Tip #4: Five important statistical functions, and when to use them.

Tip #4: Five important statistical functions, and when to use them.

=AVERAGE (number1; number2; ... number30)

The sample mean is probably the easiest piece of information one can extract from a data set. To calculate sample mean in Zoho Sheet, all you have to do is key-in =AVERAGE and select the range of cells you'd like to find the statistical mean for. 

Zoho Sheet supports a few handy variations of the average function as well.

=TRIMMEAN (number_list, fraction)

Say, for instance, you want the sample mean. However, you want to exclude the maximum and minimum values of the sample to make your mean free of outliers. This can be achieved using =TRIMMEAN. 

=STDEV (number1; number2; ... number30)

Standard deviation is one of the most common, yet an important statistical tool. Standard deviation shows how spread out the data points are from the mean. While =STDEV gives you the deviation in the sample, to calculate the standard deviation of a population, you can use =STDEVP. 

=CORREL (x; y)

Correlation is a statistical tool used to decide if variable X is affected by variable Y and by what degree. The correlation coefficient also tells us if the relationship is positive or negative. If the coefficient is positive, this means both the variables are related, and are positively related. Meaning, an increase in the independent variable will be met with an increase in the dependent variable as well. A negative coefficient means that the variables are related, but negatively. So, any increase in the independent variable will be met with a decrease in the dependent variable.

For instance, consider two data sets, X and Y. While X consists of the marks scored by a set of students, Y marks the students' attendance. 

The positive correlation represents that with a higher attendance, students tend to perform well. 

=VAR (number1; number2; ... number30)

Just like standard deviation and correlation, variance is one of the most basic tests done to understand data better. Variance is simply the square of standard deviation, and is measured in square units. It gives you an estimate of how far the sample spreads from its actual mean. While =VAR provides you the variance of the given sample, =VARP provides you the variance of the given population.

=FORECAST (new_xvalue; yvalues; xvalues)

Given a set of dependent (X) and independent (Y) variables and a few new X variables, the =FORECAST function in Zoho Sheet will help predict the corresponding Y values. 

=TREND (yvalues; xvalues; new_xvalues; type)

A variation of the =FORECAST function is the =TREND function. TREND does exactly what FORECAST does, but with a Y intercept if you wish to furnish. 

For instance, consider the relation between the workforce and the cost incurred. FORECAST will help you predict your cost based on your future workforce, if you do not incur cost without any workforce. If you do incur some cost even without any force, this fixed cost becomes your Y intercept, and TREND can help you with these predictions.

So, in seconds, we arrive at the mean, standard deviation, variation, and the correlation coefficient of data sets. We were able to achieve all of this by using formulas. There's no need to enable special tools, no codes, no errors. Nothing but results! 

Use these simple, but effective functions to understand your data better! For more such Tips and Tricks, follow our Zoho Sheet community. Learn more about all the other functions offered by Zoho Sheet here.

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