1. Modeling
  2. Build Models
  3. Lists and Roll-ups
  4. Numbered Lists

Each list item in a numbered list has a system-generated unique identifying number (UID) and an optional display name.

When you insert a new list item, it is automatically assigned the next UID. The UID stays with the item for life and is never reused, even where items are deleted and then reinserted.

Why use Numbered Lists?

Numbered lists are an elegant way of exploiting the natural sparsity of data within a business. Sparsity is illustrated by a large number of blank cells in a grid. When additional dimensions are added to a grid the problem of sparsity is magnified, and the resulting associated memory usage becomes dramatically higher than it needs to be.

Where a business case has thousands of products and thousands of customers, but only a handful of those products are sold to each customer, instead of setting up a very sparse module with separate dimensions of Product by Customer, set up a numbered list that shows only valid combinations of Product and Customer with a parent hierarchy of Sales Rep.

When all invalid combinations have been removed, it's much easier to see the data and more efficient when generating reports (you can use the SUM function on the Customer and Product properties of the numbered list).

Create a Numbered List

To convert a list to a numbered list, select the Numbered checkbox, alongside the list name, in Model Settings > General Lists.

This screen also enables you to mark a numbered list as Production Data as part of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

Numbered Lists and Hierarchy

Numbered lists can be used in composite hierarchies but, because data is generally more sparse in the lower levels of hierarchies, it is recommended that, when designing your model, any numbered lists occupy the two lowest levels of the hierarchy only.

Unique ID numbers

When you insert a new item into a numbered list, it is automatically assigned the next available UID. Manually, you can add up to 1000 items in this way, with the system generating a new UID for each item. If you want to add more than 1000 items, an import process is required (making it possible to add any number of items).

UIDs and Codes

UIDs are added automatically, by Anaplan. They should not be confused with the user-defined code added to list items by administrators, and visible in the Grid view of a list. Codes must be unique — an error will display if you enter the same code for two different list items — and are generally used for mapping import and export actions.

Numbered List Items

Converting a list to a numbered list will replace the list item names with numbers and remove all formulas (except any automatic aggregation). The only way to retrieve the original item names is to restore the system from a previous version. However, Preserving Names when Converting a Normal List to a Numbered List shows how you can prevent the overwriting of item names when creating a numbered list.

Display Names

Display names need not be unique (although their associated UIDs always are).

You can choose any meaningful Display Name in the Display Name Property) field in Model Settings > General Lists. Otherwise the the UID prefixed by the # symbol will display.

Alternatively, the UID for an item can be hidden and a Property chosen as a display name instead. Properties can contain formulas, so the display name could be a concatenation of properties that create a meaningful label, for example, a product category with a product name.


It's not possible to load more than 999,999,999 unique items into a list over its lifetime. However, it’s unlikely that this limit will be reached unless you have lists with very large numbers of items in them (say, 1,000,000) that are cleared and reloaded daily.