How to Add Trend Lines in Tableau

By Molly Monsey, Paul Sochan

You can easily add trend lines to your Tableau visualization. Trend lines display data trends using lines of best fit based on statistical models. Essentially, this means that trend lines use your existing data to help determine whether results can be accurately predicted.

With trend lines, you can answer questions such as whether profit is predicted by sales or if average delays at an airport are significantly correlated with the month of the year. Trend lines use statistical models to help you determine whether the value of one variable helps you predict the value of another. For example, would you expect to wait longer at the airport in December than you would in October?

To add trend lines to the view, follow these steps:

1Add Sales to your Rows shelf and the Month Year option for Order Date to your Columns shelf.

You should see the Analytics tab.

2Open the Analytics tab of the Data pane.

You will see options for your visualization.

3Drag the Trend Line option from the pane onto the view.

Get ready to see those trends!

4Choose one of the model types for the line before you release the mouse button.

Here is the result of selecting the Linear model.

5To modify a trend line, right-click the trend line and choose Edit Trend Lines from the menu that appears.

Doing so brings up the Trend Lines Options dialog box.

6Using the Trend Lines Options dialog box, make any modifications that you want and then click OK.

You can view the actual formula that’s used to calculate the trend line by hovering your mouse pointer over the line.