# Enter A Formula Using Now Function To Display Today Date Excel Tip – Calculating A Rolling Or Moving Average Using The OFFSET Function

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## Excel Tip – Calculating A Rolling Or Moving Average Using The OFFSET Function

Calculating moving averages can be a really useful way to see trends in your data, and we can easily set up a formula in Excel to always look at the last 3 or 6 or any number of months in your data.

They are one of the most used and popular indicators. The best place to start is by understanding the most basic type of trend, the Simple Moving Average (SMA). No matter how long or short the moving average you are trying to plot and track, the basic calculations remain the same time and time again.

Let’s look at an example. I want to know the average sales of my Beanie Hats for the last 3 months…the last three months even after adding my new monthly sales data to my spreadsheet.

I have entered the number of months I want to use for the moving average in cell G6. (This way I can easily change the number of months I want to see in my formula – I sometimes want to see 6 months or 9 months). The formula in G5 (where I want to display my formula result) reads –

=AVERAGE(OFFSET(C7,COUNT(C:C)-G6,0,G6))

Dated volumes

Jun-14 50

Jul-14 65

Aug-14 35

Sep-14 87

October-1499

Nov-14 89

Dec-14 150

January 15 250

Feb-15 257

Mar-15 146

Apr-15 150

My dates are in column B and my values ​​are in column C and start in row 7.

Let’s break it down and work out what Excel is doing.

First of all, the OFFSET function returns a range in Excel, and we want it to always be the last 3 (or more specified in our G6 cell). OFFSET takes the following arguments −

context, row, col, height, width

So, we’ll tell the OFFSET function to create a new range with a starting cell 7 cells below C4 (the first volume cell) and continuing 3 cells down. 7 How do you know when to start selling down?

By entering COUNT(C:C)-G6 as a reference, COUNT(C:C) returns the number of cells in column C that contain numbers. 10 in this case. Subtract 3 as we only want the last 3.

Then…

Wrap it all in the AVERAGE function. Now that we have a running average calculated automatically by Excel, we can easily change the number of months by changing the value of cell G6.

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