## You are learning Data Analysis and Visualization in MS Excel

How do I use Goal Seek to find the input value needed to achieve a desired outcome?

Certainly! Here's a more comprehensive explanation on using Goal Seek in Excel to find the input value that leads to your desired outcome:

Understanding Goal Seek:

Goal Seek is a handy what-if analysis tool available in Excel. It helps you determine the input value (variable) within a formula that you need to adjust to achieve a specific desired outcome (target value). It essentially works backward from the target value to find the corresponding input value.

When to Use Goal Seek:

Goal Seek is particularly useful in scenarios where you have a formula calculating a result, but you'd like to find the input that yields a particular outcome. Here are some common examples:

* Sales & Marketing: You might have a sales commission formula that considers sales volume and commission rate. Goal Seek can help you determine the required sales volume to achieve a target commission amount.

* Loan Calculations: With a loan payment formula considering factors like loan amount, interest rate, and term, Goal Seek can help you find the loan amount needed for a desired monthly payment.

* Break-Even Analysis: If you have a formula calculating total cost based on variable cost per unit and fixed costs, Goal Seek can help you determine the number of units you need to sell to break even (where total cost equals total revenue).

Steps to Use Goal Seek:

1. Set Up Your Spreadsheet:

- Formula and Outcome: Ensure you have a formula in a cell that calculates the outcome you want to influence (target value). This formula should include the input value you want to adjust.

- Identify Input Value: Within the formula, pinpoint the variable or input value that you can adjust to achieve the desired outcome.

2. Access Goal Seek:

- Navigate to the "Data" tab on the Excel Ribbon.

- In the "Data Tools" group, click on "What-If Analysis" and then select "Goal Seek."

3. Define Goal Seek Parameters:

- Set cell: Enter the cell address containing the formula that calculates the outcome (the cell you want to influence).

- To value: Type the desired outcome you want to achieve by adjusting the input value. Be specific and enter a numerical value.

- By changing cell: Enter the cell address containing the input value you want to adjust within the formula. This is the variable you'll modify to reach the target outcome.

4. Run Goal Seek:

- Click "OK." Excel will now attempt to find the input value that results in the desired outcome you specified in the "To value" box.

5. Analyze the Results:

- Success: If Excel finds a solution, it will display a message indicating it has found a solution. The input value in the "By changing cell" will be adjusted automatically to achieve the desired outcome in the "Set cell."

- Failure: If Goal Seek is unsuccessful, you'll see an error message. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

- Double-check formulas: Ensure your formulas are accurate and the input value you're adjusting can realistically influence the outcome.

- Circular references: Circular references within your formulas can prevent Goal Seek from working. Check for any cells referencing themselves or each other indirectly.

- Realistic target value: Make sure your desired target value is achievable based on the relationship between the input value and the formula.

Additional Tips:

* Goal Seek works best when there's a clear one-to-one relationship between the input value and the outcome. If the formula involves multiple variables affecting the outcome, Goal Seek might not provide the most accurate solution.

* You can use Goal Seek for various what-if analysis scenarios. Experiment with different scenarios and target values to understand how adjustments impact the outcome.

By effectively using Goal Seek, you can save time and effort by letting Excel determine the input value required to achieve your desired results within your formulas.