In this article, you are going to learn how you can find out the slope in Google Sheets. If you are constantly working with numbers on your spreadsheet, then you may need to find the slope of the line relevant to your data from time to time.
However, figuring out the slope in Google Sheets can be a bit of a process; especially if you are new to this.
Don’t worry though, because after you are done reading this tutorial you will find out that finding the slope in Google Sheets is nothing more than remembering a few simple steps!
Understanding the Function of a Slope
Before we can get into finding the slope in Google Sheets, you need to have a good understanding as to what a slope is.
A slope is a geometrical idea that identifies the direction and steepness of a line created on a Cartesian plane. The line on the Cartesian plane is built based on the data provided and, by finding out the slope of that line; we can analyze the trend in the data.
- A Cartesian plane is an ideal X-Y grid.
- A line which rises while moving from the left plane to the right plane is called a positive slope.
- A line that moves downwards while moving from the left plane to the right plane is known as a negative slope.
- The X axis is horizontal and it represents the independent variables.
- The Y axis is vertical and it represents the dependent variables.
- The slope of a line is essentially used to determine the nature of the relationship between the two variables.
For instance, say that there is a slope of “+15”. What this means is, for every unit moved on the X axis, the line will go up by fifteen units on the Y axis. (The X axis is for independent values and, the Y axis is for dependent values, remember?)
Similarly, a slope of “-15” would mean that as the line shifts forwards by one unit on the X axis – it will move downwards by fifteen units on the Y axis.
How to Find Slope in Google Sheets (With Line Chart)
Let me start by giving you an example of a data. Suppose I have a data which consists of two kinds of variables. An independent variable and a dependent variable.
As you can see from my example, the variable “week” is an independent variable (the value of this data will change freely) and the variable “covid deaths” is a dependent variable (the value of this data will change based on the change in value of the independent variable)
Creating a Line Graph
Firstly, let me show you how you can create a line graph. Our slope will be built based on this line graph.
1. Select all of your data and go on the “Insert” option from the top menu bar. Then, from the drop-down menu, select “Chart”.
2. From the dialogue box “Chart Editor”, select the “Setup” windows. From the first drop-down menu called “Chart type”, select the “Scatter” option.
3. From the “Customize” window, find the third drop-down menu called “Series”. From there, check for the option ”Trendline”.
4. Now, my chart appears like this.
The straight blue line across the scattered plot points of the graph is known as the “trendline”. Our job now, is to calculate the slope of this trendline. We can achieve this by using the tools and functions available in Google Sheets.
Let me show you how.
Calculating the Trendline of a Line Graph
1. Stay on the “Customize” page of the chart editor. Below the option ”Trendline” find the fifth drop-down option that says “Label”.
2. From the drop-down menu “Label”, select the option “Use equation”.
My chart is now displaying the equation for slope. The slope for this line graph “9.77”. From the slope 9.77, we can safely arrive at the conclusion that, for one week passed, the number of Covid-19 deaths increases by 9.77.
How to Calculate the Slope in Google Sheets without having a Line Chart
There is a function built into Google Sheets which allows you to find the slope of a set of data and, for which, you do not need to have a line chart in place.
1. Select a cell in which you want to see the slope of your data.
2. Give the following formula for the SLOPE function in Google Sheets.
The syntax for the slope function formula is as mentioned below:
=SLOPE (data_Y, data_X)
For the input for data Y, give your dependent variable (this would be my “Covid deaths). In addition, for your data X, give your independent variable (which is my “Week”)
As I have shown in my example, I selected the cell range B2 to B13 for my data Y and, the cell range A2 to A13 for my data X. This is because, the cell range B2 to B13 is relevant for the information of weeks and the cells A2 to A13 contains information about the Covid deaths.
- The slope function in Google Sheets is not as sophisticated as the line graph; it only considers numerical data and cannot process any data in text form. This is why, as you can see, I have changed my information for “Week” from “Week 1” to just “1” and so on.
- The augment for this formula considers the dependent variable first and then the independent variable.
3. Press the “Enter” key to get the results of your formula.
The result for the slope function is a bit more accurate in terms of precision.
FAQ on Finding Slope in Google Sheets
Is it possible to calculate the slope of a data without having a line chart?
Yes, you can calculate the slope of your data using the Slope function in Google Sheets. For using the slope function, you do not need to have a line chart in place.
Is there anything to pay attention to while figuring out slopes?
One thing to make sure when you are figuring out your slope is that the format for your date is in the correct order. Google Sheets can often times, not read the date correctly.
To Sum it Up
Well, that is pretty much it, when it comes to learning how you can find the slope of your data in Google Sheets. It is pretty simple, isn’t it?
I hope my tutorial on how you can find the slope of any data in Google Sheets will be of great help to you.
To check out more relevant topics like, how you can create a line graph easily in Google Sheets, how you will be able to switch the X and Y axis in Google Sheets, or, how you can create a box and whisker plot in Google Sheets: you can read these articles:
Best of luck to you!
For more topics on Google Sheets; you go through out other tutorials that you might find useful: