The main objective of this article is to explain **What-If Analysis** in Excel. **What-If analysis** is a tool that will help you to analyze different scenarios for formulas. In this article, I will explain the different uses of **What-If Analysis** in Excel.

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## What Is “What-If Analysis”?

The name **“What-If Analysis”**, explains its purpose. **What-If Analysis** tool helps one to try out different values in formulas and explore the difference in results. You will be able to change the input values to see how the output values change. There are **3 **different tools in **What-If Analysis**.

**Scenario Manager: Scenario Manager**helps to create a report upon changing one or more values in the dataset. This report shows how the result will change upon changing an input value.**Goal Seek:**The**Goal Seek**feature helps in a situation where someone knows the final value they want and needs to know how to change the input value to achieve the desired result.**Data Table:**The**Data Table**feature table helps to create a table with different scenarios depending on the variable change.

**What-If Analysis** can also be done **manually** by simply changing the input values to observe how the result changes.

## 2 Ways to Perform What-If Analysis in Excel

I have taken the following dataset to explain this article. This dataset contains the calculation for **Simple Interest**. Here, the **Principle Amount**, **Interest Rate**, and **Time **are the variable. And, **Final Amount** and **Simple Interest** are calculated from these **3 **variables.

In the following picture, you can see that cell **C9** contains the formula for the **Final Amount**. And the result depends on the values in cells **C5**, **C6**, and **C7**. If you change any one of these values then the result will change accordingly.

Here, you can see that cell **C10** contains the formula for **Simple Interest **and it depends on the values in cells **C9** and **C5**. I will explain how you can use **What-If Analysis** to explore how the result changes upon changing the variables.

### 1. Performing Manual What-If Analysis in Excel

A manual **What-If Analysis** doesn’t require too much explanation. In fact, the example we have used in the previous article (**A What-If example in Excel**) demonstrates how it’s done. Manual **What-If analysis** is based on the idea that you have one or more input cells that affect one or more key formula cells. You change the value in the input cells and see what happens to the formula cells. You may want to print the results or save each **scenario** to a new workbook. The term scenario refers to a specific set of values in one or more input cells.

Here, I have the following dataset and I will show you how you can perform a **manual What-If Analysis** on it.

Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly,
**Right-click**on the sheet name that is at the bottom of the Excel sheet. - Secondly, select
**Move or Copy**.

Here, a **dialog box **will appear.

- Firstly, select
**(move to the end)**. - Secondly, select
**Create a copy**. - Thirdly, select
**OK**.

Now, you will get the exact same sheet as your dataset.

- After that, name the
**Sheet**as**Scenario 1**.

- Now, change the value to see how the result changes. Here, I changed my
**Principal Amount**to**$16,000**, and the**Final Amount**changed to**$17,600**automatically.

**Manual What-If Analysis** is very common. People often use this technique without even realizing that they’re doing a **type of What-If Analysis**. This method of performing what-if analysis certainly has nothing wrong with it, but you should be aware of some other techniques.

If your input cells are not located near the formula cells, you can consider using a **Watch Window** to monitor the formula results in a movable window.

### 2. Uses of What-If Analysis Tool in Excel

In this section, I will explain how you can use the **What-If Analysis tool** in Excel to perform a What-If Analysis. I will explain the use of all **3 **features in the **What-If Analysis**.

#### 2.1. Using Scenario Manager Feature from What-If Analysis

In this first method, I will explain how you can use the **Scenario Manager** feature in **What-If Analysis **in Excel. Here, I will create a report that will show how the **Simple Interest **will change upon changing the** Interest Rate**. Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, go to the
**Data**tab from**Ribbon**. - Secondly, select
**What-If Analysis**.

Here, a drop-down menu will appear.

- Thirdly, select
**Scenario Manager**.

Now, a **dialog box** named** Scenario Manager **will appear.

- After that, select
**Add**to add**Scenarios**.

- Next, write the
**Scenario**name as you want. Here, I wrote mine as a**6%****Interest Rate**. - Then, select the cell that carries the value you want to change. Here, I selected cell
**C6**because in my dataset cell**C6**contains the**Interest Rate**. - After that, select
**OK**.

Here, another **dialog box** named **Scenario Values **will appear.

- Firstly, write the
**value for changing cells**. Here, I wrote**0.06**because I want my Interest Rate to be**6%**. - Secondly, select
**OK**.

Now, you will see that the **Scenario** is added to the **Scenario Manager**.

- After that, you can create more
**Scenarios**in the same way. Here, I created**2**more**Scenarios**for a**7% Interest Rate**and an**8% Interest Rate**. - Next, select
**Summary**.

Here, a** dialog box** named **Scenario Summary** will appear.

- Firstly, select
**Scenario Summary**. - Secondly, select the
**Result**cells. Here, I selected cell**C10**because cell**C10**on my dataset contains the**Simple Interest**. - Thirdly, select
**OK**.

Finally, you will get the **Scenario Summary** in a new worksheet. Here, you will be able to see the difference in results upon changing the variable.

#### 2.2. Applying Goal Seek Feature

In this method, I will apply the **Goal Seek **feature in **What-If Analysis **in Excel. Here, I will define the final value or result and observe how it changes the input value to achieve the result. For this example, I want the **Simple Interest** to be **$1500 **and want to know how much **Principal Amount** will be needed to get this result. I will use the **Goal Seek** feature to determine the value.

Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, go to the
**Data**tab from**Ribbon**. - Secondly, select
**What-If Analysis**.

Here, a drop-down menu will appear.

- Thirdly, select
**Goal Seek**.

Here, a **dialog box **named **Goal Seek **will appear.

- Firstly, select
**Set Cell**. Here, I selected cell**C10**because this cell contains the value of**Simple Interest**in my dataset. - Secondly, insert value in the
**To value**field. Here, I wrote**1500**because I want my**Simple Interest**to be**1500**. - Thirdly, select
**By changing cell**. Here, I selected cell**C5**because this cell contains the value of the**Principal Amount**in my dataset. - After that, select
**OK**.

Now, another **dialog box** named **Goal Seek Status** will appear.

- Finally, select
**OK**.

Here, you can see the needed **Principal Amount** for the desired **Simple Interest**.

#### 2.3. Employing Data Table Feature from What-If Analysis in Excel

In this method, I will explain how you can use the **Data Table** feature in **What-If Analysis** in Excel. I will use this **What-If Analysis** to see how the **Final Amount **changes if I change the **Interest Rate**.

Let’s see the steps.

**Steps:**

- Firstly, make a table with your needed columns and rows. Here, I have my table. It contains the
**Interest Rate**and**Final Amount**columns.

- Secondly, select the first cell of your next column where you want the results. Here, I selected cell
**F5**. - Thirdly, in cell
**F5**write the following formula.

`=C9`

Here, this formula will refer to the formula that is in cell **C9**.

- After that, press
**ENTER**to get the result.

Now, I will use the **Data Table** feature.

- Firstly, select the table.
- Secondly, go to the
**Data**tab. - Thirdly, select
**What-If Analysis**.

Here, a drop-down menu will appear.

- After that, select
**Data Table**.

Now, a **dialog box **named **Data Table** will appear.

- Firstly, select the
**Column input cell**as I am giving input in the column named**Interest Rate**. Here, I selected cell**C6**as it carries the**Interest Rate**in my dataset. - Secondly, select
**OK**.

Finally, the table will be filled with your desired result. From this table, you will be able to see the **Final Amount **if you change the **Interest Rate**.

**Read More: Sensitivity Analysis in Excel Using One or Two Variables Data Table**

## Things to Remember

- It should be noted that
**manual What-If Analysis**can be performed with a small set of data. - If you want to calculate back calculation then
**Goal Seek**is needed. It can not be done with a**manual What-If Analysis**.

## Practice Section

Here, I have provided a practice sheet for you to practice **What-If Analysis** in Excel.

## Conclusion

In this article, I tried to cover **What-If Analysis**. I hope this was helpful for you. For more articles like this visit **ExcelDemy**. If you have any questions let me know in the comment section below.

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