Linear regression creates a statistical model that can be used to predict the value of a dependent variable based on the value(s) of one more independent variables. 

The example dataset below was taken from the well-known Boston housing dataset.  The information in this dataset was gathered by the US Census Bureau from census tracts within the Boston area.  Each of the features (or variables) describes a characteristic impacting the selling price of a house.

Linear Regression Example Dataset

To run a linear regression:

  1. On the XLMiner Analysis ToolPak pane, click Linear Regression
  2. Enter D1:D40 for "Input Y Range".  This is the output variable.   
  3. Enter A1:C40 for "Input X Range".  These are the predictor variables. 
  4. Keep "Labels" selected since the first row contains labels describing the contents of each column. 
  5. If "Constant is Zero" is selected, there will be no constant term in the equation.  Leave this option unchecked for this example.
  6. Select "Confidence Level 95%".
  7. Enter F1 for the "Output Range".
  8. Select "Residuals" to display the unstandardized residuals in the output.  Unstandardized residuals are computed by the formula: Unstandardized residual = Actual response – Predicted response.   
  9. Select "Residual Plots" to display the Residual Plots for each variable. 
  10. Select "Standardized" under Residuals to display the standardized residuals in the output.  Standardized residuals are obtained by dividing the unstandardized residuals by their respective standard deviations.
  11. Select "Line Fit Plots" to display the Line Fit Plots for each variable. 
  12. Select "Normal Probability Plots" to display the Normal Probability Plot for the Y variable. 
  13. Click OK. 

Linear Regression Pane

The results are below.

Linear Regression Results

Using these results, the regression model can be written as:  Median Value of Owner Occupied Home = 33.6 – 6.597 * CRIM - .2237 * ZN -1.295 * INDUS. For a more detailed explanation of these results, see any standard statistics reference text.