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Six Sigma Analysis: How to Fit Lines in Simple Linear Regression with Excel

Simple linear regression is becoming a common activity. Any Sigma Six practitioner with Microsoft Excel, for example, can take data from an X and a Y variable and almost immediately create a scatter plot of the two. Then with just a couple of clicks, the program automatically derives the fitted line for your data. If you have Excel, try this process on the automobile weight versus fuel economy study:

Make/Model Curb Weight (lbs.) Fuel Economy (mpg)
Toyota Camry 3,140 29
Toyota Sequoia 4,875 17
Honda Civic 2,449 35
Land Rover Discovery 4,742 16
Mercedes-Benz S500 4,170 20
VW Jetta Wagon 3,078 27
Chrysler 300 3,715 22
Chevrolet Venture 3,838 23
Hyundai Tiburon 2,940 27
Dodge Ram 2500 Quad 6,039 11
  1. Enter the data from the table into Excel as two columns of data — one for the curb weight (X) data and another for the fuel economy (Y) data.

  2. Select the entered data in the spreadsheet and create what Excel calls an XY (scatter) plot.

  3. Right-click on the plotted data in the graph and select Add Trendline from the menu that pops up; select the Linear option and click OK.

    The best fit line with the correctly calculated parameters is automatically added to your graph!

    If you double-click on this fitted line, you see options to display the equation for the line and to display the coefficient of determination R2. You can see the results of these display options.

    image0.jpg

In addition to Excel, Minitab, JMP, and other statistical analysis software tools provide tremendous detail and make simple linear regression almost fun!

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