Excel provides a data analysis tool called **Descriptive Statistics** which produces a summary of the key statistics for a data set.

**Example 1 **– Provide a table of the most common descriptive statistics for the scores in column A of Figure 1.

**Figure 1 – Output from Descriptive Statistics data analysis tool**

The output from the tool is shown in the right side of Figure 1. To use the tool, select **Data > Analysis|Data Analysis** and choose the **Descriptive Statistics** option. A dialog box appears as in Figure 2.

Now click on **Input Range** and highlight the scores in column A (i.e. cells A3:A14). If you include the heading, as is done here, check **Labels in first row**. Since we want the output to start in cell C3, click the **Output Range** radio button and insert C3 (or click on cell C3). Finally click the **Summary statistics** checkbox and press the **OK** button.

Note that if we had also checked the **Kth Largest** checkbox, the output would also contain the value for LARGE(A4:A14, *k*) where *k* is the number we insert in the box to the right of the label Kth Largest. Similarly, checking the **Kth Smallest** checkbox outputs SMALL(A4:A14, *k*). The option **Confidence Interval for Mean** option generates a confidence interval using the *t* distribution as explained in One Sample t Test.

**Real Statistics Data Analysis Tool**: The Real Statistics Resource Pack provides the supplemental **Descriptive Statistics and Normality** data analysis tool which outputs the above statistics plus GEOMEAN, HARMEAN, MAD, AAD and IQR. But instead of just generating the numerical value of each statistic, as is in Excel’s **Descriptive Statistics** data analysis tool, the Real Statistics tool outputs the appropriate Excel formula for computing each statistic (see Figure 4 below). Thus whenever the input data values change, the output values will change automatically as well.

Both Excel’s **Descriptive Statistics** and the Real Statistics **Descriptive Statistics and Normality** data analysis tools allow you to report on multiple sets of data at the same time, as shown in the following example.

**Example 2** – Use Excel’s** Descriptive Statistics** data analysis tool as well as the Real Statistics **Descriptive Statistics and Normality** data analysis tool to show the descriptive statistics for the two samples on the left side of Figure 3.

The output from the Excel **Descriptive Statistics** data analysis tool is given on the right side of Figure 3. To use the Real Statistics data analysis tool, enter **Ctrl-m** and select the **Descriptive Statistics and Normality** option. A dialog box will now appear. Insert A5:B18 into the **Input Range**, make sure **Column headings included with data** is checked and select the **Descriptive Statistics** option. The following output will be displayed:

**Figure 4 – Real Statistics Descriptive Statistics data analysis tool**

As described above, the tool actually generates formulas instead of the numerical values.