Breakback is an out-of-the-box Rule that App users can run without extra configuration. This Rule works on the aggregate-level cells of your Forms, enabling you to increase or decrease their values by an amount or percent. Changing the value of the aggregate members with this Rule will, in turn, proportionally adjust the value of its underlying leaf-level members.
In this article, we'll explain Breakback in more detail and show you how to enable and use the Rule.
Let's say you use Breakback to add 2,000 to an Aggregate Member:
Leaf-level Member 1 is 75% of the aggregate value, and Leaf-level Member 2 is 25%. Breakback will preserve those proportions whether you increase or decrease the aggregate value. Thus, in our example, when 2,000 is added to the Aggregate Member, 1,500 flows to Leaf-level Member 1, and 500 to Leaf-level Member 2.
Modelers must first enable the Show Breakback Rule option in the target Form's settings before App users can see and use the Rule.
1. Go to the Dashboard Page that contains the Form.
Tip: Don't forget to go into Edit Mode.
2. Select the Form and then (Form Settings).
3. Select Show Breakback Rule to enable.
4. Select OK and then Save.
App users can now use the Breakback Rule on that Form.
Let's say an App user wants to add $20,000 to the Facilities & Equipment budget, spreading those funds proportionally to the Finance, Marketing, and HR teams.
1. Select the cell(s) on which to run Breakback.
2. Right-click and select Breakback.
The Breakback window should open:
3. Select a Method:
- New Total Amount: Override the total value of the selected cells
- Total Net Change Amount: Add/ subtract from the total value of the selected cells
- % Change: Increase/decrease each selected cell's value by a positive or negative percentage
4. (If multiple cells and either Amount Method are selected) Select how to Distribute to selected cells:
- Proportionally: Distribute the entered amount by each selected cell's proportion of the total value
- Evenly: Distribute the entered amount in equal proportions to the selected cells
5. Enter a positive Amount to increase or a negative value to decrease the total value.
Tip: Current Total shows the sum of all the selected cells' values. New Total shows the sum of all the selected cells' values after applying the entered amount.
6. Select Run.
The pop-up window should automatically close when the Rule finishes running. Here is the result when we add $20,000 to the Facilities & Equipment budget, spreading those funds proportionally to the Finance, Marketing, and HR teams:
Note: On-post Rules configured on this Dashboard Page will always trigger after Breakback runs.
Troubleshooting and Design Considerations
Breakback does not work in all cases. Please review the message in the UI and refer to this section to help identify the issue's root cause. This section should also help Modelers design a Form best suited to run Breakback.
Data outside writeback
- Message: Unable to allocate because the underlying data is not editable.
- Cause: This message is triggered when the data comprising a selected cell value does not come from the Writeback partition and therefore is not editable.
- Resolution: Redesign the Model to support Breakback or create a custom allocation rule for advanced use cases.
Overlapping leaf-level Members
- Message: Unable to allocate because the selected cells have overlapping Members.
- Cause: This message is triggered when multiple cells are selected to Breakback, and they have overlapping leaf-level Members.
- Resolution: Apply Breakback to a different set of cells.
Breakback with zero value
- Message: Please enter a non-zero number.
- Cause: This error occurs when users enter zero as the Breakback value.
- Resolution: Enter a non-zero value to Breakback.
Conflict with member formulas
- Message: Unable to allocate because the underlying data contains Formulas.
- Cause: This error occurs when the selected cell contains data based on Member Formulas and therefore is not editable.
- Resolution: Apply Breakback to a different set of cells or create a custom rule to handle advanced use cases.
- Message: Unable to allocate on cells with non-sum aggregations.
- Cause: Breakback is supported when the aggregation method of the underlying data is set to sum. This happens when one of the selected cells’ value is derived from cells that do not contain just simple sums.
- Resolution: Create a custom Rule to handle advanced use cases.
All leaves are zeros
- Message: Unable to allocate because the underlying data are all zeros.
- Cause: This error occurs when the data that comprise a selected cell are all zeros. The algorithm uses multiplication, and multiplying by zero always results in zero.
- Resolution: Plan your budget at the leaf-level members directly, or create a custom rule to handle advanced use cases.
Breakback value too small
- Message: Unable to breakback using this method on a value between 0.01 and -0.01. Please use the '% Change' method instead.
- Cause: This error occurs to prevent unexpected results from performing Breakback on a very small value (e.g., 0.001) to a large number (e.g., 100). This calculation leads to extreme results if the data is complex.
- Resolution: Verify the value input or try with the % Change method.