**MIN Function in Microsoft Excel**

**Part 1: Introduction**

**Definition**

The **MIN** function in Microsoft Excel is a statistical function that returns the smallest number in a set of values.

**Purpose**

The primary purpose of the **MIN** function is to find the minimum value among a set of numbers. This can be particularly useful in various scenarios, such as finding the lowest sales figure, the smallest expense, the lowest temperature, etc.

**Syntax & Arguments**

The syntax for the **MIN** function is as follows:

`MIN(number1, [number2], ...) `

Here’s a breakdown of the arguments:

`number1`

: This is the required first argument representing the first number you want to find the minimum value of.`number2, ...`

: These are optional additional numbers you want to consider when finding the minimum value, up to a maximum of 255 numbers.

**Return Value**

The **MIN** function returns the smallest value among the input numbers.

**Remarks**

Arguments can be numbers or names, arrays, or references containing numbers. Logical values and text representations of numbers you type directly into the list of arguments are counted. If an argument is an array or reference, only numbers in that array or reference are used. Empty cells, logical values, or text are ignored in the collection or reference. If the arguments contain no numbers, MIN returns 0 (zero). Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers cause errors. Use the MINA function to include logical values and text representations of numbers in a reference as part of the calculation.

**Part 2: Examples**

Let’s look at examples of using the **MIN** function in business.

**Example 1**

**Purpose of Example:** To find the lowest sales figure among a set of sales figures.

**Data Tables and Formulas:**

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Sales Figure | MIN |

2 | $5000 | |

3 | $7000 | |

4 | $6000 | |

5 | MIN | =MIN(A2:A4) |

**Explanation:** In this example, we have a list of sales figures. The formula `=MIN(A2:A4)`

finds the minimum value among these sales figures. The result is $5000.

**Example 2**

**Purpose of Example:** To find the lowest expense among costs.

**Data Tables and Formulas:**

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Expense | MIN |

2 | $200 | |

3 | $300 | |

4 | $250 | |

5 | MIN | =MIN(A2:A4) |

**Explanation:** In this example, we have a list of expenses. The formula `=MIN(A2:A4)`

finds the minimum value among these expenses. The result is $200.

**Example 3**

**Purpose of Example:** To find the lowest temperature recorded in a week.

**Data Tables and Formulas:**

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Temperature | MIN |

2 | 72 | |

3 | 75 | |

4 | 73 | |

5 | MIN | =MIN(A2:A4) |

**Explanation:** In this example, we have a list of temperatures. The formula `=MIN(A2:A4)`

finds the minimum value among these temperatures. The result is 72.

**Example 4**

**Purpose of Example:** To find the lowest score among test scores.

**Data Tables and Formulas:**

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Score | MIN |

2 | 85 | |

3 | 90 | |

4 | 88 | |

5 | MIN | =MIN(A2:A4) |

**Explanation:** In this example, we have a list of test scores. The formula `=MIN(A2:A4)`

finds the minimum value among these test scores. The result is 85.

**Example 5**

**Purpose of Example:** To find the lowest value among stock prices.

**Data Tables and Formulas:**

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Stock Price | MIN |

2 | $50 | |

3 | $55 | |

4 | $52 | |

5 | MIN | =MIN(A2:A4) |

**Explanation:** In this example, we have a list of stock prices. The formula `=MIN(A2:A4)`

finds the minimum value among these stock prices. The result is $50.

**Example 6**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest sales figure in a given week, excluding weekends.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | C | |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Day | Sales | Result |

2 | Monday | 100 | |

3 | Tuesday | 200 | |

4 | Wednesday | 150 | |

5 | Thursday | 250 | |

6 | Friday | 300 | |

7 | Saturday | 350 | |

8 | Sunday | 400 | |

9 | Min Weekday Sales | =MIN(IF(A2:A8<>”Saturday”, IF(A2:A8<>”Sunday”, B2:B8))) |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have sales data for all days of the week. We want to find the day with the lowest sales, excluding weekends. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A8<>"Saturday", IF(A2:A8<>"Sunday", B2:B8)))`

is used to calculate the minimum sales figure for weekdays only, which is 100.

**Example 7**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest positive value in a list of numbers.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Number | Result |

2 | -10 | |

3 | 20 | |

4 | -30 | |

5 | 40 | |

6 | Min Positive |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have a list of numbers and want to find the smallest positive number. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A5>0, A2:A5))`

is used to calculate the smallest positive number, which is 20.

**Example 8**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest sales figure for a specific product.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | C | |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Product | Sales | Result |

2 | A | 100 | |

3 | B | 200 | |

4 | A | 150 | |

5 | B | 250 | |

6 | A | 300 | |

7 | Min Sales for A | =MIN(IF(A2:A6=”A”, B2:B6)) |

*Explanation*: This example shows sales data for A and B products. We want to find the smallest sales figure for product A. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A6="A", B2:B6))`

is used to calculate the minimum sales figure for product A, which is 100.

**Example 9**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest value in a range that meets a specific condition.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Number | Result |

2 | 10 | |

3 | 20 | |

4 | 30 | |

5 | 40 | |

6 | Min > 25 |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have a list of numbers and want to find the smallest number greater than 25. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A5>25, A2:A5))`

is used to calculate the smallest number greater than 25, which is 30.

**Example 10**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest value in a range that does not equal a specific value.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Number | Result |

2 | 10 | |

3 | 20 | |

4 | 30 | |

5 | 10 | |

6 | Min ≠ 10 |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have a list of numbers and want to find the smallest number that is not equal to 10. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A5<>10, A2:A5))`

is used to calculate the smallest number not equal to 10, which is 20.

**Example 11**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest sales figure for a specific region.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | C | |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Region | Sales | Result |

2 | North | 100 | |

3 | South | 200 | |

4 | East | 150 | |

5 | West | 250 | |

6 | North | 300 | |

7 | Min Sales for North | =MIN(IF(A2:A6=”North”, B2:B6)) |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have sales data for four regions. We want to find the smallest sales figure for the North region. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A6="North", B2:B6))`

is used to calculate the minimum sales figure for the North region, which is 100.

**Example 12**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest value in a range that is less than a specific value.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | |
---|---|---|

1 | Number | Result |

2 | 10 | |

3 | 20 | |

4 | 30 | |

5 | 40 | |

6 | Min < 30 |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have a list of numbers and want to find the smallest number less than 30. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A5<30, A2:A5))`

is used to calculate the smallest number less than 30, which is 10.

**Example 13**

*Purpose*: To find the smallest sales figure for a specific month.

*Data tables and formulas*:

A | B | C | |
---|---|---|---|

1 | Month | Sales | Result |

2 | January | 100 | |

3 | February | 200 | |

4 | March | 150 | |

5 | April | 250 | |

6 | May | 300 | |

7 | Min Sales for January | =MIN(IF(A2:A6=”January”, B2:B6)) |

*Explanation*: In this example, we have sales data for five months. We want to find the smallest sales figure for January. The formula `=MIN(IF(A2:A6="January", B2:B6))`

is used to calculate the minimum sales figure for January, which is 100.

**Part 3: Tips and Tricks**

**MIN**can handle up to 255 arguments, allowing you to find the minimum value among large numbers.- Remember that
**MIN**ignores empty cells, logical values, or text in the array or reference. If you want to include these in your calculation, use the**MINA**function. - You can use
**MIN**with other functions for more complex calculations. For example, you could use**MIN**inside an**IF**function to calculate only if a certain number is a minimum value. **MIN**can be used with arrays or references, not just individual numbers. This makes it a powerful tool for analyzing large sets of data.- If the arguments contain no numbers,
**MIN**returns 0. Be mindful of this when analyzing your results.