Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Finding trends in your data
math. To have Excel project future values in the maintenance costs data series, click the
chart, click the Chart Elements action button, point to Trendline, click the right-pointing
triangle that appears, and then click More Options to display the Format Trendline pane.
On the Trendline Options page of the Format Trendline pane, you can choose the data
distribution that Excel should expect when it makes its projection.
TIP If you don’t know which distribution to choose, use Linear, which applies to most
business data. The other distributions are used for scientific and engineering applications
and you will most likely know, or be told by a colleague, when to use them.
After you choose the distribution type, you can tell Excel how far ahead to project the data
trend. The horizontal axis of the chart used in this example shows revenues by year from
2006 to 2012. To tell Excel how far in the future to look, enter a number in the Forecast
area’s Forward box. In this case, to look ahead one year, enter 1 in the Forward box, and
then click OK to add the trendline to the chart.