Microsoft Excel for Statistics > Find Standard Deviation in Excel
Notes for Mac Users:
For Standard Deviation for a Population use:
For Standard Deviation of a Sample use:
Find Standard Deviation in Excel 2013
Watch the video or read the steps below:
Standard deviation is a measure of spread; it tells you how your data lies around the mean. A small value tells you that your data is tightly clustered around the mean of the data set, while a large value tells you that your data is more spread out. The calculations needed to find a standard deviation by hand are quite complex. But Excel can do the math in seconds.
You can find standard deviation in Excel two different ways:
- The STDEV function.
- The Toolpak (How to load the Data Analysis Toolpak).
I highly recommend that you install the Toolpak. It gives you access to powerful tools that don’t come with the standard install.
Find Standard Deviation in Excel 2013: STDEV function
Step 1: Type your data into a single column.
Step 2: Click any empty cell.
Step 3: Type “=STDEV(A1:A100)” — where A1:A100 are the cell locations of your data — and then click “OK.”
Find Standard Deviation in Excel 2013: Data Analysis
Step 1: Click the “Data” tab and then click “Data Analysis.”
Step 2: Click “Descriptive Statistics” and then click “OK.”
Step 3: Click the Input Range box and then type the location for your data. For example, if you typed your data into cells A1 to A10, type “A1:A10” into that box
Step 4: Click the radio button for Rows or Columns, depending on how your data is laid out.
Step 5: Click the “Labels in first row” box if your data has column headers.
Step 6: Click the “Descriptive Statistics” check box.
Step 7: Select a location for your output. For example, click the “New Worksheet” radio button.
Step 8: Click “OK.”
The steps are essentially the same for Excel 2007/2010/2013. This short video shows you how to use the STDDEV function.
In most cases, you’ll want to use =STDEV.S (standard deviation for a sample) if you’re in elementary stats or AP stats.
However, there may be cases where you’ll need to use one of the other functions.
In order to know which function you need to use, you must know if you’re working with statistics (samples) or parameters (population data). If you don’t know the difference, see: How to tell the difference between a statistic and a parameter.
You also have to choose between functions that evaluate data (i.e. plain numbers) and functions that will evaluate other data (like TRUE and FALSE statements). In most cases in statistics, you’ll just have plain numerical data — a list of numbers.
Table: Which Standard Deviation to use in Excel?
In the left column, choose either SAMPLE or POPULATION. In the second column, choose either NUMBERS or BOTH. If you just have numerical data, choose NUMBERS. If you have logical statements and numbers then choose BOTH. In the third column, do you need compatibility with Excel 2007 and earlier? Choose YES or NO. Unless you’re going to be sending the file to someone who has an older version of Excel, choose NO.
|SAMPLE/POPULATION||TYPE OF DATA||COMPATIBILITY?||FUNCTION|
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