19. ROUND: Make numbers… round! Startup and investor excel model training

Intro to Excel model training- ROUND

This is part of a series on Excel model training focused on helping founders and investors to actually enjoy and get proficient in excel. It’s such an important skill to have, and there’s no excuse to not be able to do all the ‘advanced’ stuff, let alone the basics.

This is a pragmatic course where you will only learn the most useful things; those that I actually use regularly. We’ll go through the obvious applications, but also include some hacks I’ve developed over the years.

To get the excel example for this and all the other instalments, subscribe with the pretty box on the right and you’ll get the excel tip of the day sent directly to your inbox. Within a month and ten minutes practice, you’ll be a boss in no time.

You can join up to the training here.

What’s the point of the ROUND?

This is sort of obvious, right? ROUND makes things round numbers.

So if you hate the aesthetic of a number you can make it look like something different. So don’t like the decimals of 1.47 and you want it to be 2, yeah you can do that. You can also make it 1.5, or even one!

But just making things pretty is not that useful, right? So there must be some pragmatic uses for it. Yes, there are. We’ll use it to hire staff. But let’s do the academics, first so we know how to do this all.

How do I do these things you speak of?

First off, don’t mess with ROUND- he has gangster brothers that fiddle with the books: ROUNDUP and ROUNDDOWN…

ROUNDUP makes your numbers go up

ROUNDDOWN makes your numbers go down

ROUND is simple and fair. He rounds to what makes sense.

The syntax of these guys is the same and pretty easy to understand.

You have ROUND(number, num_digits)

Number – point at a cell

num_digits – the number of digits to round the number (above) to.

num_digits is the complex part, so let’s get into it.

You’ll basically only ever enter:

0 = Round to a whole number. 1.57 = 2

1= Round to one decimal. 1.57 = 1.6

2 = Round to two decimal. 1.57 = 1.57

Random fact… You can supply a positive or negative value in this argument. Freaky right.

If you insert -1, then it rounds to the nearest 10!


-1 = so our 1.57 = 0

-1 = but if you had 6 = 10

All you need to do is thinkg, how many decimals do I want? None, ok num_digits = 0.

So in the example today we are going to use roundup to hire the developers that are going to execute on our enterprise projects. We can’t hire a fractional number of people, so we want to ROUNDUP to a whole person. Easy to guess how to do this.


ROUNDDOWN is the same, except numbers go down.


The excel example sheet will help you to learn this with an example.

roundup problem.png

roundup solution.png

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