People use Microsoft Excel everyday to analyze data in spreadsheets to get a better understanding of their finances. They then take this data to help them to make decisions on their future. However, Excel can also help you to make daily decisions on everyday life!
To do this, we use a couple of Excel functions to let us do this. I’ll show you two ways to accomplish this.
This will work with any decision you have to make, but let’s say for this example you have to decide what you want for dinner tonight.
The first way to do this is to list your numbered choices in a spreadsheet and then use a Random Function to pick your meal.
So enter your choices in a spreadsheet like below and number them.
Then in a cell on the right, we enter the following formula: =RANDBETWEEN(1,3)
This function will choose a random whole number between the two numbers you put in parenthesis. In this example, it chooses a random number between 1 and 3. I used this because we only have 3 food choices, but you can use any number you like.
So in our example below, it picked the number 2. So if you look at your table, it chose Hamburgers as your meal choice.
You can then press the delete key anywhere else on the spreadsheet and it will recalculate the function and pick another random number.
The second way to get Excel to make your decision is through a nested function. What that means, is we use two Excel functions in one cell. One of the functions is just an argument to the main function.
So for this example, we don’t need to list our choices in a table. We will list them in the function. The main function we will use for this is the CHOOSE function. This will let you list your choices and you tell it which one you want.
Let’s enter this function into Excel:
If we break this function down the first part of the function we use a 1. This tells Excel which choice to display.
The rest of the function are your choices. So in this example, we listed “Pizza”, “Hamburgers” and “Meatloaf” as our choices. Since we chose 1 as our first number, this function picked our first option, which was “Pizza” as you see above. If it was a 2, it would pick “Hamburgers”.
However, we want Excel to make our decision, not us. We want Excel to pick that number from 1 to 3 so it can just tell us what we want to eat.
So to do this, we will again use the RANDBETWEEN function like we did above. We just need to insert it into the CHOOSE function where the 1 was.
It will look like this when you are all done:
Just make sure to separate each choice by a comma. You can do this for more choices too. If you want to list 10 choices, just put them all in parenthesis and separate by commas. Then just adjust your random function to look like =RANDBETWEEN(1,10)
Then just press delete on a blank cell and it will recalculate!
So those are two ways to let Excel make everyday decisions for you. I hope you enjoyed this and can put it to good use!
And to learn about the VLookup and INDEX Match even more, I suggest checking out Chandoo’s course on LEasrning Excel Functions Fast at bit.ly/ExcelFormulaCrashCourse