Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Finding Trends in Your Data
You can use the data in Excel workbooks to discover how your business has performed in
the past, but you can also have Excel 2010 make its best guess, for example, as to future
shipping revenues if the current trend continues. As an example, consider a graph that
shows the fleet maintenance costs for the years 2004 through 2009 for Consolidated
The total has increased from 2004 to 2009, but the growth hasn’t been uniform, so
guessing how much maintenance costs would increase if the overall trend continued
would require difficult mathematical computations. Fortunately, Excel knows that math.
To have Excel project future values in the maintenance costs data series, click the chart
and then, on the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, click Trendline. Click More Trendline
Options to display the Format Trendline dialog box.
With the Trendline Options page of the Format Trendline dialog box, you can choose
the data distribution that Excel should expect when it makes its projection. The right
choice for most business data is Linear—the other distributions (such as Exponential,
Logarithmic, and Polynomial) are used for scientific and operations research
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