Correlation Analysis

How To Run Correlation Analysis On Excel

This article provides guidance on running a correlation analysis using Microsoft Excel software. It is important to read this article to the end for proper guidance for undergraduate and postgraduate students whose research requires correlation analysis.

What is Correlation?

Correlation is a statistical analysis that shows the strength of the relationship between two or more variables. It shows how significantly similar or different two or more variables are.

The correlation coefficient is an index that shows the relationship between two variables. It ranges from -1 to +1. The correlation could be positive or negative. This means that the effect of a treatment on a variable can lead to either a positive or negative outcome.

For instance, we can measure the correlation between poultry manure treatment applied to a farm and cassava growth.

A positive correlation indicates that the treatment has a significant positive effect on cassava growth. As more poultry manure is added, higher cassava growth is expected.

On the other hand, a negative correlation indicates that the treatment has a significantly negative effect on cassava growth. That is, an increase in poultry manure leads to a decline in the growth rate of cassava.

Things To Note In Correlation Analysis

  • It only shows the strength of the relationship between variables; it does not explain the causes.
  • The correlation coefficient is not expressed in any given unit of measurement

Running Correlation Analysis on MS Excel

To run a correlation analysis in Excel, you must do the following:

  • Install the MS Excel software package on your computer and run the software.
  • Download and Install the Data Analysis Extension on your Excel software. This extension is necessary to run various statistical analyses.
  • Type your raw data into columns and rows. I shall use a data set of some soil chemical properties for the illustration below.
Data Set
  • From the menu bar on the Excel worksheet, select the data tab. Select data analysis.
Data Analysis
  • From the options, select correlation and click ok.
select correlation
  • Select the input range by highlighting the data set.
set input and output range
  • Check the labels in the first row.
  • Skip a line and select A11 as the output range. This will ensure that the correlation matrix appears on the same page.
  • Your correlation result appears.
Correlation results


This result only shows how the variables relate to each other. It does not indicate if their relationship is statistically significant. My next article will show you how to indicate the statistical significance of the correlation matrix.

 This article clearly illustrates how to run a correlation analysis. Please remember to post your comments and any questions you may have in the comment section below.

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