The MONTH formula in Excel is a unique tool that serves as an advanced Excel function for data analysis. This formula is highly sought after when you need to extract the month number from a date.
The primary purpose of the MONTH formula is to help you determine the month portion from a given date, returning it as a number from 1 (January) to 12 (December). Consequently, it provides a practical way for you to manage date data in Excel, allowing for the simplification of many tasks in data analysis.
Creating formulas in Excel follows a specific pattern, and the MONTH formula is no exception. Here’s the syntax for this useful Excel formula:
The MONTH formula contains a single parameter:
date: This parameter represents the date from which the formula will extract the month. It can be a cell reference to a date, a function that returns a date, or a number that Excel recognizes as a date.
This unique formula returns an integer value between 1 and 12. For example, if the date is 23rd May 2023, the formula would return 5.
Excel calculation is automatic, meaning the MONTH formula will automatically update its result when any changes are made to the referenced cells. It’s important to note, however, that this formula only returns the month number, not the name of the month.
The MONTH formula is available in all versions of Excel. This makes it one of the most common Excel formulas you’ll find across different versions and platforms.
Let’s say we have a date in cell A2, “2023-05-23”. We can use the MONTH formula to get the month:
The result would be 5, since May is the fifth month of the year.
We can combine the MONTH formula with other Excel functions for data analysis. If cell A3 contains “2024-12-31”, we can use the following:
=YEAR(A3)*100 + MONTH(A3)
The output is 190001, a unique number representing the year and month.
When working with a spreadsheet calculator like Excel, the MONTH formula can be used in arrays too. For example, if we have dates from A2 to A5, we can input:
This formula will return an array of month numbers corresponding to the dates.
You can also use the MONTH formula as part of a custom formula. Consider this example where A4 contains “2022-07-15”:
Here, the formula checks if the month is in the first half of the year. If it is, it returns “H1”, else it returns “H2”.
Tips and Tricks
Don’t forget to format the cell properly before using the MONTH formula. If Excel doesn’t recognize the input as a date, you might encounter errors.
The main limitation of the MONTH formula is that it only returns the month number, not the name of the month.
Common errors and solutions
If you’re finding “#VALUE!” as a result, it often means Excel doesn’t recognize the input as a date. Ensure your input is in a format Excel can understand.
To ensure you’re using the MONTH formula to its full potential, keep your data clean and formatted correctly. Also, don’t hesitate to combine the MONTH formula with other functions for more complex operations.
List of Related Functions
Excel has a host of date and time functions, many of which can be used together with the MONTH function:
Frequently Used with the Formulas
Some of the best Excel functions frequently used with MONTH include:
- TODAY: Returns today’s date
- EDATE: Returns the date that is a specific number of months before or after a given date
- YEARFRAC: Gives the fraction of a year between two dates
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can the MONTH formula return the name of the month?
No, the MONTH formula only returns the month number from 1 to 12.
Q. How do I get Excel to recognize my date for the MONTH formula?
Make sure your date is in a format that Excel recognizes, such as “yyyy-mm-dd”.
Q. Can I use the MONTH formula with time data?
No, the MONTH formula only works with date data.
This tutorial offers comprehensive insights into Excel’s MONTH formula, a vital tool for effective data analysis. Understanding and employing this function is crucial in mastering Excel’s extensive capabilities.
Visit our YouTube channel to learn step-by-step video tutorials