What-if analysis

What-if Analysis is an incredibly potent feature in Excel which enables you to analyze numerous scenarios by altering input values in a formula. By doing so, it provides insight into how changes in one or multiple input values can impact the outcome of a formula. The feature proves to be incredibly useful for decision-making, planning, and forecasting.

We can find the What-if Analysis feature in the Data tab of the Excel ribbon. This is where you will find the three tools that comprise What if Analysis: Data Table, Goal Seek, Scenario Manager. Solver is an Excel Addin, which will be explained in the dedicated chapter with example.

What-if Analysis
What-if Analysis

Each tool has its unique benefits and can be used to solve specific problems. By understanding the applications of these tools, you can master the art of What-if Analysis and unlock its full potential.

To make it easier to understand and use, we have broken down What if Analysis into four main tools:

Data Table:

A Data Table is a tool that allows you to create a table which shows the results of a formula for different input values. You can use it to explore how changes in one or more input values affect the outcome of a formula.

Goal Seek:

The Goal Seek tool is highly beneficial in determining the input value that will generate a desired outcome. It is an effective tool that can be employed to solve uncomplicated equations or to ascertain the optimal value for a specific input

Scenario Manager:

The Scenario Manager is a tool which empowers you to establish and analyze various scenarios for a worksheet. It facilitates the comparison of alternate possibilities to determine the most favorable course of action.


Solver is an Excel Add-in tool which allows you to find the optimal solution for a problem with multiple constraints. It is powerful and useful to solve complex optimization problems and find the best possible outcome.

Our aim is to simplify the understanding and usage of What if Analysis by dividing it into four distinct tools. These tools have their own distinct advantages and attributes that we will delve into in greater depth on their respective chapter pages.

Learn the What-if Analysis chapters as given below-

  1. Chapter 1: Scenario Manager
  2. Chater 2: Goal Seek
  3. Chater 3: Data Table
  4. Chapter 4: Solver


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