Excel Functions

Specialized and Statistical Functions in Excel

Excel contains one of most complete sets of predefined statistical functions to help in performing calculations using specific values and in a particular order. Ideally, some of the common functions contained in it can be utilized quickly to find count, find the sum, average, the maximum and minimum value from a range of cells (Harvey, 2010). Along with the statistical functions, Excel also contains specialized functions such as the SUMIF, COUNT IF, AVERAGE IF, nested logical IF, and PERCENTILE mathematical functions among others. Usually, the functions are for specialized audiences such as engineers and statisticians.  

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Logical and Lookup Functions

Going beyond the basic computational tools of Excel, logical functions are often used to assess the contents within a specific cell range and generate customized mathematical outputs or computations (Walkenbach, 2013). Usually, such logical functions include the IF function and the OR and AND functions used to evaluate the contents of a cell range. On the other hand, lookup functions are used to retrieve data in one worksheet and place it in a different worksheet. For instance, the VLOOKUP function is typically used to retrieve data and display it in another worksheet or workbook. The function is useful in that; it eliminates the necessity to copy and paste data that exists in a spreadsheet.

Financial and Statistical Functions

Along with formulas, Excel also uses financial and statistical functions to conduct mathematical computations. Ideally, as Walkenbach (2013) notes, statistical functions are used in a group of cells in a worksheet. For instance, the SUM function is used to add values in a range of cells. On the other hand, financial functions allow users to perform common business calculations dealing with money. Such functions include the PMT to calculate annuity payment, the PPMT to calculate the interest rate or period, and the Nper to calculate the number of periods among others.


Harvey, G. (2010). Excel 2010 all-in-one for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.

Walkenbach, J. (2013). Excel 2013 formulas. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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