Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Using MEDIAN, MODE.SNGL, MODE.MULT, and AVERAGE to Find the Central Tendency of a Data Set**

Using

Using
MEDIAN

MEDIAN
,,
MODE.SNGL

MODE.SNGL
,,
MODE.MULT

MODE.MULT
,, and

and
AVERAGE

AVERAGE
tto Find

Find the

the Central

Central

Tendency of a Data Set

Tendency of a Data Set

You can use three popular measures when trying to find the middle scores in

a range:

•
Mean

Mean
—
The mean of a data set is the mathematical average. It is cal-

culated by adding all the values in the range and dividing by the num-

ber of values in the set. To calculate a mean in Excel, use the

AVERAGE function.

•
Median

Median
—
The median of a data set is the value in the middle when the

set is arranged from high to low. In the data set, half the values are

higher than the median and half the numbers are lower than the median.

To calculate a median in Excel, use the MEDIAN function. When there

is an even number of items, the median is the average of the two middle

numbers.

Caution

When averaging cells, keep in mind the difference between empty cells

and those that contain the value 0. This can be particularly troub-

ling if you have cleared the Show a Zero in Cells That Have a Zero

Value check box. You find this setting by selecting File, Options, Ad-

vanced, Display Options for This Worksheet.

•
Mode

Mode
—
The mode of a data set is the value that happens most often.

To calculate a mode in Excel 2013, use the MODE.SNGL and

MODE.MULT functions.

Syntax

=AVERAGE(number1,number2,...)

The AVERAGE function returns the average (that is, arithmetic mean) of the

arguments. The arguments number1, number2, ... are one to 255 numeric argu-

ments for which you want the average. The arguments must be either numbers

or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers. If an array or a ref-

erence argument contains text, logical values, or empty cells, those values

are ignored; however, cells containing the value 0 are included.