How to Calculate Weighted Average?

How to Calculate Weighted Average?

Do you wish to know how to calculate the weighted average? If yes, you must understand that it is in demand and is necessarily preferred around accounting offices, statistical analysis needs, and school classrooms. It helps people take a closer look at a particular set of data than the traditional average calculation. The teachers and other respective officials need to know about calculating the weighted average, as it might be an essential potential testing attribute.

Therefore, this article is dedicated to the people who wish to learn the proper ways of calculating a weighted average. Follow the steps, and you will master the technique of handling data with it.

What is a Weighted Average, and How do Businesses Use It?

A weighted average is a statistical measure used to find the mean of certain data sets by assigning different weights to some specific elements. Weighted averages are commonly used in business settings because they allow businesses to provide further significance to particular pieces of information.


For example, a company wants to calculate an average customer satisfaction rating but values recent reviews more than older ones. It could assign higher weights to the newer reviews and lower weights to the older ones, thus more accurately representing satisfaction levels by emphasizing current trends. This method can be applied across several business areas, including sales forecasting, marketing research, inventory management, and costing calculations.


Weighted averaging is also widely used as part of performance evaluation methods such as 360-degree feedback, where employees receive ratings from colleagues, managers, or customers on various work-related competencies that are then given a different weighting based on relevance or importance. In this case, the weighted score provides a better understanding of how well an individual performs compared to other employees and how far they are from reaching their goals.


Related: Calculating Average Revenue Per Unit: Formula & FAQS


2 Methods How to Calculate Weighted Average

Here are the two methods to quickly calculate the weighted average for a set of data.

Related article: How to Calculate Dimensional Weight Pricing | Dimensional Weight Explained


Pros and Cons of Using an Average Weighted Calculation

Weighted averages are standard statistical measures used to evaluate the relative importance of different data points. They can be instrumental in many analytical situations, but it is essential to understand their pros and cons before using them.

Pros of Weighted Averages

Ideal for Evaluating Information

Weighted averages can help you give more weight to specific data points that may be more important than others. This means that when weighted averages are used to evaluate information, it could reduce the impact of outliers or other less significant values on your analysis.

Provide Greater Flexibility

Since weighted averages allow you to assign specific weights for each data point, they provide greater flexibility and fine-tuning capabilities than traditional arithmetic means or other averaging methods. For example, products with higher unit costs might be given heavier weight since they tend to impact overall profits/losses more than those with lower price tags (and vice versa).

Easy to Calculate and Interpret Results

It is also easy to calculate and interpret results from a weighted average calculation due to its simple mathematical structure – all you need is basic algebra skills! Not only can this save time during an analysis process, but it also makes communication simpler if results need a presentation in front of colleagues or clients who may not have advanced expertise in statistics or mathematics either.

Cons of Weighted Averages

Potential Errors with Manual Calculation

It's important to note that errors are always potential when manual inputting takes place - so while using weighted calculations increases accuracy compared to average mean estimates, mistakes still happen occasionally during manual inputs that involve changing weights accordingly. Therefore, users/analysts must perform error checking before making decisions based on these figures.

Possibility of Creating Bias

One risk associated with using weighted average calculations is creating bias in your results if proper care needs to be taken while assigning weights a particular set way (e.g., ordering items from the least valuable/important product first). If such procedural errors occur, then wrong interpretations & conclusions could result - which may lead decision-makers astray!


Method 1: General Method of Calculating Weighted Average When Weights are Adding up to One

A weighted average is different from that of a typical standard, as it ultimately reflects that some data has more weightage than that of the others in the set. Therefore, to calculate that, you need to follow some of the specific steps, which are as follows:

Step 1: Collect the Numbers

In the first step, you need to gather all the numbers that you want to calculate the average of. Assemble the list of numbers for which you seek a weighted average calculation, such as student grades, stock portfolio numbers, and others.

Step 2: Determining Weight of Every Number

After getting all the numbers, it is essential to determine the probable weight of each of those obtained numbers. It is necessary to calculate as part of the calculation for the final average.

For instance, if a school has quizzes, tests, and terminal examinations, then each section's weightage is essential for calculation. Supposedly, the weightage of quizzes is 20%, tests are 35%, and terminal exam is 45%, then the weight adds up to one or 100%.

You cannot use percentages in your calculation. You will have to convert them into decimals before proceeding with the analysis. And, when you do that, the decimals you obtain will be the 'weighting factors.'

Step 3: Multiply Every Number with its Obtained Factor

Once you have all the numbers, pair each of them along with their weighting factor, multiply each number set and weights to find the numbers necessary for calculating the average. For instance, if you have scored 85 in your test and it is worth 20% of your total grade, you will have to multiply 85*0.2 (Decimal value of 20%).

Step 4: Add the Resulting Figures

The final step of this method is to add all of the numbers obtained from the previous process. Let the numbers are 'x,' s, and the multiplying weighing factors be 'w.' The formula for calculating the weighted average x1(w1)+x2(w2)+…= Weighted Average. The multiplication of 'x's and 'w' values is done in the previous step. All you have to do now is bring them together and add up!

Method 2: Calculating Weighted Average when Weights are not Equal to One

The steps for obtaining a weighted average when the weights are not equivalent to one are as follows:


1. Gather all the essential data a first


2. Find the weight of each number.


3. Find the sum of all the weights obtained from the previous step.


4. Multiply the numbers to their obtained weights, and find the sum of the resulting numbers.


5. Now, divide the resulting sum by the sum of weights (calculated in step 3) for finding the weighted average.

Tips for Calculating a Weighted Average Quickly and Accurately


Organize Your Data

‍Before you start the calculation process, make sure your data is well-organized. This means you should have a clear understanding of which numbers are to be weighted and the value of their weights. Having a well-structured data set will streamline the calculation process and reduce room for errors.


Use Decimals for Weights

‍It's crucial to remember that when conducting a weighted average calculation, weights must be in decimal form. Make sure to convert all percentages into decimals first. This will ensure the accuracy of your calculation.


Double-check Your Weights‍

Make sure your weights add up correctly. In most cases, the sum should equal 1 (or 100% if you're using percentages). If your weights don't add up to 1, you may need to adjust them or consider the specific calculation method for weights not equal to one.


Use a Calculator or Spreadsheet

‍While it's feasible to calculate a weighted average manually, using a calculator or spreadsheet can expedite the process and reduce the chances of errors. Tools like Excel, Google Sheets, or even a simple calculator have functions to quickly multiply and sum up your numbers.


Error Checking

‍Always double-check your calculations to ensure accuracy. Mistakes can easily occur, especially when dealing with large data sets. It's always better to spend a few extra minutes checking your work than having incorrect results.


Interpret Results Carefully

‍After calculating your weighted average, ensure you understand what it represents and the significance of it in your data analysis. The weighted average is a powerful tool for data analysis, but it's crucial to interpret the results in the correct context.

Finding the Weighted Average When Weights are Different

Step 1: Collect the Data

Initially, you must collect all the necessary data points for which you wish to find the weighted average. This could be a collection of numbers from multiple data sets. Make sure to have all the data points readily available before moving onto the next step.


Step 2: Determine the Weight of Each Data Point

After gathering the data, the next step is to assign a weight to each data point. The weight you assign to each point should reflect its significance or relevance in relation to the other data points. Make sure to carefully assign these weights, as they will greatly affect the resulting weighted average.


Step 3: Multiply Each Data Point by its Weight

The third step involves multiplying each data point by its corresponding weight. This process adjusts the value of each data point according to the importance you have assigned. Be sure to perform this calculation for each data point in your data set.


Step 4: Sum up the Resulting Values

Once you have multiplied each data point by its weight, sum up these resulting values. This aggregated sum forms the numerator of the weighted average formula and is integral to the calculation of the weighted average.


Step 5: Sum up the Weights

Next, you need to add up all the weights you designated in step 2. This sum of all the weights will form the denominator in the weighted average formula.


Step 6: Divide the Sum of Weighted Values by the Sum of Weights

The final step is to divide the sum of weighted values (from Step 4) by the sum of weights (from Step 5). The result of this division gives you the weighted average. It is a more precise average that takes into account the varying significance or relevance of each data point in your data set.

How to Use Weighted Average to Make Decisions

Weighted averages can play a pivotal role in making informed decisions. When you're faced with a multitude of factors of varying importance, a weighted average helps prioritize and quantify these factors effectively. For instance, in a business setting, you might use a weighted average to determine the financial health of a company. You could assign different weights to factors like revenue, profits, market share, and customer satisfaction based on their significance to your assessment. In education, a weighted average can help determine a student's overall performance, with different weights assigned to quizzes, assignments, and exams based on their relevance to the academic program. Thus, by providing a more nuanced view of data, weighted averages can lead to more accurate and reliable decision-making.

Examples of How to use a Weighted Average in Real Life Scenarios

Weighted averages are a great way to make decisions, as they can help you more accurately assess relative values for different items.

When deciding on something with multiple factors, using a weighted average can narrow your options objectively. Here are some examples of how it might be used in real-life scenarios:

1) Education

If you're trying to decide which college program best fits your needs and interests, you could use a weighted average to compare the programs based on factors such as tuition cost, quality of faculty, and student support services. You can assign each element its weight (e.g., tuition cost at 40%, quality of faculty at 20%, etc.). Then calculate the value for each college by multiplying its rating by its associated weighting factor and adding all these together. This will give you an idea of which school is more suitable for meeting your goals or preferences.

2) Business analysis

If you're assessing potential investments, a weighted average may be helpful when considering complex financial metrics such as return on investment (ROI), risk profile, or net present value (NPV). With this method, each statistic gets assigned an appropriate weight that accounts for desired objectives vs. constraints so that ROI could get 75% while NPV receives 25%. Summing all calculated values gives an overall assessment score for comparison purposes between one opportunity against another before making any investment decisions.

3) Personal Finance

When trying to figure out the most advantageous credit card deal or banking account option from several choices available, taking into consideration various terms of service such as interest rates/fees charged by banks or reward plans offered by credit cards - assessing them via a weighted average allows for estimating their true profitability over time based on individual preferences among other relevant criteria like emergency fund cushioning rate flexibility and customer service reputation rating, etc.


How do you find the weighted average in Excel?

Finding the weighted average in Excel is quite simple. First, create a table containing the data points and their weights. Then, use the SUMPRODUCT formula with two ranges: one for each of your data sets. This will produce a weighted average value based on the weights you assigned to each data point.

Can weighted averages be used for predicting outcomes?

Yes, weighted averages can be used to predict outcomes. By taking into account the importance of different factors and assigning them weights based on their relevance, you can accurately assess which outcome is most likely to occur. This helps provide a more accurate analysis and decision-making process when there are multiple possible scenarios.

What are some weighted average problems?

Common weighted average problems include finding the overall grade for a class with different assignments of varying importance, determining a company's financial health by assigning weights to factors such as revenue and profits, and deciding which credit card offer is best based on rewards plans and interest rates. The process of calculating weighted averages can also be used in other applications such as predicting outcomes or making decisions in a business setting.

Overall, weighted averages can be useful when making decisions or predicting outcomes as they take into account the varying significance of each data point. By assigning weights to these data points based on their relevance and importance, you can get a more accurate analysis of which outcome is most likely to occur. This helps provide a better understanding of why certain decisions were made or why certain outcomes are more likely to happen.

How do weighted averages impact businesses?

Weighted averages can help businesses make more informed decisions and prioritize factors of varying importance. For instance, when assessing the financial health of a company, weighted averages allow for assigning different weights to various criteria such as revenue, profits, market share, and customer satisfaction. This helps provide a more nuanced view of data which leads to more accurate and reliable decision-making. Additionally, weighted averages can be used in other business applications such as predicting outcomes or comparing different options to determine which one is most suitable for meeting your goals or preferences. Thus, this method of analysis can help businesses make more informed decisions that take into account a variety of factors and their respective relative importance.


Weighted averages can also help businesses prioritize tasks and resources based on their importance. For example, a company may use weighted averages to determine which tasks should receive the most attention and resources in order to ensure optimal performance or maintain customer satisfaction. This can help businesses allocate their time and resources more efficiently as well as improve the overall effectiveness of their operations.

Are there any alternative methods to calculate a weighted average?

Yes, there are alternative methods to calculate a weighted average. One such method is the geometric mean, which assigns equal weights to all factors and then multiplies them together. Another option is the harmonic mean, which adjusts weights based on their importance by taking into account the inverse of each value's weight instead of its actual numerical value. Additionally, you can also use the quadratic mean, which combines both the geometric and harmonic means into one calculation.

Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages and should be considered carefully before making a decision on which to use. Ultimately, it is important to understand your data and the goal of your analysis in order to select the most appropriate method for calculating weighted averages.


To sum up, understanding and effectively utilizing the concept of weighted averages can significantly enhance decision-making in a variety of contexts, ranging from personal finance to business operations. It allows for a more nuanced analysis, taking into account the varying significance of each data point, and leading to more accurate and reliable predictions. However, remember that calculating weighted averages is just one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to the practical aspects of running a business, like pick, pack, and shipping, Simpl Fulfillment can be your ideal partner. With our advanced inventory management and order fulfillment services, we ensure that your logistics needs are handled proficiently and efficiently. Thus, while you focus on important mathematical analyses like weighted averages, let simpl fulfillment take the strain out of ensuring your products reach their destination. Get Started with Simpl fulfillment today!

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