# AVERAGE: Excel Formulas Explained

Hello friends, are you ready to boost your spreadsheets with some Excel magic? I am! In this article, we're going to explore one of the most popular functions: AVERAGE. This tidy little formula measures central tendency by finding the average of a group of numbers. So, let's dive in and discover how we can put AVERAGE to work for us.

## What is the AVERAGE Function?

The AVERAGE function is one of the most basic and essential formulas in Excel. It allows you to determine the mean or average value of a range of numbers, including cells that have blank or text values in them.

## How to Use the AVERAGE Function

Using AVERAGE is simple. First, select the range of cells you want to include in the calculation. Then, type "=AVERAGE(" into the cell where you want the answer to appear. Finally, select the desired cells or range, and close the bracket. Hit enter and ta-da! You've calculated the mean.

For example, let's say we have a list of test scores for a class of ten students. We want to find the average of the scores to determine the class's overall performance. Here's what the formula would look like in Excel: "=AVERAGE(A2:A11)".

Note that the formula includes the header, but not the total row. You can also separate ranges with a comma if you need to, like "=AVERAGE(A1:A5, B1:B5)".

## Why Use the AVERAGE Function?

You may be wondering why you would bother to use the simple AVERAGE function if you can quickly see the average on a small dataset. However, as the size of your data sets increases, it becomes very inconvenient to calculate by hand. Excel's AVERAGE function simplifies the process, saving you time and reducing the likelihood of errors.

Additionally, AVERAGE is an essential tool for data analysis, allowing you to summarize and compare groups of objects. It can be used to determine the average temperature in a given week, average sales per employee, or any numerical average, to name a few.

## What Else Can You Do with the AVERAGE Function?

There's more! AVERAGE can accept multiple ranges or even arguments, which can simplify your calculations. For instance, you can find the average percentage of correct answers across several tests, using the following formula: "=AVERAGE(A2:A11, C2:C11)". Here, A2:A11 represents the first test, and C2:C11 represents the third test.

You can also use the AVERAGE function to calculate a moving average (MA). An MA accounts for changes in data over time and smoothens fluctuations. For example, if you want to determine the MA of a stock price for a specific number of days, such as 20, you can use the following formula: "=AVERAGE(B2:B21)". The B2:B21 represents the last 20 days of trading.

## Conclusion

And that's it, friends! Excel's AVERAGE function is essential for calculating the mean of a range of values and analyzing large data sets. With our newfound knowledge, we can simplify our calculations and gain insight from our data. I hope you found this article informative and insightful, and I can't wait to see how you'll use AVERAGE to solve your data challenges!

If you're interested in learning more about AVERAGE or Excel's other wealth of functions, a quick search online or a visit to your local bookstore can be excellent resources. Happy crunching!