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How to Use NORMDIST in Google Sheets: Complete 2024 Guide

May 8, 2024

NORMDIST Function in Google Sheets Explained

The NORMDIST function calculates the normal distribution for a given mean and standard deviation. It's used to find the probability that a value from a normal distribution falls below a specific value (x). The syntax of the function is:

NORMDIST(x, mean, standard_deviation, cumulative)

x: The value for which you want to calculate the distribution.

mean: The arithmetic mean of the distribution.

standard_deviation: The standard deviation of the distribution.

cumulative: A logical value that determines the form of the function. If TRUE, NORMDIST returns the cumulative distribution function; if FALSE, it returns the probability density function.

How to Use NORMDIST in Google Sheets

Below, we outline the steps on how you can apply NORMDIST in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Entering Your Data

Before using the NORMDIST function, you need to have your data ready. Typically, you will need:

  • A set of values (x) for which you want to calculate the distribution.
  • The mean (average) of the dataset.
  • The standard deviation of the dataset.

Step 2: Calculate Mean and Standard Deviation

Use the AVERAGE and STDEV functions in Google Sheets to calculate the mean and standard deviation of your dataset. 

The basic syntax for the AVERAGE function is as follows:

AVERAGE(value1, [value2, ...])

  • value1, [value2, ...]: These are the values or range of cells for which you want to calculate the average. You can specify individual cells separated by commas or use a range of cells like =AVERAGE(A1:A10).

Below is an example:

normdist google sheets

For standard deviation, Google Sheets provides two functions, depending on whether you're working with a sample of the population (STDEV.S) or the entire population (STDEV.P).

To calculate the standard deviation of a sample:

STDEV.S(value1, [value2, ...])

  • value1, [value2, ...]: These are the values or range of cells for which you want to calculate the standard deviation. Like with AVERAGE, you can specify individual cells or a range.

For an entire population:

STDEV.P(value1, [value2, ...])

The syntax and usage are the same as for STDEV.S, but use this function when your dataset represents the entire population, not just a sample.

In our example, we will use the STDEV.S function:

google sheets normdist

Step 3: Select a Cell for NORMDIST

Click on the cell where you want the result of the NORMDIST function to appear.

Step 4: Enter the NORMDIST Formula

Type =NORMDIST into the selected cell. You will then need to enter your values for x, mean, standard_deviation, and whether you want the cumulative distribution (TRUE) or the probability density function (FALSE).

For example, if you want to find the cumulative distribution for a value of 50, with a mean of 40 and a standard deviation of 10, you would type:

=NORMDIST(50, 40, 10, TRUE)

After typing your formula, press Enter. Google Sheets will calculate the normal distribution based on your inputs.

Suppose we want to find the cumulative distribution for the value in A2 in our given example. So, we use the formula =NORMDIST(A2, C1, C2, TRUE).

how to use normdist in google sheets

Step 5: Interpret the Results

If you set the cumulative parameter to TRUE, the result will be the probability that a randomly selected value from the distribution is less than or equal to x.

If cumulative is FALSE, the result will be the value of the probability density function at x, which can help you understand how dense the distribution is around the value x.

We hope that this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of how to use the NORMDIST in Google Sheets. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our articles on how to use the SUBTOTAL function in Google Sheets and how to find and replace blank cells in Google Sheets.

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