What-If Analysis

Level: Intermediate

Available Durations:

  • 50 minutes
  • 60 minutes
  • 75 minutes
  • 90 minutes
  • 100 minutes
  • 120 minutes


In this essential webcast, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, gets you up to speed on the What-If Analysis tools available within Excel’s Data menu. He shows you how and when to make use of Excel’s Scenario Manager, how to implement the Data Table feature to compare calculation results based on two or three inputs, how to perform basic what-if analyses with the Goal Seek feature, and how to enable Excel’s Solver add-in for more complex what-if analyses.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Microsoft 365 (formerly known as 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.

Microsoft 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/Areas Typically Covered:

  • Restoring “classic” Print Preview functionality in Excel 2010 and later.
  • Restoring Full Screen View in Excel 2013 and later as well as enabling a keyboard shortcut for this feature.
  • Using the Summary Report aspect of Scenario Manager to compare different scenarios side by side.
  • 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.
  • Enhancing the Summary Report generated by the Scenario Manager with range names.
  • Comparing the results of multiple scenarios within a pivot table.
  • Merging scenarios from other workbooks into your present workbook.
  • Utilizing a workaround that will let you go beyond the 32-input limit built into Scenario Manager.
  • Exploring Excel’s Goal Seek feature, which can be used to solve for a single missing input.
  • Pausing Goal Seek when necessary to check the status of calculations that involve large numbers.
  • Contrasting Excel’s Data Table feature with traditional approaches used in spreadsheets.
  • Avoiding the need to write repetitive formulas using Excel’s Data Table feature.
  • Understanding the nuances of resizing data tables within Excel spreadsheets.
  • Exploring the Forecast Sheet feature in Excel 2016 and later, which can extrapolate trends based on existing data in your spreadsheets.
  • Enabling Excel’s Solver add-in for more complex what-if analyses.
  • Learning how to save Solver results to Excel’s Scenario Manager for reuse.

Learning Objectives/Why You Should Attend:

  • Identify the location of the Goal Seek command within Excel’s menu.
  • State the mouse action that causes the Fill Handle to copy formulas or values down a column or to create a series.
  • Recognize the button you use within the Scenario Manager dialog box to import one or more scenarios from one workbook to another.

Target Industries:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business
  • Excel Users
  • Consulting
  • IT
  • Auditing
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Government
  • Tax

Target Job Title:

  • Accountants
  • CPAs
  • CFOs
  • Controllers
  • Income Tax Preparers
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Financial Consultants
  • IT Professionals
  • Auditors
  • Human Resource Personnel
  • Bookkeepers
  • Excel Users
  • Marketers
  • Government Personnel

About the Instructor:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. David’s mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you,” so he focuses on what he sees users don’t, but should, know about Microsoft Excel. His goal is to empower you to use Excel more effectively. To learn more about David, you can view his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@excelwriter).

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