Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Practice Files Before you can complete the exercises in this chapter, you need to copy
the book’s practice files to your computer. The practice files you’ll use to complete the
exercises in this chapter are in the Chapter08 practice file folder. A complete list of
practice files is provided in “Using the Practice Files” at the beginning of this topic.
Defining an Alternative Data Set
When you save data in an Excel worksheet, you create a record that reflects the
characteristics of an event or object. That data could represent the number of deliveries in an hour
on a particular day, the price of a new delivery option, or the percentage of total revenue
accounted for by a delivery option. After the data is in place, you can create formulas to
generate totals, find averages, and sort the rows in a worksheet based on the contents of
one or more columns. However, if you want to perform a what-if analysis or explore the
impact that changes in your data would have on any of the calculations in your workbooks,
you need to change your data.
The problem with manipulating data that reflects an event or item is that when you change
any data to affect a calculation you run the risk of destroying the original data if you
accidentally save your changes. You can avoid ruining your original data by creating a duplicate
workbook and making your changes to it, but you can also create alternative data sets, or
scenarios, within an existing workbook.
When you create a scenario, you give Excel alternative values for a list of cells in a
worksheet. You can use the Scenario Manager to add, delete, and edit scenarios.