What is a view?
Views let you create saved filters on your model, to show only specific variables, category items, scenarios, time periods, and charts. This can be useful if you as the model builder want to filter the model for a specific subset of things, or if you want to share only a View of your model with your collaborators, as opposed to the whole thing (see Sharing views).
Create a View by hitting the green Views button in the top left of the spreadsheet to create a view.
Views are made up of different filters (e.g. filter for variables, time, category items, scenarios, charts). Go to Filter types for tips on how to create the views you want with various filters.
Note: you can also Duplicate the View to rapidly create multiple similar views (e.g. you can duplicate the View's setup, but just switch out the Department filter in each View (a View for each of Sales, Marketing, Engineering...))
Below are a couple of ways that Views might come in handy, but there are many more use cases:
Models can get large and complex. Views let you easily slice and dice your model for just the portion you're wanting to see at a point in time. For example, if I just want to dig into the inputs for Model 3 for 2021, I could set up the View below to easily toggle on/off.
For example - if your Expenses model is broken down by Department, you can create separate views to share with each department head, where they'll only be shown the parts of the model that are relevant to them. What's more, you can give them Suggest Edits access if you want them to submit their numbers for approval first. See more on approval workflows here.
You might need to share your model with different groups of stakeholders — the management team, the rest of the company, investors, board, etc.
Instead of creating separate models to slice the same information in different ways, you can create multiple views on the same model. Each View will limit which charts, tables, and variables are shown, so that each group of stakeholders can see a dashboard that's tailored to them.
If you have multiple regions which you model separately, but ultimately consolidate together in the same format - you could create one Causal model, and just have Views on that model for each region. This minimizes duplication (in Excel you'd have to create a model for each region), keeps the model structure and forecasting methodology centralised, and removes the need for version control (as there is only one "file").