In Excel, the Mean is referred to as the Average. To find the Mean of a set of numbers, you add all numbers within the group and divide the total by the count of those numbers. In the business sector, the Mean is the most commonly used measure to find the average of a set of values.

Take Sales, for example; it’s not uncommon to use the average sales from a previous year to predict future years’ sales. However, the Mean is only as accurate as the data being measured. If there are outliers in either direction, they will seriously distort the average, pulling it more to the side with an outlier.

**The Formula or Syntax **

You can find the Mean with Excel as AVERAGE (number1, number2…). You can manually enter the numbers into the formula or select a range of cells with the numbers within them.

The formula can also be found in the FORMULAS Tab within the Ribbon; select More Functions and AVERAGE in the Statistical Menu.

In the following example, we are evaluating our top ten salespeople on their quarterly sales of the year.

__Find the Average in a Row:__

To find Amy A’s average sales for the year, we could enter; AVERAGE (2500, 3850, 3500, 5500) or = AVERAGE (B2:E2); both formulas would give us the same result of $3,837.50

__Find the Average in a Column:__

To calculate the Quarter 1 Sales (Column B) enter = AVERAGE (B2:B10) to get $4,200.00

__Find the Average in a Range:__

Calculating the year’s average sales across all salespeople enter = AVERAGE (B2:E10) to get $3,655.56

__Find the Average in Non-Adjacent Cells:__

To find the Average 1st Quarter Sales across the North District, enter = AVERAGE (C2, C4, C8) to get $4,433.33

__Find the Average of a Range and Cell:__

Let’s say Herb’s 4th Quarter Sales were actually in the South District even though he’s normally within the East District. To find the average sales for the South District for the year, we would need to include Herb H’s 4th Quarter Sales. Enter AVERAGE (C3: F3, F9, C10:F10) to get $4,266.67.

The AVERAGE Function can also be used to find the average percentage, average time, and dates.

__Calculate the Average Time:__

We know the Average 1st Quarter sales are $4,200.00, but what was the average travel time to get those sales?

AVERAGE (D2:D10) shows an average travel time of 4 hours and 3 minutes.

__Calculate the Average Percentage:__

What is the average commission that the salespeople earn?

AVERAGE (E2:E10) to see a 16% average commission.

__Calculate the Average Date:__

When do the salespeople typically make their first sale?

AVERAGE (F2:F10) shows the first sale is usually made by 1/31/17.

**How To Find Mean In Excel Using The AVERAGE Function**

While using the AVERAGE Function is relatively simple and versatile, a few types of data will be ignored when Excel is making its calculations.

· A blank cell will not be included in the average

· *Note: entering a 0 within that blank cell will be included and may likely be an outlier amongst your data which will seriously alter your Mean.*

· Cells with text data will not be included in the calculations

· Texts with Boolean values, TRUE or FALSE, will not be included.

· Numbers that are written in text (one, two, and three) will not be included.

**Note: Using the AVERAGE Function, you can include Written Numbers and Boolean Values.**