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Sensitivity Analysis in Google Sheets (With Two Variable Data Tables)

When running a business, dealing with data is one of the most challenging aspects of the management process. This can even be more complex when dealing with multiple related values and picking between options.

Things like Sensitivity Analysis or two variable data tables in Google Sheets allow you to quickly find relationships between data sets to help inform your decisions.

This post will look at two variable data tables in Google Sheets and how to create one. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a two-variable data table in Google Sheets (Sensitivity Analysis)?

A two-variable Data Table in Google Sheets is a feature that allows you to perform Sensitivity Analysis by explore the relationship between two different variables by performing a series of calculations based on different combinations of values. It’s particularly useful when you have a formula that depends on two input variables and wants to see what impact changing these variables has on the outcome.

Imagine you have a formula that calculates the total cost of an item based on the quantity purchased and the unit price. A Two Variable Data Table can help you visualize how a quantity and unit price change affects the total cost.

This feature can save you time by automatically performing calculations for various combinations of input values and then presenting the results in a structured table format.

How to Create a Two-Variable Data Table to Make a Sensitivity Analysis in Google Sheets

Imagine you’re running a little fruit stand, and you’re selling apples. We want to see how the money you make (your sales) changes when you mess around with two things: the price you charge for each apple and how many apples you have to sell.

So, let’s say you start with 10 apples. Each of these apples costs $10. This means if someone buys all 10 apples, you’d make a total of $100 (because 10 apples * $10 each = $100). Got that?

Now, we’re going to play around with these two variables (the price of the apples and the number of apples you have). If you change the price you charge for each apple, it will affect how much money you make overall. And if you have more or fewer apples to sell, that will also change your total money earned.

So, in this little game, we’re going to see how making changes to the price and quantity of apples can help you calculate your expected sales under different prices and quantities. This helps us understand how these changes can impact your business.

Below is the example spreadsheet we will be using.

To set up our data table, 

Step 1: Link Formula

Select cell D3 and input this formula: =B5. It should look like this.

Step 2: Press Enter

Once you press enter, the total fruit sales should be linked to this cell, and the amount should reflect, as seen below.

Step 3: Create Variables

In our case, the vendor wants to know how an increment of the number of apples and price by a factor of 5 and $2, respectively, affects his total sales. Let’s start by plotting out the number of apples.

At the top of the table in our sheet document, write 5 in cell E3. Then on cell F3 use this formula: =E3+5 to calculate the rest of the figures.

Press enter, then click on the small nob on the active dialog box and drag it across to autofill the rest of the cells, as seen below. 

Step 4: Price Increment

Next, we will do the same for the price in $2 increments. As before, select cell D4, and input $2. Then on cell D5, input this formula =D4+2.

Press enter and drag the small nob down to autofill the rest of the cells. 

Step 5: Select Cell

Select cell E4 to input the formula that will allow you to calculate the different variables in our table.

Step 6: Input the Formula

The data in the table will be output based on the variables on the X and Y axis. For instance, to determine the vendor’s total fruit sales if his number of apples is 15 and costs $6, the formula will simply multiply the two variables. 

So it will make returns to each cell based on the corresponding numbers on the Y and X axis.

Here is the formula:


Step 7: Press Enter

Once you press enter, your first value should be 10. But that’s not all. Because we have already given the function the range we want it to find variables, you will now need to drag the small nob down to reveal the rest of the values, as seen below. 

Then drag it to the right to fill out the rest of the table. 

As you can see, the two-variable data table allows you to analyze data or do a Sensitivity Analysis on data dependent on two variables quickly. Our vendor can now determine how different numbers of apples and their price changes will affect his total fruit sales.


Understanding the nuances and limitations of data relationships is key to making well-informed decisions in any business setting. But relying on traditional methods to find patterns or relationships between variables can be very challenging, if not almost impossible. 

Two variable data tables in Google Sheets offer a convenient and easy solution you can implement in your business with some practice. 

We hope this post has helped you learn how to Sensitivity Analysis in Google Sheets and you have a better understanding of data analysis. What two variable data tables in Google Sheets application apply to your business? Let us know in the comments section below. 


What’s the benefit of using a Two Variable Data Table?

Two Variable Data Tables allow you to quickly understand how changes in two variables impact the outcome of a formula. They visually represent the relationships, making identifying trends and patterns within your data easier.

Can I use a Two Variable Data Table for complex formulas? 

You can use a Two Variable Data Table for both simple and complex formulas. As long as your formula depends on two input variables, this tool can help you explore their combined effects on the outcome.

Are there any limitations to using Two Variable Data Tables? 

While Two Variable Data Tables are valuable tools, they assume that the relationships between variables are linear. They may not account for non-linear relationships or interactions with other variables not included in the analysis.

How can I use the insights from a Two Variable Data Table in decision-making? 

Insights gained from a Two Variable Data Table can help you make more informed decisions. For instance, if you’re analyzing pricing strategies, the table could reveal the optimal combination of price and quantity for maximizing revenue.