FORECAST

The FORECAST function is used to predict a future value based on existing values. It is commonly utilized in financial modeling and data analysis to estimate trends and make forecasts.

Syntax

=FORECAST(x, known_y's, known_x's)

x The value on the x-axis for which you want to forecast a corresponding y-value.
known_y's The range of y-values that are observed or known in your data set.
known_x's The range of x-values that correspond to the known y-values in your data set.

About FORECAST

When you need to peer into the future and predict values based on existing data points, turn to the FORECAST function in Excel. It offers a powerful tool for projecting trends and outcomes, assisting in decision-making processes across various fields such as finance, sales, and research. By leveraging historical data sets, FORECAST can provide valuable insights into potential future scenarios, enabling you to plan and strategize effectively. To make accurate forecasts, you supply the x-value for which you seek a corresponding y-value, along with the sets of known x and y values. Excel then utilizes linear regression to generate a forecasted value based on the observed data points, assisting you in anticipating future trends with a degree of statistical confidence. As you navigate the terrain of predictions and projections, let FORECAST be your trusted ally, guiding you towards informed and data-driven decisions.

Examples

Suppose you have sales data for the past six months, and you want to predict the sales figures for the upcoming month. Your known_x's range from 1 to 6 (representing the months) and known_y's are the corresponding sales numbers. To forecast the sales for month 7, you can use the formula: =FORECAST(7, B2:B7, A2:A7)

Imagine you have temperature data for the last ten days and want to forecast the temperature for the next three days. If your known_x's range from 1 to 10 (representing the days) and known_y's are the recorded temperatures, you can predict the temperature for day 11 using: =FORECAST(11, B2:B11, A2:A11)

Questions

How does the FORECAST function generate predictions?

The FORECAST function employs linear regression to analyze the relationship between the x and y values in the known data set. It calculates a best-fit line to make predictions based on this relationship, extrapolating future y-values for a given x-value.

Can the FORECAST function handle missing or non-numeric data in the known values?

No, the FORECAST function requires a contiguous set of numeric known x and y values in ascending order. Missing or non-numeric data may result in errors or inaccurate forecasts. Ensure data integrity and consistency for reliable predictions.

Related functions

LINEST
TREND
GROWTH
FORECAST.ETS
FORECAST.ETS.CONFINT
FORECAST.ETS.SEASONALITY
FORECAST.ETS.STAT
FORECAST.ETS.TIMESERIES