Excel RAND function

Summary

The Excel RAND function generates a random decimal number between 0 and 1. It’s widely used in simulations, statistical sampling, probability analysis, and scenarios where random value generation is needed. Each time the worksheet recalculates, RAND returns a new random number.
Syntax
				
					=RAND()
				
			
This function does not have any arguments.
Return value
A random decimal number between 0 and 1.

How to use

Simply use =RAND() in a cell to generate a random decimal number. Every time the worksheet recalculates, a new random number is generated.

Examples

Simple RAND

Generating a Random Decimal Number: To generate a random decimal:

				
					=RAND()
				
			
Each time the worksheet recalculates, this formula will produce a new random decimal number between 0 and 1.
RAND with Multiples
Random Number for Simulations: Using RAND for simulations or modeling:
				
					=RAND() * 100
				
			
This formula generates a random decimal number and multiplies it by 100, useful in scenarios where you need a random number between 0 and 100.
RAND for Data Sampling
Random Selection in Data Sampling: Selecting a random sample from a dataset:
				
					=INDEX(Data_Range, ROUNDUP(RAND() * COUNTA(Data_Range), 0))
				
			
This formula selects a random item from a data range.
RAND in Probability Analysis
Probability Analysis with RAND: Using RAND for basic probability calculations:
				
					=IF(RAND() < 0.5, "Heads", "Tails")
				
			
This simulates a coin toss where there’s a 50% chance of getting either Heads or Tails.
RAND for Date Generation
Creating Random Dates: Generating random dates within a specific range:
				
					=DATE(2020, 1, 1) + RAND() * (DATE(2020, 12, 31) - DATE(2020, 1, 1))
				
			
This formula generates a random date in the year 2020.

Additional Notes

  • RAND is a volatile function, meaning it recalculates and generates a new number every time a worksheet recalculates.
  • It’s ideal for scenarios requiring quick and basic random number generation without specific criteria.

Related Functions

Excel RANDARRAY function

The Excel RANDARRAY function creates an array of random numbers, suited for advanced simulations and data analysis tasks.

Excel RANDBETWEEN function

The Excel RANDBETWEEN function returns a random integer between two specified values, essential for generating test data and scenarios.

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