A three-way financial model is a type of financial model created to analyze the performance of a company's investments or strategical operations from a specific point-of-view. The three-way financial model is a combination of three different models that focus on different aspects of the financial performance of a company. These aspects are economic growth, balance sheet, and valuation analysis. Analyzing the data from these three aspects helps the company to create a comprehensive view of its financial performance.

Defining a three-way financial model

A three-way financial model is a type of model used to analyze a company’s performance from three different points of view. These points of view are economic growth, balance sheet and valuation analysis. The model is built as a combination of all three perspectives and gives a more complete picture of the company’s financial performance than any one alone could. These models are often used by investors, financial analysts and other professionals to evaluate the potential returns on investments, the sustainability of a company’s current strategy, and its potential future performance.

Understanding the different components of a three-way financial model

The three-way financial model is comprised of three components –economic growth, balance sheet, and valuation analysis. These components provide different insights into the performance of a company. Economic growth and balance sheet analysis are used to evaluate a company’s current and future performance, while valuation analysis is used to help assess the potential returns on an investment. Each component can provide valuable information on the company’s performance and may be used alone or in combination with other components.

  • Economic growth – evaluates a company’s future performance, trend analysis, and the impacts of different amounts of investment.
  • Balance sheet – looks at the amount of debt, assets and liabilities held by a company.
  • Valuation analysis – evaluates the return on investment for a specific company or range of companies.

Key Takeaways

  • A three-way financial model evaluates a company’s performance from three different points of view - economic growth, balance sheet, and valuation analysis.
  • Economic growth and balance sheet analysis help assess the sustainability of a company’s strategy, while valuation analysis helps assess the potential returns on an investment.
  • The three components of the three-way financial model together provide a more comprehensive picture of a company’s financial performance.
  • Financial analysts and investors can use three-way financial models to evaluate potential returns, sustainability and future performance of a company.

Collecting and Preparing Data

Analyzing data for a three-way financial model requires the collection and preparation of accurate financial data. Collecting this data is the first step of the process and the most important in ensuring that the financial model is built on reliable and accurate information. In this section, we will go over the process of gathering financial data and how to properly prepare it.

Gathering Accurate Financial Data

The first step in analyzing data for a three-way financial model is to gather accurate financial data. Depending on the complexity of the financial model, this can include both internal and external financial data. In some cases, external sources such as industry surveys, economic data, and financial reports may need to be used to ensure that the model is built on reliable information.

Understanding the Data Sources and Inputs

Once the financial data has been gathered, it is important to understand the data sources and inputs used in the model. It is essential to know where the data is coming from and how it was collected. This step is crucial for ensuring that the data is reliable and accurate. It also allows for any inconsistencies should be addressed early on in the process.

Normalizing the Data

The last step in the collection and preparation process is to normalize the data. This includes ensuring that the data is standardized, complete, and accurate. It also involves regularizing the data across multiple different sources so that it is easier to interpret and analyze. This step is necessary for creating an accurate and reliable financial model.

Data Analysis Techniques

When analyzing data for a three-way financial model, a variety of data analysis techniques can be utilized. The most commonly used data analysis techniques include utilizing descriptive statistics, applying correlation analysis, and visualizing data with charts and graphs.

Utilizing Descriptive Statistics

Utilizing descriptive statistics is an effective method for identifying meaningful patterns and correlations in large datasets associated with a three-way financial model. This type of data analysis will generally provide the analyst with an organized summary of the overall data that can then be used to better understand the data itself. This can involve measures such as the mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation, which can all help to form a better picture of the data.

Applying Correlation Analysis

Applying correlation analysis to data associated with a three-way financial model is another useful data analysis approach. Correlation analysis looks to identify how two or more variables are related to one another and suggests whether one variable is causing another to behave in a certain way. This analysis can provide valuable insights into how different factors affect each other and can lead to the formulation of a strategy for the financial model.

Visualizing Data with Charts and Graphs

Another common technique used when analyzing data for a three-way financial model is to visualize the data with charts and graphs. This method can help to quickly identify patterns and correlations that may not be as easy to identify with raw numerical data. By utilizing charts and graphs, the analyst can uncover important relationships between a variety of factors that can help to produce a more effective financial model.

Creating a Three-Way Model

In financial modeling, a three-way model is a type of financial model that takes three variables into account. The main variables are typically revenues, costs, and profits, or sales, expenses, and income. It is a powerful tool for understanding the financial performance of a company and can also be used to predict future performance. Here, we'll take a brief look at the steps required to create and analyze a three-way model.

Setting up and Defining the Model

The first step in creating a three-way model is to define the model itself. This will include setting up the structure and selecting which variables will be included. This can often require some trial and error, as some assumptions might need to be changed or adjusted.

The main variables of the three-way model can be revenues, costs, and profits, or sales, expenses, and income. The model should also include any other important variables such as sales tax, administrative costs, and other relevant factors. It's important that the variables chosen are relevant to the problem and that the relationships between them are correct.

Inputting Data into the Model

Once the model is defined, the next step is to input the necessary data. This will typically include historical financial data, such as sales and expenses from previous periods. This data can be sourced from a variety of sources, such as income statements, balance sheets, and other financial documents. It is important that the data is accurate and up-to-date, as this will affect the accuracy of the model.

Generating and Interpreting Results

Once the model is set up and the data is inputted, the model can be calculated to generate the results. Depending on the model, the results can include various metrics, such as the estimated future profits or the projected cost-savings from certain activities. It is important to interpret these results properly and consider any potential bias in the assumptions and data.

For example, if the model shows that profits will increase as costs decrease, this could be because of an assumption that sales will remain constant. In this case, it would be important to consider other factors that could affect future sales, such as changing market conditions or competitors. Understanding the underlying assumptions and interpreting the results correctly is key to ensuring that the model is useful and accurate.

Interpretation and Data Corrections

Analyzing the data in a three-way financial model is a critical component in the financial planning process. Proper interpretation of the data and corrective measures should be taken to ensure accuracy and reliability in the final results.

Understanding the Report and Interpreting the Results

It is important to understand the report generated from the three-way financial model. The report should clearly present the results, including the impact of changes in economic variables, costs, profits, and future revenues. It should also identify any risks and assumptions used in the model that may alter the results. Once the report is understood, the data should be analyzed to ensure the results are reasonable and consistent with the inputs.

Identifying Any Discrepancies and Correcting Errors

During the interpretation process, discrepancies may be discovered. These discrepancies should be investigated to determine the cause and corrected as needed. Additionally, any errors found in the data should be identified, corrected and the changes documented.

Implementing Any Changes Needed In the Model

Once the discrepancies and errors have been corrected, any changes needed to the model should be implemented. The changes should be tested to ensure they do not alter the original results and the revised model should be tested to ensure accuracy.

Validation and Accuracy

When analyzing data for a three-way financial model, a key step is to validate the accuracy of the data and the results. This involves ensuring that the data is sound and logically organized, and that the modeling scenarios and assumptions are based on reliable sources. It is also important to identify any potential external market influences and account for them, as they can have a major effect on the outcome of the analysis.

Validating the Accuracy of the Data and Results

The first step in the validation and accuracy process is to ensure that the data is sound and accurate and that the assumptions used in the model are logical and reliable. To start, it is important to inspect the accuracy of the data itself. This requires making sure that there are no typos and that all entries are consistent with each other. It is also necessary to check for any obvious data errors or distortions caused by manipulation.

Next, the assumptions and scenarios that were used to develop the models should be inspected. All of the assumptions should be carefully studied and examined to ensure that they are valid and accurate. Further, they should be assessed to make sure that they reflect the reality of the situation. If there are any assumptions that seem questionable, they should be removed or re-examined.

Analyzing Any Potential External Market Influences

In addition to inspecting the data and assumptions used in the model, it is important to consider any potential external market factors that could influence the results of the analysis. This includes factors such as interest rate changes, economic growth, and political developments. It is important to determine how these factors could impact the results of the analysis and adjust the models to reflect any potential changes.

Reconfiguring the Model to Reflect the External Influences

After analyzing any potential external market influences, it is necessary to reconfigure the model to reflect any changes. This includes making any necessary changes to the assumptions and scenarios used in the model in order to account for the market influences. It is important to make sure that all changes are clearly documented and explained in order to ensure the accuracy of the results.


Creating a three-way financial model can be a complex process due to the large amount of data that must be collected, analyzed and interpreted in order to create a good representation of the finances of a business. By following these steps, you can more easily create a financial model with the data you have collected:

  • Define and categorize the data needed.
  • Pull the relevant data needed to create the financial model.
  • Arrange and organize the data that has been collected.
  • Perform basic calculations on the data to create the financial model.
  • Monitor the data over time to ensure accuracy.

It is important to take accuracy and validation seriously when creating a three-way financial model. To ensure accuracy, it is important to use the most up-to-date data available, double-check your work, and run multiple tests to ensure results are valid. Failing to do so can result in inaccurate results, which can cause serious problems for your business.

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