Mean > Find the Mean in Minitab

## How to Find the Mean in Minitab

The mean is the average number of a dataset. To find an average, you sum all of the numbers and then divide by the number of items in the data set. For example, the average (mean) of the set 3, 2, 3, 4, 8 is 4 because

(3 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 8)/5 = 4.

Although finding the mean seems like an easy task, you can run into problems calculating the mean for large data sets — even if you use a calculator you might mistype numbers or skip numbers. Typing the data into Minitab first gives you a way to check all of your inputs when you calculate the mean. Additionally, you’ll have the data set entered into the system so you can perform further calculations without having to re-input your data.

Minitab is a statistics package. Microsoft Excel does have some statistical capabilities, but it’s been looked at with skepticism in the past few years because of problems with incorrect calculations (this is true mostly for hypothesis testing). As Minitab was built for statistical analysis, it’s without the possibility of the types of system error you’ll see with Excel.

## How to Find the Mean in Minitab: Steps

**Example problem:** Calculate the mean for the following data set: 12, 12, 13, 23, 32, 45, 45, 45, 56, 56, 65, 78, 78, 78, 89, 89, 98

Step 1: **Type your data into columns **in a Minitab worksheet. The worksheet functions the same way as an Excel worksheet — the optimal place for your data is in a column format.

Step 2: **Click “Stat”, then click “Basic Statistics,” then click “Descriptive Statistics.”**

Step 3: **Click the variables you want to find the mean for **and then click “Select” to move the variable names to the right window.

Step 4: **Click “Statistics.”**

Step 5: **Check the “Mean” box and then click “OK” twice. **The mean will be displayed in a new window. The mean for this data set is 53.765.

*That’s it!*