DMIN Function

Returns the minimum value for a specific field/column in a database

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What is the DMIN Function?

The DMIN Function[1] is categorized under Excel Database functions. The function helps find the minimum value for a specific field/column in a database for selected records based on user-specified criteria.

DMIN will return a numerical value. It was introduced in MS Excel 2000.


=DMIN(database, field, criteria)

The DMIN function uses the following arguments:

  1. Database (required argument) – Database is the range of cells wherein the first row of the database specifies the field names.
  2. Field (required argument) – This is the column within the database for which we wish to find out the minimum. Field can be a field name, that is the header provided on the top row such as “Sales rep,” “Sales,” etc. or it can be a number.
  3. Criteria (required argument) – This is a range of cells that contains the criteria specified by us. It specifies the record that will be included in the calculation. We can use any range for the criteria argument as long as it includes at least one column label and at least one cell below the column label in which the condition for the column is specified.

The criteria argument provided can either be:

  • A numeric value (including an integer, decimal, date, time, or logical value) (e.g. 10, 10/01/2017, FALSE)
  • A text string (e.g. “North”, “Friday”)
  • An expression (e.g. “>15”, “<>0”)

How to use the DMIN Function in Excel?

To understand the uses of the DMIN function, let’s consider a few examples:


If we wish to find the lowest sales figure for soft toys by any sales rep during Quarter 3, we can use the DMIN function. In the example, the criteria are specified in cells G5-H6 and the DMIN formula is shown in cell H9.

DMIN Function

The lowest sales of soft toys are $100,000 for Quarter 3.

Things to remember about the DMIN Function

  1. The criteria range can be located anywhere on the worksheet, but it is advisable to not place the criteria range below the list. If we add more information to the list, the new information is added to the first row below the list. If the row below the list is not blank, MS Excel cannot add the new information.
  2. We should make sure that the criteria range does not overlap the list.
  3. If we wish to perform an operation on an entire column in a database, we need to enter a blank line below the column labels in the criteria range.
  4. Remember that the Excel database functions allow wildcards to be used in text-related criteria such as ? (matches any single character) and * (matches any sequence of characters).

However, if we wish to find out a “?” or “*” then we will need to type the ~ (tilde) symbol before the character in your search. For example, the condition “m*e” will match all cells containing a text string beginning with “m” and ending in “e.”

Click here to download the sample Excel file

Additional Resources

Thanks for reading CFI’s guide to important Excel functions! By taking the time to learn and master these Excel functions, you’ll significantly speed up your financial analysis. To learn more, check out these additional CFI resources:

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