By Stephen Nelson Microsoft Excel supplies two useful statistical functions for making beta probability calculations, BETADIST and BETAINV. Perhaps surprisingly, neither function is difficult to use as long as understand the inputs that supply data to the function. Understanding the beta probability density function, BETADIST The BETADIST function returns the cumulative beta probability density function. […]

## Monthly archives for May, 2009

## How to Calculate Demographic Information in Microsoft Excel

By Betty Hughes Microsoft Excel “custom functions” can do a variety of tasks related to address and zip code information, such as creating zip code lists, checking the validity of mailing addresses, even calculating driving time and driving distance. Custom functions, also referred to as User-Defined Functions or UDFs, perform complex tasks or calculations and […]

## How to Forecast Future Values with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson The FV function calculates the future value of a loan or investment given its interest rate, the term (or number of payments), the payment, the present value (or loan balance), and, optionally, the type-of-annuity switch. If you set the type-of-annuity switch to 1, Excel assumes payments occur at the beginning of the period, following the […]

## How to Calculate Gamma Probability Distributions with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson Want to work with gamma probability distributions? Microsoft Excel supplies some useful functions, as this short article illustrates. Want to work with gamma probability distributions? But a quick explanation is order if you’re not familiar with this powerful statistical concept and technique. Here’s the situation: If a Poisson process produces successes at […]

## Creative Writer’s Transition Sentences

Creative writers and journalists sometimes have a problem with transitioning smoothly from one paragraph to the other, especially when they are changing the subject. Learning transition sentences is not really that hard. When we hop from topic to topic w/o a transition sentence, we “jar” the reader. While sentence transitions may be the last line […]

## How to Calculate Hypergeometric Distributions with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson Excel provides a sometimes useful statistical function for making hyper geometric distribution calculations. (Note: People sometimes call the distribution “hypergeometric” [one word] rather than a “hyper geometric” [two words].) Background information on Hyper Geometric Distributions The hyper geometric probability distribution is much like the binomial probability distribution. The hyper geometric distribution describes […]

## How to Calculate Confidence Intervals with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson Confidence intervals often give you useful insights into data sets you’re trying to better understand. A confidence interval is the interval around a sample mean into which you expect the population mean to fall a certain percentage of the time. If you have a sample of size n and know the sample […]

## How to Calculate Binomial Probability Distributions with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson A binomial distribution describes the outcome of a multi-step experiment, consisting of n identical trials, where each trial ends in either a success or a failure and the probability of a success p does not change from trial to trial. This useful statistical analysis can be performed relatively easily using Microsoft Excel […]

## How to Calculate Present Values with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson The PV function calculates the present value of an annuity, or future value, given the periodic rate, number of periods, payment, future value (or balloon payment), and, optionally, the type-of-annuity switch. Sometimes, why you would use this function seems strange. But it’s often useful when working with loans or with investments. For […]

## How to Calculate Interest Rates with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson The Rate function calculates the interest rate implicit in a set of loan or investment terms given the number of periods (months, quarters, years or whatever), the payment per period, the present value, the future value, and, optionally, the type-of-annuity switch, and also optionally, an interest-rate guess. If you set the type-of-annuity […]

## How to Measure Correlations with Microsoft Excel

By Stephen Nelson Excel provides useful statistical functions for measuring correlation between two variables. As a reminder, the benefit of using a correlation coefficient to measure the relationship between two variables as opposed to using covariance is that the unit of measurement doesn’t matter. But a caution: Remember that correlation does not show causation. That […]