How to select a random percentage of a spreadsheet to remove for sample

Posted on 2016-10-12
Last Modified: 2016-10-14
I've got a mailing list for a client that want's to randomly remove a percentage of the data for what their calling a  "dormant" list. I've tried inserting a new column "A" and using the rand formula to assign a random number but I'm having no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I've attached a demo mailing list. I would like to be able to randomly remove 20% of the list and copy them to sheet2. I will be doing this on a ongoing basic so I was thinking a macro?
Question by:Dan Purcell
  • 5
  • 4
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Glenn Ray
ID: 41841107
While you could add a RANDBETWEEN function to help flag 20% of the items, the issue will be that it won't always guarantee that you'll get exactly 20% identified.  That's where an iterative process in a macro comes in.  And since you want to move the items to another sheet, all the more reason for a macro.

I've added code to your sample workbook that will add a temporary column with a random value generator,  =RANDBETWEEN(1,5) , then iteratively recalculate the workbook until 20% of those values are equal to 5.  Then it filters and copies over the items to a new sheet - [Sample] - then removes them from the first sheet.

The macro name is "Move_Entries" and can be access by pressing [Alt]+[F8] and selecting that macro from the list.

Note:  this is a destructive process!  The items are MOVED from the [AddressData] sheet.  If you already have a [Sample] sheet of data and run the process again, the sample items are lost. Forever.


Author Comment

by:Dan Purcell
ID: 41841933

Two questions.

 If I need to change the percentage from 20% to 10% I change this line of the macro?:

int20Pct = Round((intLastRow - 1) * 0.2, 0)    from 0.2 to 0.1?

Second question:

My list may not always be the same number of columns. Some lists may have more. What will I need to change?

Author Comment

by:Dan Purcell
ID: 41841935
I tried to give you best solution but it wanted to close the question. I'll give you it after
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Glenn Ray
ID: 41841946
1) Chang the percentage:  yes, that change is correct, but you'll also have to change the RANDBETWEEN range from (1,5) to (1,10).  There's another algorithm that can be used if you think you'll chang regularly where you can input the percentage at run time. Let me know if you might need that.

2) The code assumed data in columns A:G; any reference to such would have to be changed.  In addition, the temporary "flag" column is in H (one column to the right); that would also need to be changed.  If you need a more open-ended solution, I could revise the code to detect the columns used and run from there.
How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails


Author Comment

by:Dan Purcell
ID: 41842102
You folks that help out here are amazing! This is a new customer and will have on going work with them. They will have different clients so I would imagine the parameters may vary. If you could add the open-ended I will forever be in your debt
LVL 27

Accepted Solution

Glenn Ray earned 500 total points
ID: 41842886
I've modified the code to
1) allow for any percentage to be specified ("intSamplePct" at the top of the code); currently set to 20
2) allow for any size (columns) of the original data.  The temporary column is now inserted in column A and then removed.

See the revised workbook.

Author Comment

by:Dan Purcell
ID: 41843608
You Rock! That worked perfect.

Thank you, thank you

Author Closing Comment

by:Dan Purcell
ID: 41843609
Thank you very much Glenn.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Glenn Ray
ID: 41844407
You're Welcome, Dan.  Glad I could help.

Featured Post

Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

Join & Write a Comment

Drop Down List with Unique/Distinct Values (Part II - ComboBox or ListBox and Data Validation List Bonus!) David Miller (dlmille) Intro This article focuses on delivering unique, sorted lists to list objects (e.g., ComboBox, ListBox) and Dat…
Introduction While answering a recent question (http:/Q_27311462.html), I created an alternative function to the Excel Concatenate() function that you might find useful.  I tested several solutions and share the results in this article as well as t…
This Micro Tutorial demonstrate the bugs in Microsoft Excel for Mac with Pivot Charts.
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate in Microsoft Excel how to add style and sexy appeal to horizontal bar charts.

743 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

14 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now