If you need to average a list of values in Microsoft Excel that contains duplicates without including the duplicates, don’t worry about a complex expression when you can easily remove those duplicates.
Returning the average value of a set of values in Microsoft Excel is as easy as dropping into the AVERAGE() function – most of the time. As long as you want to consider every value in the data range, you are good to go. But what if you need to ignore certain values?
For example, in Microsoft Excel, the data set contains duplicate values, but you want to evaluate each value only once; In other words, you want to ignore duplicates. In this case, AVERAGE() will not get the job done. You can spend a lot of time devising an expression, but there is a much easier way. I’ll show you how to get the average of repeated discards without a complex expression.
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I’m using Office 365 (for desktop) on Windows 10 64-bit, but you can use older versions. You can work with your own data or download a demo. xlxs and xls file. The Remove Duplicates tool is not available in xls format. The old one, but you can use an advanced filter instead. The online version supports this technology.
About the AVERAGE() function in Microsoft Excel
Figure A Displays the results of averaging a simple data set that includes duplicate values. There isn’t much to be said about this functionality – it performs exactly as you’d expect. The result is the same as adding values and dividing by 8. AVERAGE() evaluates 0, but it does not evaluate spaces.
How to create a unique list in Microsoft Excel
Expression is the first path most of us would take to ignore iterators, but instead let’s revisit the problem. We don’t need a complex expression – we need a unique list based on the original data.
Fortunately, creating a list of unique values is easy, and from there, using the standard AVERAGE() function is simple.
We will use the Eliminate Duplicates tool to create a list of unique values. We’ll start by copying the original data somewhere else – for example, column D. This feature will remove duplicates from the data set, so you don’t want to work with the original data.
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After copying the list (Figure B), follow these steps on the values copied into column D.
Select the data set – in this case it is D3: D10.
Click the Data tab.
In the Data Tools group, click Remove Duplicates. In the resulting dialog box (Figure B), click OK. When applying this to your business, you may want to check out the My Data Has Headers option.
Click OK to confirm that two duplicate values (53 and 12) have been removed.
The new mean only evaluates unique values in the original data set because that’s all that can be evaluated (Figure C). To skip the copy job, you can use the advanced filter in Excel – click the Data tab and then click the advanced option in the Sort & Filter group.
A simple solution is often the best
You may already be familiar with Excel’s duplicate removal tool, but if you’re like most of us, your initial idea is to use an expression. All it takes to simplify this problem is to look at it a little differently.
What unique averaging problems have you encountered? Please share your solutions in the comments section below.
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