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Charley's Swipe File #43

Use a split trend line in your Excel charts to make it easier for your readers to see changes in the performance of time-series data.

by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

Charley's Swipe File #43This figure shows a split trend line for the past 120 business days. The left line shows the trend for the first 60 days, and the right line shows the trend in the most-recent 60 days.

Splitting the trend line this way makes it much easier to see changes in the trend over the past 120 days.

This figure provides an excellent measure of investor confidence about the economy. It relies on the idea that because AAA companies are less risky than CCC companies, they can pay a much lower interest rate.

If investors are optimistic about the economy, they’re necessarily optimistic about the average prospects of CCC companies. So they tend to move from low-interest AAA bonds to high-interest CCC bonds, driving the AAA yields up and the CCC yields down. And this makes the line rise.

On the other hand, if investors are pessimistic about the economy, they move in the other direction, moving the ratio line down.

And the two red lines show recent trends in this ratio.

Usage Ideas

You can use a split trend line to uncover changes in nearly any time-series data…from dollar sales to manufacturing rejects.

(Continued in the documentation.)

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