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Time Series Forecasting

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Lesson 3: Time Series Forecasting

In this lesson, we’ll look at another forecasting method. This one is useful if we have a long history of data (for example, revenue over several quarters). In that case, we can use long-term trends in past data to predict future data. This is called time-series forecasting, and the math gets very tricky very quickly. However, there are some decent tools that will run the forecast for us in Excel.

Lab: Forecasting

One of the most powerful tools available to data analysts in Excel is the built-in time-series forecasting feature (though it’s only available in the Windows desktop version). In this lab, you’ll examine a company’s time-series data set showing output values at regular daily intervals, and then predict how those output values will look 100 days after the historical trend in the given data set.

The lab instructions can be downloaded as a PDF file here.

The data set for this lab can be viewed here. From the link, copy and paste all the data into a new worksheet in Excel Online.

Note: The forecasting tools presented in this lab are only available in the desktop version of Excel 2016 for Windows. They aren’t available in Excel Online or Excel for Mac. You can still participate in the lab if you don’t have access to the Windows version of Excel, though — see the lab instructions for details.

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Essential Mathematics for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel

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