When you want to make an overview of data, a clever choice is to set up a frequency table in a spreadsheet. Now we’ll learn how this is done.

`Excel`

Instruction

- 1.
- Make the “skeleton” of the table. You’ll need columns for frequency and relative frequency in addition to a column with the different categories of data. Input the frequencies of all the categories.
- 2.
- Find the sum of all the frequencies.
- 3.
- Calculate the relative frequency of all the categories.
- 4.
- (Optional) Change from decimal numbers to percentages in the relative frequency column.

Example 1

** **

Below you can see a frequency table of the grade distribution within a school class.

Make a relative frequency table of the grade distribution.

From the table you can see that there’s six students who got a C. Relative frequency means that you are interested in finding the share of students in the whole class that got a given grade.

This is how you proceed:

- 1.
- Set up the table in
`Excel`

. In addition to the original frequency table, you’ll need a column for relative frequency as well. Enter the frequency in the frequency column. - 2.
- Find the sum of all students. Use the command:
=SUM(B2:B6)

- 3.
- Now you’re ready to find the relative frequencies of the different categories. Remember that
$$\text{Relativefrequency}=\frac{\text{frequency}}{\text{totalnumberofobservations}}$$ Therefore, the formula in cell

`C2`

is=B2/$B$7

**Note!**Remember that $-signs are used to prevent Excel from shifting the cell references when you copy formulas. The $ denotes an absolute cell reference.Highlight cell

`C2`

and copy the formula down to`C6`

. The final result should look like this:With formulas:

- 4.
- (Optional) Notice that the numbers in the relative frequency column are decimal numbers between 0 and 1. If you prefer percentages instead, you can highlight the numbers in the column and choose
`Percent`

from the menu in the picture shown below:Then the table will look like this: