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EXCEL

Dealing with Missing Data

Suppose we were missing one month’s data for our chart as in this data for the year 2000:

A line chart plotted from this data may look like this:

There is a break in the chart where data is missing. There are three options for dealing with missing data points:

  1. Leave a gap

  2. Plot them as zero

  3. Get Excel to interpolate (guess) the value

To set up Excel to plot missing data in the required way, click on the Tools drop-down menu and choose Options and then click on the Chart tab of the window that appears as below.

By placing a bullet in one of the options at the top of the window you can choose how to plot the missing point.  It is not very sensible to choose a zero value for our chart as that will imply that there was no rain in that month.  If we choose Interpolated, Excel completes the line for us smoothly as below:

 

 

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