Using Excel What-If Analysis: When, Why, and How (Completed)

Date: Monday, December 11, 2017
Instructor: David H. Ringstrom
Begin Time:  9:00am Pacific Time
10:00am Mountain Time
11:00am Central Time
12:00pm Eastern Time
CPE Credit:  2 hours for CPAs

Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA, draws your attention to the What-If Analysis tools available within Excel’s Data menu in this presentation. He shows you 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 explains how Excel’s Goal Seek feature empowers you to perform basic what-if analyses, in effect, solving for a single value.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in Excel 2016. He’ll draw to your attention any differences in Excel 2013, 2010, or 2007 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.

Who Should Attend
Practitioners seeking to understand the what-if problem-solving capabilities in Excel.

Topics Covered

  • Avoiding writing repetitive formulas with Excel's Data Table feature
  • Seeing how to save Solver results to Excel's Scenario Manager for repeated use
  • Merging scenarios from other workbooks into your present workbook
  • Using the FORECAST function in Excel 2016 to extrapolate trends based on existing data in your spreadsheets
  • Using the Summary Report aspect of Scenario Manager to compare different scenarios side by side
  • Considering one approach for working around the 32-input limit built into Scenario Manager
  • Getting a basic introduction to Excel's Solver feature
  • Exploring Excel's Scenario Manager feature that enables you to store various sets of inputs, such as best case, worst case, and most likely, but without having to replicate worksheets or workbooks
  • Seeing how to enable Excel's Solver Add-in for more complex what-if analyses
  • Gaining an understanding of Excel's Goal Seek feature, which is useful in simplifying what-if analyses

Learning Objectives

  • Identify when to use Excel's Goal Seek feature versus Solver
  • Recall how to use the Data Table feature in Excel to compare calculation results based on varying inputs
  • Define how to make one workbook serve multiple purposes by way of Excel's Scenario Manager


Instructional Method
Group: Internet-based

NASBA Field of Study
Computer Software & Applications (2 hours)

Program Prerequisites
Experience Using Excel to Store Lists of Data Is Recommended.

Advance Preparation

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