Excel allows us to get a rank of a value in a list, using the PERCENTRANK function. The rank presents a percentage of values which are lower than a selected value. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in finding a relative position of a value in a list.
Figure 1. The final result of the PERCENTRANK function
Syntax of the PERCENTRANK formula
=PERCENTRANK(array, x, [significance])
The parameters of the PERCENTRANK function are:
- array – a list of values
- x – a value from the list for which we want to find the position
- [significance] – a number of decimal digits of the result. This is the non-mandatory parameter and if omitted, it will be 3.
Setting up Our Data for the PERCENTRANK Function
In column B (“Amount”), we have the list of values. In column C (“The position”), we want to get a relative position for each value in the list.
Figure 2. Data that we will use in the PERCENTRANK example
Find a Relative Position of Values in the List
In the cell C3, we want to get a relative position of the cell B3. In other words, we want to find out the percentage of values which are lower than $1,000.
The formula looks like:
The array is $B$3:$B$9, while the x is B3. Note that we need to fix the array, as it’s not changing, only the x cell.
To apply the PERCENTRANK function, we need to follow these steps:
- Select cell C3 and click on it
- Insert the formula:
- Press enter
- Drag the formula down to the other cells in the column by clicking and dragging the little “+” icon at the bottom-right of the cell.
Figure 3. Using the PERCENTRANK function to find a relative position of a value
As we can see, there are 7 values in column B and $1,000 is greater than 5 of them. That means it’s greater than ⅚ value, which is 0.833. This percentage is the result of the function in the cell C3.
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