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Histograms and Bell Curve Charts in Excel

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Allene, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggghhh! The reason nobody has seen me around here all day is because I've been up to my neck in the above. I use histograms to show the genetic distance between a group of people, and I'd like to be able to generate a bell curve graph from that information. Right now, I have to manually count the number of people who are at a certain distance all the way through the histogram, then record where the peak or peaks are located. I have to do other operations after I have figured out the bell curve values (without actually have the graph to look at), but that part isn't a problem.

    I spent all day trying to follow one of those crazy Microsoft Help documents that ALWAYS leave out important stuff. It was to show how to do a sample bell curve. But the whole thing was incredibly complicated, and it's not clear to me how to replicate it with my own data, or even if it worked properly.

    Does anyone know of a good source of information on this procedure? I have Excel 2010 and downloaded that addin for data analysis and the one for VBA (just in case I needed it). Microsoft online help sort of dribbles things out bit by bit and searches often pick up totally unrelated stuff. Why is it so hard for them to do a decent job with Help?
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  3. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  4. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thanks a bunch. The scu.edu looks like what I need the most. I'm not going near it until tomorrow, though. Enough already!
  5. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    You're amusing me, I haven't used Excel in years and recently needed it for some financial analysis (my mom's estate) and just figured out how to auto sum some columns. I'm playing in the mud and you're doing rocket science.
  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Rocket science, ha! Chinese water torture is more like it. I had to learn to use Excel about three years ago when I was a volunteer administrator for an FTDNA surname project for over two years (until the end of 2011). Prior to that, I made a wide detour around Excel.

    That bell curve trumped everything because it gets into codes and stuff. I haven't had time to play with the link that Tom posted yet, but it looks promising. I'm hoping to put it into some research I'll eventually be adding to the files section of an Internet genetic genealogy group I belong to.
  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Tom, that link you gave me to Santa Clara University's tip on doing a bell curve in Excel without going insane worked like a charm and didn't take long at all. Thank you so much! Did you ever see anything so beautiful? :D

    Attached Files:

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