How to Conduct a Statistical Analysis in Excel

Can You Use Excel Statistical Analysis Tools for Your Dissertation

worksheet functionsExcel is probably one of the one most well known and easy to use spreadsheet programs out there if you use Windows on your computer. What many do not realize is that you can do most of the statistical analysis in Excel that you might need for your dissertation. Most students will be familiar with the use of Excel rather than trying to do SPSS thesis analysis using software that they are unfamiliar with. For your research, you will need to be able to prove relationships and show the significance of what you have found using statistics.

Without a thorough analysis of your data, you are only making assumptions about what you have found. So using some form of statistical analysis is vital for your research if you want your work to be taken seriously and accepted for your degree.

Learning how to use data analysis in Excel is not as hard as you might imagine and the program has the ability to conduct analysis that many are simply not aware of. Most students are shown how to use Excel at some point and using it to do many forms of statistical analysis is often no more difficult than asking it to draw a graph for you using your data.

How to Get Ready to Conduct Statistical Analysis in Excel

If you want to be able to do anything beyond the usual calculation of means and standard deviation which can be done with the standard worksheet functions available within Excel then you will need to first download the Analysis ToolPak for Excel. This contains the many other commands that you may need to use for your own analysis rather than having to put in formula longhand to do the calculations.

To include the ToolPak all you need to do is:

To open tools: click the following – office button (top right) – options – tools – add-ins and select the ToolPak.

Using Excel for Statistical Analysis

There are a whole number of different tests that you can run using the different commands that are available through Excel once you have the ToolPak available to you. Learning how to use excel for senior thesis analysis is no different to learning how to use any other commands and you can experiment to learn without fear of corrupting your original data. If you have your data arranged in columns and the command requires it in rows or vice versa you can use the transpose function of Excel to change the way your information is arranged.

The Following Are a Few of the Different Statistical Tests That You Can Run Using the Functions Found

Running a t-test for samples that are independent

This test requires that the data is provided in two rows with the leftmost cell containing the label for the row.

To run the t-test select the following within Excel:

Tools – data analysis – t-test two sample with equal variances.

This will provide a pop up which will then prompt you for all of the following information:

The sample range

Hypothesized mean differences; this is usually 0 if you are testing for null hypothesis

Significance level; default is 0.05


The test will look something like this t-test excel sample:

t-test excel sample

Excel Correlation Calculation

Excel requires that the data provided for correlation is input within columns to perform this analysis. It can provide you with two forms of correlation. Spearman and Pearson.

To conduct this calculation use:

Tools – data analysis –correlation.

The resulting pop up will ask you for all of the following information to be entered to perform the analysis that you require:

  • The range that will contain your data
  • Whether the data is in columns or rows; recommended is columns
  • Where you want the output table to appear

The following is an example of the screen for your correlation analysis within Excel:

correlation analysis example

Excel for Analysis of Variance

Data for conducting an ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) is put into the spreadsheet in the same way as for your t-test.

To make the analysis for ANOVA within Excel select the following:

Tools – data analysis – ANOVA.

Once you have selected the above you will be prompted for all of the following information to conduct the analysis:

  • The range that contains the data for your analysis
  • Whether the information is grouped by rows or columns
  • If the range contains the labels for the data
  • Where you want the analysis to be outputted

The following is an example of how the ANOVA command in Excel appears:

example of ANOVA command in Excel

Linear Regression Using Excel

As with correlation, the data that you will use must be arranged in columns for the analysis of your dependent and independent variables.

To conduct the test simply select:

Tools – data analysis – regression.

The pop up that appears will then request all of the following information from you:

  • The range for the data that is to be analyzed
  • Confidence level; 95% is the default that is provided by Excel
  • If the plot is to be forced to pass through the origin “0”
  • Where the output  is to be displayed

The following is an example of how your regression analysis will look within Excel:

regression analysis example

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