How To Find Z-Score in Excel

Learn how to find Z-score in Excel in this quick and easy-to-remember Microsoft Excel tutorial.

Excel offers more than 100 statistical analysis functions. One such is Z-score analysis which enables you to perform important tasks like dataset standardization, outlier detection, normality assessment, hypothesis testing, and so on.

In this Excel tutorial, I’ll explore diverse methods for calculating Z-scores. From manual calculations to leveraging built-in functions, array functions, and even automatic techniques, you’ll gain proficiency in every approach. Follow along until the end of the article to master these tried-and-tested methods and acquire a valuable Excel skill set.

What Is Z-Score?

The Z-score is a statistical measure that quantifies the number of standard deviations a data point is from the mean of a dataset. It’s a way of standardizing data so that you can compare different datasets on a common scale.

The formula for calculating a Z-score is:

Z = [X (data point in the dataset) - ยต (mean of the dataset)] / ฯƒ (standard deviation of the dataset)

Z-scores are particularly useful in understanding the relative position of a data point within a distribution. A positive Z-score indicates that the data point is above the mean, while a negative Z-score indicates that the data point is below the mean. The magnitude of the Z-score tells you how far away from the mean the data point is in terms of standard deviations.

Find Z-Score in Excel Using Manual Calculation

You can use the Z-score equation explained earlier to calculate its value easily.

Example dataset to calculate Z-score
Example dataset to calculate Z-score

Firstly, you must organize your statistical analysis dataset as shown above. The must-vase elements of the worksheet are as outlined below:

  • Column of the input dataset: For example, the Birth Weight (kg) column header in this example.
  • Column for Z-scores: Create another column named Z-Score where you’ll enter the manual Z-score formula.
  • A calculated cell for mean: Here, you’ll calculate the mean of the entire dataset you’re analyzing.
  • A calculated cell for standard deviation: Create another cell where you’ll calculate the standard deviation of the input dataset.

I’ll use this data structure throughout this Excel tutorial.

Calculate mean using AVERAGE
Calculate mean using AVERAGE

Once you’ve organized your raw dataset into the above format, go to the cell below the Mean column and type this formula. Hit Enter to calculate.

=AVERAGE(B2:B16)
Calculate standard deviation using STDEV
Calculate standard deviation using STDEV

Similarly, go to the cell where you want the standard deviation value, and enter this formula:

=STDEV.P(B2:B16)

Hit Enter to execute the formula.

Calculate Z-score with manual formula
Calculate Z-score with manual formula

Now, select the first cell below the Z-score column header and enter the following formula:

=(B2-$D$2)/$E$2

In the above formula, B2 is x, a data point from the dataset. You must subtract the mean value of the dataset from x, which is $D$2. Finally, You’ll need to divide the result by the standard deviation of the dataset, which is $E$2.

Now, you can use the above information to customize your manual Z-score formula.

Once done entering the formula in the desired cell, press Enter to calculate the Z-score for the selected data point.

Use fill handle to copy formula
Use fill handle to copy formula

Then, drag the fill handle down the column to generate Z-scores for the rest of the data points of the dataset.

This method is suitable for any Excel desktop and web app editions.

Find Z-Score in Excel Using STANDARDIZE Function

If you’re on any of the following or a better Excel desktop or web app, you can use the STANDARDIZE function to find the Z-score in Excel:

  • Excel 2013
  • Excel 2019 for Mac
  • Excel for the web

Before you can use this function, calculate the Mean and Standard Deviation for your statistical analysis dataset. Also, create a column for Z-score to the right of the data points of the dataset.

Using the STANDARDIZE function
Using the STANDARDIZE function

Now, select the cell where you must calculate the Z-score for the first data point and enter the following formula:

=STANDARDIZE(B2,$D$2,$E$2)

Don’t forget to press Enter to calculate the field.

Using fill handle to populate values
Using fill handle to populate values

Now, use the fill handle to copy the formula and fetch the Z-scores for the rest of the data points.

Find Z-Score in Excel Using PivotTable

Suppose, you’re already analyzing a dataset in a PivotTable. You can use the same interface to calculate the Z-score.

Input data for PivotTable
Input data for PivotTable

For instance, you’ve got the above dataset where you must calculate the Z-score for the Avg Weight (Kg) values of various countries.

PivotTable from table or range
PivotTable from table or range

Select the dataset of the Avg Weight (Kg) column and press Alt + N + V + T to bring up the PivotTable from table or range dialog.

Here, click the Existing Worksheet option and select a cell on the active worksheet. Click OK to start creating the PivotTable.

PivotTable Fields
PivotTable Fields

You shall now the PivotTable Fields console on the right side of the Excel app.

Move data to Rows and Values
Move data to Rows and Values

Now, drag and drop the Avg Weight (Kg) to the Rows field on the PivotTable Fields console.

Again, drop the Avg Weight (Kg) to the Values field.

Value Field Settings
Value Field Settings

Click on the Avg Weight (Kg) drop-down in the Values field and choose Value Field Settings from the context menu.

On the Summarize Values By tab, choose Average and click OK.

Again, insert Avg Weight (Kg) into Values and bring up the Value Field Settings dialog by following the steps mentioned above.

StdDevp in the Value Field Settings
StdDevp in the Value Field Settings

Now choose StdDevp in the Value Field Settings dialog and click OK to apply it.

Mean and standard deviation of dataset
Mean and standard deviation of dataset

So far, you’ve created a PivotTable that shows the input data points under the Row Labels column, the mean of the dataset in the Grand Total row of the Average of Avg Weight (Kg) column, and the standard deviation for the same dataset in the Grand Total row of the StdDevp of Avg Weight (Kg) column.

Insert Calculated Field
Insert Calculated Field

Now, click anywhere on the PivotTable and press Alt + JT + J + F to bring up the Insert Calculated Field dialog.

Here, set the following as outlined below:

  • Name: Z-Score
  • Formula: =('Avg Weight (Kg)'-57.5)/2.872 (this is the same formula for Z-score as I’ve explained in the first method)

Now, click OK on the dialog box to create a new calculated field.

Calculated Z-score using PivotTable
Calculated Z-score using PivotTable

You’ve got your Z-scores in the new calculated field column of the PivotTable.

Find Z-Score in Excel Using Excel VBA

If you like to code in Excel using VBA, you’ll definitely want to try this method. Also, this is a great method to find the Z-score with visual instructions.

Find below a simple VBA script that’ll guide you through calculating the Z-score from an input dataset:

VBA script to calculate Z-score
VBA script to calculate Z-score
Sub CalculateZScores()
    Dim InputRange As Range
    Dim OutputRange As Range
    Dim Cell As Range
    Dim Mean As Double
    Dim StdDev As Double
    Dim ZScore As Double
    
    ' Prompt user to select input data range
    On Error Resume Next
    Set InputRange = Application.InputBox("Select the input data range:", Type:=8)
    On Error GoTo 0
    
    If InputRange Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "No input range selected. Exiting."
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Prompt user to select output range
    On Error Resume Next
    Set OutputRange = Application.InputBox("Select the destination for Z-scores:", Type:=8)
    On Error GoTo 0
    
    If OutputRange Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "No output range selected. Exiting."
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Calculate mean and standard deviation
    Mean = WorksheetFunction.Average(InputRange)
    StdDev = WorksheetFunction.StDev(InputRange)
    
    ' Calculate Z-scores and write to output range
    For Each Cell In InputRange
        If StdDev <> 0 Then
            ZScore = (Cell.Value - Mean) / StdDev
            OutputRange.Value = ZScore
            Set OutputRange = OutputRange.Offset(1, 0)
        Else
            MsgBox "Standard deviation is zero. Cannot calculate Z-score."
            Exit Sub
        End If
    Next Cell
    
    ' Display completion message
    MsgBox "Z score calculation completed!"
End Sub

You can use the above script as is without making any cell range modifications. The script shall scan through the referred dataset to calculate the Z-score and print the result into the destination cell range.

To learn how to create a VBA macro using the above script, read this quick Excel VBA guide:

๐Ÿ“’ Read More: How To Use The VBA Code You Find Online

To run the macro, press Alt + F8, choose the CalculateZScores macro, and click on the Run button.

Input box for data range
Input box for data range

When you get the input box to select the dataset, use the mouse to highlight the target data points.

Input box for destination
Input box for destination

Next, you’ll get another prompt to choose the destination cell range.

Calculate Z-score using Excel VBA
Calculate the Z-score using Excel VBA

As soon as you respond to the above input boxes, Excel will calculate the Z-scores.

โš ๏ธ Warning: Create a copy of the original workbook before running this VBA macro to calculate the Z-score. When you use VBA, you can’t revert back to the original state of the dataset using the Excel undo feature.

Conclusions

If you find calculating a Z-score at school or work a challenging task, it’s not anymore if you’ve learned the methods explained so far.

Here, I’ve explained simple methods to programmatic ones so you can suit your Excel expertise level.

Share your suggestions, tips, or feedback below if you liked or disliked the article.

About the Author

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha Nath

Bipasha is a technical content writer with 10+ years of experience in the technology industry. She previously worked in a SaaS software development company focused on SharePoint, OneDrive, Word, Excel, Word solutions.

Subscribe

Subscribe for awesome Microsoft Excel videos ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Related Posts

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Latest Microsoft Excel Tips

Follow Us

Follow us to stay up to date with the latest in Microsoft Excel!

Subscribe for awesome Microsoft Excel videos ๐Ÿ˜ƒ