Lag function

To use this function, choose Calc > Calculator.

Copies the data in the input column to the storage column, moving each value down by the numbers of rows you specify. Minitab inserts the missing value symbol * in the first row or rows of the lag column. This function is useful in macros and formulas.



In number_or_text, specify the input column. In lag, specify the number of rows the data should be moved down. By default, if no value is specified for lag, the data is moved down one row (lag = 1).

Minitab inserts the missing value symbol * in the empty rows of the storage column.


A call center manager wants to determine the moving range for the number of incoming technical support calls. She enters the expression LAG(C2) and stores the results in C3. Then she subtracts the LAG value column from the Number of calls column and stores the result in C4 to see the day-to-day variation in call volume.

C1 C2 C3
Number of calls LAG Values Variation
275 * *
325 275 50
584 325 259
658 584 74
874 658 216
412 874 −462
697 412 285
232 697 −465
514 232 282
498 514 −16