How to Perform a Correlation Test in Excel

This guide will explain how to perform a correlation test in Excel.

We can use the CORREL function to determine how strong the correlation is between two variables. We can also use the Analysis Toolpak add-in to generate a correlation table between two or more variables.

A correlation test is used to determine if there is a relationship between two variables. 

This test is important because it can help you understand how two variables are related. For example, if you wanted to know if there is a relationship between height and weight, you would use a correlation test.

The built-in CORREL function is the easiest method of performing a correlation test. It only requires two arguments: the x and y values.

However, the CORREL function may not be enough for use cases with more variables. Luckily, we can use the Correlation tool that comes with the Analysis Toolpak add-in to create a correlation table. The table can show which variables in your dataset correlate the most.

Now that we know when to perform a correlation test, let’s learn how to use it and work on an actual sample spreadsheet.

 

 

A Real Example of a Correlation Test in Excel

The following section provides several examples of how to perform a correlation test in Excel. We will also explain the formulas and tools used in these examples.

First, let’s take a look at our sample data. The sample spreadsheet includes a table of x and y values. We want to know the correlation between these variables.

sample data of x and y values

 

We can use the CORREL function to find the correlation coefficient between x and y. 

use CORREL function

 

A correlation coefficient close to 1 suggests a strong positive correlation. A coefficient close to -1 suggests a strong negative correlation. Coefficients near 0 indicate an absence of any relationship between either variable.

We can also use the Analysis Toolpak add-in to create our own correlation coefficient table. This option works best when comparing three or more variables.

perform a correlation test in Excel

 

Do you want to take a closer look at our examples? You can make your own copy of the spreadsheet above using the link attached below. 

If you’re ready to try out the CORREL function or Analysis Toolpak yourself, head over to the next section to read our step-by-step breakdown on how to use these methods.

 

 

How to Perform a Correlation Test in Excel

This section will guide you through each step needed to perform a correlation test in Excel. You’ll learn how we can use the CORREL function and the Analysis Toolpak add-in to find the correlation between two or more variables.

Follow these steps to perform the correlation test in Excel:

  1. First, we’ll use Excel functions to perform our correlation test. Select the cell where you will place the CORREL formula.
    select cell to perform correlation testIn this example, we’ll place our correlation value in cell E2. 
  2. Next, add the ranges with our x and y values as arguments to the CORREL function.perform a correlation test in Excel using CORREL
  3. Type the Enter key to evaluate the result. In this example, we find out that our x and y values have a correlation of 0.98.
    evaluate CORREL function
  4. Next, we’ll create a correlation table using the Analysis Toolpak add-in. The add-in comes with the latest Desktop editions of Microsoft Excel but is not installed by default. To install the add-in, click on File.head to File tab
  5. In the File menu, click on the Options button on the lower-left corner.
    select Options
  6. In the Excel Options dialog box, click on the Add-ins tab and select the Go.. button.
    click on Add-ins tab and select Go
  7. Click on the checkbox next to the Analysis Toolpak option. This add-in comes with various tools you can use to perform statistical analysis. Select OK to proceed with installing the add-in.
    select analysis toolpak add-in
  8. You can find the Data Analysis option in the Data tab.
    select Data analysis option
  9. Clicking on the Data Analysis option will open a new dialog box. The pop-up lists over a dozen tools you can use for statistical analysis. Select the Correlation option and click OK.
    select Correlation analysis tool
  10. In the Input Range textbox, type the range with both x and y values. You must also select the Columns option under the Grouped By label. We must also indicate the range where the Correlation tool will place the output
    use correlation tool Since our range includes headers, we’ll also check the option that indicates that the first row is reserved for the column labels. 
  11. The correlation tool will output a table that shows the correlation between the x and y values.
    create correlation table using data analysis toolpak
  12. The correlation table is most helpful when comparing three or more variables.
    perform a correlation test in Excel with multiple variables

 

These are all the steps needed to perform a correlation test in Excel. 

 

 

This step-by-step guide should provide you with all the information you need to perform a correlation test in Excel.

We’ve explained two different methods to find the correlation value between two variables. With the Analysis Toolpak add-in, you can even create a correlation table to compare three or more variables.

This function is just one example of the many Excel functions you can use in your spreadsheets. Our website offers hundreds of other functions and methods to help you get more out of Microsoft Excel.

With so many other Excel functions available, you can find one appropriate for your use case.

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