How to Make a Decision Tree in Excel – Step-by-Step Guide

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As the name implies “Decision Tree” you simply use this effective tool in Excel to make streamline your decision-making process.

Making decisions is a common thing in daily life and sometimes it becomes a complex process to deal with all the decisions at a time. For this, Decision Tree provides a visual aid that you can create in Excel. Today, you will get to know what a decision tree is and how to make a decision tree in Excel.

With the right decision-making skills, your team can reach the heights of the sky as it let them work in the right direction. So, let’s get started with what is a decision tree.

Purpose of a Decision Tree:

With a decision tree, you can have the potential outcomes that may appear as a result of a decision. A decision tree is a tree like a diagram that often starts with a single point that has one main idea. This tree then spreads out its branches in terms of actions you need to take or choices you make to fulfill that decision.

You can use a Decision Tree to:

  • Analyze outcomes to assess the best course of action
  • Provide non-linear data in depth
  • Analyze a problem and possible solutions
  • Figure out an algorithm that depicts safe directions to follow

How to Make a Decision Tree in Excel?

You can use two different ways to make a decision tree in Excel. In this first method, you can use basic shapes and lines to make a complete tree, whereas the second method is by using a ready-made decision tree template.

Let’s find out how these basic lines and shapes can help you in making a decision tree:

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Make a Decision Tree with Basic Lines and Shapes:

  • Open the Microsoft Excel.
  • Put your data in the spreadsheet for which you need to make a tree.
  • Click on the Insert tab and choose the Text Box option given in the Text menu.
  • Once the Text Box is selected, you can now easily draw a text box.
  • Add your questions in the Text Box.
  • Start drawing answers or possible outcomes. It entirely depends on how many questions and answers you add to the box.
  • Now, click on the Insert option to add a line.
  • Choose the Shapes option from the Illustrations. Click on the Straight line.
  • A straight line will be added, now join a box for the 1st result.
  • Similarly, add more boxes for other outcomes.

Likewise, you need to keep connecting lines and draw more answers.

That’s it!

This is how you can make a decision tree in Excel with the help of basic lines and shapes. Now, let’s move on to the second method.

How to Make a Decision Tree in Excel with SmartArt?

With SmartArt graphics, you can make diagrams easily in Excel but these diagrams are not flexible enough to edit. Let’s see how you can use SmartArt:

  • Open the workbook and click on the Insert button.
  • Choose Illustrations from the menu and then click on SmartArt. A window will pop up.
  • Click on the “Hierarchy” diagrams option and choose from those that fit your needs.
  • Press OK.
  • With the Text pane, you can change the text.
  • Click “Add Shape” once you select the graphic. It will increase the decision tree size.
  • Save all the edits in the sheet before closing it.

Top Elements of Decision Tree:

If you know, a decision tree is made up of four key elements, such as:

Decision Nodes

A square shape indicates a decision node that simply shows a decision needed to make.

Chance Nodes

Circle shapes indicate chance nodes that provide a huge variety of possible results.


Branches are those lines that show potential results or decisions following a primary option.

End Nodes

Triangle shapes indicate end nodes that show the result of a decision process.

To Wrap Up:

Today, you have learned what is a decision tree used for and how to make a decision tree in Excel. With two methods of making a decision tree, you can easily put your ideas into graphical form, so that all your ideas are in front of you. It also lets you choose the right path for achieving your long-awaited goals.

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