# How to Find Standard Deviation in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Standard deviation is a statistical measure that quantifies the amount of variation or dispersion in a set of values. It’s a valuable tool for understanding the spread of data points and is widely used in fields like finance, science, and engineering.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of calculating the standard deviation in Excel, both in the desktop version and using an online excel sheet.

Ways to Find Standard Deviation in Excel

Microsoft Excel offers multiple methods to calculate the standard deviation of a dataset. Each method is designed to cater to different needs and preferences. In this guide, we will explore three different ways to find the standard deviation in Excel.

Before we begin, ensure you have your dataset organized in a column or row within an Excel worksheet. If you don’t have Excel installed on your computer, you can use an online Excel sheet to perform the calculations.

Let’s dive into the various ways to calculate the standard deviation in Excel:

Method 1: Using the STDEV Function

Excel provides a built-in function called `STDEV` that calculates the standard deviation directly. This method is simple and efficient.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer or access the online Excel sheet.

Enter your dataset into a column or row in the Excel worksheet. For example, let’s say you have a dataset of numbers representing the scores of a group of students:

85, 91, 78, 88, 95, 80, 89, 93, 87, 70

Step 3: Use the `STDEV` function to find the Standard Deviation

In a cell, use the `STDEV` function to find the standard deviation of the dataset. For example:

=STDEV(C1:C10)

Replace `C1:C10` with the range that includes your dataset. The function will return the standard deviation of the data.

Method 2: Using the STDEV.P Function

If you are working with a sample dataset and want to calculate the sample standard deviation, you can use the `STDEV.P` function. This function treats the data as a sample from a larger population.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer or access the [online Excel sheet](https://www.offidocs.com/index.php/create-xls-online).

Enter your sample dataset into a column or row in the Excel worksheet.

Step 3: Calculate the Sample Standard Deviation

In a cell, use the `STDEV.P` function to find the sample standard deviation of the dataset. For example:

=STDEV.P(A1:A10)

Replace `A1:A10` with the range that includes your sample dataset. The function will return the sample standard deviation.

Method 3: Using the STDEV.S Function

If you are working with a complete population dataset and want to calculate the population standard deviation, you can use the `STDEV.S` function. This function treats the data as the entire population.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer or access the [online Excel sheet](https://www.offidocs.com/index.php/create-xls-online).

Enter your population dataset into a column or row in the Excel worksheet.

Step 3: Calculate the Population Standard Deviation

In a cell, use the `STDEV.S` function to find the population standard deviation of the dataset. For example:

=STDEV.S(A1:A10)

Replace `A1:A10` with the range that includes your population dataset. The function will return the population standard deviation.

Conclusion

Excel provides multiple methods to calculate the standard deviation, catering to both sample datasets and complete population datasets. Whether you use the direct `STDEV` function, the sample standard deviation with `STDEV.P`, or the population standard deviation with `STDEV.S`, you can easily obtain valuable insights into the variability of your data.

Choose the method that suits your specific needs, and enjoy the power of statistical analysis in Excel. If you don’t have Excel installed on your computer, remember to utilize the online Excel sheets available from different sources  for seamless calculations.

Happy data analysis!