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Excel® 2010 Workbook for Dummies® by Greg Harvey

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Chapter 11. Using Common Statistical Functions

In This Chapter

  • Calculating averages

  • Finding the maximum and minimum values

  • Counting the cells in a range of data

  • Using the Statistical functions offered by the Analysis ToolPak add-in

Excel includes one of the most complete sets of statistical functions available outside of a dedicated statistics software program. These functions run the gamut from the more mundane AVERAGE, MAX, and MIN functions to the more exotic and much more specialized CHITEST, POISSON, and PERCENTILE statistical functions. In addition, the program offers an assortment of counting functions that enable you to count the number of cells that contain values, are nonblank (and thus contain entries of some kind), or count only the cells in a cell range that meet the criteria you specify. In this chapter, you get a chance to practice working with the most commonly used statistical functions, AVERAGE, MAX, and MIN, as well as the different counting functions.

Computing Averages

The average is the arithmetic mean computed by summing all the values to be averaged and then dividing this total by the number of values. Excel's AVERAGE function, which calculates the average of a range or series of values, uses the following syntax:

AVERAGE(number1,[number2],[. . .])

One way to understand the workings of the AVERAGE function is to display the corresponding SUM and COUNT formulas that return the exact same result. For example, suppose you want to find the average of the values in the ...

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