ClearFactr’s Sensitivity Analyzer allows you to perform the types of “what-if” analyses that spreadsheets are famous for in an entirely new way. In fact, it’s patented (pending as of Fall 2013).
What was truly revolutionary when the very first spreadsheet program came about was the ability to build up a very complex financial model, change an input cell, and immediately see the effects of that change ripple through the entire model. What might have been minutes or even hours of hand calculations for that single change was now performed in seconds. Changing another cell would then save another round of hand calculations, and so on.
Paradoxically, spreadsheets have allowed models to become so elaborate that it’s not entirely obvious which cells change, and by how much, when a given input value is changed. ClearFactr has replaced this flaw in the workflow with a customized solution that precisely answers the question “what changes, and by how much?”.
In order to use the Sensitivity Analyzer your Plan must have at least one root cell and one or more dependent cells. Here’s the process, which will refer to this toolbar:
You’ll see the toolbar above.
The Calc Type, Magnitude, Magnitude Type and Result Type selectors describe what is going to happen to your chosen input cell. You can read the Analyzer’s settings like a sentence--for example: “Add 10% Percent (to the input cell, and display the Result in) Actual Values.” Each of them has several possibilities:
|Calc Type||Add or Multiply|
|Magnitude Type||Indicates whether the magnitude will be treated as a numerical quantity or as a percent|
|Show me||Controls how the results of the analysis are displayed|
The current cell (the one with the red border) becomes the “input cell” for the analyzer.
When you do this, ClearFactr will internally transform the input cell according to the chosen analysis and recompute all of the dependent cells. The new input cell value is always shown in actual terms, regardless of the result type. The Apply button will become disabled to avoid applying multiple changes to the input cell.
By default, ClearFactr will hide any cell that is not affected by the new input cell value. This allows the affected cells to really stand out. The slider (to right of the "Show Me" selector) allows you to control the exact amount of hiding. You may find it helpful to partially display the cells (in grayscale), or show them completely. Experiment with the slider to see the results.
The input cell and dependent cells will be reverted to their original values. Any hidden cells (partially or otherwise) are restored into full view. The restore button allows you to use the Sensitivity Analyzer without worrying about permanently changing your Plan.