Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for analysing data. The Forecast function provides users with a way of predicting a future value based on existing values. You must have existing values upon which to base the prediction. The Forecast function comes into play in analysing business trends, especially in finance. By forecasting future figures, a business or individual can prepare a better budget, make changes in employment, and see how well a business is doing overall.
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Open a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Use the existing spreadsheet with all necessary information or create a new one and input the desired data.
Click your target cell. This is the cell in which the results will appear.
Go to the Function Bar at the top of the screen. Click the fx button to display function assistance and further guide you through the process.
Choose your X value. This is the value you're basing your prediction on. This value must be numeric.
Choose the range of cells for your known Y values. These are the values that are dependent on your X values.
Choose the range of cells for your known X values. These are the independent values.
Click OK to view your results.
Tips and warnings
- The known X and Y array values must contain the same number of values.
- You can preview the results in the function assistance window before you click OK.
- Once you are used to the formula, type =FORECAST( ). Insert your values separated by commas in the parentheses.
- The variance of the known X values must not be zero or the result will be an error.
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