Did you know that Google Sheets can execute advanced mathematical functions, including finding a slope? Oh yes, in today’s guide, we will explore some of the most exciting ways to find slope in Google Sheets.
Sure, this may be a little advanced if you’re just getting started with Google Sheets, but if you are interested in learning how to find slope in Google Sheets, today’s post has everything you’re looking for and more.
But before we jump into the exciting part, let’s start with the basics- understanding what a slope is.
What is a slope?
If you have a sound mathematical background, we are sure you already know what a slope is. But for those hearing about it for the first time, here is all you need to know about a slope.
A slope is a mathematical or geometric concept that shows the direction or steepness of a line. This line typically appears on a chart that has a vertical and horizontal axis. When the slope of the line rises from the left, it is said to have a positive slope. On the flip side, when the slope of the line rises from the right, it is said to have a negative slope.
That said, finding a slope in Google Sheets can be pretty tricky, especially if this is your first time doing it. But we are here to guide you every step of the way, so you shouldn’t have any issues.
However, keep in mind that before you can find a slope in Google Sheets, you first need to draw a trendline. Read on as we get into the exciting part.
Finding a slope in Google Sheets
As we mentioned earlier, finding a slope in Google Sheets can be a bit tricky. But guess what? We are here to make the entire process straightforward. So stick around.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to find a slope in Google Sheets with and without a chart. We will start with the option of finding a slope in a graph.
How to find the slope of a graph in Google Sheets
To find the slope of a graph, we first need to create a scatter chart from the data set in our spreadsheet and then add a trendline.
For this tutorial, we will be using the following sample data.
Creating a scatter chart in Google Sheets
You can use different tools in Google Sheets to make different kinds of charts, like scatter charts and area charts.
Here, check out how to create a scatter chart in Google Sheets.
Step 1: Highlight the data you want to include in the chart
You first want to highlight the data you’d like to include in the scatter chart. For this guide, we are only interested in the data housed in columns B and C of our spreadsheet.
Step 2: Go to Insert > Chart
After highlighting the data set we want to include in our chart, the next thing we need to do is head to the “Insert” tab and click on Chart.
If you did everything as we explained above, Google Sheets would automatically create a chart that looks something like this:
Note: By default, Google will automatically create a line chart. But since we are only interested in creating a scatter chart, we need to change this using the Chart editor located on the extreme right of our spreadsheet.
Step 3: Change line chart to scatter chart
Navigate to the Chart editor pane located on the far right of your spreadsheet. Under the drop-down menu for Chart type, select scatter chart.
After the changes have been automatically effected, you should have a chart that now looks like this:
Step 4: Customizing the scatter chart
After creating the scatter chart, we now want to take things up a notch by customizing it, which is super easy and straightforward. To customize the scatter chart, we need to head to the Chart editor and click the option for Customize.
Once we do that, we need to select the option for “Series.” With that out of the way, scroll all the way down and tick the box for “Trendline.”
Here is a short video demo showing you exactly how to execute these steps:
If you did exactly as we showed you in the video above video, your scatter chart should look something like this:
Step 4: Adding an equation to the scatter chart
We aren’t done with customizing our scattered chart yet. With the steps above completed, we now want to scroll all the way down until we find the option for the “Label” menu. Here, we want to click on the “None” drop-down menu and choose the option “use equation.”
This action will add an equation to the trendline. You’ll typically find it above the chart.
With this step completed, you should have a scatter chart that looks exactly like this:
From the image above, you can see the equation Google Sheets used to create the trendline. While the screenshot above shows us that the equation used is 131*x+5.68E+06, it also lets us know that the slope for our sample data is- “131.”
How to find a slope in Google Sheets using formula
Now that we have shown you how to find a slope in Google Sheets graph, we want to use this opportunity to show you how to find a slope in Google Sheets using a formula. Compared to the earlier method, this one is a bit straightforward. So if you don’t want to go through the hassles of creating a graph before finding the slope of a given data in Google Sheets, you’re welcome to explore this method.
This Google Sheets tutorial will show you how to use the SLOPE function to achieve the same result without having to create a chart.
But before we jump into the exciting part, here is the syntax for the SLOPE function:
- The data_y in the syntax above represents the cells that have the dependent variables.
- The data_x in the syntax above refers to cells housing the independent variables.
Finding the slope using the SLOPE function
Using the SLOPE function will give you the same result you got when using the chart method we talked about earlier. The only difference is that the SLOPE function has a higher precision.
Here, check out how to find slope in Google Sheets using the SLOPE function.
- Start by heading to your Google Sheets and type in “=SLOPE” in the formula tab. This will trigger the SLOPE function in Google Sheets. With that done, choose the range of data that corresponds to “data_y” and Google Sheets will automatically include the cell range. Sounds confusing?
Here is a video demonstration that shows you exactly how to execute this step:
- After entering the first part of the formula, we also need to include the second part. To do that, you’ll need to type in a comma and then proceed to choose the data corresponding to data_x, which is the independent variable. With that done, simply close the formula with a parenthesis and hit Enter. Google Sheets will automatically generate the result in the “SLOPE formula” column.
To avoid confusion, here is a short video demonstration showing you how to apply the above step.
After entering your SLOPE function formula in the formula tab, here is the result you should get.
From the screenshot above, you’ll notice that the result is the same as the one we got when we applied the chart method. The only difference is that the SLOPE function method is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.
Today’s guide showed you two ways to find slope in Google Sheets. We first discussed the chart method, which is a little more complicated and detailed. Our tutorial showed you how to use this method to find slope in Google Sheets.
For those who don’t like the chart method because of how complicated it is, you’re welcome to try the second method. The second method involved using a formula to find slope in Google Sheets.
Remember that whatever method you decide to use, you’ll arrive at the same result. Also, experts suggest using the chart method when dealing with a large data set as it provides better data visualization.
To make your job easy, today’s guide featured a variety of screenshots and video tutorials showing you exactly how to execute the steps highlighted. In case of any confusion, feel free to refer to these resources for guidance.
We hope today’s guide has been quite resourceful.
For other amazing Google Sheets tutorials, you’re welcome to check out our blog, as we have plenty of Google Sheets tutorials covering a variety of Google Sheets related problems.
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