current period. However, if the Start Period in the Model Calendar is amended, all time ranges will align with that value. So, if the model calendar financial year starts in April, every time range aligns to start in April of its start year.

Note: Before you implement a time range that is shorter than, or is outside the current model calendar ensure that the current data stored in the model is not needed. This is particularly important when implementing time ranges for the first time.

If in doubt, do some or all of the suggestions below:

  • Back up the data to a file
  • Copy the existing data on the line item to other line items that are using the model calendar
  • Back up the entire model


Time Period selection

There are various places in Anaplan where you can select from a set of time periods. If time ranges are not used, the periods available are those periods and aggregation levels enabled for the model calendar. But when time ranges are in use, the set of periods offered depends on context. For example, when filtering module data, the set of periods offered is determined by the time range used for module dimensionality. But the set of periods offered for a time period formatted cell is determined by the superset.

Superset

Anaplan generates a superset of all the periods and aggregation levels present in the Model Calendar or any time range. The superset is a contiguous set, so may also contain periods that are not contained in any time range. For example, if you create a series of time ranges between 2016 and 2018 and then add a time range, for 2020, the superset will contain periods for 2019 even though there's no time range covering that year. The superset will also contain the optional aggregation levels Quarter and Half year, if they're enabled for any time range.

Changes to time ranges can affect the superset. For example, if you:

  • add a new time range, or edit an existing one, to include periods not present in any existing time range, the new periods are added to the superset.
  • edit a time range to remove periods, the periods are removed from the superset, providing they are not in any other time range.
  • edit a time range to add an aggregation level that isn’t already in the superset, it will be included.
  • edit a time range to remove an aggregation level, it's removed from the superset, providing the aggregation level is not enabled in any other time range.

Model elements and associated time ranges

Model ElementTime Range used
Line Item Time ScaleLine Item Time Range
Time Period formatSuperset
Versions>Switchover
Versions>Edit From/To
Versions>Bulk Copy
Superset
Module filter
Compare
Import – Most aspects
Module time range
Import – Selected YearSuperset
Current PeriodModel Calendar

Changes to the Model Calendar

Making amendments to the Model Calendar can affect some aspects of time ranges. Changing the:

  • Current Fiscal Year has no effect on time ranges or on data.
  • Number of Past/Future Years has no effect on time ranges, but reducing this number can cause data loss for any line items that the model calendar applies to.
  • Fiscal Year Start or End realigns all time ranges to the new fiscal year definition. This can cause data loss.
  • Available Aggregations has no effect on time ranges but does affect the default settings for new time ranges. Removing aggregation levels can cause data loss in any line items the model calendar applies to, where granularity is set to the aggregation level being removed.

If you switch between Calendar Types, time ranges are preserved. Data is also preserved, where possible.

Available Aggregations

The ability to define a different aggregation level for every time range provides increased flexibility for the design of models and data analysis.

Available aggregations are configured on the New or Edit dialog in the Time Ranges tab. These can be selected for each time range or model calendar. The level of aggregation controls:

  • default module view
  • granularities available for line item dimensionality
  • granularities available for time period format
  • totals that can be referenced by calculations
  • behavior of functions such as PARENT