DEFINITION of Aggregate Function

An aggregate function is a mathematical computation involving a set of values rather than a single value. Aggregate functions are often used in databases, spreadsheets and many other data manipulation software packages now common in the workplace. Aggregate functions occur regularly in programming languages and relational algebra. The calculation performed by an aggregate function returns a single value from multiple values.

BREAKING DOWN Aggregate Function

The use of computers has revolutionized the way that calculations are performed, allowing aggregate functions to produce results very quickly. Also, aggregate functions can handle ever larger and more complex data sets, which has allowed the construction of aggregate supply and demand functions.

Common aggregate functions include:

  • Average (also called arithmetic mean)
  • Count
  • Maximum
  • nanmean (mean ignoring NaN values, also known as "nil" or "null")
  • Median
  • Minimum
  • Mode
  • Sum

all rely on aggregate functions to produce advanced algorithmic and computational heavy outputs.   Many business schools and increasingly many employers are upskilling their cohorts in theory and the practical application of aggregate functions now standard in data analytics methods.