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Automated "what-if" Analysis for Spreadsheets

Part of the DecisionTools Suite

I use TopRank to determine the critical factors affecting transportation efficiency. No more stressful late nights working with static Excel spreadsheets in order to meet my clients' deadlines.

Rolf van Lingen
Logion BV

Everyone makes assumptions about the future. With TopRank and the DecisionTools Suite, the user can evaluate the sensitivity of his results and conclusions to those assumptions.

Jeff Voss
Liberty Mutual Insurance

Identify the Critical Factors in Your Models

Have you ever been faced with a large, complex spreadsheet model and been tasked with determining what the most important factors are? What if you need to determine how sensitive your profits are to particular variables, such as material costs or market share? Or perhaps you want to run a risk analysis in @RISK, but don’t know which variables are important enough to add distribution functions to.

Included with the DecisionTools Suite, TopRank performs automated “what if” sensitivity analysis on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to answer these questions. Define any output or “bottom line” cell or cells, and TopRank will automatically find and vary all input cells which affect your output. You can also control exactly which cells you’d like to analyze. The end result is easy-to-understand tornado charts, spider graphs, and other reports which clearly identify and rank which affect your bottom line the most.

Product Resources

Explore examples and tutorials on how to make TopRank work best for you.

How TopRank Works

Simply take your existing spreadsheet model, select any cell or cells as outputs, and TopRank scans the spreadsheet to find cells which affect your results. Click the ‘Run What-if’ button and TopRank tries different values for each variable cell, changing values over ranges such as -10% and +10%. Each time a new value is tried, the spreadsheet is recalculated and new results are generated. Upon completion, TopRank ranks the variable cells according to the effect they have on your selected outputs. You can also select exactly which cells you wish to vary, and by how much, for a more customized analysis.

TopRank uses Vary functions in Excel to vary inputs across a range. TopRank functions are true Excel functions, and behave exactly as native Excel functions do. TopRank windows point to the cells they refer to via callouts, and changes in one place are automatically carried out in the other.

See TopRank Add Inputs

Graphic Results

TopRank results are displayed in a variety of reports and charts. Graphs include:

Tornado Graphs – Display the relative ranking of one input versus another by comparing the effects of all inputs on results. For each input, the length of the bar indicates the amount of change the input caused on results.

See Tornado Graph

Sensitivity Graphs – The effects of an individual input on results can be plotted with a standard line graph. The value of the input is plotted on the X-axis and the value of results is plotted on the Y-axis. This simple X-Y plot indicates how results change in conjunction with the underlying input.

See Spider Graph

Spider Graphs – Also compares the effects of multiple inputs on results. For each input, the percentage changes in its value from the base case is plotted on the X-axis, and the percentage change in results is plotted on the Y-axis. As inputs have different effects on results, the graph often resembles a spider.

See Sensitivity Graph

Advanced Features

Multi-Way What-If Analysis – Varies two or more inputs at the same time instead of one at a time. Multi-Way What-if Analysis calculates the effect of each combination of input values on the results.

VaryTable Function – Often in the real world inputs only vary among several possible values. The VaryTable function lets you specify a list or table of values among which an input varies.

Until now, What-if analysis was done by manually selecting a cell, trying two or three different “What-if” values, recording the values of some result cell, and repeating for a few other cells in the spreadsheet. This process was both time-consuming and non-rigorous. Now, in a matter of seconds, TopRank gives you the answers you need by performing a fast and rigorous analysis.

Two Editions to Meet Your Needs

TopRank Professional Industrial
Automated what-if analysis
Automatic identification of inputs
Tornado, spider, and sensitivity graphs
Specify ranges to vary inputs
Browse through inputs with Tab key
Swap out TopRank functions for non-TopRank users
Change related inputs at the same time
Multi-Way What-If Analysis
Support for @RISK functions
Unlimited Multi-Way What-If Analysis

Designed for your largest, most complex models, TopRank Industrial adds the following features:

Support for @RISK Functions – TopRank Industrial recognizes @RISK probability distribution functions to provide more flexibility in modeling variation across an input. @RISK functions can model a greater variety of ranges and probabilities than standard TopRank Vary functions.

Unlimited Multi-Way What-If Analysis – TopRank Industrial supports an unlimited number of input combinations, while TopRank Professional allows only two or three variable combinations.

TopRank Features & Benefits

Automated what-if analysis Quickly focus your analysis
Seamless integration into Microsoft Excel Never leave your spreadsheet;
get up to speed quickly
Automatic identification of inputs Saves time
Tornado, spider, and sensitivity graphs Multiple, easy-to-understand ways to identify critical factors and communicate to others
Specify ranges to vary inputs Control analysis to reflect your situation
Browse through inputs with Tab key Easily identify inputs and illustrate to others
Swap out TopRank functions for non-TopRank users Share models with anyone
Change related inputs at the same time Save time defining categories
Multi-Way What-If Analysis Identify scenarios of multiple inputs affecting results
Support for @RISK functions Model variation more accurately
Unlimited Multi-Way What-If Analysis Unlimited combinations of input scenarios

Included with The DecisionTools Suite

Included with The DecisionTools Suite

The DecisionTools Suite

The complete risk and decision analysis toolkit, including @RISK, PrecisionTree, TopRank, NeuralTools, StatTools, Evolver, RISKOptimizer.

Additional Benefits


Your software subscription has you fully covered.

  • Free upgrades when new software versions are released
  • Full access to Technical Support


Technical Support is available to help with installation, operational problems, or errors.

  • Included with subscription
  • Phone, web, or email


Leverage the power of TopRank in your own custom application with Palisade Custom Development.