Excel Guides

Using the FORECAST Function in Excel

The FORECAST function is a great way to predict future values based on existing data. To use the FORECAST function, you need to have a set of data that includes at least two known x-values and two known y-values. The x-values can be dates, numbers, or text strings. The y-values can be any numeric value.

Once you have your data set up, you can use the FORECAST function by entering the following into a cell:


Where "x" is the value you want to predict for, "known_y's" are the y-values from your data set, and "known_x's" are the x-values from your data set.

The FORECAST function will return a predicted y-value for the specified x-value. It is important to note that the FORECAST function can only predict future values; it cannot be used to extrapolate past values.

Here is an example of how you might use the FORECAST function:

Say you have a set of data that tracks monthly sales for your company over the past year. The data set includes the month (in numeric form), the sales amount (in dollars), and the number of employees working that month. You can use this data to predict future sales using the FORECAST function.

To do this, you would first need to enter the known values into your spreadsheet. In this case, those would be the months (1-12), sales amounts, and employee counts. Then, in an empty cell, you would enter the following formula:


This formula would predict what your sales would be in month 13 (January), based on the sales and employee counts from your data set.

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