This paper provides guidance to an analyst who wants to extract insight from a spreadsheet model. It discusses the terminology of spreadsheet analytics, how to prepare a spreadsheet model for analysis, and a hierarchy of analytical techniques. These techniques include sensitivity analysis, tornado charts, and backsolving (or goal-seeking). This paper presents native-Excel approaches for automating these techniques, and discusses add-ins that are even more efficient. Spreadsheet optimization and spreadsheet Monte Carlo simulation are briefly discussed. The paper concludes by calling for empirical research, and describing desired features spreadsheet sensitivity analysis and spreadsheet optimization add-ins.
Grossman, T. "A Primer on Spreadsheet Analytics". Proceedings of EuSpRIG 2008 Conference, July 2008.