Mathematically, the mean is calculated by summing up all of the values and then divide by the count of rows.
Example: Seconds it takes for a common person to run 100 meters. 17, 19, 18, 14, 17. The average is 17 seconds.
The details: Mean (or average) is useful only if the data is normally distributed and thus is more sensitive to outliers.
- Mean is useful for natural outcomes because nature rarely produces extremes, e.g. it is unlikely that a human will have a height of 9 feet.
- In contrast, means isn’t useful for human outcomes because humans produce extreme outcomes, e.g. 2008 economic downturn.
In Google Sheets, use the function =AVERAGE