Debbie Hagen

How does Apptio know what goes in Cost vs Budget?

Blog Post created by Debbie Hagen Employee on May 12, 2017

So how the heck does Apptio get the right values into Cost, Budget and the other models?  


This is a question I get asked a lot.  In fact, I just received an email today about it after my CTF Part 1 on V12 class so I thought I'd write it up here where I could reuse and re-purpose.  


So the simple answer is "Apptio does a lot of it for you and it's based on the drivers and allocations" but let's see if I can break it down a little.  I'm using v12 for reference here but this information is pretty much true for v11 also.  The difference is in the way it's visualized.


For the Cost Source Object, it's in the Unit Drivers. If you look at the Driver formulas for the Cost model, for example "OpEx Variable"

Here, we can see that the Cost Source object in the Cost Model is supplied by the OpEx Variable Unit Driver, and the OpEx Fixed Driver.  We separate those out because we want to be able to look at variable costs separately because those are potential spend levers we can move.  Unit drivers bring value to an object from the data, so if we drill into the OpEx Variable driver... we can see the formula that tells Apptio where to go to get the values.  The formula says "Go look in the Cost Source Master data... and check the Expense Type Column for a value of "OpEx" AND the Fixed Variable column for a value of "Variable"  any time BOTH of those are true... give me the value in the Amount column. But if either of them aren't true.... give me a 0."  In other words, only pass the value for rows that meet both criteria.



If we look at the formula for OpEx Fixed.... we see it's only returning the amount when Expense Type = "OpEx" AND Fixed Variable="Fixed".  You can see that the table even displays the results where the values were both true... Compare it to the OpEx Fixed value up above.



Now, if you look at the OpEx Budget Variable Driver in the Budget model....

You can see that this driver formula is looking for values of "OpEx Budget" in Expense Type and "Variable" in Fixed Variable....  All the data is contained in the master data sets... The driver formulas tell it where to find the right value rows.




Next if you move on to the allocations... such as Cost Source to Labor... whether you use the OOTB(Out of the box) allocation strategy,  or define it yourself, the allocation specifies to which model or models it applies.  This screenshot is using the OOTB allocation... you can see its applied to Cost, Fixed and Variable metrics.



But when I look at the Budget model... this allocation is by default applied to the Budget Model metric. 


So the answer to the question "How does Apptio know which dollars go in Budget and which go in Cost?"  is it's all based on the Drivers, both Unit Drivers and Allocations.  And the Default drivers actually do a pretty good job of getting the money into the right place following best practices.  However you can change the allocations if needed to better support the data that you have available. 


Tagging my most recent class on this one since the question came from one of them.. but I hope many of you find this useful.

Ana Duarte; Karen Lim;Deborah Catrine del Castillo; Jeanette Boström; Lars Peterson;Nick Reagan;Trent Young;Jeremy Finn;Patrick Mulcare



Debbie Hagen