Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 8: Doing What-If Analysis
Doing What-If Analysis
In This Chapter
▶ Performing what-if analysis with one- and two-variable data tables
▶ Performing what-if analysis with goal seeking
▶ Looking at different cases with the Scenario Manager
It would be a big mistake to regard Excel 2013 as merely a fancy calculator
that shines at performing static computations, for the program excels (if
you don’t mind the pun) at performing various types of more dynamic what-if
analysis as well. What-if analysis enables you to explore the possibilities in
a worksheet by inputting a variety of promising or probable values into the
same equation and letting you see the possible outcomes in black and white
(or, at least, in the cells of the spreadsheet).
In Excel 2013, what-if analysis comes in a wide variety of flavors (some of
which are more involved than others). In this chapter, I introduce you to
these three simple and straightforward methods:
✓ Data tables enable you to see how changing one or two variables affect
the bottom line (for example, you may want to know what happens to the
net profit if you fall into a 25 percent tax bracket, a 35 percent tax bracket,
and so on).
✓ Goal seeking enables you to find out what it takes to reach a
predetermined objective, such as how much you have to sell to make a $15
million profit this year.
✓ Scenarios let you set up and test a wide variety of cases, all the way
from the best-case scenario (profits grow by 8.5 percent) to the
worstcase scenario (you don’t make any profit and actually lose money).