How to Do Trade-off Analysis in Microsoft Excel

A trade-off analysis involves comparing different design options and determining the best option based on multiple factors, such as cost, weight, performance, etc. 

To perform a trade-off analysis in Excel, you can create a spreadsheet with columns for each factor and use mathematical formulas to calculate and compare the trade-offs.
You can also create charts and graphs to visualize the trade-off data and make it easier to understand. The result of the trade-off analysis will help you make an informed decision and select the optimal design solution.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to perform a trade-off analysis in Excel:

  1. Define the design options: List all the design options you want to compare and analyze.
  2. Identify the criteria: Define the criteria or factors you want to use to compare the design options, such as cost, weight, performance, etc.
  3. Create a spreadsheet: Set up a spreadsheet with columns for each design option and row for each criterion.
  4. Enter data: Enter the data for each design option and criterion. This could be actual values or calculated values based on other data.
  5. Calculate the trade-off: Use mathematical formulas in Excel to calculate the trade-off between each design option and criterion. For example, you can calculate the cost-weight trade-off, performance-weight trade-off, etc.
  6. Create charts and graphs: Use Excel’s charting and graphing tools to visualize the trade-off data. This will help you quickly understand the trade-off results and make informed decisions.
  7. Analyze and compare: Analyze the trade-off results and compare the design options to determine the best option based on your criteria.
  8. Make a decision: Based on the results of the trade-off analysis, make a decision on which design option to choose.

But instead of using Excel, you could use a tool that gives a more intelligent overview of your system options and allows you to do proper parametric design…

trade-off analysis in microsoft excel

Move Beyond Excel


Get closer to connecting your requirements to your precious engineering data, get better insights, and start delivering projects on time. 

Find out why thousands of engineers love using Valispace.

Book a Demo

Talk to our Solution Engineer

Are you a student, teacher or academic researcher? Contact-us directly