How to Do a Percentile in Excel

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Microsoft Excel's built-in functions make it easy to calculate a percentile.
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Microsoft Excel's percentile function gives you the value of a dataset below a specific threshold. Businesses often use this function to determine a benchmark for analyzing data. For example, you may want to offer a bonus to employees whose production is higher than the 90th percentile of the staff as a whole. You can also use the percentile function to calculate the median of the data range. The median is equivalent to the 50th percentile of a specified range of values.


Step 1

Open the Excel workbook you want to edit, or create a new workbook.

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Step 2

Enter your data series in a range of cells somewhere in the worksheet. The data points may be arranged in a horizontal or vertical line, as long as they are consecutive.


Step 3

Move your cursor to the cell in which you wish to display the percentile result. Type "=PERCENTILE(" to start the function syntax.

Step 4

Type the first cell in your data range, a colon and the last cell in your data range. For example, if your data is in the the first 20 cells of column A, you would enter "A1:A20" as the range. Type a comma after the data range.



Step 5

Convert your desired percentile to a decimal value between zero and one. For example, the 75th percentile would become 0.75. Type this decimal value after the comma, then add a closing parenthesis to complete the function. Continuing with our example, the entire function would looke like this:



Step 6

Press "Enter" to calculate the percentile. Your result will be displayed in the cell where you entered the function.




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