Here’s a breakdown.
number - The number you want to find
ref - The reference to spreadsheet range
order - optional; excel defaults to descending order
The RANK function returns the location of a specified number in a given range. So let’s say you have a given set, 1,2,3,4,5. Obviously, testing for the number three will return a location of 3. For our range test, we combine a number outside the set and see where it falls.
Check out the image below to see it in action:
You could also use this trick when you must evaluate a value on a complex function. For example, you might have a graph with several curves that represents some utility for a given value, x. Thus, if you know the bounds of your curves, you can test in what range your x falls and apply its corresponding curve-function.
Finally, you might have noticed that this trick restricts you to inequalities with an inclusive lower bound and exclusive upper bound. There’s ways to fix this and I plan to talk more about them in future posts.
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