Chapter 10

Forecasting with Excel’s Data Analysis Add-in


Installing the Data Analysis add-in

Working with the Moving Average, Smoothing, and Regression tools

Way back in the mid-1990s, Microsoft arranged to collect some statistical analysis tools in a single package, to accompany Excel 95 — the first version of Excel to take advantage of Windows 95, Microsoft’s then new operating system for PCs.

Perhaps inspired by the overwhelming commercial success of such brand names as Kwik Kar Wash, Tastee Freez, and Rite Aid, Microsoft decided to give its collection of statistical tools a catchy name. They chose Analysis ToolPak, which was often abbreviated as ATP.

Microsoft apparently now judges that the earlier name was an aberration, an attack of the quaints and the cutes. It has renamed its collection of tools the Data Analysis add-in. The term Analysis ToolPak still appears here and there in the Excel application, such as in a list box of available add-ins. But you get to its tools by clicking Data Analysis on the Ribbon’s Data tab, and that’s the important part. It’s also important to bear in mind that if you ever spent much time learning how to use the ATP, its functionality is still available in the Data Analysis add-in. Only the name has changed.

Add-ins are collections of BASIC-like code — code that, fortunately, you never have to see. The idea behind add-ins is that they can extend Excel’s reach, usually to do specialized tasks for you, such as forecasting using ...

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