In Excel, if I get a value that is less than alpha (i.e. I get a value near zero) for the CHISQ.TEST function, does this mean that the my observed data follows the expected distribution or is it the other way around?
This means that
The p-value carries its usual meaning -
In the case of a chi-squared test of independence, it's the probability of obtaining a chi-squared statistic at least as large as the observed one, if the two categorical variables were independent.
Very low p-values therefore indicate that the data are inconsistent with independence.