What is Correlation?

How to Conduct Correlation Analysis in Excel

Imagine that you'd like to know if a person's weight is related to their systolic blood pressure. Does it increase or decrease with weight?

To understand and explore the linear relationships between two or more sets of numbers, Excel provides tools to analyze the variance (i.e., covariance) and relationships (i.e., co-relation) between two or more sets of numbers.

Here is an example of correlation analysis in Excel using QI Macros add-in.

1. Select the data

Select two or more columns of data:

2. Click on QI Macros, Statistical Tools and then Correlation:


3. Evaluate the Correlation Results:

Two variables can be positively correlated (more of one means more of another) or negatively correlated (more of one means less of another). In this case, Systolic vs systolic is 1 (perfectly correlated). Systolic vs Weight is 0.804464 (a strong positive correlation). If the correlation is greater than 0.80 (or less than -0.80), there is a strong relationship.

Correlation Results will always be between -1 and 1

1 = Positive Correlation
-1 = Negative Correlation
0 = No Correlation

Regression Analysis

If you'd like more information, run regression analysis on the data. Correlation is the "Multiple R" in the results. Excel will also calculate a p value for the null hypothesis (H0 = no correlation.)

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