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Probability & Statistics/Log transforming data with zeroes


Hi there,

I am doing regression analysis work and need to know how I can transform the data I have (all non-negative values) into ln. The problem is of course 7% of the 1170 numbers take a natural value of 0.

How can I go about doing this? I imagine it's doable in Excel so if you could instruct me to sort it out I'd really appreciate it. It's a really important task pertaining to a study I'm doing and I'm not a maths or statistics major.


It depends on the nature of your data. If your data is translation-invariant, but for some reason you want to convert it to this logarithmic scale, you can always take your entire data set, add 1 to every number, then take the natural log of each one.

Is there more context here? Does this idea work? Please submit a follow-up with more information if this suggestion does not help.

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Clyde Oliver


I can answer all questions up to, and including, graduate level mathematics. I do not have expertise in statistics (I can answer questions about the mathematical foundations of statistics). I am very much proficient in probability. I am not inclined to answer questions that appear to be homework, nor questions that are not meaningful or advanced in any way.


I am a PhD educated mathematician working in research at a major university.


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