FAQ/rand - CBU statistics Wiki

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How do I generate a random sample in EXCEL?

Let us suppose we wish to randomly sample n cases of data comprising N people.

1. Put =RAND()*N in row 1 of the column adjacent to the right most data column in the spreadsheet

2. Copy and paste into remaining N-1 rows

3. Go to Data>sort on the EXCEL menu and make sure you sort in ascending order by the column you have just created. Click OK.

4. Delete rows n+1 to N.

We have randomly permuted the data rows so that the first, or any adjacent, n rows represent a random sample of size n.

For those who are interested more information is available on [http://www.stanford.edu/class/msande121/Materials/ExcelTut.pdf the rand() function].

There is also easy to use syntax to perform this in SPSS.