Exponential Moving (Rolling) Average – Excel and Google Sheets

This tutorial will demonstrate how to calculate the Exponential Rolling Average in Excel and Google Sheets.

Exponential Moving Rolling Average in Excel

Moving (Rolling or Running) Average is a series of averages that shows the averages of different fixed subsets of the entire dataset. For example, a 5-days moving average shows the average of the previous 5 days.Moving Average is used in time series data analysis to smoothen out short-term fluctuations in a dataset and thus be able to highlight and predict longer-term trends or cycles. The moving average can be calculated as a simple, weighted, or exponential moving average.

The Exponential Moving Average calculates the moving average of a subset of  data points where each data point has weights assigned to them in such a way that the weights decrease exponentially as the data points go farther from the current value. In this article, we will look at how to calculate the exponential moving average.


Exponential Moving Average Formula

The k-data points exponential moving average (EMAk ) is calculated using the formula:

Exponential Moving Average Formula

where  xcurrent is the current data value;

EMAcurrent  and  EMAprevious  are the current and the previous exponential moving averages, respectively; and

k is the desired number of periods.


Calculate Exponential Moving Average in Excel

Background: The closing prices of Apple Inc. stock on NASDAQ for the sixteen trading days from 2nd to 23rd May 2022 are shown in the table below. Calculate the 3-days and the 5-days exponential moving averages (EMA) for the stock prices.

Closing Prices of Apple Inc Stock

Calculate the 3-days EMA. Initialize the EMA by setting the first value of the dataset as the initial value of the EMA. So, enter the first closing price as the first EMA. That is, the first value of the 3-days EMA is the closing price of May-02 which is 157.96.

3 Days EMA in Excel

Next, calculate the 3-days EMAs using the formula stated above and the number of periods of 3-days, as shown in the picture below.

3 Days EMAs Using the Formula in Excel

Autofill the rest of the column and you have the complete 3-days EMA column as shown below.

3 Days EMAs Column in Excel

Next, calculate the 5-days EMA in a similar way as the 3-days EMA except that this time the number of periods is 5 days.

5 Days EMA in Excel

Autofill the rest of the column and you have the complete 5-days EMA column as shown below.

5 Days EMA Column in Excel


Exponential Moving Average in Google Sheets

Exponential Moving Average can be calculated in Google Sheets in a similar way as it is calculated in Excel as shown in the pictures below.

3 Days EMAs Column in Google Sheets


5 Days EMA Column in Google Sheets