How To Create a Decision Tree Using Microsoft Excel

Make your spreadsheets more powerful by converting them into interactive decision trees. Here’s how Zingtree can help you make it happen.

August 31, 2021
10 min read
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How To Create a Decision Tree Using Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel, the spreadsheet software native to Microsoft Office, is an almost unparalleled tool when it comes to clearly presenting vast amounts of data. However, as spreadsheets get more complex, it’s easy for users to become overwhelmed and difficult for authors to turn insight into action. 

One way to make spreadsheets more engaging and visual is to insert some, or all of the content into an interactive decision tree format. Interactive decision trees offer a more intuitive experience by presenting users with a series of qualifying questions, one by one, in order to  pinpoint certain information or follow a specific process. This can save time and reduce frustration, particularly in internal business processes.  

Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to build interactive decision trees in Excel directly. With the use of external tools like Zingtree, though, you can turn even the most detailed spreadsheets into standalone, interactive decision trees in a snap. 

What is a decision tree?

A decision tree is a tool that supports the decision-making process. Similar to a flow chart, decision trees map out all the different potential courses of action that can be taken to arrive at a decision. They are also sometimes known as decision tree diagrams. A traditional decision tree is built up of components known as root nodes, leaf nodes, and branch nodes.

An interactive decision tree goes one step further. By offering the user one question at a time − plus intuitive buttons or data entry boxes to enter their response − interactive decision trees guide the user, step by step, to the information that they’re looking for. This choose-your-own-adventure style process means the user is not overwhelmed with unnecessary information to arrive at a conclusion. In addition, interactive decision trees can be modified to create documents or forms, automatically send emails, generate notes, and much more.

Why create a decision tree using Microsoft Excel?

At present, it’s not possible to build interactive decision trees in Excel, but you can use Excel as a planning tool to create your decision tree in Zingtree. This is the best way to make your spreadsheet fully interactive and user friendly, plus you can still retain visual elements such as SmartArt graphics by saving them as images in your spreadsheet, and inserting them into your tree.

How to create a decision tree using Microsoft Excel

Zingtree is specifically designed to support users who want to build decision trees from spreadsheet tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. That’s why it’s the leading interactive decision tree maker for Excel, used by over 700 organizations worldwide to power agent scripts, customer self-help tools, and internal process optimization. 

Zingtree comes with detailed documentation, so you’ll know how to make the most out of the tool. For example, there’s a step-by-step guide on hand to show you just how easy it is to build a decision tree with Zingtree and Microsoft Excel. This page also includes a helpful decision tree template for Excel, so you can be sure your information will transfer seamlessly to Zingtree. If you’re looking for some inspiration before you start building, you can also check out our free decision tree templates to see the many ways in which Zingtree can work for you. 

Ready to get started? Sign up for our 30-day free trial or request a personalized demo from our team, and you’ll be converting your spreadsheets into powerful decision trees in no time.