The mean (or average) of a dataset is one of the most common ways to analyze data. Excel makes it easy. Let’s learn how to find a mean in Excel.
How to Find the Mean in Excel (With AutoSum)
Excel offers at least two quick ways to find the mean. The fastest way comes if your data is in a row or column.
Consider a column of data like this. It has nine unique numbers, and you want to quickly find the average.
To do that, click into the empty cell immediately below the last number. Then, go to the Home tab on Excel’s ribbon. You’ll see the AutoSum button in the Editing group.
Click on the dropdown arrow immediately to the right of AutoSum (if you click AutoSum, the numbers will be added, not averaged).
You’ll see a few options on the dropdown, the second one being Average. Click it, and then highlight your data. Excel will automatically average it for you.
If you’re working with a row of data, the process is identical. Simply click into the empty cell to the immediate right of your last number, and repeat the AutoSum steps.
How to Find the Mean from Multiple Rows and Columns
Imagine now that you have multiple rows or columns, and need to find the mean of numbers within them. This is almost as easy.
Suppose you need to find the average of the numbers in rows 1, 2, 3, and 4. Begin by clicking into an empty cell. Type = to start a formula, then AVERAGE(.
Click and drag to select your data set: in this case, A1:D4. Close the ). Your formula should read:
Hit Enter on your keyboard, and Excel will calculate the average of all the data.
As you can see, Excel makes finding the mean simple. Use these techniques next time you’re analyzing any dataset.