March 27, 2021

How to Calculate the Mean, Median, and Mode in Google Sheets

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SECTIONS
  1. How to calculate the mean
  2. How to calculate the median
  3. How to calculate the mode


You now have a dataset and need to calculate the so-called “measures of central tendency.” How would you do so? Fortunately, Google Sheets has its own functions to automatically calculate the mean, median, and mode of a dataset. They are defined as follows:

  • The mean, also known as the arithmetic mean or the average, is calculated by adding all the given values in the list divided by the number of such values.
  • The median is the value at the middle of the list after arranging them by increasing order.
  • The mode is the most frequent value in the list. 

For our example, we have a list of purchases of a single product. We wish to calculate the mean profit, the median of the amount of items ordered, and the mode of the amount of items ordered.

The source dataset
The source dataset


How to calculate the mean

To calculate the mean of a dataset, use the AVERAGE() function and set the input as the area of the array containing the data. For our example, the data for profit covers cells D2 to D56:

=AVERAGE(D2:D56)

The AVERAGE() function ignores text, and so if you accidentally included the header of the table it will not break the function nor change the result:

The source dataset, with the AVERAGE function highlighted.
The source dataset, with the AVERAGE function highlighted.


How to calculate the median

In a similar fashion, the MEDIAN() function calculates the median of the array. For our example, the data for the amount of items ordered covers cells B2 to B56:

=MEDIAN(B2:B56)

The MEDIAN() function ignores text, and so if you accidentally included the header of the table it will not break the function nor change the result:

The source dataset, with the MEDIAN function highlighted.
The source dataset, with the MEDIAN function highlighted.


How to calculate the mode

Finally, the MODE() function calculates the mode of the array. For our example, the data for the amount of items ordered covers cells B2 to B56:

=MODE(B2:B56)

The MODE() function ignores text, so if you accidentally included the header of the table, it won’t break the function nor change the result:

The source dataset, with the MODE function highlighted.
The source dataset, with the MODE function highlighted.


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