How to Set Up a Trend/Run Chart in Excel

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Setting up a trend/run chart in Excel is something that you could do if you were tracking production data, for example. Set up a trend/run chart in Excel with help from a mechanical engineer with 32 years of experience in a large aerospace company in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Using Excel
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Ted. Today, I'm going to show you how to setup a Run Chart, also known as a Trend Chart in Excel. This is useful thing to know how to do when you have any kind of data that varies with time. For instance, production data. Let's say you have a small company and you're making widgets. I have a spreadsheet setup here and it has three columns, it's just fictional, of course. And it has the week, the number of widgets produced during the that week and the number of defects produced during the week. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to make a chart and it's going to be a scatter chart. But what you want to do is find the menu called Charts, and we're going to make a scatter chart. So, I'm going to click here on Scatter and I always like to start with just points and then, later on maybe I can draw lines between them. But it just looks a little better. And so, we've made a chart and now, we're going to select the data for the chart. So, depending on your system, you want to find something called Select. And we're going to select a data range. So the first data series, we're going to say, Add and we're going to select the X value. So, we're going to click over here where it says X values. And then, we're going to select the numbers in the week column, because the week is going to be our X axis. So, I scroll down here until I get to the end of November, as far as my data goes. And then, on the Y values, we're going to select, I just, whatever the default is. Here I always just delete, I'm not sure what that is, it's always there. And we're going to select the range of values in the number of widgets produced. So, we do that, we've selected the range. And now, we're just going to, oh and the third thing is, I'm just going to type in the name. Or actually I'm going to click on the name field and go over here and click on the cell that says, "widgets produced." And that means that whatever is in that cell, will be the title of that data series. Then I'm going to say O.K., I clicked on O.K. and there's my chart. I've got the number of widgets produced per week. I'm just going to make it a little larger, so that you can see. And here we have a run or a trend chart showing the number of widgets produced per week. We can do the same thing, we could go back in with a date and select the data. And this time, we could select the defects and have a second series on it that shows the defects. And then, so that you can see your production rate and the number of defects per week. And allow you to track how you're doing. Obviously you can apply this to anything where you're varying with time. So, I hope this has been helpful. I'm Ted and today, I showed you how to make a Run Chart, also known as a Trend Chart in Excel. Thank you for watching.


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