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*this content was updated on May 4, 2018 to fit with the recently updated backpack courses*

I am writing this post mainly for CT beginners that are working on building a cost transparency foundation project 1st backpack course in Apptio University.  However, the concept and the formulas are the same in R11.


Understanding the Default Allocations in Apptio's Cost Transparency Application

In many, if not all cases, you will want to create your own allocations in your models but when you don't, you'll need to understand Cost Transparency's default or “out of the box” allocations.  


The default CT allocations are based on a Data Relationship.  This means when there are matching values in each column (on the sending object side and the receiving object side), the data tables can share information and dollars can flow.  If there are not matching values, the dollars will not flow.


If you look at those columns in the master data tables (look in the Formulas step) you will see a formula. We need to make sure that the formulas are generating equal values or else our dollars will not flow.  


Below is a table that shows the formula that is in the default allocation for getting dollars to flow from the Cost Source object to the Labor object.  See the formula and then examples of what it generates for 2 different GL line items.


LABOR MASTER DATA.Cost Source_Labor Key

Cost Source Master- Is Labor?

Cost Source Dollar



Flow from Cost Source to Labor Object?

=if(upper(Is Labor)="YES","Labor_Key"&&Cost Center&&Cost Pool&&Cost Sub Pool&&Labor Key Metafield,"CS_Labor_null")

="Labor_Key"&&Cost Center&&Cost Pool&&Cost Sub Pool&&Cost Source Key Metafield




Labor_Key – CC1565254222 – Internal Labor – Internal Labor –

Labor_Key – CC1565254222 – Internal Labor – Internal Labor -










This is especially important information to know when troubleshooting issues in your model.


Can you change those default allocations?  Absolutely!  And as mentioned above in many or most case you will want to do that based on your company data.  You get a chance to do this in the 1st backpack too.  So be sure to watch the Allocations video in the Videos and Documentation section of your backpack.  

Happy Learning! :-)

Do you know this guy?  


There’s a chance you’ve already spotted him. This TBM Superhero gets around. He sits next to monitors. I've seen him on a Christmas tree, riding down the highway in St. Louis and there’s definitely at least one picture of him at CrossFit. Essentially wherever a Recognized TBMA is using his or her skills to improve IT costing, billing or planning, this little TBM mascot can be found, just in the wings, being strong and encouraging.



He’s the perfect listener. He doesn’t judge, He lets you mumble about the model and squeeze him over allocations, while constantly holding that little smirk because he knows you’re brilliant and you’re going to figure it out. TBM Hero already stands quietly on the desk of select RTBMAs all over the world and if you pass the exam by the end of September, he’ll stand next to you too.  


We know you might want this guy even more than the title, it’s okay.  


What's that you say?  You have already earned the RTBMA title but you don't have a TBM Superhero Guy mascot yet?We can take care that!  Just post your name in a comment below by end of September then go make sure your mailing address in your Community profile* is correct and we'll hook you up! 


*addresses in your profile are only visible to Community admins and we won't share it, we promise!




Thanks to TBM Superhero Guy co-author Rhonda Keller.

In Reporting Part 2, we will teach you how to create your own Master Report.  This is both VERY cool and helpful but what if you just want your new report to look like it "belongs" to a current "out-of-the-box" collection?  You can do that too!  You just need to know how to apply a master report and what they are called.  


To Apply an Existing Master Report

Begin in the report and in Edit mode

  1. Click Author
  2. Click Master
  3. Click the Master Report you would like to apply.


NOTE: All Cost Transparency Master Reports begin with SC in their name (this stands for Service Costing) followed by the name of the collection.



To Remove a Master Report

Follow the above steps but Apply "None" which appears at the bottom of the list of options.


Add a Report to a Collection

Now your reports will look like the belong to that collection!  If you're wondering how to get your report to show up in that existing collection, then come to Reporting Part 1 class! ;-)


Really, if you don't know, it is in the Reporting Part 1 course but I'll tell you here too... click Author, then Collections, then the name of the collection to which you would like it to be added. BAM!  There you go.


:-) Let me know if you have questions!

I know, "GetsLastFilterValue" may not sound exciting but I'm going to tell you why it IS!


When reading a report, don't you just love having the ability to drill into the details of a value in a table.  You know, like when you noticed that your Texas Data Center is over budget and so you click Beaumont,Texas to see the Cost Pool breakdown report filtered by that data center location.  There you can see that External Labor is over budget so you drill in deeper to see why... BINGO!  It's because of blah, blah, blah.  LOVE.THIS.STUFF.


Ok, call me a geek - you know you love it too.  Anything that can help you figure out what's going on with your spending. So what if in the header of the report it also told you what you had drilled into?  That way, when the phone rings or someone walks into your office and then 15 minutes and 3 topics later, you're back to looking at your report wondering to yourself, "Okay, now what was doing?"  With "<getslastfiltervalue>" you can see!  Right there at the top of the report, "Oh yeah!  I was looking at Beaumont, Texas, External Labor account details... look at me figuring out to the detail why we're over budget.  I'm so smart."  ;-)  (positive self talk is good people!)


So here's the deal.  In our Reporting Part 2 course, we build 3 reports and create drills from a table in the 1st report which filters the 2nd report and you can then drill deeper from the 2nd report into the 3rd report.  We teach how to add dynamic information in the HTML title to display the value the report viewer JUST drilled into.  The thing is that this technique does not work (in the same HTML component) to put the 1st drilled value (location) on the 3rd report.  SOOOO, some of my students and I were left with the question "How to do we show not only what Cost Pool has been drilled into but also the Location?"  


The answer?   <%=getlastfiltervalue(dataset name.column name)%>


Click the image below to see in detail what I'm talking about.  If you have questions, let me know here!

If you're wondering how to get Cost Pool on that 3rd report... come to class! ;-) 

This course has been converted to self-paced learning which includes a recording of this course. RECORDING


Are you an experienced TBMA that is in the process of upgrading to TBM Studio R12 or planning to upgrade in the near future?   Do you wish you could be given an overview of the new environment and then just get your hands on it?!  If yes, then this class was created for YOU!


This is a short course designed for experienced TBMAs to gain an overview and some hands on practice in the R12 environment.  We will highlight for you some of the key differences between R11 and R12  and you will be given access to a R12 instance and sample data to practice both during and outside of class, if you choose.  


After completing this course you will know how to accomplish the following tasks in the new TBM Studio R12:

  • Access and navigate between the dev, stage and prod environments 
  • Use the new check in/check out feature
  • Navigate the R12 interface
  • Manage data in the tables section
  • Add columns and formulas to your tables
  • Manage time settings in your project and Data tables
  • Access drivers and allocations via the new Sankey model
  • View Reports


Length: 2.5 hours (1 day)


Format: Virtual Instructor Led


Audience: Experienced TBMAs Converting from R11 to R12


Prerequisites: To have already mastered the above listed tasks in the R11 environment.  


This class moves quickly through basic tasks in the R12 environment.  If you are an AAEP holder and would prefer a slower paced session, you are welcome to attend the 3-day virtual CTF on TBM Studio R12 course available on the Apptio U course calendar.


This class is not intended for brand new customers implementing on R12.  New R12 Apptio customers, please attend the 3-day virtual CTF on TBM Studio R12 course available on the Apptio U course calendar as shown in the RTBMA learning plan.


Related Links: Studio R12 for R11 Experts - Quick Reference Guide and Running Q&A List from the Transition Short Course

THIS RECORDING IS AVAILABLE IN APPTIO U!  Click HERE to access the recorded session.


I am so excited to announce our latest Advanced Webinar, Deconstructing a Report, presented by Jonathan Strauss Jonathan Strauss, Customer Success Manager.  This class is so RELEVANT!  Just yesterday I had someone ask me a question that this course answers. 


So, what is Deconstructing a Report all about?!?  


It's about being able to confidently understand, explain and defend the numbers in your Apptio reports.


In this course, Jonathan will:

  • Explain how to deconstruct a report to determine exactly where the numbers are coming from
  • Show you how to work backwards from the report to identify which data/models/allocations are building it's content
  • Increase your confidence in answering questions about reports in an accurate and defensible way
  • Enable you to build/strengthen stakeholder and end user buy-in and confidence


I love this webinar because it brings together skills you have learned in each of the Navigator courses and shows you how to apply them in a scenario that you likely have experienced or will experience in your role as a TBMA.


Please join us on September 13th @ 12:30 PM ET as Jonathan Strauss teaches us the what, why and how of deconstructing a report.


This webinar fulfills a requirement in the Reporting arm of the Elite TBMA certification.


As with our other Advanced Webinars, this session was recorded and is now available in Apptio University. 


Click HERE to access the recorded session.


This was a great session Jonathan Strauss!  Enjoy!!  

Jenny Goodwin


Craig Craig Solomon had a great question in Reporting 1 yesterday and I thought it worth sharing.


'Can you print your report without printing the slicers?' 


YES, you can hide ANY report component before printing.  See the steps below.


  1. Go to the report you want to print.
  2. Make sure you are in Viewing mode.
  3. Click the Print icon.
  4. The Print Preview ribbon appears, click the Show/Hide arrow for options.
  5. Click Show/Hide report components.
  6. Un-check the components you do not want to print.


Thanks for the question Craig and happy printing everyone!



Education Services Instructor

You have completed Getting Started with Cost Transparency and are ready to light up the Vendors component.  Watch the new short self-paced course, Cost Transparency Foundation: Vendors, to learn how to do just that!  If you're an AAEP holder, you can take this course now.  I’d love to hear what you think! 



So, you’ve taken Getting Started with Cost Transparency and are wondering about those few remaining model objects, such as Cloud Service Provider.  What does it do for you?  And how do you use it?  Find answer those questions and more in the new short course, Cost Transparency Foundation: Cloud Service Provider.  If you're an AAEP holder, you can take this course now.  Let me know what you think!