How to Do Descriptive Statistics in MS Excel 2007

By Anne Matne

"Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics" describes descriptive statistics as methods used to organize, summarize and present data in an informative way. These statistics can be computed and generated using Excel 2007 as long as you have installed the Data Analysis ToolPak or add-in. The software generates statistical conclusions, such as the mean, median, mode, standard deviation, standard error, kurtosis, sample variance, skewness, range, minimum, maximum, sum and data count. The results can help you make more informed decisions.

Analysis ToolPak

Step 1

Install the Microsoft Office Analysis ToolPak. Click the "Microsoft Office Button" and then "Excel Options."

Step 2

Click "Add-ins" and then "Excel Add-ins" located in the Manage box. Click "Go."

Step 3

Select "Analysis ToolPak" in the Add-ins Available box and click "OK." If you do not see the Analysis ToolPak option, click "Browse" to locate it. Click "Yes" to install it if a prompt signifies that it is not installed on your computer.

Descriptive Statistics

Step 1

Collect the data you would like to analyze. The descriptive statistics tool will be used later to organize and interpret the data for you.

Step 2

Open Excel to generate a new spreadsheet.

Step 3

Type the label of your first column in cell 1A. Enter the data values that you are evaluating in the cells directly below your label. For example, a real estate professional wishing to analyze prices of homes might label column 1A Sale Price. Thereafter, the various sale prices will be keyed into cells 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A.

Step 4

Save the file so that you do not lose your data. Click on "File," "Save." Type in the file name and click "Save."

Step 5

Select "Tools," "Data Analysis." This can be found under the Data tab. Click "OK" to open the dialog box.

Step 6

Choose "Descriptive Statistics" in the dialog box. This is the tool you want to use. Click "OK."

Step 7

Click on the small chart box located to the right of the input range. Highlight the spreadsheet column containing the data that you want to summarize. Do this by holding down the left mouse button and highlighting all of the data in the column you want to select. This data will be placed in your input range. Click on the small chart box again to return to the Descriptive Statistics box. If you also highlight the label, click on "Labels in First Row" on this screen.

Step 8

Click "Output Range" and indicate to which cell you want the results to go. For example, choose cell H1 by typing "H1" in the output range.

Step 9

Select "Summary Statistics" and click "OK." The descriptive statistics are now generated. Double-check the count in the results to make sure it included the correct number of items from your list of data.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install a financial software program such as MINITAB to achieve additional financial and statistical calculations.
  • To make the output columns wider, place your cursor on the top-right side of the column. Click and drag the box to the desired width.
  • See References for video instructions for installing the Excel 2007 data analysis add-in.