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Categories and variables

Explicitly applying categories

Hover over a variable and click on the Categories button to apply an existing category to a variable. This is what we call explicitly applying a category, which is where you're able to manually set different values/formulas for each category item. This is useful for input variables that differ by category item, e.g. Pay increase % by Department.
You can also create new variables via the Data Tables, which will automatically have the selected category applied to them. Click on the + in the far-right column, and create a new categorical variable by choosing its format from the drop-down (e.g. Currency, %).

Inherited categories

Implicit or inherited categories (by contrast), is where a variable inherits the categories from either its formula, or its connected data item/s. For example, our Monthly Salaries calculation uses the Adjusted Base Salary & Headcount input variables (both of which are broken down by Employee), so the Monthly Salaries variable inherits the Employee category.
In this case, the formula is set at the variable-level, and automatically applied in the same way across all category items.
where the formula is set at the variable level, the category item rows show the inherited formula, sparklines, and values, in grey
Note: you can choose to have a different formula for each category item, by unchecking the category box under "Inherited from Dependencies" in screenshot above, however this is very rare, and goes against the power of categories in Causal.

Re-ordering categories on a variable

You can easily reorder categories on a variable. For example, if you have a variable broken down by City and then Segment, you can swap the order around so it is Segment and then City instead. This will of course not change any calculations, it will just change the category ordering that you see when you expand the variable.
To access this, hit the category button on the variable (or cmd/ctrl+2) and then drag to re-order the categories.

Sorting by category item value on a variable

You can also sort by category item value on a variable in the spreadsheet. For instance, if you have Spend broken down by Vendor, you can quickly sort the Spend variable so the breakdown is from biggest to smallest vendor.
Choose to sort based off the values for the Entire Model Period, or just the Last Actual Date, and choose Descending/Ascending order (Descending is the default - biggest at the top!).
Find this setting in the "More Options" menu on a variable, or ⌘/ctrl + 4. To remove the sort just hit the 'x' next to Entire Model Period / Last Actual Date.
Note that we use the Time Aggregation setting to determine how values are summed up for the Entire Model Period. The default is Sum, but if you've set a Time Aggregation setting of Final, for example, we will sort using only use the Final value in the Entire Model Period.

Sorting and Filtering Categories in the Data Table

You can also dynamically filter and sort the Data Tables, either by clicking Sort/Filter, or from the column header directly. If you sort the category items, you have the option to save the order, in which case it is applied to any variables in the models that have that category applied.