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Risk Matrix Example

Excel formula: Risk Matrix Example
Generic formula 

To set up a simple risk matrix, you can use a formula based on INDEX and MATCH. In the example shown, the formula in J7 is:


Where "impact" is the named range J6, and "certainty" is the named range J5


A risk matrix is used for risk assessment. One axis is used to assign the probability of a particular risk and the other axis is used to assign consequence or severity. A risk matrix can a useful to rank the potential impact of a particular event, decision, or risk.

In the example shown, the values inside the matrix are the result of multiplying certainty by impact, on a 5-point scale. This is a purely arbitrary calculation to give each cell in the table a unique value.


At the core, we are using the INDEX function to retrieve the value at a given row or column number like this:


The range C5:C9 defines the matrix values. What's left is to figure out the correct row and column numbers, and for that we use the MATCH function. To get a row number for INDEX (the impact), we use:


To get a column number for INDEX (the impact), we use:


In both cases, MATCH is set up to perform an exact match. When certainty is "possible" and impact is "major" MATCH calculates row and column numbers as follows:


The INDEX function then returns the value at the fourth row and third column, 12.

For a more detailed explanation of how to use INDEX and MATCH, see this article.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

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