Goal Seeking

Goal seeking is a useful feature that works in conjunction with your formulas. If you know what a formula result should be, Excel can tell you which values of one or more input cells you need to produce that result.

Single-cell goal seeking (also known as backsolving) represents a rather simple concept. Excel determines what value in an input cell produces a desired result in a formula cell.

For example, you want to have minimum $10 000,00 income in sales this year. Your income contsists of a unit price (now you think about $25 per unit), a discount of every unit (e.g. 10%), bank fees (2,5% per unit), a sales value (about 200 unit) and taxes (13%).

Example Excel 2007

On the Data tab, in the Data Tools group, click What-If Analysis, and then click Goal Seek...:

Goal Seek Excel 2007

The following list describes the entries for each of the items in the dialog box:

  • Set cell specifies the location of the formula you use to get the end result. In this case, the formula is in cell B7, and multiplies the number of units sold by the unit price.
  • Type the target value in the To value box, which in this case is $10,000.
  • In the By changing cell box, specify the cell location of the variable that you want to change to reach your goal-in this case, cell B4, the cell containing the amount of boxes you need to sell to achieve your $10,000 sales goal.
Goal Seek Excel 2007

As soon as you click OK or press Enter, Excel begins seeking the specified goal. In this case, the solution indicated is 480.00 total units at the current price of $25.00:

Goal Seek Status Excel 2007

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