Excel Scenario Builder – A Tutorial

Excel Scenario Builder – What it is and how to use it

A scenario is a set of values that Microsoft Office Excel saves and can substitute automatically on your worksheet. You can create and save different groups of values as scenarios on a worksheet and then switch between these scenarios to view the different results, simply and easily.


Scenarios are part of a suite of commands called what-if analysis tools. When you use scenarios, you are doing what-if analysis.

What-if analysis is the process of changing the values in cells to see how those changes will affect the outcome of formulas on the worksheet. You can use scenarios to create and save different sets of values and switch between them. You can also create a scenario summary report, which combines all the scenarios on one worksheet. For example, you can create several different budget scenarios that compare various possible income levels and expenses, and then create a report that lets you compare the scenarios side-by-side.

Like data tables, scenarios help you explore a set of possible outcomes. Unlike data tables, scenarios from several different worksheetsExcel Scenario Builder or workbooks can be merged. Scenarios make it easy to gather data about possible outcomes from a variety of sources, and then combine the data.

Each scenario can accommodate up to 32 variable values. If you want to analyze more than 32 values, and the values represent only one or two variables, you can use data tables.


This Excel Scenario Builder tutorial shows you how to create a simple financial scenario using the built-in Excel tool. For more complex Scenario builds or detailed analysis why not consider using Gilding & Company – we are experts in Excel and Excel project management and design.