Application of Regression Analysis in Business

by Brenda Keener; Updated September 26, 2017
Close-up of business person using digital tablet with financial

Linear regression analysis is a method of analyzing data that has two or more variables. By creating the "best fit" line for all the data points in a two-variable system, values of y can be predicted from known values of x. Linear regression is used in business to predict events, manage product quality and analyze a variety of data types for decision-making.

Trend Line Analysis

Linear regression is used in the creation of trend lines, which uses past data to predict future performance or "trends." Usually, trend lines are used in business to show the movement of financial or product attributes over time. Stock prices, oil prices, or product specifications can all be analyzed using trend lines.

Risk Analysis for Investments

The capital asset pricing model was developed using linear regression analysis, and a common measure of the volatility of a stock or investment is its beta--which is determined using linear regression. Linear regression and its use is key in assessing the risk associated with most investment vehicles.

Sales or Market Forecasts

Multivariate (having more than two variables) linear regression is a sophisticated method for forecasting sales volumes, or market movement to create comprehensive plans for growth. This method is more accurate than trend analysis, as trend analysis only looks at how one variable changes with respect to another, where this method looks at how one variable will change when several other variables are modified.

Total Quality Control

Quality control methods make frequent use of linear regression to analyze key product specifications and other measurable parameters of product or organizational quality (such as number of customer complaints over time, etc).

Linear Regression in Human Resources

Linear regression methods are also used to predict the demographics and types of future work forces for large companies. This helps the companies to prepare for the needs of the work force through development of good hiring plans and training plans for the existing employees.

About the Author

Brenda Keener is a high tech sales and marketing executive with more than 25 years' experience in various Silicon Valley companies. She has been writing all her life and actively freelancing for the last 10 years. She holds a B.S. in materials science from Northwestern University, an M.S.E.E. from Santa Clara University, and an M.B.A. from Edinburgh Business School.

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