Google Sheets is a popular way to archive, access, and organize information. However, it can also be used for good calculations such as Gogle Slope. A deeper understanding of Google Sheets’ algorithms and calculations provides insight into how Google can be used for advanced analytics and reporting.
Let’s see how to find the slope in Google Sheets.
- 1 What is Slope and Why Would You Need to Know How to Find Slope in Google Sheets?
- 2 Starting With Your Google Sheets Data
- 3 How to Find Slope on Google Sheets with a Chart
- 4 How to Calculate Slope in Google Sheets Without a Chart
- 5 What Can You Do With Google Slope?
- 6 How to Get Slope on Google Sheets – FAQ
- 7 Final Thoughts
What is Slope and Why Would You Need to Know How to Find Slope in Google Sheets?
“Slope” is the calculated steepness of the line. A rising line (lower to the left, higher to the right) has a positive slope. A descending line (higher to the left and lower to the right) has a negative slope.
Being able to assess and compare slopes is important for everything from scientific reports to financial documents. People completing math problems may need to know how to find the slope of a line in Google Sheets.
Starting With Your Google Sheets Data
Before we can find the slope of the line, we need to create the data to create the line.
Consider the personal finance sheet as an example. Ethan summarized last year’s expenses on a sheet, but he wants to convert it into a graph.
As you can see, Ethan’s data is really all over the place. He regularly pays a large amount of money for school, which makes it difficult to get a sense of his actual inclinations. To actually start recognizing trends, you need to know how to create graphs.
How to Find Slope on Google Sheets with a Chart
Creating charts in Google Sheets is easy. First, select the data you want to graph and click the “Graph” icon on the toolbar. A graph will pop up on the screen.
Graphs are a bit special to work with in Google Sheets because they are not part of the cell structure not rows or columns. Rather, they are floating entities that can be moved simply by clicking and dragging.
But this line is very unstable. Before we go any further, we need to draw a clear line.
Settings -> Chart Type -> Scatter Plot
This creates a scatterplot instead of a series of lines.
How to Show Slope in Google Sheets
Go to Customize -> Series -> Trendlines
This will create a single trend line from the scatterplot. Data is starting to make more sense now. Ethan’s spending appears erratic at first, but there has been considerable change, with only a small increase.
We now have a trend line, the line we need to use to understand how to find the slope.
At this point, you can simply fire up your graphing calculator and determine the slope of the line. However, Google Sheets has a similar feature.
How to Add Equation to a Graph in Google Sheets
Now we need to determine the equation that Google Sheets used to create the trendline. That’s all there is to understand how to find the slope of a trendline in Google Sheets:
Go to Label -> Use Formula
we can see that the equation used is 18.2*x + 1870. Importantly, we know that the slope is 18.2.
How to Calculate Slope in Google Sheets Without a Chart
Well, as you know how to add a slope in Google Sheets to existing graphs. If you don’t want all the analysis, you can also find the slope in Google Sheets without using the chart.
SLOPE([numerical data], [time data])
As you can see, this produces almost the same data as the chart, but in a less readable format. Without a graph, the slope is even more difficult to understand, especially when the data is as different as Ethan’s. In fact, without a chart here, it’s hard to even see an upward trend in Ethan’s chart over time.
What Can You Do With Google Slope?
A Google Sheets trendline slope allows you to predict future trends in your data, hence the name trendline.
At this slope, we can roughly see that the line is moving up about $18.20 per month. The slope takes into account how the scatterplot changes over time, so you can see that things are trending upwards in a way that the average alone doesn’t. Based on current trends, spending could continue to increase by this amount over the next year.
Simple data is rare, but it’s easy to check if Ethan’s data is “simpler:
Here you can see that the progression is very easy and the gradient increase is always 100.
The tilt of the goggle sheet does not provide any individual information that can be used to determine the next period. Rather, it integrates all points of input data to determine trends over time. This can be important in many reports.
Perhaps more importantly, see the following example:
With this expense sheet, you cut your spending for a month. Here we can see that the slope is descending on the chart and the slope is -3.42. From the gradient itself, we can immediately see that Ethan’s spending is decreasing rather than increasing.
The main reason for calculating the slope is not just to know how fast the line is moving up or down, but to know if the line is moving up or down in the first place is.
Calculating the slope without using a chart allows you to quickly see where the trend is in your data without having to do any in-depth analysis.
However, it should be noted that Ethan’s spending slope is not always valid. When calculating information for a report in Google Sheets, the data displayed is only as good as the data provided. If Ethan’s spending is truly volatile, his past behavior will never reflect his future behavior. Slope is best used when the data being compiled is expected to remain similar.
How to Get Slope on Google Sheets – FAQ
How Do You Find the Slope in Google Sheets?
- Change the chart to Scatter by going to Settings -> Chart Type -> Scatter
- Go to Customize -> Series -> Trendlines. Click there and the trend line will automatically appear
- To add an equation to the trend line, go to Labels -> Use Equation
Is R Squared the Slope?
If the correlation is linear, the slope regression is measured by the formula Slope = r*(SD of y)/(SD of x). The square of the correlation is the regression fit.
So if your data creates a straight line, the short answer is yes. Luckily, Google Sheets does the math for you. Therefore, there is no need to memorize formulas.
How Do You Find the Uncertainty of a Slope in Google Sheets?
It is not possible to do this automatically from the chart. However, it is possible with the LINEST function. This function takes four arguments. And it looks like this.
LINEST(known data y, known data x, computation b, verbose)
known data y – is the data used for the y-axis of the chart
known Data x – is the data used for the X axis
Calculate b – indicates if the intercept is required for the plot. Select 1 or True if you want the intercept, 0/False if you want the best line through the origin.
Verbose – Always enter 1 or True to indicate to Google Sheets that you want all data, not just the best row.
Google Sheets has many powerful tools for analyzing and charting your data. In this tutorial, you learned how to efficiently find slopes in Google Sheets.
Advanced techniques such as Google Slope can be used to quickly analyze data for specific factors, such as determining whether a line is trending upwards or downwards over time. When doing these calculations, you can also choose a visual representation (like a graph) or raw numbers (using an algorithm).
Leveraging these tools will give you more granular data that you can use for actionable insights.