1. Modeling
  2. Build Models
  3. Lists and Roll-ups
  4. List Hierarchies

Lists can be aggregated into a structured hierarchical list. There are two kinds of hierarchical lists: composite lists and parallel hierarchies.

Composite lists

Composite lists are also referred to as composite hierarchies or hierarchy lists.

Composite lists are created from a series of lists, each of which is assigned a parent in the hierarchy. Complex structures can be defined very rapidly. The component lists in a composite hierarchy can be used many times within a model, in many different composite lists, reducing cell count and sparsity for the model.

Example of a composite hierarchy

In this example, << Org Hierarchy >>, we can see a flat list of employee names:

  • Employees L5, is assigned a parent, Sub-Depts L4.
  • Sub-Depts L4 is a child of Departments L3.
  • Departments L3 is a child of Region L2.
  • Region L2 is a child of Geo L1.

The components of this hierarchical list can be used in other hierarchies, created for a different purpose. For example, Region L2, from the << Org Hierarchy >> is used here in the << Revenue Structure >> as the parent of Sub Region R3


Create a composite hierarchy

To create a composite hierarchy, go to Model Settings > General Lists and select a parent for a list from the Parent Hierarchy dropdown.

Parallel Hierarchies

A parallel hierarchy is a hierarchy that shows a set of data organized in two completely different ways.

For example, one hierarchy can display the data for Cost Centers in an organization by functional area: Machines Division, Consulting Division, Head Office. The same data for those Cost Centers could also be displayed in a different hierarchy by area: North, South, East, West. These two hierarchies comprise a parallel hierarchy – the same data presented in different ways:

Example of a parallel hierarchy

Profit and Loss
Functional Area Geographic Area
Machines Division North
Cost Center A Cost Center A
Cost Center B Cost Center 1
Cost Center C Cost Center 2
Consulting Division


Cost Center 1 Cost Center B
Cost Center 2
Cost Center 3
Head Office East
Cost Center Z Cost Center 3
Cost Center C
Cost Center Z

Create a parallel hierarchy

There are two ways to create a parallel hierarchy:

  • use a module to map one hierarchy to the other; or,
  • use properties in a master list to facilitate an alternative roll-up.