When you work in Excel, you may find yourself wanting to run experimental analysis tasks on data. It’s a good way to practice with formulas and functions that you might not have used before. But for many of these formulas to work, you’ll need a dataset to work with. Fortunately, Excel makes it easy to generate random data that you can work with. Let’s learn how to generate fake data in Microsoft Excel.
How to Generate Fake Data in Excel
Imagine that you need fifty separate numerical values to use in a formula. But you may not have an existing dataset to work with. You have two options. First, of course, you could simply type in fifty numbers. But this is time-consuming, and doesn’t work well if you need truly random data. Your other, better option is to use an Excel function to generate random values.
This is the perfect time to use Excel’s RANDBETWEEN function. In essence, it delivers random values in a range that you specify. It’s a great way to quickly generate fake data in Excel.
To generate random data, click into any empty cell in your workbook. Type an = sign inside, then input the RANDBETWEEN function. Your formula now reads:
Now, Excel simply asks for the range for the fake data to generate. For example, you can use 1 and 5,000 as the upper and lower limits:
Hit Enter, and Excel will return a randomized, fake data value. To generate more fake data, simply click and drag the lower right corner of your formula cell to expand it across additional cells.
As you can see, it’s easy to generate fake data in Excel. It’s a great solution if you need to have random, fake data to work with to try out formulas or functions.