This tool can be used to rapidly populate large amounts of random numbers that adhere to various statistical rules and conditions which you can place on them. This is helpful to prove or disprove your hypothesis or to forecast how something may perform based on tried-and-tested statistical methods.

You will need to have Data Analysis tools enabled.

Go to the Data tab, under Analysis select Data Analysis and then choose ‘Random Number Generation’.

In this simple example, we’ll choose a ‘Uniform’ distribution, with values between 1 and 10 and an Output Range chosen as cells A1 to A10.

The results:

In essence, this is not really much different to just copying the formula *=RANDBETWEEN(1,10)* into each cell, apart from that it returns a decimal value instead of an integer. The real power in the Random Number Generation tool is when you want to use a different type of statistical distribution from the available options.

In this example we’ve taken the Mean and Standard Deviation from the UK National Lottery (thanks to some Descriptive Statistics) and used them in a Normal distribution to generate the random numbers.