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2018

Hello all. Just a quick announcement for your convenience. 

Check out this macro that Jason Lam created. It makes quick work of converting a plain vanilla Data Advisor  download into something easier on the eyes.  

Happy Monday everyone!

 

I've come across another topic that I get asked about sometimes in class, lab assist or on AAI that I thought I'd try to clarify for the Apptio Community.  It's related to allocation rules and that option in the From part of your allocation screen.

 

"Send only remaining values" (after other rules run).

 

I've noticed some of you using it when trying to complete your Cost Source to Vendor or Cost Source to OCP allocations with unsatisfactory results and I wanted to clarify what it does and when you might use it.  Before writing this I synced up with one of my super smart people Mark Nealey and he helped me explain it in simple terms.  He can add on or clarify if needed. 

 

First, what the "Send only remaining values (after other values run) does, it says, take whatever is left after ALL of my other rules are applied and send those up. It's the leftover costs that I don't necessarily know how to account for. 

 

Here's how Mark explained it to me:

 

Let's say I owe people 30 dollars.  I know I owe Rhonda Keller $10 and I know I owe Julie Batty $10 but I don't remember who the last $10 goes to.   I would use the "send only remaining values" option to just divide it up into small pieces and give it to everyone else on the planet (or at least on TBM Connect ). 

 

The benefit is that I have a fully allocated model, with no fallout. 

 

The caution:

However, I do want to caution you from applying this option just to get a clean model.   Many people view fallout as a bad thing (which it is, in a way), but what it really is, is the opportunity to understand why those costs are falling out, and work on improving our data or our allocations so we can understand and correct where that cost should actually go.  

 

One other caution I'd offer is that you want to be careful what other allocations you apply when you apply this rule.  For example, if you create 2 outbound allocations, and set them both to "send only remaining rules (after other rules run)"  you'll create a deadlock.  This is because it can't run line 1, until line 2 runs and it can't run line 2 until line 1 runs. Therefore it's deadlocked and can't process either allocation.

 

Finally, don't interpret this blogpost to mean that you shouldn't use this option.  It has it's benefits as long as you understand what it's doing with those leftover costs.  We just want to caution you that we shouldn't use it just to make your model tie out top to bottom/left to right.  Here are two related articles I found useful on this topic. If you've read/posted other related articles or have feedback, feel free to comment.

 

Model Fallout - Friend our Foe? 

Using Ungoverned spend to communicate with TBM customers 

I've gotten this request a couple times recently on Apptio Community and since not everyone has an AAEP to watch Jonathan's Spark video, I decided to write up an abbreviated version of how to do this.  For those of you have have current AAEPs you can view Jonathan's video by logging into ApptioU and searching on Binary Filter. 

 

If you don't already have the binary (Yes/No) column, you'll need to insert a formula column to create it. Usually you use some kind of If statement to test your values and return Yes or No.   If you already have a Yes/No Column you can skip to Part 2.

 

 

Part 1:

To make setup easy, I've created a simple report that displays Cost and Budget by Account number.

 

In our scenario let's say the business wants to only display values where there is negative variance.   To accomplish this, we'll first have to calculate variance (of course we do have a variance metric but I'm going to create a custom column for demonstration purposes).  Go to the Data Tab while in your report and Insert a Formula Column.

 

Variance is just Budget-Cost.   Set the format to Currency and click Create.

 

Now we only want to show the rows where the Calculated Variance is a negative number.   We can do that with a manual filter, but we don't want our users to have to filter every time... so we'll create another formula column to test for negative variance.

This results in a new column with Yes and No values

 

Part 2:

Now again, we want to show only the ones with a negative variance, which in our table would be the "Yes" values.  So we right click on the Neg Variance column and add it to the Filters 

 

Now that it's in the filters column, we can edit the filter to say what we want to display. All I have to do is right-click and Add it to Filters.

 

Once it's in the filters I can right-click to edit the filter

 

 

I'll need to set up a custom filter that matches the value I want to display (Yes).  Remember Apptio is case sensitive so the value you type in for the filter name, has to match the case and spelling of the value you're trying to filter for. 

Deselect everything but Yes and click OK

 

 

Now our report only shows those accounts with a negative variance (where Neg Variance column =Yes). 

 

 

 

Let's do a little final cleanup.  We don't really need our users to see the Neg Variance column... so we can go back to where it exists in the Values area, right click and hide the column.

 

I hope you've found this helpful.