How to use Excel’s what-if tools to analyze business scenarios (free PDF)

Excel offers three what-if analysis tools that can sharpen your decision making and help you find the best path to achieving your goals. This e-book introduces these tools – Goal Seek, Scenario Manager, and Data Tables – and shows how you can operate them. Sample files are included in the download.

From the ebook:

Excel’s what-if analysis tools are underutilized. When readers ask me to help accomplish a certain task, I often respond with “Have you tried a spreadsheet?” Always, they don’t know how to implement the feature – sometimes, they don’t even know what a spreadsheet is. So in this guide, I will introduce you to what-if analysis tools in Excel:

  • Find the target
  • Scenario Manager
  • spreadsheet

We’ll review the options, discuss when to use them, and then implement all three tools. The examples will be simple, but will include enough information so that you can start using these features on your own.

What is a what if tool?
The what-if tools show you the effect of making a change without affecting the actual data. We’ll start by exploring Goal Seek. This tool tells you how variables must change to achieve a particular goal.