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Excel Median Function Examples

Excel Median Function is one of the central tendency functions, like AVERAGE and MODE. See how these functions work differently, and see how the MEDIAN function is used to create a Box Plot chart

Introduction

MEDIAN is one of the central tendency functions, along with AVERAGE and MODE.

  • For an odd set of numbers, the MEDIAN is the number in the middle of the set.
  • For an even set of numbers, the MEDIAN is the average of the two numbers in the middle.

AVERAGE Function:

  • The AVERAGE is the SUM of the numbers, divided by the COUNT of the numbers

MODE function:

  • The MODE function returns the most frequently occurring number in the set
  • If there aren’t any duplicate numbers, the result is an #N/A error
  • If there is a tie, the most frequent number that occurs first is the result

Comparing AVERAGE, MEDIAN and MODE

Below, you can see a couple of very simple examples of measuring a small set of numbers.

  • In the first example, the numbers are symmetrically distributed, as you can see in the COUNT chart.
  • The second chart shows that the AVERAGE, MEDIAN and MODE are the same.

centraltendency01

In the next example, the numbers are NOT symmetrically distributed, as you can see in the COUNT chart.

The second chart shows that the AVERAGE, MEDIAN and MODE are different

centraltendency02

More Info

Read more about MEDIAN on the Microsoft site.

I also enjoyed this article that compares the median and mean (average) functions.

Use the Interactive Workbook

If you would like to test the data and formulas from the above examples, try this interactive Excel workbook, shown below.

  • NOTE: This might not work in all browsers.

There are two worksheets with number sets – one is symmetrically distributed, and the other is not.

To get the score counts, I used the FREQUENCY function.

MEDIAN Example - Box Plot Chart

To see the steps for creating a simple box plot chart, using MEDIAN and other functions, watch this short video. The written instructions are on the Excel Box Plot Chart page.

Note: To see the video transcript, go to the Box Plot Chart Video page.

Get Sample File

Get the completed Excel workbook that was used in this video -- Simple Box Plot Chart. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain macros.

More Tutorials

Average Functions

Rounding Functions

TRIMMEAN

SUBTOTAL

Sum cells

 

Last updated: July 14, 2021 3:14 PM
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