# How to use the TREND function

**What is the TREND function?**

The TREND function calculates values along a linear trend. Fits a straight line (using the method of least squares) to the arrays known_y's and known_x's. It returns the y-values along that line for the array of new_x's that you specify.

In Excel versions prior to 365 the TREND function returns an array of values and the function must be entered as an array formula.

#### Table of Contents

## 1. Introduction

**What is line fitting?**

Line fitting is the process of fitting a straight line model to data in order to describe the linear relationship between two variables. The resulting line is called a regression line. The line of best fit minimizes the distance from all data points and allows predicting one variable from the other.

**What is the method o least squares?**

The method of least squares is a standard approach in regression analysis to find the best-fitting line or curve to a set of data points by minimizing the sum of the squares of the residuals.

**What are residuals?**

Residuals are the deviations of points from the fitted line/curve. Summing the squared residuals across all data points gives a measure of total error. The line/curve with the least sum of squared residuals provides the best fit. The resulting model fits the data well while being less sensitive to outliers.

**What is a linear equation?**

A linear equation is a type of equation that can be written in the form ax + b = 0, where a and b are constants and x is a variable. A linear equation represents a relationship between two quantities that are proportional to each other.

For example, if you have a linear equation that says y = 3x + 4, it means that for every unit increase in x, the value of y increases by 3 units and when x is zero y is 4.

The graph of a linear equation is always a straight line, a linear equation does not involve powers of variables.

**What is the difference between the TREND function and the FORECAST.LINEAR?**

FORECAST.LINEAR(x, known_y's, known_x's) has three arguments, all are required. The TREND(*known_y's*, *[known_x's]*, *[new_x's]*, *[const]*) has 4 arguments, one is required and 3 are optional.

You are required to enter the TREND function as an array formula if you use an Excel version prior to Excel 365.

## 2. TREND Function Syntax

TREND(*known_y's*, *[known_x's]*, *[new_x's]*, *[const]*)

## 3. TREND Function Arguments

nown_y's |
Required. The set of y-values you already know in the relationship y = mx + b. |

[known_x's] |
Optional. An optional set of x-values that you may already know in the relationship y = mx + b. Default values are 1, 2, 3 ... |

[new_x's] |
Optional. New x-values for which you want TREND to return corresponding y-values. If you omit new_x's, it is assumed to be the same as known_x's. |

[const] |
Optional. A logical value specifying whether to force the constant b to equal 0. |

## 4. TREND Function Example

**Forecast the future demand for a product based on historical sales data and time periods.
**

**The data in cell range B16:C20 is:**

Year | Number |

1 | 62 |

2 | 46 |

3 | 189 |

4 | 272 |

5 | 145 |

**What is the forecast for year 6, 7, 8, and 9?**

Formula in cell D21:

Excel 365 users may enter this formula as a regular formula, however, users with earlier Excel versions must enter this formula as an array formula- Follow the steps below.

**How to enter the function as an array formula?**

An array formula is a formula that returns multiple values. In versions earlier than Excel 365 you have to follow these steps:

- Double press with left mouse button on the cell where you want to enter the formula.
- Enter the function, for example: =TREND(C16:C20,B16:B20,B21:B24)
- Press and hold CTRL + SHIFT.
- Press Enter once.
- Release all keyboard keys.

The formula is now enclosed with curly brackets, like this: {=TREND(C16:C20,B16:B20,B21:B24)} Don't enter these characters yourself, they appear automatically.

The curly brackets tell you that you successfully enter a formula as an array formula. The downside is that array formulas are easily broken when you edit the formula, you need to remember to repeat the steps above if you change the formula.

The good news is that Excel 365 simplified things a lot, you now enter regular and array formulas the same way simply by pressing the Enter key. Array formulas are now called dynamic array formulas meaning they automatically spill values to cells below and to the right as far as needed.

The formula returns:

6 | 260.4 | |

7 | 299.6 | |

8 | 338.8 | |

9 | 378 |

The image above shows the result in cells D21:D24. The image also shows a line chart, the blue line and blue markers display the known x's and y's. The orange line and markers show the predicted values for years 6, 7, 8, and 9.

## 5. What is the math behind the TREND function?

The linear equation is as follows: y = mx + b

y - dependent variable

x - independent variable

m - slope

b - where the function intercepts the y axis

The formula we need to calculate the slope of regression line is:

m = Σ(x - x̄)(y - ȳ)/Σ(x - x̄)^{2}

Σ - sum of

x̄ - sample mean

ȳ - sample mean

The formula we need to calculate the intercept of regression line, in other words, where the line intersects the y axis, is:

b = ȳ - mx̄

Y-intercept (c): c = y_{mean} - m * x_{mean}

Let's consider the following three pairs of x and y values:

(x1, y1) = (1, 3)

(x2, y2) = (2, 5)

(x3, y3) = (3, 7)

- Step 1: Calculate the means of x and y.

x̄ = (1 + 2 + 3) / 3 = 2

ȳ = (3 + 5 + 7) / 3 = 5 - Step 2: Calculate the sum of the products of the deviations and the sum of the squared deviations of x.

Σ(x - x̄)(y - ȳ) = (1 - 2)(3 - 5) + (2 - 2)(5 - 5) + (3 - 2)(7 - 5)

= (-1)(-2) + (0)(0) + (1)(2)

= 2 + 0 + 2

= 4

Σ(x - x̄)^2 = (1 - 2)^2 + (2 - 2)^2 + (3 - 2)^2

= 1 + 0 + 1

= 2 - Step 3: Calculate the slope (m) using the formula.

m = Σ(x - x̄)(y - ȳ) / Σ(x - x̄)^2

m = 4 / 2

m = 2

Step 4: Calculate the y-intercept (b) using the formula.

b = ȳ - mx̄

b = 5 - (2)(2)

b = 5 - 4

b = 1

Therefore, the equation of the regression line is: y = 2x + 1

This means that for every increase of 1 unit in x, the predicted value of y increases by 2 units, and when x is 0 the predicted value of y is 1. You can use this regression line equation to predict the value of y for any given value of x within the range of the data.

### Functions in 'Statistical' category

The TREND function function is one of 73 functions in the 'Statistical' category.

## How to comment

How to add a formula to your comment<code>Insert your formula here.</code>

Convert less than and larger than signsUse html character entities instead of less than and larger than signs.

< becomes < and > becomes >

How to add VBA code to your comment[vb 1="vbnet" language=","]

Put your VBA code here.

[/vb]

How to add a picture to your comment:Upload picture to postimage.org or imgur

Paste image link to your comment.

Contact OscarYou can contact me through this contact form