Add a Lookup tab

The Lookup tab is designed to be used with the Lookup measure row type in driver-based budgeting but can also be used stand-alone, similarly to the Manual Entry tab. Think of Lookup tabs as structured Manual Entry tabs, with a prebuilt dimension structure and entities inherited from another tab.

Add a Lookup tab to build budget models that pull out various inputs or assumptions, then model different scenarios by changing those assumptions. For example, you might have a lookup for sales growth for each branch or pricing and margin for each product or group of products. You can build a budget model on base-case assumptions for these, then adjust the assumptions to see the impacts. These assumptions are in a separate tab and not embedded in formulas throughout the budget, making it simple to change assumptions at the budget level.

Do you need to add a new Lookup tab? If there’s already one in the workbook, save time by cloning that tab and editing its setup.

Add a Lookup tab

  1. Add the tab using one of these methods:

    • Click the Tab menu > Add tab > Lookup.

    • Click the Add button at the bottom of the workbook, enter a name for the tab, select the Lookup tab type, and click Add.   

  2. Configure the tab:

    1. Edit the name of the new tab if required. 

    2. Select the related tab. This is another tab in the workbook that contains the data for which you want to add the lookup information. Typically, the related tab is the Main tab in the budget, but you might want to use another tab, such as a Database tab.

    3. Select the hierarchy (levels) to determine how the data in the tab is organized. The available options (dimensions and entities) depend on whatever is in the related tab. The hierarchy in the Lookup tab can be the same, or at a higher or lower level of detail, as the related tab.

    4. Determine if you want to exclude periods in the tab.

      • By default, the Exclude periods checkbox is NOT selected, which means that period columns (such as months) are included in the tab, and therefore, each lookup item displays as a row. This option allows you to enter different lookup information for each item in each period in the budget, which is suitable, for example, if you have different prices across the year due to seasonality.

      • If you don’t need period columns, select the Exclude periods checkbox. One Total column for each lookup item displays in the tab, rather than a column for each period. This option allows you to enter one lookup value for each budget row, which is suitable, for example, if you have one constant price throughout the year.

  3. Add the rows that contain the lookup items:

    1. Enter a name and placeholder amount (default amount).

    2. Define the display format of the lookup items: Enter a prefix, number of decimals, and suffix as required. See Format measures in a Lookup tab.

    3. Select the aggregation method for the first row.

    4. (Optional) Click Add lookup item to add another row, and follow the steps above to configure it.

  4. Click Save and finish. The new tab opens with the default amount in each row, which you can then edit as required.

  5. Review the new tab and, if required, edit the tab setup.

  6. (Optional) Import data into the Lookup tab (see steps below).

  7. (Optional) Use the Lookup tab with driver-based budgeting (see steps below).

Use a Lookup tab with driver-based budgeting

Using a Lookup tab with driver-based budgeting involves moving between the Lookup tab and the related tab. Those two tabs must be linked. You create this link in the setup of the related tab by adding additional measures for each item (row) in the Lookup tab.

For example, suppose your budget (Main tab) has three levels (Country > Region > Sales Rep), and you want to enter the predicted growth rate for each country. The easiest way to do that is to create a Lookup tab for the growth rate data and select the Main tab as its 'related tab'. Then, in the Main tab setup, you add a measure that links to that lookup data. As a result, the Main tab displays an additional row underneath each Sales Rep in each region, in each Country. You can then return to the Lookup tab and make changes to the growth rates, and the Main tab will automatically update.

  1. Add the Lookup tab (see section above).

  2. Edit the setup of the related tab to link to the lookup data. See Include additional measures (for driver-based budgeting) for detailed information, but in summary, the steps are as follows:

    1. Click the blue Add measure button on the right side of the screen and select Lookup.

    2. Enter a name for the row.

    3. Select the lookup tab.

    4. Select the lookup item.

    5. Select the measure in the underlying database to publish the data to, if required.

    6. Select the aggregation method.

    7. Customize the display format of the measures, if required: Click the menu button (three dots) at the end of the row and switch to Custom format, then define your format.

    8. Click Update and Finish. A new row with the lookup data is inserted under each row in the related tab.

  3. Edit or import the data in the Lookup tab as required. Your changes will flow through to the related tab.

Examples of using a Lookup tab with driver-based budgeting

The following videos show some ways you can use the Lookup tab alongside the driver-based budgeting feature to help you complete your budget or forecast.

This video is out-of-date but the context remains useful.


This video is out-of-date, but the context remains useful.

Import data into a Lookup tab

Importing data from a Microsoft Excel file into the Lookup tab will save you much data entry time. There are two methods for importing data.

Use the template file

You can download a template file that includes the structure and values of the Lookup tab, then make updates in Excel and import the file back into the Lookup tab. As the file is in the expected structure, you bypass the mapping step (required in the method below), and the data is imported directly. See the videos in examples 1 and 2 below.

  1. On the Lookup tab, click the Tab menu > Import data > I need to download a template.

  2. Open the file and make your changes, then save and close the file.

  3. Back on the Lookup tab, click the Tab menu > Import data > I have a file.

  4. Locate and select your file, then click Open.


Use your own file

You can import a file that you source from another application or export from Analytics. This method involves mapping the fields in the file to the columns and rows in the Lookup tab. See the video in example 2 below.

  1. Prepare, save, and close your file.

  2. On the Lookup tab, click the Tab menu > Import data > I have a file.

  3. Locate and select your file, then click Open.

  4. Map the fields in your file to the columns and rows in the Lookup tab, then click Import.

Examples of importing data into the Lookup tab

A common use case for Lookup tabs is to supply the price per unit and cost per unit for each product in a Sales budget, then combine this data with driver-based budgeting, where quantity sold is budgeted, and the Lookup tab provides the cost and price per unit to calculate the sales value and the cost value for each product.


Use a Lookup tab separately from driver-based budgeting

You can add a Lookup tab (see steps above) and use it in formulas in other tabs in your workbook to quickly calculate your budget values. You can then edit the data in the Lookup tab as required and your changes will flow through to those formulas.