What is the inverse norm. calculation used for? Is it just to calculate the z value from a given proportion?

Yes. If you want to know the z-score for which a given percent of data lies to the left, you would use invNorm. On a TI-84 you can additionally tell it what the mean and standard deviation of the distribution are and it will convert the z-score to an actual value.

invNorm(leftArea, mean, SD)

Some later versions allow you to specify a right tail area or a central area.

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It helps you to turn percentiles into Z scores

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