# How to Do What If Analysis in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Do What If Analysis in Excel

What if analysis in Excel allows you to explore different scenarios by tweaking input values in your data. It helps you make better decisions based on possible outcomes. To do this, you can use tools like Scenario Manager, Goal Seek, and Data Tables. Let’s dive into how you can use these tools step-by-step.

## Step-by-Step Tutorial on How To Do What If Analysis in Excel

Here’s a guide to walk you through the process of performing a What If Analysis using Excel’s built-in tools.

### Step 1: Open your Excel file

Open the Excel file where you want to perform the What If Analysis.

Make sure your data is well-organized and easy to understand. This will make it simpler to play around with different scenarios.

### Step 2: Select the data for analysis

Highlight the cells that contain the data you want to analyze.

These selected cells will be the basis of your What If Analysis, so ensure you’re picking the right data for meaningful results.

### Step 3: Open the What-If Analysis tool

Go to the ‘Data’ tab on the ribbon, then click on ‘What-If Analysis’ in the Forecast group.

Here, you’ll see options like Scenario Manager, Goal Seek, and Data Tables, which are the main tools for What If Analysis.

### Step 4: Choose Scenario Manager

Click on Scenario Manager and then on ‘Add’ to create a new scenario.

A new dialog box will open where you can name your scenario and select the changing cells for the analysis.

### Step 5: Enter values for the scenario

Input the values for your scenario and click ‘OK’.

You can create multiple scenarios by repeating this step. Each scenario will show how different sets of values affect your data.

### Step 6: Summarize the scenarios

Once you have all your scenarios, click on ‘Summary’ to see an overview of all possible outcomes.

The summary will display each scenario side by side, making it easier to compare and analyze.

### Step 7: Using Goal Seek

If you need to find a specific value, select ‘Goal Seek’ from the What-If Analysis menu.

Fill in the ‘Set Cell,’ ‘To Value,’ and ‘By Changing Cell’ fields to find the desired outcome.

### Step 8: Create Data Tables

For more complex analyses, you can use Data Tables. Select the data and go to ‘What-If Analysis’ > ‘Data Table.’

This option allows you to see how changes in one or two variables affect your outcomes, making it useful for more detailed analysis.

After completing these steps, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how different scenarios can affect your data. This empowers you to make informed decisions based on a variety of possible outcomes.

## Tips for How To Do What If Analysis in Excel

• Save your work before starting the analysis to avoid any accidental data loss.
• Use descriptive names for scenarios to keep everything organized.
• Double-check your input values to ensure they are correct for meaningful results.
• Remember to update your data and scenarios as new information becomes available.
• Practice using each tool to become more efficient at What If Analysis.

### What is What If Analysis in Excel?

What If Analysis in Excel is a way to explore different scenarios by changing input values to see how they affect the outcome.

### Can I use What If Analysis for financial forecasting?

Yes, it is commonly used for financial forecasting, budgeting, and other data-driven decision-making processes.

### What tools are available for What If Analysis in Excel?

The primary tools are Scenario Manager, Goal Seek, and Data Tables.

### Is it possible to use What If Analysis on large datasets?

Yes, but it might be more time-consuming. Ensure your data is well-organized to make the process easier.

### Can I automate What If Analysis?

While you can’t fully automate it within Excel, you can use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to create macros that can simplify repetitive tasks.

## Summary

2. Select the data for analysis.
3. Open the What-If Analysis tool.
4. Choose Scenario Manager.
5. Enter values for the scenario.
6. Summarize the scenarios.
7. Using Goal Seek.
8. Create Data Tables.

## Conclusion

Mastering how to do What If Analysis in Excel can fundamentally transform your decision-making process. By understanding and implementing tools like Scenario Manager, Goal Seek, and Data Tables, you can predict outcomes more accurately and make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Don’t underestimate the power of practicing each tool to get comfortable with its functionality. The more you use these tools, the easier and more intuitive they will become. For further reading, explore advanced Excel functions and macros to automate and streamline your What If Analysis. Happy analyzing!