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Dummy Data in Excel - How to Create and Use Sample Data

Excel Dummy Data Download: How to Get Sample Data for Testing and Training

If you are an Excel user, you might have encountered situations where you need some sample data to practice your skills, test your formulas, or create a dashboard. However, finding realistic and relevant data can be challenging, especially if you don't have access to real-world data sources. That's where Excel dummy data comes in handy.

excel dummy data download

What is Excel Dummy Data?

Excel dummy data is a set of random or simulated data that you can use in your Excel workbook for various purposes. It can be numeric, text, date, or any other type of data that you need. For example, you can use Excel dummy data to:

  • Practice pivot tables, VLOOKUPs, XLOOKUPs, Power Query automation, charts, and dashboards.

  • Feed into Power BI or other business intelligence tools.

  • Test spreadsheet solutions or macros.

  • Create example data for articles or videos.

  • Learn new Excel features or functions.

Why Do You Need Excel Dummy Data?

There are many benefits of using Excel dummy data for your projects. Some of them are:

  • You can save time and effort by not having to collect or create your own data.

  • You can avoid privacy or security issues by not using sensitive or confidential data.

  • You can experiment with different scenarios or parameters without affecting the original data.

  • You can increase your proficiency and confidence in Excel by practicing with various types of data.

How to Create Your Own Excel Dummy Data?

There are two main ways to create your own Excel dummy data: using Excel formulas or using a random data generator add-in.

Using Excel Formulas

You can use Excel formulas to generate random numbers, dates, text, or other types of data. For example, you can use the following formulas:

  • =RAND() to generate a random decimal number between 0 and 1.

  • =RANDBETWEEN(a,b) to generate a random integer number between a and b.

  • =DATE(year,month,day) to generate a date value based on the year, month, and day arguments.

  • =TEXT(value,format) to format a value as text based on the format argument.

You can also use the fill handle or the autofill feature to copy the formulas down or across the cells.

Using Random Data Generator Add-in

If you want more options and flexibility in creating your Excel dummy data, you can use a random data generator add-in. This is a tool that allows you to generate various types of data based on your specifications. For example, you can use the Random Data Generator add-in from Ablebits to generate:

  • Numbers with different formats and ranges.

  • Dates with different formats and intervals.

  • Text with different lengths and characters.

  • Booleans (TRUE or FALSE values).

  • Custom lists (such as names, countries, products, etc.).

You can also specify the number of rows and columns, the seed value, and the output location for your dummy data.

How to Download Excel Dummy Data from Online Sources?

If you don't want to create your own Excel dummy data, you can also download it from online sources. There are many websites that offer Excel dummy data for free download. Some of them are:


Contextures is a website that provides Excel tips, tutorials, and templates. It also offers various Excel sample data sets for training or testing purposes. You can find data sets for office supply orders, property insurance, food sales, work orders, safety, and more. The data sets are in CSV or XLSX formats and can be easily imported into Excel.

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The Spreadsheet Guru

The Spreadsheet Guru is a blog that shares Excel tricks, tips, and best practices. It also provides a free Excel dummy data generator tool that you can use to create custom data sets based on your specifications. You can choose the number of rows and columns, the data types, the formats, and the ranges. You can also save your settings and download the data as an Excel file.


Appsloveworld is a website that offers various online tools and resources for developers and testers. It also has a section for Excel dummy data download, where you can find data sets for different domains, such as banking, e-commerce, education, healthcare, and more. The data sets are in XLSX format and contain realistic and relevant data.

How to Use Excel Dummy Data Effectively?

Once you have your Excel dummy data ready, you can use it for various purposes. Here are some tips on how to use it effectively:

Importing and Formatting Data

If you have downloaded your dummy data from an online source, you might need to import it into Excel first. You can use the Get & Transform Data feature in Excel to connect to different data sources, such as CSV, JSON, SQL, or Excel files. You can also use the Power Query Editor to transform and clean your data before loading it into your workbook.

After importing your data, you might want to format it to make it more readable and consistent. You can use the Format Cells dialog box or the Home tab on the ribbon to apply different formats, such as number, date, currency, percentage, etc. You can also use conditional formatting to highlight or visualize your data based on certain criteria.

Applying Formulas and Functions

One of the main benefits of using Excel dummy data is that you can practice and test your formulas and functions without affecting the real data. You can use the Formula tab on the ribbon or the Insert Function dialog box to access different categories of functions, such as logical, text, date and time, lookup and reference, etc. You can also use the Formula Auditing tools to check and debug your formulas.

Creating Charts and Dashboards

Another benefit of using Excel dummy data is that you can create charts and dashboards to visualize and analyze your data. You can use the Insert tab on the ribbon or the Recommended Charts feature to insert different types of charts, such as column, line, pie, bar, etc. You can also use the Chart Design and Format tabs to customize your charts.

If you want to create a dashboard that summarizes and displays key metrics and trends from your data, you can use pivot tables and pivot charts. These are powerful tools that allow you to summarize and slice your data in different ways. You can also use slicers and timelines to filter your data interactively.


In this article, we have learned what Excel dummy data is, why you need it, how to create it or download it from online sources, and how to use it effectively. We hope that this article has helped you understand how Excel dummy data can help you improve your skills and productivity in Excel.


  • What is the difference between dummy data and mock data?

  • Dummy data is a set of random or simulated data that you can use for testing or training purposes. Mock data is a set of fake but realistic data that you can use for prototyping or demonstrating purposes.

  • How can I generate dummy data in Excel without using formulas or add-ins?

  • You can use the Data Analysis Toolpak add-in that comes with Excel to generate random numbers from different distributions. You can also copy and paste dummy data from online sources or other applications.

  • How can I ensure that my dummy data is realistic and relevant?

  • You can use custom lists or online sources that provide domain-specific dummy data. You can also use realistic formats and ranges for your dummy data.

  • How can I protect my dummy data from being overwritten or deleted by other users or applications?

  • You can protect your dummy data by locking the cells or the worksheet, or by saving the workbook as read-only or password-protected. You can also use a separate workbook or sheet for your dummy data.

  • How can I share my dummy data with others?

  • You can share your dummy data by emailing it, uploading it to a cloud service, or embedding it in a web page. You can also use the Share feature in Excel to collaborate with others in real time.


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