Excel’s What-If Analysis Tools

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Course Description

In this valuable one-hour course, Excel expert David Ringstrom gets you up to speed on the What-If-Analysis tools available within Excel’s Data menu. David explains how and when to make use of Excel’s Scenario Manager, as well as how to use the Data Table feature to compare calculation results based on two or three inputs. In addition, David provides a brief overview of Excel’s Solver feature and demonstrates how to use Excel’s Goal Seek feature.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Office 365 version of Excel. David draws your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.
Office 365 is a subscription-based product that provides new-feature updates as often as monthly. Conversely, the perpetual licensed versions of Excel have feature sets that don’t change. Perpetual licensed versions have year numbers, such as Excel 2019, Excel 2016, and so on.

Topics Covered:

  • Avoiding the need to write repetitive formulas using Excel’s Data Table feature.
  • Enabling Excel’s Solver Add-in for more complex what-if analyses.
  • Exploring the Forecast Sheet feature in Excel 2016 and later, which can extrapolate trends based on existing data in your spreadsheets.
  • Exploring Excel’s Goal Seek feature, which can be used to solve for a single missing input.
  • Merging scenarios from other workbooks into your present workbook.
  • Using the Summary Report aspect of Scenario Manager to compare different scenarios side by side.
  • Learning the basics of Excel’s Solver feature.
  • Utilizing the PMT worksheet function to calculate loan payment amounts.
  • Contrasting Excel’s Data Table feature with traditional approaches used in spreadsheets.
  • Exploring Excel’s Scenario Manager feature that enables you to store various sets of inputs, such as best case, worst case, and most likely, without having to replicate worksheets or workbooks.
  • Utilizing the CUMIPMT worksheet function to calculate interest amounts for any period of a loan without utilizing an amortization table.

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