Excel Random Selection: How to Get Random Sample From a Dataset

To randomise a List in excel we will use INDEX function and RANDBETWEEN function. Let's see how we can randomize names in excel. We can randomise not only the names but list of anything.

Generic Formula

=INDEX(list,RANDBETWEEN(1,count of items in list)

INDEX returns value in a list at the given index. You can learn more about INDEX function here

RANDBETWEEN gives random integers between two specified values. You can learn more about the RANDBETWEEN function here.

Let's have a “random” example.

Random Name Chooser - Example 1

Let's assume that you and your friends want to play 'spin the bottle game' but you are in the office. You can’t spin a bottle here, right? I can’t. So you want to excel to choose a random name from the names of your friends.

First, prepare the list of names.

Now in any cell write this Excel formula


Now whenever you’ll do something in your sheet it will give a random name.

Create Random Data - Example 2

I often need to create random data. So instead of copying I just use the above formula. I just locked the reference to the list.


I drag down the formula to the desired position and I get random data to do some practice work.
So yeah guys! This is the way you can randomize a list in Excel. Feel free to ask the question in the comments section below.

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