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Time aggregation & relative comparison (e.g. YoY)

Time aggregation

In charts and tables, and in the roll-up columns in a spreadsheet, Causal can automatically aggregate a variable's values across time. For example: if your model is monthly and you have a Revenue variable, then Causal can automatically summarize the total revenue in each year.

The Time Aggregation function lets you choose how this summary is calculated. You can change the method by right-clicking on a variable and selecting Aggregation Function from the context menu -> Time Aggregation, or if you have Rollup columns toggled on you can click on a rollup cell to easily edit the Time Aggregation setting for each variable.

time aggregation in the roll-up column cells

There are a few options:

Sum: this sums up the individual values. Examples:

  • Anything that represents a discrete quantity which can accumulate, e.g. "Revenue"

Average: this calculates the mean of the individual values. Examples:

  • Generally anything that's a percentage, like "Growth rate"

Final: this takes the final value in the set of individual values. Examples:

  • Anything representing an accumulation, like "Total users" or "Cash in bank"
  • A percentage that you expect to move roughly monotonically

Initial: just like final, but it takes takes the first value in the set of individual values.

Formula: uses the variable's formula to calculate an aggregation value. For example if you have a variable for the margin with the formula profit / revenue, the formula aggregation will take the total profit and divide it by the total revenue of the aggregated period.

Relative comparison

You can easily compare the value of a variable across relative time periods (e.g. the prior month, the prior year). The comparison is shown on a time aggregated basis too, if relevant. For example, if your model is monthly and you've set your table to Yearly time aggregation, a YoY comparison will show for 2022 vs. 2021, as well as each month (e.g. Jan 2022 vs. Jan 2021).