Excel Tutorial: How To Do Polynomial Regression In Excel


Polynomial regression is a statistical method used to predict a dependent variable based on the values of one or more independent variables. It is particularly useful when the relationship between the variables is curved rather than linear. Excel is a popular tool for performing polynomial regression analysis, offering a user-friendly interface and powerful data analysis capabilities. In this tutorial, we will explore how to do polynomial regression in Excel, providing step-by-step instructions and tips for utilizing this valuable feature.

Key Takeaways

  • Polynomial regression is a statistical method used to predict a dependent variable based on the values of one or more independent variables.
  • Excel is a popular and user-friendly tool for performing polynomial regression analysis.
  • Polynomial regression is particularly useful when the relationship between variables is curved rather than linear.
  • Data preparation is crucial for accurate polynomial regression analysis in Excel.
  • Understanding and interpreting the regression output in Excel is essential for evaluating the accuracy of the model and making predictions.

Understanding Polynomial Regression

A. Brief explanation of polynomial regression

Polynomial regression is a form of regression analysis in which the relationship between the independent variable x and the dependent variable y is modeled as an nth degree polynomial. In simpler terms, it allows us to find the best-fitting curve that represents the relationship between the input and output variables in a dataset.

Advantages of using polynomial regression in data analysis

  • Flexibility: Polynomial regression can capture more complex relationships between variables compared to linear regression.
  • Improved accuracy: It can provide a better fit for non-linear data compared to other regression techniques.
  • Ability to uncover hidden patterns: Polynomial regression can uncover patterns that may not be apparent in linear regression analysis.
  • Predictive power: It can be used to make predictions based on historical data, especially in cases where the relationship between variables is curvilinear.

Data Preparation

Before performing polynomial regression in Excel, it is crucial to organize and prepare the data to ensure accurate analysis. This involves organizing the data in Excel and ensuring that the data is clean and complete.

A. Organizing the data in Excel
  • Open Excel and create a new spreadsheet for your data.
  • Enter the independent variable data in one column and the dependent variable data in another column.
  • Label the columns appropriately to easily identify the variables.

B. Ensuring data is clean and complete for accurate analysis
  • Check for any missing or erroneous data points and ensure they are filled in or corrected.
  • Remove any outliers or data points that may skew the analysis.
  • Verify that there are no duplicates or inconsistencies in the data.

Performing Polynomial Regression in Excel

In this tutorial, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform polynomial regression in Excel using the Data Analysis Toolpak.

A. Steps to access the Data Analysis Toolpak in Excel
  • Step 1:

    Open Excel and click on the "Data" tab located in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 2:

    Look for the "Data Analysis" button in the "Analysis" group. If you don't see it, you may need to load the Data Analysis Toolpak add-in.
  • Step 3:

    To load the Data Analysis Toolpak, go to "File" > "Options" > "Add-Ins" > "Excel Add-Ins" > "Go". Check the "Analysis Toolpak" option and click "OK".
  • Step 4:

    Once the Data Analysis Toolpak is enabled, you can access it by clicking on the "Data Analysis" button in the "Analysis" group under the "Data" tab.

B. How to select the polynomial regression function from the toolpak
  • Step 1:

    After clicking on the "Data Analysis" button, a window will pop-up with a list of available analysis tools.
  • Step 2:

    From the list, select "Regression" and click "OK".
  • Step 3:

    In the Regression dialog box, select the input Y range (dependent variable) and the input X range (independent variable).
  • Step 4:

    Check the "Labels" box if your data has column headers, and then choose the desired output options.
  • Step 5:

    Finally, under "Regression Tools", choose "Polynomial" and specify the order of the polynomial you want to use (e.g., quadratic, cubic, etc.).
  • Step 6:

    Click "OK" to perform the polynomial regression analysis on the selected data.

Interpreting the Results

When it comes to polynomial regression in Excel, it's crucial to know how to interpret the results accurately. This involves understanding the regression output and evaluating the accuracy of the model.

A. Understanding the regression output in Excel

Upon running the polynomial regression analysis in Excel, you will be presented with a regression output that includes key statistics and coefficients.

  • Intercept: The intercept is the value of the predicted variable when all independent variables are set to zero.
  • Coefficients: These are the values of the coefficients for each term in the polynomial equation.
  • R-squared: This statistic indicates the proportion of the variance in the dependent variable that is predictable from the independent variables.
  • P-values: P-values determine the significance of the coefficients, helping to assess whether the independent variables have a statistically significant effect on the dependent variable.

B. Evaluating the accuracy of the polynomial regression model

Once you have the regression output, it's important to evaluate the accuracy of the polynomial regression model to determine how well it fits the data.

  • Visual Inspection: Plot the regression line on a scatter plot of the data to visually assess how well the model fits the observed data points.
  • Residual Analysis: Examine the residuals (the differences between the observed and predicted values) to check for any patterns or trends that may indicate the model is not capturing all the information in the data.
  • R-squared and Adjusted R-squared: These statistics provide a measure of how well the model explains the variability in the dependent variable, with higher values indicating a better fit.
  • Predictive Accuracy: Use the model to make predictions on new data and compare the predictions to the actual values to assess the model's predictive accuracy.

Using the Regression Model for Predictions

Polynomial regression in Excel can be a powerful tool for making predictions and forecasts based on historical data. By applying the regression model to future data points, you can gain valuable insights into potential trends and outcomes.

A. Applying the regression model to predict future data points
  • Once you have built the polynomial regression model in Excel, you can use it to predict future data points by entering the independent variable values into the model.
  • Excel's built-in functions, such as FORECAST and TREND, can be utilized to calculate the predicted values based on the regression model.
  • By plotting the predicted values along with the actual data, you can visualize the potential future trends and patterns.

B. Utilizing the regression model for forecasting and decision-making
  • Forecasting future outcomes and trends based on the regression model can aid in making informed decisions for your business or project.
  • By analyzing the predicted values, you can anticipate potential risks and opportunities, allowing for proactive decision-making.
  • Utilizing the regression model for forecasting can provide valuable insights for strategic planning and resource allocation.


In conclusion, polynomial regression is a crucial tool in data analysis, allowing us to model non-linear relationships between variables. By understanding and practicing polynomial regression in Excel, we can gain valuable insights from our data and make more informed decisions. I encourage you to practice using Excel for polynomial regression analysis in your own datasets to improve your analytical skills and excel in your data analysis endeavors.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles