Five Great Excel Statistical Functions

Microsoft Excel statistical functions provide the ability to analyse and summarise the data in a spreadsheet. There are many statistical functions in Excel and they seem to grow in almost every new version release of the software.

This article looks at five great Excel statistical functions and how they could be used.

RANK

The RANK function returns the ranking position of a value with a range.

The function syntax is shown below;

=RANK(number, ref, [order])

Number: The number whose rank you want to return.

Ref: The cell range containing the list of numbers you want to check.

Order: The order in which to perform the ranking. 0 for a descending order (largest to smallest), and 1 for ascending (smallest to largest). If this argument is omitted then 0 is used.

The example below shows the RANK function returning the rank 2 for the number 8 in the list.

=RANK(A3, A2:A5, 0)

Using the RANK function in Excel
Using the RANK function in Excel

LARGE

The LARGE function returns a value that meets a specified ranking position within a range of values. For example, the LARGE function could return the 3rd largest value from a list.

The function looks like this;

=LARGE(array, k)

Array: The range of cells that make up the list you want to check.

K: The ranking position within the array, from the largest, that you want to return.

The example below returns the number 5 as the 3rd largest number in the list.

=LARGE(A2:A5, 3)

Finding the third largest number in a list
Finding the third largest number in a list

AVERAGEIF

The AVERAGEIF function was a new edition to the release of Excel 2007. It is used to calculate the average of values in a range based on specific criteria e.g. find the average sales value for those taken by a salesperson called John.

The function is written as below;

=AVERAGEIF(range, criteria, [average_range])

Range: The range of cells that you want to evaluate.

Criteria: The logical test that has to be met for the values to be included.

Average_range: The range of cells that include the values you want to average.

In the example below the cell range A1:B10 contains sales figures with the names of the salesperson in column A, and the order total in column B. The formula below would return the average value for sales made by John.

=AVERAGEIF(A1:B10, “John”, B1:B10)

Using the AVERAGEIF statistical function
Using the AVERAGEIF statistical function

COUNTBLANK

The COUNTBLANK function returns the number of empty cells with a range.

It looks like the below;

=COUNTBLANK(range)

Range: The range of cells that you want to count.

The COUNTBLANK function below is shown returning 4 blank cells from the range.

Counting all the blank cells in a list
Counting all the blank cells in a list

COUNTA

The Excel COUNTA function counts the number of non-empty cells within a range. COUNTA counts numbers, text and formulas.

It looks like the below;

=COUNTA(value1, [value2], …)

Value:The range of cells that you want to count.

The example below shows the function counting the non-empty cells within a range.

Counting all the non empty cells
Counting all the non empty cells

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