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# A to Z of Excel Functions: the PERCENTILE.EXC Function

17 July 2023

Welcome back to our regular A to Z of Excel Functions blog.  Today we look at the PERCENTILE.EXC function.

The PERCENTILE.EXC function The nth percentile of a dataset is the value that cuts off the first n% of the data values when all of the values are sorted from least to greatest.  For example, the 90th percentile of a dataset is the value that segregates the bottom 90% of the data values from the top 10% of data values.

There are three distinct functions you can use to calculate percentiles in Excel:

1. PERCENTILE.EXC: this function returns the kth percentile of a dataset, excluding the values zero  and one 
2. PERCENTILE.INC: this function returns the kth percentile of a dataset, including the values zero  and one 
3. PERCENTILE: this function returns the kth percentile of a dataset as well.  It will return the same value as the PERCENTILE.INC function.

In almost all cases, it is probably best to use the PERCENTILE.INC function because this function includes the values zero  and one  when calculating the percentiles and is the function that effectively “replaces” PERCENTILE.

No matter which of the three functions you use to calculate percentiles, the difference between the values calculated by PERCENTILE.INC and PERCENTILE.EXC will be similar in most cases.  In some instances, it’s even possible that the two functions will return precisely the same values depending upon the numbers analysed.

The PERCENTILE.EXC function is a statistical function that calculates the value at a given percentile in a dataset.  It considers the range between zero  and one excluding the extreme values.  This function is particularly useful when analysing data distributions and understanding the relative position of a specific value within a dataset.

The PERCENTILE.EXC function has the following syntax:

=PERCENTILE.EXC(array, k)

It contains two arguments:

• array which is required and represents the array of values or range of data that defines relative standing
• k which is also required is a value 0 < k < 1 (0..1 exclusive), which represents the percentile (or kth percentage).

It should be noted that:

• if array is empty, PERCENTILE.EXC returns the #NUM! error value
• if k is nonnumeric, PERCENTILE.EXC returns the #VALUE! error value
• if k is ≤ 0 or if k ≥ 1, PERCENTILE.EXC returns the #NUM! error value
• if k is not a multiple of 1/(n + 1) (where n is the number of values in the array), PERCENTILE.EXC interpolates to determine the value at the kth percentile
• PERCENTILE.EXC will interpolate when the value for the specified percentile lies between two  values in the array.  If it cannot interpolate for the percentile, k specified, Excel will return #NUM!error
• the array argument ignores text, logic, date and time values. 