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Discover how to use SUM function in a formula.
When to use
SUM adds things up. It may include cells, numbers or ranges. In the context of financial modelling, summations are usually of numbers either directly above or to the left of the cell in question.
- Adds all of the numbers in a range of cells
- Will only evaluate numbers and adds the numbers together to return their addition. It is not quite the same as simply using the "plus sign" (arithmetic operator) between each number within the SUM function
- Need to be careful if downloading data from elsewhere
- Data may not be what it seems
- Check integrity, properties and ‘cleanliness’ of data
- In this example, The values in cells E3:E7 have been totaled in two distinct ways: the first uses the aforementioned SUM function with ALT + =, the other has added each cell individually using the ‘+’ operator
- Cell E5 has been modified. It has been stored as text, even though it looks like the number 3. SUM treats this as having zero value whereas the more convoluted addition carries on regardless.
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