Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool that is used by individuals and businesses for a variety of purposes. One of the most common tasks is calculating averages. Whether you’re looking to calculate the average grade in a class or the average sales numbers for your business, Excel makes it easy to do so with just a few clicks. In this post, we’ll show you how to get an average in Excel, whether you’re working with a small or large dataset.
What is an average in Excel?
The average is a commonly used statistical measure that represents the central tendency of a dataset. In other words, it is the sum of all numbers in a dataset divided by the total number of numbers in the dataset. It is often used to analyze data, make predictions, and draw conclusions.
How to get an average in Excel
Step 1: Select the data
The first step is to select the data for which you want to calculate the average. To do this, click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain the data. If your data is in a table, you can simply select the entire column.
Step 2: Use the AVERAGE function
Once you have selected the data, you can use the AVERAGE function in Excel to calculate the average. To do this, click on an empty cell where you want to display the result and type the formula “=AVERAGE(” followed by the range of cells that you selected. For example, if your data is in cells A1 to A10, your formula should look like this:
=AVERAGE(A1:A10)
Step 3: Press Enter
After you’ve typed the formula, press Enter and Excel will calculate the average of the selected cells.
Step 4: Format the result
Finally, you can format the result to make it look better and easier to read. To do this, click on the cell that contains the result and use the formatting options in the Home tab to change the font, size, color, and other aspects of the cell.
Calculating the average in Excel is a simple process that can be done with just a few clicks. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily get the average of any dataset in Excel.
Other ways to calculate an average in Excel
While the AVERAGE function is the most common way to calculate the average in Excel, there are other ways to do it. Here are a few:
Using AutoSum
If your data is in a table and you want to calculate the average of an entire column, you can use the AutoSum feature in Excel. Simply click on an empty cell below the column of data and click on the AutoSum button in the Home tab. Excel will automatically select the entire column and insert the formula “=AVERAGE(A1:A10)”, assuming your data is in cells A1 to A10. Press Enter to calculate the average.
Using the SUM and COUNT functions
If you want to calculate the average of a subset of your data, you can use the SUM and COUNT functions in Excel. The SUM function adds up the selected range of cells, while the COUNT function counts the number of cells in the range. Divide the sum by the count to get the average. For example, if your data is in cells A1 to A10 and you only want to calculate the average of the first five cells, your formula should look like this:
=SUM(A1:A5)/COUNT(A1:A5)
When to use the median instead of the average
While the average is a useful measure of a dataset, it can sometimes be misleading if the data contains outliers or extreme values. In such cases, it may be better to use the median instead of the average. The median is the middle value in a dataset when the data is arranged in order. To calculate the median in Excel, use the MEDIAN function.
Final thoughts
Calculating the average in Excel is a simple but essential task that is used in a wide range of applications. Whether you’re working with a small or large dataset, Excel provides a variety of ways to calculate the average, depending on your needs. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily get the average of any dataset in Excel.
FAQ
Here are some common questions people ask about calculating averages in Excel:
Can I calculate the average of nonnumeric values?
No, the AVERAGE function in Excel only works with numeric values. If you try to use it with nonnumeric values, you will get an error. You can use the AVERAGEIF or AVERAGEIFS functions instead to calculate the average of values that meet specific criteria.
Can I use the AVERAGE function with a filtered range?
Yes, the AVERAGE function in Excel works with filtered ranges. If you apply a filter to your data and select only the visible cells, Excel will automatically adjust the formula to include only those cells in the range. This can be a great way to quickly calculate the average of a subset of your data.
What is the difference between the average and the mean?
In statistics, the terms “average” and “mean” are often used interchangeably to refer to the same thing, which is the sum of all values in a dataset divided by the number of values. However, in some contexts, “average” can refer to other measures of central tendency, such as the median or mode.
How do I round the result of the AVERAGE function?
You can use the ROUND function in Excel to round the result of the AVERAGE function to a specific number of decimal places. For example, if you want to round the average to two decimal places, your formula should look like this:
=ROUND(AVERAGE(A1:A10),2)
Can I calculate the weighted average in Excel?
Yes, you can use the SUMPRODUCT and SUM functions in Excel to calculate the weighted average of a dataset. The SUMPRODUCT function multiplies each value in a range by its corresponding weight, while the SUM function adds up the results. To get the weighted average, divide the sum of the weighted values by the total weight. Here’s an example formula:
=SUMPRODUCT(A1:A10,B1:B10)/SUM(B1:B10)
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