How to Use the DMIN Function in Google Sheets

The DMIN Function in Google Sheets is useful when you want to get the minimum value in a database or array. The results can even be filtered based on your criteria.

In this guide, you will learn how the DMIN function works and how you can use them in real-life scenarios. Additionally, we will provide you with some examples of these scenarios to help you better understand how the DMIN function works. 

The DMIN function is especially useful when you are working with large databases containing hundreds or thousands of rows of information.

Let’s say, you are running a sports equipment store and you have 2500 products in total ranging across 20 different sports. You want to find out the lowest sales amongst your store’s sports goods.  If you have the product and sales numbers in a single database, you can get a quick answer with the DMIN function.

In another example, you run a university with thousands of students and would like to find the student with the lowest credit hours. Running the DMIN function quickly tells you what you need to know.

There are plenty of other real-life scenarios where you can apply the DMIN function to help make your work easier and quicker.

In this guide, we will be using the Sports Equipment Store example to show you how you can use the DMIN function to get the product sold the least. 

Using this example, we can even add a criteria to determine the lowest sales under specific sports.

Let us now move on to HOW do you use the DMIN function in Google Sheets.

 

 

The Anatomy of the DMIN Function 

Below is the basic syntax of the DMIN function used in Google Sheets. 

=DMIN(database, field, criteria) 

Let’s breakdown each individual part to understand what each of these terms mean.

  • = The equal sign is just how we start any function in Google Sheets.
  • DMIN() This is the function. In order to utilize it, we need to include 3 attributes in the parantheses; the database, field and criteria.
  • database This is the database or range of cells in Google Sheets you want to search through. This should include the column headers of the database.
  • field This is the name of the column header where you want to find the smallest value. Alternatively, you can put the column number where the first column is set as 1.
  • criteria A table or range of cells containing any additional search conditions.

 

Now a few notes before using the DMIN Function

  1. You must separate each attribute with a comma ( , ) for your DMIN function to work properly.
  2.  For the field section, you can click on the cell of the column header. This will save some time as opposed to typing out the column name.
  3. When filling out the range/cells for the criteria section, do not forget to include the entire criteria field.

All this information might seem complicated but don’t worry as we will now go through some examples and practice applying the DMIN function.

 

 

A Real Example of Using the DMIN Function 

We will be using the sample database below to see how the DMIN function is used in Google Sheets.

Real DMIN Example

In this example, we are trying to find the lowest sales amongst the selected sports goods. As you can see, after using DMIN, the answer is 9. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how the function gets 9:

  • We are looking for the lowest sales amongst all the products in the sports store.
  • Remember the syntax, =DMIN(database, field, criteria).
  • First of all, we select A1 : D7 under database. Remember to always include the column headers in your selection.
  • Since we are looking for the smallest number of sales, we then select D1 under field.
  • Next, we select the entire Sales column D1 : D7 for the function’s criteria.
  • Finally, adding all this together, we get the formula: =DMIN(A1 : E7, D1, D1:D7) which gives us the correct answer of “9” which is the smallest value in the “Sales” column.

You may make a copy of the sample spreadsheet using the link I have attached below:

You should definitely give the DMIN function a try and get the hang of it. To practice, I’ve added the column “Price” which contains the individual prices of the products carried in the store. Can you get the formula to get the cheapest price amongst all the goods?

 

 

How to Use the DMIN Function in Google Sheets 

  1. In the sample spreadsheet below, click on an empty cell to display the outcome of the function. For the below example, I will be putting the function in B9.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Type in “=” (which lets Google Sheets know you will be inputting a formula) followed by DMIN. The formula name is not case sensitive so input whichever is more convenient.

Writing the DMIN function

 

  1. Add an open parentheses symbol “ ( “. At this point, Google Sheets will show a summary of the DMIN function and its attributes. At the same time, it will highlight the attribute that needs to be next inputted in the parantheses.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Next, use your mouse to select the entire sample database (A1 : D7) or type it in manually.

DMIN database attribute

 

  1. Do not forget to put a comma  “ , ” after the database values.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Once a comma is added, Google sheets should highlight the field attribute. Here, you want to select the Sales column header (D1) with your mouse.

DMIN field attribute

 

  1. Alternatively, you can type out the column name “Sales” manually.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Remember to once again, add a comma to proceed to the last attribute.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. For the final attribute, we must input the criteria. In this example, you just want the lowest sales for the entire store so select the entire Sales column D (D1 : D7)

DMIN criteria attribute

 

  1. Hit the Enter key and the function will return 9 as the result.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Now, in another scenario, you may want to know the product with the lowest sales in a specific sports category. In this example, let us use the category “Gym”.

 

  1. Repeat steps 1 to 8.

 

  1. Now, in order to get the lowest sales in the “Gym” category, we need to add an extra step which is to add a criteria table as shown in the sample below. Note: you can always add additional criteria in the other columns of the criteria table.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Now, for the criteria attribute, select the new criteria table. Make sure to include the header columns of the criteria table (A11 : D12). Again, you can always key in the cell range manually.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

  1. Hit the Enter key again and now the function should return 12 as the result.

DMIN Function in Google Sheets

 

And that’s all there is to the DMIN function. Now you can use the DMIN function along with the other numerous Google Sheets formulas to create even more effective formulas. 🙂 

 

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