10 Effective Ways to Use Spreadsheets for Better Decision Making – A Must-know Life Skill!

How to make Better Multi-Choice Decisions using a Spreadsheet

In this fast-paced modern world, decision-making has become increasingly difficult. From hiring decisions to choosing the right investments, there are numerous factors to consider and different options to choose from. This is where Dwayne Melancon’s multi-choice, multi-factor decision spreadsheet comes in handy. Developed ten years ago, this tool helped him make his hiring decisions, and now he has updated and tweaked it to suit general selection tasks of the modern world.

The spreadsheet contains various tabs with three different selection matrices styles. Each matrix has different features, so decide which one fits your purpose and tweak it to your liking. Essentially, you need to decide the factors or attributes that you are evaluating and their relative weight. Input this data into whichever matrix you choose to use, and save it with a meaningful name.

Once you have set up your matrix, you can begin the selection process. For instance, if you are looking to hire a new employee, you can score each candidate after interviewing them based on how effectively they match your ideal for each factor. At the end of the process, you can rank the candidates easily based on their scores on individual factors or on a composite score that considers all the factors.

Why Use a Spreadsheet for Multi-Choice Decision Making?

The benefits of using a spreadsheet for multi-choice decision making are several. First, it allows you to organize complex information systematically. The matrix helps you organize multiple factors and weigh them to make informed decisions. This is essential when you are dealing with a large volume of data and multiple factors to consider.

Secondly, it allows you to objectively evaluate each option. The spreadsheet eliminates personal biases and emotions from the decision-making process. You can score each option based on pre-determined criteria and analyze results objectively.

Thirdly, using a spreadsheet saves you time. When you have a large amount of data to analyze, doing it manually can be time-consuming. A well-structured and automated spreadsheet can help you quickly analyze large amounts of data, which is essential for decision-making.

Using the Spreadsheet for Decision Making

One of the most significant advantages of using a spreadsheet for multi-choice decision making is that you can customize it to your specific needs. You can add and remove factors as needed and adjust the criteria and weighting to suit your decision-making process. Here are the steps you can follow to make better multi-choice decisions using a spreadsheet:

1. Determine the decision you need to make: Before you start building your spreadsheet, determine the decision you need to make. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve or the decision you’re trying to make. This clarity will inform the factors you need to consider and the criteria to use.

2. Identify the relevant factors: After determining the decision, identify the relevant factors that can influence the outcome or the decision’s success. For example, if you are hiring an employee, your factors might include education level, experience, communication skills, and work ethic.

3. Assign weighting to each factor: Assigning weight to each factor is a crucial part of the process. Weighing determines the importance of each factor in the decision-making process. The criteria you use to weigh the factors will depend on the decision you are making and your objectives. For instance, if you are hiring for a sales position, you might weigh communication skills and experience more heavily.

4. Evaluate the options: Evaluate each option against each factor and score them accordingly. This step requires you to gather data and information about each option to analyze and score them. It is essential to score each option objectively and to stick to the criteria you set.

5. Calculate composite scores: Calculate the composite scores for each option by adding up the scores for each factor. Compute the weighted average of each option to get the composite score. This score gives you an overall picture of each option’s suitability and helps you rank them.


Making multi-choice decisions can be a challenging task, but a spreadsheet can help simplify the process. Melancon’s multi-choice, multi-factor decision spreadsheet is a powerful tool for organizing complex information, evaluating options objectively, and saving time. By using this tool, you can customize it to suit your decision-making process and make more informed decisions. The process of making better multi-choice decisions using a spreadsheet includes determining the decision, identifying relevant factors, assigning weights, evaluating options, and calculating composite scores. By following these steps, you can use the spreadsheet as an effective tool for making informed decisions.