A Guide On Frequency Distribution Excel For Beginners


Why is there a need to understand the concept of frequency distribution excel? It is because frequency distribution helps represent raw data into the organized and easy-to-understand and read format. 

Moreover, with the help of frequency distribution, you can easily identify the score range, which is not an outlier or common for the number of observations.

How do you identify the common cause of the particular issue using frequency distribution?.. Is using frequency distribution excel easy?.. What are the key points to remember about frequency distribution in excel?… so on… I will answer all these kinds of questions in this blog that might hit your mind. So, let’s check each answer one by one and step by step.

First, let’s understand what a frequency distribution is!

Frequency distribution = “frequency” + “distribution.” 

The specific observation frequency defines how often the particular observation occurs within a data set. 

The variable distribution is the trend or pattern of various observations’ frequencies. 

Frequency distribution is used to show either the observations’ percentage or the actual observation’s number that falls in the specific range. It is portrayed as histograms, frequency tables, or polygons. The frequency distribution table also uses numeric and categorical variables. 

Key point: 
Just as descriptive statistics like ranges of values, averages, and counts or percentages, the frequency distribution chart also puts the user in a strong position. 
This helps the user in understanding the set of things or people as it supports visualization about how the variables behave within a possible range value. Analysts usually use a frequency distribution to illustrate or visualize the data obtained in a sample.

How to identify the cause of the issue in real life using frequency distribution?

Example: To get the details about the mediation error.

Medication errors might seem to be minor. But when you take the incorrect pill, it can lead to a headache or stomach ache or might not lead to a big loss. Right?

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But do you know that if prescription medications are included, the impact can be worse? Some of the medications might just have minor side effects, but others may lead to critical situations. It may include stroke, severe bleeding, blood clotting, heart attack, hallucination, or even death.

It has been noticed that adverse drug events can cause upto 700,000 injuries/year. This costs approximately $5.6 million/hospital. Therefore, to reduce medication errors, a hospital decides to note the incidents and reasons for medication errors. 

Below is the frequency table that is created by a quality team of several people. 

“Near Miss” EventCases (Frequency)Percent (Relative Frequency)
Incorrect dose ordered38%
Scheduled medication missed411%
Medication unavailable1849%
Medication given to the incorrect patient38%
Incorrect scheduling by RN25%
Look-alike medication25%
Handwritten orders illegible411%
Other errors13%

From the above frequency table, it is quite clear that medication unavailability is the reason for medication error. Therefore, direct efforts can be applied to improve the quality of availability. 

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Now, the hospital management can find the reason for the unavailability of medications and remedy this problem. 

Now the question is how to use frequency distribution excel?

A frequency distribution excel provides you the snapshots of how the data would be spread out. Excel is quite easy to use for frequency distribution, and it helps in pairing the frequency distribution to the histogram. 

There are two methods of frequency distribution in excel. Let’s check them one by one.

1. Using Pivot Table

Consider the following sales data that show year-wise sales. 

  1. To create a pivot table, you need to go to the option insert menu, and there is the option of the pivot table. Select the field.
  1. Drag down the row label of the sales. Again drag down the similar sale size  in the value option.
  1. Remember that you have to select the field of pivot setting to get the count of sales.
  1. Select the sales number row label from the category, and select the group option by right-clicking.
  1. Now, a grouping dialog box is available as:
  1. Edit the group number that starts from 5000 and ends at 18000. The group must be 1000 and finally select OK.
  1. Now, you will get the following result using pivot table:

You can notice that sales data is grouped by 1000 along with the min and max values.

Step 1: Go to the insert menu of excel and choose the column chart.

Step 2: Finally, the histogram output will be as:

2. Using data analysis toolpak

Let’s make a frequency distribution excel of data: 99, 101, 121, 132, 140, 155, 98, 90, 100, 111, 115, 116, 121, 124.

  1. Make a worksheet and put all the data into columns.
  1. Write the upper levels of the BINs to the separate column. 
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  1. To represent the upper limit field, make the desired columns.
  1. Select the “data” tab and click “data analysis”—[If you are unable to see the data analysis toolpak, install it first].
  1. Select histogram and click OK.
  1. Write the data in the “Input Range” text box field and write “A2:A15.”
  1. Provide the upper limit field in the BIN range and type “C2:C7.”
  1. Choose the column where you want to get the result.
  1. Select “chart output” and click OK. 

Now you will find that excel will give a histogram as:

That’s it! This is how you can calculate the frequency distribution excel with ease.

Key points to remember
It has been seen that in frequency distribution excel; users lose some data. Therefore, it is necessary that you must accurately group the data.
It is always important that excel users must divide the class into equal sizes. It means the class size must have a similar lower limit and upper limit value for all frequency distributions.

Let’s test what you have understood from this blog!

  1. The frequency distribution is used to count the number of subjects with the possible categories and values of the variables.

(A) False

(B) True

Correct Answer (B)
  1. Suppose you assign to perform the frequency distribution of a variable “GENDER,” and female and male are the possible categories or values of it. In such a case, the frequency distribution would be the number of females and males. 


(B) False

Correct Answer (A)
  1. It is necessary that the frequency distribution table must involve the ___________ of subjects for every category/value of the particular variable.

(A) Percentage

(B) Counts

Correct Answer (A)


Frequency distribution is a common method to display the trends or patterns of the given observations about the specific variable. It helps in managing the raw data in a meaningful manner. With the help of excel, it is quite easy to handle the large frequency data. Therefore, I have explained all the important details about frequency distribution excel. 

This will help you to manage and calculate frequency distribution in excel easily. Hope you understand the details with ease, but if you have any query; comment in the below section. I will help you to clear your doubts regarding frequency distribution excel in the best possible way. we will also provide the excel homework help at low cost. if you can get our excel homework, then contact us.

“Keep learning to broaden your knowledge.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 types of frequency distributions?

Basically, the frequency distribution is divided into 3 different types: Grouped Frequency Distribution, Ungrouped Frequency Distribution, and Relative Frequency Distribution.

What is the purpose of frequency distribution?

Frequency distribution considers as an organized graphical/tabulation presentation of the number of people in different categories over the particular measurement scale. It enables the researcher to look at the overall data.

What does frequency distribution tell us?

The frequency distribution uses to give an overview of all distinct values in different variables and how many times they have occurred. Or we can say that it tells how all the frequencies are distributed on the specific values. Frequency distributions frequently use to summarize the categorical variables.

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