Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Calculating Statistical Values on Different-Sized Subsets of Data.

# Calculating Statistical Values on Different-Sized Subsets of Data

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003

Chris has a huge amount of data in a worksheet and he wants to analyze the data based on different groupings within it. For instance, he has data in cells A2:B36001, where row 1 contains the column headings Time and Signal. He wants to divide the data into groups consisting of some arbitrary number of sequential values, and then extract, for each group, a mean value for the Time, a mean value for the Signal, and a standard deviation for the Signal.

The easiest way to handle this type of requirement is to add a column that is used to indicate a group number for each row. Follow these steps:

1. Put the heading Group into cell C1.
2. In cell E1 enter the number of values that should be in each group. For instance, if you want each group to contain 10 sequential values, enter the number 10 in cell E1.
3. In cell C2 enter this formula: =INT((ROW()-ROW(\$C\$2))/\$E\$1)+1
4. Copy the formula in cell C2 to the range C3:C36001. Column C now contains a "group number" for each row, based on the value in cell E1. If E1 is 10, you end up with 3600 groups, 1 through 3600. If E1 is 100, you end up with 360 groups, 1 through 360.

With the group numbers set up, you are ready to do the analysis. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One way is to use the subtotaling capabilities of Excel. Select one of the cells in the data area and follow these steps:

1. Choose Subtotals from the Data menu. Excel displays the Subtotals dialog box.
2. Change the At Every Change In drop-down list to Group.
3. Change the Use Function drop-down list to indicate the type of statistic you want to calculate for each group.
4. Change the Add Subtotal To area so that only Time or Signal are selected, as appropriate.
5. Click OK.

Excel groups and subtotals the data, as directed. You can hide the detail (and only show the subtotals) by clicking on the small 2 (with the box around it) in the outline area at the left of the worksheet. If you later want to change what is calculated, or if you need to change the number of items in each group, just remove the subtotals (Data | Subtotals | Remove All) and repeat the above steps.

Another way to derive the statistics from your data is to use a PivotTable. Make sure that there are no subtotals in the data and select a cell within the data. Then follow these steps:

1. Choose PivotTable and PivotChart Report from the Data menu. Excel starts the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard.
2. Click Next. (The default selections in step 1 are OK.) Step 2 of the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard is displayed.
3. The entire range of your data (A1:C36001) should be selected. Click Next. Step 3 of the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard is displayed.
4. Make sure New Worksheet is selected, then click Finish. Excel creates a blank PivotTable and displays a field list.
5. Drag the Group field to the Row area.
6. Drag the Time field to the Data area.
7. Drag the Signal field to the Data area.
8. Drag the Signal field, once again, to the Data area. The PivotTable should now show "Count of Time," "Sum of Signal," and "Sum of Signal2" for each group.
9. In the Data area, right-click one of the "Count of Time" labels. Excel displays a Context menu.
10. Choose Field Settings from the Context menu. Excel displays the PivotTable Field dialog box.
11. In the Summarize list, choose Average.
12. Click OK. All the "Count of Time" labels change to "Average of Time."
13. In the Data area, right-click one of the "Sum of Signal" labels. Excel displays a Context menu.
14. Choose Field Settings from the Context menu. Excel again displays the PivotTable Field dialog box.
15. In the Summarize list, choose Average.
16. Click OK. All the "Sum of Signal" labels change to "Average of Signal."
17. In the Data area, right-click one of the "Sum of Signal2" labels. Excel displays a Context menu.
18. Choose Field Settings from the Context menu. Excel again displays the PivotTable Field dialog box.
19. In the Summarize list, choose StdDev.
20. Click OK. All the "Sum of Signal2" labels change to "StdDev of Signal2."

You now how the data desired. You may prefer a setup that shows only one row per category for your data. If so, simply click on the Data header and hold down the mouse button as you slowly move the mouse to the right. As you move the mouse pointer into the Total header area, a small icon near the mouse pointer shows a "change" in the layout. Release the mouse button and you will have only one row for each group in your data.

If you need to change the number of data items in each group, just go back to the data worksheet and change cell E1 to a different value. You can then return to the PivotTable, right click it, and choose Refresh Data.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2771) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Calculating Statistical Values on Different-Sized Subsets of Data.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Default Cell Movement when Deleting

Delete a cell or a range of cells, and Excel needs to figure out how to rearrange the void left by the deletion. You can ...

Discover More

Using a Macro to Change the Formatting of All Instances of a Word

If you have a word that you need to make sure is formatted the same way throughout your document, there are several ways ...

Discover More

Quickly Deleting Rows and Columns

Deleting rows or columns is easy when you use the shortcut described in this tip. Just select the rows or columns and ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

Calculating the Distance between Points

Want to figure out how far it is between two points on the globe? If you know the points by latitude and longitude, you ...

Discover More

Determining a Name for a Week Number

You could use Excel to collect data that is useful in your business. For instance, you might use it to collect ...

Discover More

Automatically Numbering Rows

Adding row numbers to a column of your worksheet is easy; you just need to use a formula to do it. Here's a quick look at ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your commentâ€”just use the simple form above!)

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.