What is Breakback?
In the June 2017 Release of Modeling, a feature called Breakback was added. This feature is a spreading method that works by having the user provide data at a parent level and then Modeling allocates it down to leaf levels. It can be used on any dimension in the model. Breakback is available in views or reports in Excel or on the Web and can additionally be used as an alternative to save the data into the Model.
In the modeling platform itself, Breakback is utilized to allow data input at a consolidated level and allocate the data back in all the participating cells related to the consolidated level. This technique is used mostly in top down modeling use cases where users are adjusting the total consolidated member and the application will cascade the values to all cells that are related to the total consolidated member.
A limitation that has been found with Modeling is that the application does not allow data to be entered at a parent level and saved. This means that without Breakback, the user would have to enter each leaf-level data item and then run an aggregation. As frustrating as that is, with the Breakback feature, the program will let you start with the top level and provide the desired target data or percentage change in the current data, then it allocates the data down, saves the changes, and optionally runs a calculation. Another great feature of Breakback is that you can also run Breakback at a leaf level. Only the leaf member that is selected is changed, but if there is a parent level on one of the other axis of the view or report, the data is spread throughout that hierarchy.
How to Access and Use Breakback:
When looking to access Breakback, it can be run from a View or Report using either SpotlightXL or Spotlight. A new button has been added to the ribbon:
When using Breakback with Spotlight, the view or report must have the Enable Save field set to Yes in the view or report properties. If you want to run a calculation after the Breakback operation is completed, the view or report properties must include the name of the Calculation in the Calculation on Save field. Additionally, Breakback honors the current setting of Display Label or Code in your report or view. It will automatically saves the changes it makes to the data. There is no option to return to the previous values.
The Breakback operation itself is run in the foreground. If a calculation is run automatically, it will run in the foreground or background, based on how it was defined. Additionally, Breakback will not run if the model is locked. Breakback is not available from the Default view or report that appears when you choose New View or New Report. Breakback is not available from a cell that contains a formula in a report. Breakback must always begin with a data cell selected. Breakback is not supported in reports or views with attributes.
Breakback provides three spread methods, along with the ability to hold (or exclude) some members from changing.
- Even spreads have a limitation that only 1500 leaf combinations can be included in the Breakback. If more than 1500 leaf combinations are included in your selection, Breakback will not allow you to run it.
- Current and Reference spreads have a limitation of 500,000 leaf combinations. If more than 500,000 leaf combinations are included in your selection, Breakback will not allow you to run it.
There are a variety of ways that Breakback can be utilized that will save time and energy. For example, if a sales team is preparing a sales projection for their next year budget, it can be time consuming to input every single month. Instead, using Breakback, they could input next year’s budget to a single “Default” time period. This would allow them to run the program to spread the amount down to all 12 months.
Additionally, after the same sales team finishes their budget and are ready to prepare their first forecast for the year, all the sales team has to do is copy their budget into their forecast. Once this is done, they can run Breakback to exhibit a x% increase for different product lines.
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