In Excel what if analysis lets you answer questions with data. With what if analysis Excel also lets you experiment with data.
Excel includes many powerful tools to perform complex mathematical calculations, including what-if analysis. This feature can help you experiment and answer questions with your data, even when the data is incomplete. In this lesson, you'll learn how to use a what-if analysis tool called Goal Seek.
Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.
When you create a formula or function in Excel, you put various parts together to calculate a result. Goal Seek works in the opposite way: It lets you start with the desired result, and it calculates the input value that will give you that result. We'll use a few examples to show how to use Goal Seek.
Let's say you're enrolled in a class. You currently have a grade of 65, and you need at least a 70 to pass the class. Luckily, you have one final assignment that might be able to raise your average. You can use Goal Seek to find out what grade you need on the final assignment to pass the class.
In the image below, you can see that the grades on the first four assignments are 58, 70, 72, and 60. Even though we don't know what the fifth grade will be, we can go ahead and write a formula or function that calculates the final grade. In this case, each assignment is weighted equally, so all we have to do is average all five grades by typing =AVERAGE(B2:B6). Once we use Goal Seek, cell B6 will show us the minimum grade we'll need to make on the final assignment.