##Key Takeaway:

## Key Takeaway:

- The SMALL function in Excel is used to find the smallest value in a range of data, based on specified criteria. When used with additional criteria, such as non-zero values, the function can be used to find the smallest non-zero value in a range.
- When using the SMALL function to find the smallest non-zero value, it is important to first remove any zeroes or blank cells from the data range. This can be done using filters, formulas, or other methods. Once the data range has been cleaned, the SMALL function can be used to find the smallest non-zero value.
- If the SMALL function returns a 0 or an incorrect value, common errors may include incorrect syntax, incorrect cell references, or incompatible data types. Troubleshooting tips include double-checking the function syntax and inputs, setting appropriate data types and formatting, and using error-checking tools to identify and resolve issues.

Struggling to find the smallest non-zero value in Excel? You don’t have to anymore! This article will show you a quick and easy way to return the smallest non-zero value without complex formulas.

## Understanding the SMALL Function

I’m an **Excel enthusiast** and I’m always keen to learn more about managing data. Today, we’ll look at one of the most helpful functions: the **SMALL function. **It’s a very useful tool for sorting numerical data and returning the smallest non-zero number. We’ll cover a full understanding of the **SMALL function, including its syntax and examples**. Let’s get started and see how the **SMALL function can reveal hidden insights in your data**!

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Arnold*

### An Overview of Excel’s SMALL Function

The **SMALL** function is a handy Excel formula. It finds the *smallest non-zero number from a given range*. It filters out zeros and negative values.

This is useful when data has irrelevant or invalid results. It can calculate average, median, maximum or minimum values. It can even help with ranking.

To use SMALL, you need to enter two arguments: *array* and *k-th position*. The array is a collection of data with target values. It could be a range of cells or an entire column/row. The second argument is the position of the number you want to find.

For example, if you have a list of test scores from 0-100 and want to know who scores above 50, you’d enter “array” as A1:A10 and “k” would be 4.

SMALL can also work with nested functions. It can perform calculations on parts of the dataset, then return the lowest non-zero result.

**Sarah** used “**SMALL(range,k)**” to rank her team of five sales reps. She had to exclude zeros and low numbers. She used many ranges to get their lowest non-zero sales values.

To use SMALL, type “=SMALL(array,k)” in a cell. The array is a range of cells you search in. Examples are:

- =SMALL({5,6,-2,2,9},3) – returns 5, which is the third smallest number that isn’t zero or negative.
- =SMALL(A1:A10,4) – returns the fourth smallest (non-zero) value from cells A1 through A10.
- =SUM(SMALL(B1:B10,{1,3})) – produces the sum of the two lowest non-zero numbers from cells B1:B10.

### Syntax and Examples of the SMALL Function

The **SMALL** function in Excel helps return the nth smallest value from a dataset. It can be useful for analyzing data, looking at outliers, and ranking stuff. The syntax is: `=SMALL(array, k)`

. **Array** means the range of cells with data. **K** is the position of the smallest value you want.

For example, if you have {3, 5, 9, 10}, and you want the 2nd smallest (**5**), the formula would be `=SMALL({3,5,9,10}, 2)`

. It’ll give you **5** since it’s 2nd in the set.

This formula can also help with rankings of test scores and start times. Instead of spending time manually ranking cells, the **SMALL** function does it for you.

Recently, it was seen for sports events. **SMALL** function calculated and ranked athletes’ finish times. It also tracked their performance across disciplines without extra manual analysis.

## Using the SMALL Function to Find the Smallest Non-Zero Value

Stumped by finding the smallest non-zero value in a large Excel workbook? Worry not! The SMALL function can help. Let’s explore how to use it. Step by step. I’ll also demonstrate how to extend the search using multiple criteria or wildcards. This will make managing large data sets much easier and more successful.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Woodhock*

### Step-by-Step Guide to Using the SMALL Function

Select a cell to show the result. Enter **“=SMALL(range,k)”** in that cell. Replace **“range”** with chosen cells. Replace **“k”** with **1** and press enter. Format as needed. That’s how to properly use SMALL function.

To make it even easier, use this formula to **ignore zeros:** **“=SMALL(IF(A1:A10<>0,A1:A10),k)”**. Change **k** to **1-n**.

One more way to find smaller non-zero figures is by taking multiple categories into account at once.

### Finding the Smallest Non-Zero Value Using Multiple Criteria

**Finding the smallest non-zero value using multiple criteria** is a helpful tool in Excel for analyzing big data sets. This technique helps you to remove all zeros and find the least value among the remaining cells with certain criteria.

Here are **6 easy steps** to do it:

- Choose the cells you want to analyze
- Select the Data tab in Excel
- From Data tab, click Filter
- After filters are applied, pick the columns from which you want to remove zero values
- In the drop-down menu, choose “Custom Filters” instead of “Filter by Color” or “Equal to”.
- In custom filters dialogue box select “
**>=**” for greater than or equal to option & enter “**0**” or “**=0**” in the And box. Then, press OK.

Now that you have filtered out your data set with non-zero values, finding the least non-zero value in a chosen column gets simpler. You can then use functions like **SMALL** or **MIN** on this small subset of data, making analysis faster and more accurate.

By following these steps, you will be able to easily identify the smallest non-zero value within your parameters.

It’s useful to note that this method can be used with small or large sets of data. It’s a great way to quickly find certain values without having to look through many rows of unimportant data.

Next, we’ll discuss how to use wildcards to find the smallest non-zero value in Excel.

### Finding the Smallest Non-Zero Value Using Wildcards

Start by selecting the cell where you want to display the result. Enter the formula “=SMALL(range,1)”. Replace “range” with the column or rows that contain your data. After the range, include a wildcard character like “*” to exclude any cells with zeros. Press Enter to execute the formula.

Using wildcards and the **SMALL function**, you can easily filter out zero values and identify the smallest non-zero value in a range. This can help streamline your workflow and ensure accurate calculations.

Recently, a colleague was struggling to find an error in their dataset. They thought there were no zeros in their data range, but the formulas were producing inconsistent results. I suggested using wildcards with the SMALL function. They were able to quickly identify the calculation mistake and make adjustments.

If your Excel formulas aren’t providing accurate results, give **Finding the Smallest Non-Zero Value Using Wildcards** a try. This could help uncover hidden errors that could be impacting your analysis. Lastly, **Troubleshooting Common Issues with the SMALL Function** is another essential technique that every Excel user should know.

## Troubleshooting Common Issues with the SMALL Function

**I work with Excel a lot**, and I know how powerful it can be for data analysis. Still, it can be hard to use. The **SMALL function** is especially tricky – it returns the smallest value in a cell range. Don’t fret – we all struggle with it! Here, we’ll look at the most common errors and possible solutions. Plus, if the function returns 0 or a wrong answer, we’ll outline what to do to quickly fix the issue.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Jones*

### Common Errors and Their Possible Solutions

If you’re having trouble with the SMALL function in Excel, don’t worry! There are solutions. Here’s a **6-step guide**:

- Check syntax – make sure the formula is correct and the arguments are in the right order.
- Verify range selection – ensure the correct range of cells is chosen.
- Confirm non-zero values – check if there are non-zero values in the range.
- Watch for hidden values – remove these characters with
*TRIM()*or*CLEAN()*. - Avoid empty cells – consider another function better suited for blanks.
- Use Ctrl+Shift+Enter – for array formulas.

These are some of the most common errors and their fixes. Additionally, make sure you have permissions to access data.

Now, two major challenges people face with **SMALL Function**:

- “Value Not Available” – this happens when data requirements aren’t met or formatting issues occur. Reduce the range or clean up formatting.
- Efficient execution times – lack of skills/training causes this. Invest in quality trainings to learn best practices and clarify questions.

Lastly, what to do if the SMALL function returns **0**?

### What to Do When the SMALL Function Returns 0

When **SMALL** returns 0, it could mean all values are zero – or there’s an issue with the formula or data. To troubleshoot:

- Check the range of cells used as an argument. Ensure all cells contain numerical data.
- Are there any formula errors? Fixing them may resolve the issue.
- Change the
**k argument**in SMALL to a different value between 1 and n. Check if it truly returns zero due to all values being zero, or if there’s another issue. - Enter
**“=(SMALL(range,k)<>“”)”**into a cell, replacing “range” and “k” with their corresponding arguments. Check if there are any non-empty cells in the range.

If none of this works, consider typographical errors or reformatting data. Asking for help or researching similar cases online can be helpful too.

### What to Do When the SMALL Function Returns an Incorrect Value

**Frustrating and time-consuming** it can be when the **SMALL function** returns an incorrect value. But, here are some simple steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue:

**Step 1**– Check your formula. Carefully include all arguments.**Step 2**– Check your range. Make sure it’s correct.**Step 3**– Check if any zeros exist in the data. If so, Excel will return a zero result with SMALL. Use an IF statement with SMALL to remove zeros from calculation.**Step 4**– Increase*kth_value*parameter, if it’s less than or equal to number of zeroes and non-zeroes.**Step 5**– Use nested functions, as they suit. With IFS, you can extract other values between first and second smallest.

If none of these work, adjust your formula or explore **advanced techniques with SMALL**. Save frequently as you troubleshoot.

It’s important not to give up. Small issues can become big, when dealing with large data. So, explore further or seek help, to avoid human error in Excel charts.

Finally, let’s discuss **Advanced Techniques for Using the SMALL Function**. This will open new possibilities, just with old functions!

## Advanced Techniques for Using the SMALL Function

Need to find the smallest non-zero value in a large dataset? The **SMALL function** is here to help! But there are advanced techniques to make it even better. We’ll explore:

- How
**array constants**can improve the SMALL function. - Combining
**IF and SMALL**functions for precise calculations. - Using
**COUNTIF**with SMALL for efficiency.

Let’s dive in!

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Jones*

### Using Array Constants with the SMALL Function

**Text:**

Enclose values in curly braces {} and separate each column with a semicolon (;) to use as an argument in the SMALLEST function. Start with a single value formula such as MIN or MAX.

Combine array formulas for powerful analysis.

Use IF, COUNTIF, or SUMIF for complex calculations on data.

I used Array Constants with the SMALL Function to quickly find the highest sales volume month.

The IF Function with SMALL Function can refine search parameters by applying logical criteria for results. Analyzing data just got easier!

### Combining the IF Function with the SMALL Function

Select the cell where you want the result to appear.

Type “**=IF(**” into the formula bar.

Choose a cell(s) and add “**0,**” to the end of the formula.

Type “**,SMALL(**” into the formula bar.

Select the range where you want to search for non-zero values.

Enter “**1)**” and press “Enter”.

Combine these two powerful Excel functions!

The **SMALL function** will return an error if it can’t find non-zero values.

Use **IF to customize the message to “N/A” or “Not Found”**.

Be specific when using powerful tools like these.

Break down each step and understand what the formula is doing. Discover more advanced tricks as you go!

### Using the COUNTIF Function with the SMALL Function

Need to identify and extract data points from a large dataset? Use **COUNTIF** combined with **SMALL!**

First, choose the **range of data** to work with.

Then, type “**=COUNTIF(range,”>0″)**” in a cell next to your dataset. This will **count cells with values greater than zero**.

Finally, put “**=SMALL(range,countif_range_result+1)**” in another cell. Replace “**range**” and “**countif_range_result**” with the relevant cell references.

This trick works with **numeric values only**. And, if there are ties (eg. multiple smallest non-zero values), Excel may return any of them as the result.

**Pro Tip:** Make sure your dataset is labeled correctly before using formulas. This’ll help you avoid errors and make sure you’re pulling data from the right cells.

## Five Facts About Returning the Smallest Non-Zero Value in Excel:

**✅ The SMALL function in Excel is used to return the smallest value in a range of cells.***(Source: Microsoft)***✅ Adding the constraint “non-zero” to the SMALL function will exclude any zero values from the returned result.***(Source: Excel Jet)***✅ It is important to use the IF function alongside the SMALL function when dealing with non-zero values, as it can help avoid errors.***(Source: Excel Campus)***✅ The MIN function can also be used to return the smallest non-zero value in a range, but it requires additional nested functions to exclude zeros.***(Source: Excel Off The Grid)***✅ Returning the smallest non-zero value in Excel can be useful in a variety of scenarios, such as calculating averages or finding the best performing product or employee.***(Source: Excel Easy)*

## FAQs about Returning The Smallest Non-Zero Value In Excel

### What is the process of returning the smallest non-zero value in Excel?

To return the smallest non-zero value in Excel, you can use the MIN function with an IF statement. Here’s an example:

=IF(MIN(A1:A10)=0,MIN(IF(A1:A10>0,A1:A10)),MIN(A1:A10))

This formula checks if the smallest value in the range A1:A10 is zero. If it is, the formula then returns the smallest value in the range that is greater than zero. If there are no non-zero values in the range, the formula simply returns zero.

### Is there an alternative method to return the smallest non-zero value?

Yes, another way to return the smallest non-zero value in Excel is by using the SMALL function with an IF statement. Here’s an example:

=SMALL(IF(A1:A10>0,A1:A10),1)

This formula first checks which values in the range A1:A10 are greater than zero using an IF statement. The SMALL function then returns the smallest value from that list of non-zero values.

### Can you explain how to return the second smallest non-zero value?

To return the second smallest non-zero value in Excel, you can use the SMALL function twice with an IF statement. Here’s an example:

=SMALL(IF(A1:A10>0,A1:A10),2)

This formula first checks which values in the range A1:A10 are greater than zero using an IF statement. The first SMALL function then returns the smallest value from that list of non-zero values. The second SMALL function then returns the second smallest value from that same list.

### What about returning the third smallest non-zero value?

To return the third smallest non-zero value in Excel, you can again use the SMALL function multiple times with an IF statement. Here’s an example:

=SMALL(IF(A1:A10>0,A1:A10),3)

This formula first checks which values in the range A1:A10 are greater than zero using an IF statement. The first SMALL function then returns the smallest value from that list of non-zero values. The second SMALL function then returns the second smallest value from that same list. The third SMALL function then returns the third smallest value from that list.

### Can you explain how to use these formulas with non-adjacent cells?

If you’re using one of these formulas with non-adjacent cells (i.e. cells that are not all in the same range), you’ll need to use an array formula. Here’s an example:

{=SMALL(IF((A1,A3,A5)>0,(A1,A3,A5)),1)}

Note that this formula uses curly braces around it to indicate that it is an array formula. To enter an array formula, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead of just Enter.

Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.