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Here's a question I was asked in class this week so I thought I'd share it with all of you via community. Someone asked for a way to create a sub report or drill-to report that wouldn't require their report consumers to leave the original report they were working in to see additional detail.  Here is an example from the Cost Transparency Reports.  If you click on View in the IT Towers report as shown, it brings up a pop-up report that shows the IT Sub-Tower detail.



Good news, it's very easy to do.  You just create your drill to report as modal and it will display as a pop-up.  One caveat, it's best to completely build the report first and then use navigation to set it as modal.  Once it's set as modal, you can't edit the report unless you change it's setting to non-modal temporarily and navigate back to it.


Here is how you do it:

  1. Create and save your initial report (Report 1)
  2. Create and save your detail report (Report 1a the one you want to drill-to or have pop up)
  3. Now go back to Report 1 and select the column you want the users to choose a field from.  In the example above, it was the TX column.
  4. With that column high-lighted, go to the Ad Hoc Menu and choose Drill to bring up the Navigation dialog and select both the Enable Navigation and Open as Modal check boxes.

     5. Then Navigate to Report 1a (the report you want as a pop up) and Save.

     6. Go back to your original report (Report 1) and click on one of the options in the column where you set up your drill-to.  Report 1a will open as a          pop-up or Modal report.


Let me know if you find this capability useful.


Thanks for learning with Apptio Education Services!

Debbie Hagen.


It's Easy When You Know How

Posted by rhonda Employee Jul 28, 2015

Have you ever seen these tiny little IT departments...



Actually most people call these "Fiendish Puzzles" but "IT department" also works ;-). Each puzzle is made up of multiple pieces and at first, it's really hard to get the pieces apart...sort of like the business of IT. You know there are all kinds of components that come together to make up IT cost but when you try to peel that cost apart and understand the pieces, they seem locked together, just like these puzzles.


Most of the puzzles are locked so tight you'll try a lot of things to open them: brute strength, sorcery, excel spreadsheets, but when you finally arrive at the answer, you'll wonder why you weren't doing it that way all along. Once you know how to get one of these puzzles apart, it's actually really, really easy and you can do it over and over again.


That's the kind of juice our Recognized TBMAs have. Armed with Apptio, they've learned the skills to dismantle the puzzle that is IT Cost. They can understand the pieces that make up the whole and can communicate the value of each component. I'm so sure of this, I'm dropping something in the mail for our initial Recognized TBMAs.



No advance warning, just a box with one of these puzzles inside and a link to this blog post.


If you're reading this post because you've just received one of these boxes... Hi :-)

First of all, you're awesome and I so appreciate that you've earned the Recognized TBMA title.

Your coworkers need a way to understand the challenges you face and skills that you have acquired to overcome them.

So let's do this:



The next time you have to explain what TBM is or what you do as a TBMA, you'll have a mini-IT Department to help you demonstrate. If you're game, thanks so much for playing along and I can't wait to hear from you. We have some Recognized TBMAs on the Education Services team, so we've cracked a few of these puzzles ourselves. Here's some beginners info...


First, every puzzle has multiple pieces, you know this either because I just told you or because you can sometimes just tell, like the the "Laby" puzzle,


clearly 2 pieces.


This one is also 2 pieces.



The others are 3 pieces.

Just like Apptio begins with identifying your data, to solve these puzzles, identify your pieces

and again, just like with Apptio, your identification doesn't have to be perfect, just get a sense for where the big chunks start and stop.

Then you can start to figure out how to move the pieces apart.


I couldn't do that for this one,

"The Vortex"..


There's a hole in my office window the exact same shape.

But, If I were a Recognized TBMA, and if I still had my puzzle,

I could probably get it into these three pieces.


I didn't send the frustration that is Vortex to anyone but if you feel up for the challenge,

if you operate "Elite TBMA style"

(which is the second title we're releasing end of year)

then let me know in the comments. I'll send the Vortex to the first few people who make a request.


Students often ask me if there is a way to put labels on their allocation lines to help indicate what goes into those allocations.  The answer, is that yes, you can label your allocation lines.  Read the brief post below to find out how.



When you add an allocation line to your model, it automatically displays the allocation percentage on the line, but there isn't a great indication of what is represented in that allocation.  And what if you have two allocations between the same two objects?  How do you know how it's split while looking at the model?


Here is an example of what it looks like by default. The allocations between Cost Source and Labor are split between Fixed and Variable but all you see is percentages


Suppose you want to label the lines to indicate which is Fixed and which is Variable just by looking at your model. 

To do this you need to select the receiving object, in this case Labor. Then click on the Drivers tab to view all of the drivers that are feeding that object.


Next select the driver you'd like to label... In this case, I know that my "Fixed" values are in the Cost Source driver that has 22% allocated and my "Variable" values are in Cost Source_1 which is 25% allocated.   I'll click on the word balloon for the Cost Source driver which brings up the Set Visual Format dialog.  I'll enter the value "Fixed" into that field and click OK.



After labeling both drivers, my model will displays both the Allocation percentage and the labels that I added.



Thanks for learning with Apptio Education Services.

Debbie Hagen

When you are adding filters to your reports, there is a (Values not currently shown) option at the end of each list of filter options - shown below.   Have you ever wondered what it does?

Values not currently shown enables you to include values to your report components in the future, that don't exist in the current time period.  If you uncheck it, it will not include those future values.


Here is an example:


In January you have values:



Values not currently shown


In February you might have:





If you leave the box checked, and are viewing the report in February, it would automatically include fish and squirrel values in your report component and in the Edit Filter dialog list.   But if you have Values currently not shown set in the Edit Filter dialog, then the fish and squirrel values would be automatically unchecked in the dialog and would therefore not be represented on your report component.


Thanks for learning with Apptio University




Thanks to Mark Nealey for the example!

This question came up in one of my classes recently and I thought I'd share the answer more broadly than just to that class.


The problem:

I created a chart in Apptio and my Columns show up in order of "value" (most costly to least), but I want them to show up in order based on their names.

The solution:

Use the Sort option on the Data Tab in Apptio to specify which field Apptio should use to sort the report, as well as the order in which you want them sorted.

Voila! This results in my Storage tiers being sorted in Ascending order:


As you can see in the picture below, you can specify the sort order for your fields and define each as ascending vs descending.  In this table, I've told it first to sort by Tier, in ascending order, then by Cost from highest to lowest. 

The data is grouped by Location because I have placed Location above Tier in my Ad Hoc Query Configuration dialog.


Thanks for learning with Apptio University!

Debbie Hagen