The frequency distribution is an important statistical tool because it can tell you more specific information about the patterns in a data set than you can learn from simple measures of central tendency and variability. Microsoft Excel includes the "COUNTIF" function to calculate a value's frequency in a data array. Once you've specified the values or character strings you want to count, you can use "COUNTIF" to calculate the frequency distribution in seconds.
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Determine the cell addresses that comprise your data array. For instance, if your data is contained in the first 30 cells of column "A," your data array is located at addresses "A1":"A30."
Insert two blank columns directly to the right of your data array.
Type the values you want to count the frequency of into the cells in the first new column.
Click the blank cell directly to the right of the first value you want to search for in your array.
Type the following formula into the cell: "=COUNTIF(A$1:A$30,B1)".
Substitute the addresses of your data array in place of "A$1:A$30" in the formula. You must include the "$" symbol to correctly copy the formula to other cells.
Substitute the address of the cell that contains the first value you want to count the frequency of in place of "B1" in the formula.
Right-click the cell that contains the formula and click "Copy" in the menu.
Highlight all blank cells in the formula column adjacent to your list of values you want to count.
Right-click the selection and click "Paste" in the menu. Excel copies the formula to all cells. The cells display the frequency distribution of the values within the data array.
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