Introduction
Calculating percentage change in Excel is a valuable tool for anyone working with data or financial analysis. Whether you're monitoring sales trends, tracking investment growth, or evaluating performance metrics, understanding how to calculate percentage change is crucial for making informed decisions. In this tutorial, we'll provide a brief overview of the steps involved in calculating percentage change in Excel, so you can confidently analyze and interpret your data.
Key Takeaways
 Calculating percentage change in Excel is crucial for data analysis and financial decisionmaking.
 Understanding the format and organization of data is essential for accurate percentage change calculations.
 Learning and applying the formula for percentage change in Excel is a valuable skill for professionals.
 Doublechecking the accuracy of percentage change calculations is important for reliable results.
 Customizing the appearance and using references can enhance the visualization and functionality of percentage change results in Excel.
Understanding the Data
When it comes to calculating percentage change in Excel, it's important to understand the format of the data required for accurate calculations. Here's what you need to know:
A. Explanation of the data format required for calculating percentage change Percentage change is calculated using two sets of data: the original value and the new value.
 Both data sets should be in numerical format, such as whole numbers or decimals, to ensure accurate calculations.
 It's important to ensure that the data is organized in a clear and consistent manner for easy reference and calculation.
B. How to organize the data in Excel for accurate calculations
 When working with data in Excel, it's important to organize the original and new values in separate cells to make the calculation process easier.
 Label the cells clearly to indicate which value represents the original data and which represents the new data.
 Consider using separate columns or rows for the original and new values to keep the data organized and easily accessible.
Using Formulas for Percentage Change
In Excel, calculating the percentage change between two values is a common task for data analysis and reporting. By using a simple formula, you can easily determine the percentage change and track the progression of your data over time.
A. Introduction to the formula for calculating percentage change in Excel
Understanding the formula
The formula for calculating percentage change in Excel is straightforward. You subtract the old value from the new value, divide the result by the old value, and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage change.

Why it's useful
Being able to calculate percentage change allows you to analyze trends and identify patterns in your data. This is particularly important for business and financial analysis, where understanding the percentage change can provide valuable insights.
B. Stepbystep guide on how to input the formula in Excel

Identify the cells
First, identify the cells that contain the old value and the new value. These cells will be referred to in the formula.

Input the formula
To calculate the percentage change, input the following formula in a new cell: =((new value  old value) / old value) * 100

Format the cell
After entering the formula, make sure to format the cell as a percentage to display the result in a readable format.

Using absolute cell references
If you want to reuse the formula for multiple rows or columns, you can use absolute cell references to keep the same reference points for the old and new values.
Applying the Formula to Data
Calculating the percentage change in Excel is a simple process that can be applied to any set of data. By using a specific formula, you can easily determine the percentage change between two values. Here, we will demonstrate the application of the formula to a sample data set and provide tips for doublechecking the accuracy of the percentage change calculation.
A. Demonstrating the application of the formula to a sample data setLet's consider a hypothetical scenario where you have the sales data for two consecutive years, and you want to calculate the percentage change in sales from year to year. First, you would enter the sales figures for each year into separate cells in an Excel spreadsheet.
Step 1: Enter the initial and final values
 Cell A1: 2019
 Cell B1: 500,000 (sales for 2019)
 Cell A2: 2020
 Cell B2: 600,000 (sales for 2020)
Step 2: Apply the percentage change formula
To calculate the percentage change, you can use the following formula in a separate cell:
=((B2B1)/B1)*100
After entering this formula, you will get the percentage change in sales from 2019 to 2020. In this case, the calculated percentage change would be 20%.
B. Tips for doublechecking the accuracy of the percentage change calculationWhile Excel makes it easy to calculate the percentage change, it's important to doublecheck the accuracy of your calculation to ensure it is correct. Here are some tips for accuracy:
Verify the input values
Doublecheck the initial and final values used in the formula to ensure they are correct. Any errors in the input values will lead to an inaccurate percentage change calculation.
Use the fill handle carefully
When applying the formula to a large dataset, be cautious when using the fill handle to copy the formula to additional cells. Ensure that the cell references in the formula are adjusted correctly as you drag the fill handle.
Compare results with alternative methods
Consider using alternative methods, such as manual calculations or other software, to crossverify the percentage change calculation. This can help identify any discrepancies and ensure the accuracy of the result.
Formatting the Result
After calculating the percentage change in Excel, it is important to format the result to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand. In this section, we will discuss how to format the percentage change result in Excel and how to customize its appearance for better visualization.
A. How to format the percentage change result in Excel
Once you have calculated the percentage change using the appropriate formula in Excel, you can format the result by following these steps:
 Click on the cell containing the percentage change result.
 Go to the 'Home' tab on the Excel ribbon.
 Click on the 'Percentage' button in the 'Number' group to apply the percentage format to the selected cell.
This will automatically convert the decimal result into a percentage format, making it easier to interpret.
B. Customizing the appearance of the result for better visualization
Aside from changing the number format to percentage, you can also customize the appearance of the percentage change result in Excel to enhance its visual impact. Here are some ways to do this:
 Use conditional formatting: Apply conditional formatting to highlight positive percentage changes in one color and negative percentage changes in another. This will make it easier to identify trends and patterns at a glance.
 Apply data bars: Use data bars to create visual representations of the percentage change results within the cells. Data bars provide a quick visual comparison of the values, allowing you to see the magnitude of the changes more easily.
 Add color scales: Use color scales to assign different colors to different ranges of percentage change values. This will help you quickly identify the significance of the changes based on the color intensity.
By formatting the percentage change result and customizing its appearance in these ways, you can improve the visual clarity of the data and make it easier for yourself and others to interpret the results.
Excel Tutorial: How to Calculate Percentage Change in Excel
In this tutorial, we will learn how to calculate percentage change in Excel using absolute and relative references.
Explanation of the difference between absolute and relative references in Excel
Absolute references in Excel are used when you want a cell reference to remain constant when copied to other cells. This is denoted by the use of dollar signs ($) before the column and row coordinates (e.g. $A$1).
Relative references, on the other hand, are used when you want a cell reference to change when copied to other cells. This is denoted by the absence of dollar signs before the column and row coordinates (e.g. A1).
How to use absolute and relative references in the percentage change formula
When calculating percentage change in Excel, we can use both absolute and relative references to achieve the desired results.
 Using absolute references: When using absolute references in the percentage change formula, the cell references for the initial and final values remain constant. This is useful when you want to compare the change against a fixed value. For example, if you want to calculate the percentage change from a specific starting value, you would use absolute references for that starting value.
 Using relative references: When using relative references, the cell references change as the formula is copied to other cells. This is useful when you want to compare the change against the previous value in a series. For example, if you want to calculate the percentage change from one month to the next in a sales report, you would use relative references to capture the change relative to the previous month's value.
Conclusion
Recap of the steps for calculating percentage change in Excel: First, identify the original and new values. Then, subtract the original value from the new value. Next, divide the result by the original value. Finally, format the result as a percentage.
Encouragement for readers to practice and apply the tutorial in their own Excel projects: Now that you have learned how to calculate percentage change in Excel, I encourage you to practice and apply this knowledge in your own Excel projects. Understanding how to calculate percentage change can be a valuable skill in various business and academic scenarios. Keep practicing and exploring the functionalities of Excel to enhance your data analysis abilities.
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