# Excel 2010 Using What-If Analysis

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The real power in Excel comes in its ability to perform multiple mathematical calculations for you. One of the tools in Excel that you can use to perform these calculations is a Data tool called What-If Analysis. What-If analysis allows you to see the effect that different values have in formulas. Have you ever thought, "What interest rate do I need to qualify for to have a car payment of $400 on the car I want?" This question can be answered using What-If Analysis.

In this lesson, you will learn how to use a What-If Analysis tool called Goal Seek.

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The real power in Excel comes in its ability to perform multiple mathematical calculations for you. One of the tools in Excel that you can use to perform these calculations is a Data tool called What-If Analysis. What-If analysis allows you to see the effect that different values have in formulas. Have you ever thought, "What interest rate do I need to qualify for to have a car payment of $400 on the car I want?" This question can be answered using What-If Analysis.

In this lesson, you will learn how to use a What-If Analysis tool called Goal Seek.

All three analysis tools are what-if tools. In other words, you can see the impact of changing input values without changing the actual data. In keeping with our first two articles, "How to use Excel's Scenario Manager analysis tool" and "How to use Excel's Goal Seek analysis tool," we'll use the Data Table feature to explore possible mortgage options by evaluating several interest rates and term values. Excel's Data Table tool works similarly to Goal Seek and Scenario Manager. You can use table values to replace variables in a formula or function. In this way, you can view what-if results without changing the original formula's references.

If you ask me, Excel's what-if analysis tools are under-used. I often respond to readers with "Have you tried a data table?" Invariably, they don't know how to implement the feature—sometimes, they don't even know what a data table is. So, over the next few months, I'll introduce you to Excel's what-if analysis tools: Goal Seek, Scenario Manager, Data Table...

There comes a time when you are presented with data in a cross-tabular format but your analysis requires that the data be formatted into a traditional table (or normalized) structure. The first thing you need to do is access a tool that, prior to Excel 2007, was fairly easy to reach. It has now been pushed into the background of Excel 2007 and Excel 2010; that tool is the Pivot Table and Pivot Chart Wizard.

The solver in excel is part of an analysis tool known as “what ifs analysis”. You can use solver to ascertain an optimal value in one cell known as the “target cell”. Basically, solver is used for a group of cells that are directly or indirectly related. Constraints can also be applied to minimize the value that can be used by Solver. This article will provide step-by-step guide on how to use solver to find solution to a business problem.

What-If analysis is the process of calculating backward to find out an input by providing a specific output. In other words, what-if analysis can be considered as opposite to formulas. You use formulas to calculate an output by providing inputs whereas what-if analysis helps you find out what input will result in a specific output. You can use what-if analysis to estimate your monthly savings that meet your retirement goals, find the return rate of an investment, plan your budget and so on.

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet and analysis program developed by Microsoft. Excel can be run on both Windows and Mac platforms. Each version of Excel can "look and feel" completely different from another. We've divided the Excel tutorial into mini-tutorials to cover topics such as Basics, Pivot Tables, VBA Environment, etc. This should make it easier to learn the area of Microsoft Excel that you are most interested in.

How to customize Excel 2010 ribbon to suit your needs? You can improve your Excel productivity by customizing the Excel 2010 Ribbon with extra commands that you use frequently

The Excel 2010 Ribbon is great! This is because it allows you to access all of the program's features and commands. The Ribbon is the horizontal strip that runs across the top of the Excel 2010 window, just below the title bar.

All three analysis tools are what-if tools. In other words, you can see the impact of changing input values without changing the actual data. Last month's article showed you how to use Goal Seek, a what-if analysis tool that tells you how input values must change to achieve a specific goal. The Scenario Manager lets you substitute input values for multiple cells (up to 32). In this way, you can view the results of different input values (or scenarios) at the same time.