How to create a trendline in Google Sheets

Creating a Google Sheets trendline in a chart is pretty straightforward. But this simplicity doesn’t make them any less useful.

Sometimes mapping data on a chart produces a result that is hard to interpret, that’s where a trendline is useful. A trendline is a line that threads through data points on a chart to represent the graph’s average direction. It’s useful to clarify how two variables correlate and to identify outliers.

We will explore a detailed definition, some common applications, then we’ll see how to create a Google Sheets trendline. Finally, we will cover what makes Sheetgo a great tool to build historical data and analyze trends.

Creating your first Google Sheets trendline 

Creating a trendline in Google Sheets is really simple.

Let’s look at an example, say you want to plot a trend of stock data of Galactic Innovations Corp., these are the steps you would want to follow:

    1. Highlight the cells that contain your data. 
    2. Click the chart icon in the toolbar.
    3. Go to the Customize tab.
    4. Check the Trendline option.

You might have heard of lines of best fit, they are a specific type of trendline used only with scatter plots. If you are looking to create a google sheets line of best fit then all you have to do is apply a trendline to a scatter plot.

Whether you’re working with financial data, scientific measurements, or any other form of dispersed data points, creating a Google Sheets trendline can help highlight underlying patterns or trends that may not be immediately apparent-

In short, if it’s hard to make sense of a chart because the data is too dispersed, a trendline is an invaluable tool for your analysis.

Real world applications

Trendlines have significant real-world applications; they are not just theoretical tools. Some examples of these applications include:

  • Stock Market Analysis: Use trendlines to track the closing prices of a particular stock, identify bullish or bearish trends, and make informed decisions.
  • Project Cost Tracking: Apply trendlines to visualize project expenses over time, identify cost overruns or efficiencies, and fine tune your budget.
  • Sales Performance Analysis: Plot monthly sales data with trendlines to identify seasonal trends, hone your analysis and strategize marketing and sales efforts more effectively.

These applications demonstrate the versatility of trendlines, making them invaluable for analyzing trends, projecting future movements, and making data-driven decisions.

Creating your first Google Sheets trendline 

Creating a trendline in Google Sheets is really simple.

Let’s look at an example, say you want to plot a trend of stock data of Galactic Innovations Corp., these are the steps you would want to follow:

    1. Highlight the cells that contain your data. 
    2. Click the chart icon in the toolbar.
    3. Go to the Customize tab.
    4. Check the Trendline option.

This simple process transforms scattered data points into a clear visual trend, making it easier to analyze the stock’s performance over time.

Customizing your trendline for better insights

Google Sheets offers various customization options for trendlines, allowing you to tailor them according to your data analysis needs. Just go where you turned on the trendline (Chart Editor > Customize tab > Series) to pick the type of trendline that best fits your needs:

  • Linear Trendlines: This is the google sheets trendline default. Best for data that shows a steady rate of increase or decrease. Ideal for simple predictions and trends.
  • Polynomial Trendlines: Useful for data with fluctuations, showing variable rates of growth or decline. They can model more complex behaviors.
  • Exponential Trendlines: Appropriate for data that rises or falls at increasingly higher rates. Suited for data showing exponential growth.
  • Logarithmic Trendlines: Good for data that increases or decreases quickly and then levels off. Useful in cases of rapid growth followed by stabilization.
  • Moving Average Trendlines: Smooth out fluctuations in your data, making it easier to identify the underlying trend in noisy data sets.

You can also change the line’s color, thickness, and transparency to further enhance the visual appeal and readability of your charts.

By tailoring the trendline to fit your dataset and analysis needs, you enhance your chart’s clarity, relevance, and legibility. Customizing your trendline is a crucial step to make the most of this feature.

How to show trendline equation in Google Sheets

Sometimes, understanding the exact mathematical equation used to plot your trendline is crucial. Follow these simple steps to display the trendline equation directly on your chart in Google Sheets:

  1. Open the Chart editor by double clicking your Chart.
  2. Go to Customize Tab and scroll down to the “Series” section.
  3. Click on “Trendline” to create or look below this option for all its options.
  4. Choose “Use Equation” within the “Label” dropdown menu.

Now you know how to show the equation of a trendline in google sheets, providing a clear and concise mathematical description of the trend you’re analyzing.

Sheetgo append to gather historical data

Creating a trendline in Google Sheets is straightforward, but the challenge often lies in gathering and managing the data, especially if it changes daily.

Sheetgo’s append feature allows you to compile and consolidate data automatically from multiple sheets into a single historical dataset. This could free you from repetitive tasks, minimizing human error and allowing you to focus on data analysis.

Watch the video below to learn how to efficiently append data into a cohesive historical record, ready to be turned into a graph with a trendline.

How to append data with Sheetgo (and track historical changes in Google Sheets/Excel/CSV)

With Sheetgo’s append function, you no longer have to worry about the tedious task of manually compiling data. By automating data collection and organization, you can focus more on analyzing trends and gathering actionable insights, making your data work smarter for you.

Connect, merge, filter or split your spreadsheets

Key Takeaways on Google Sheets trendline

Creating a trendline in Google Sheets is a remarkably straightforward yet powerful process. By transforming scattered data points into clear visual trends, trendlines enable you to identify patterns, make predictions, and draw insights.

Moreover, the ability to customize your trendline in Google Sheets allows for a tailored analysis that suits your specific needs. And with the added functionality of displaying the trendline equation you transparent mathematical representation to your charts.

Integrating Sheetgo’s append feature into your workflow addresses the challenge of data management, offering an efficient way to gather and organize historical data.

Ultimately, mastering Google Sheets trendlines in  can unlock deeper insights into your data. For another great way to visualize your spreadsheet data check out our post on  How to use the Google Sheets SPARKLINE function.

Ready to streamline your spreadsheet data?

You may also like…