Categories and variables
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 to create a new categorical variable. You can change its type by clicking on the dropdown in the column header.
Implicit or inherited categories (by contrast), is where a formula uses a variable that already has categories, so the output variable implicitly also has the category applied. 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.
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.
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.
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.
You can also dynamically filter & sort the Data Tables. If you sort the category items, the new order is saved and applied to any variables in the model that have that category applied.