Access other functions

Similar to the function AVERAGE, other functions are available in Excel:

=MEDIAN() to calculate the median
=STDEV() to calculate the standard deviation
=COUNT() to count the number of observations
=MIN() to find the minimum value
=MAX() to find the maximum value

These and other Excel functions can be accessed by clicking Insert–>Function… or by clicking the function button on the formula bar (if not visible, select the option Formula bar from the View menu).

For example, to calculate median for column D:

  • Select a cell to store the results (say D13)
  • Click the button on the formula bar or go to Insert–>Function… (Or click More functions… in the expanded summation menu (see Fig. 5).
  • In the Insert Function wizard (Fig. 6) type median to Search for a function and click Go. A list of functions will appear in the list Select a function. Selecting MEDIAN from the list will open a dialogue box containing arguments for the function MEDIAN.
Figure 6. Accessing functions in Excel

Figure 6. Accessing functions in Excel.

  • Click the button opposite to the field Number1 and drag the mouse on the cells you want to calculate median for (D2 to D7)
  • Click the button in the Function Arguments to go back to the same menu and click OK to complete the procedure.

This might sound a bit tedious initially but soon becomes a second nature. The benefit of using this approach is that you can use a number of different functions.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the Excel wizard to perform operations, you could simply note down the formula (e.g. highlighting AVERAGE shows the formula for the average function) and type the formula manually in a cell.

Note that many of the summary descriptive statistics are available using one directive only. Select Tools –> Data Analysis and then Descriptive Statistics. Follow the prompts, but make sure you select the Summary Statistics option.

Note: If the “Data Analysis Toolpak” is not available, it will need to be loaded in. This is done using Tools –> Add-Ins… and selecting Analysis ToolPak and Analysis ToolPakVBA.

Exercise 7

Calculate the standard deviation for CALVCON and variance for FIRSTEST.