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# Microsoft Excel 2010 : Building More Powerful Worksheets - Looking at Alternatives with Data Tables

7/25/2011 11:46:54 AM

### Looking at Alternatives with Data Tables

Data tables provide a shortcut by calculating all of the values in one operation. A data table is a range of cells that shows the results of substituting different values in one or more formulas. For example, you can compare loan payments for different interest rates. There are two types of data tables: one-input and two-input. With a one-input table, you enter different values for one variable and see the effect on one or more formulas. With a two-input table, you enter values for two variables and see the effect on one formula.

#### Create a One-Input Data Table

Enter the formula you want to use.

If the input values are listed down a column, specify the new formula in a blank cell to the right of an existing formula in the top row of the table. If the input values are listed across a row, enter the new formula in a blank cell below an existing formula in the first column of the table.

Select the data table, including the column or row that contains the new formula.

Click the Data tab.

Click the What-If Analysis button, and then click Data Table.

Enter the input cell.

If the input values are in a column, enter the reference for the input cell in the Column Input Cell box. If the input values are in a row, enter the reference for the input cell in the Row Input Cell box.

Click OK.

### Asking “What If” with Goal Seek

Excel functions make it easy to create powerful formulas, such as calculating payments over time. Sometimes, however, being able to make these calculations is only half the battle. Your formula might tell you that a monthly payment amount is \$2,000, while you might only be able to manage a \$1,750 payment. Goal Seek enables you to work backwards to a desired result, or goal, by adjusting the input values.

#### Create a “What-If” Scenario with Goal Seek

Click any cell within the list range.

Click the Data tab.

Click the What-If Analysis button, and then click Goal Seek.

Click the Set Cell box, and then type the cell address you want to change.

You can also click the Collapse Dialog button, use your mouse to select the cells, and then click the Expand Dialog button.

Click the To Value box, and then type the result value.

Click the By Changing Cell box, and then type the cell address you want Excel to change.

You can also click the Collapse Dialog button, use your mouse to select the cells, and then click the Expand Dialog button.

Click OK.

The Goal Seek Status dialog box, opens displaying the goal seek results.

Click OK.

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