The Calculation of Standard Deviation in excel is quite a lengthy process but,excel is known for improving data organization and storage, going far beyond the arrangement of rows and columns. Excel can greatly increase the efficiency of work, but some users might overlook this benefit.

You can save a lot of time by using Excel formulas. Knowing what to use and when. If you could start doing this so. There’s a good chance a formula could make the process short and consume less time you spend in your Excel spreadsheets.

What is standard deviation?

Standard deviation measures a dataset’s dispersion in relation to its mean. It is calculated as the square root of the variance (the spread of numbers in a dataset). When comparing data sets that may have the same mean but a different range, knowing the variation between each data point relative to the mean is helpful.


For example, the two rows have the same mean but the latter is obviously more dispersed:

  • 15, 15, 15, 14, 16
  • 2, 7, 14, 22, 30

The deviation within the dataset increases as the data points deviate further from the mean. According to Investopedia, the standard deviation rises as data becomes more dispersed.

Standard deviation is frequently used in finance. It is applied to an investment’s yearly rate of return. The greater the variance between each price and the mean, which reveals a wider price range, the higher the standard deviation. The standard deviation of volatile stock is high, compared to the low standard deviation of blue-chip stock (a large company with a good reputation).

Using standard deviation

Standard deviation is often used to plan trading and investing strategies. Because it can be useful to assess market volatility, Standard deviation is used by analysts, portfolio managers, and advisors as a fundamental risk indicator. Even the standard deviation of their mutual funds will be disclosed by investment firms.

The statistics are typically simple to understand, which makes it useful to present them to clients and investors. Excel can be very helpful in terms of time management by calculating and displaying the standard deviation.

How to calculate the standard deviation in Excel 

Calculating standard deviation is easier when using Excel. But first, it’s critical to comprehend Excel’s six standard deviation formulas.

  1. Use these formulas: STDEV.S, STDEVA, and STDEV to calculate the sample standard deviation in Microsoft excel .
  2. Use these formulas: STDEV.P, STDEVPA, and STDEVP to calculate the standard deviation in excel for a whole population.

When you use the word population, you mean that you are taking into account the entire population of data sets. Using a sample of the population (sample standard deviation) will work if using the entire population is unrealistic or not possible. Typically, the standard deviation can be determined by Calculating the Standard Deviation using the sample data and then extrapolating that result to the entire population.

These are the three formulas — explained focusing on practicing, the use of a sample of the data instead of the population:

  • This formula, STDEV.S. is used when the data is numerical, so it will not take into account text or logical values.
  • When text and logical values are needed to calculate along with numbers, this formula is used. TRUE is interpreted as 1, text and “FALSE” as 0, and “text” as 1.
  • This formula performs the same task as STDEV.S and is compatible with Excel 2007 or earlier (which is used in any Excel software after 2007).

Using the STDEV.S function

Again, STDEV.S only considers numerical values and disregards textual and logical values.

Excel’s STDEV.S function has the following syntax: STDEV.S (number1, [number 2],

The Number 1, the sample’s first element is represented by the first number. Here, a named range, a single array, or a reference to an array can be used in place of arguments that are separated by commas.

Number2. The formula’s optional argument is this one. These could be a reference to a single array, a named range, a single data point, or an array reference. Additional arguments can be used up to 254.

In practice

Consider a dataset with a variety of weights taken from a population sample. The formula, when used with the numbers in column A, will result in the following: =STDEV.S (A2:A10).

Excel will then return the average and standard deviation of the applied data. The majority of the group would fall within the weight range of 150-2 or 150+2 if the average was 150 and the standard deviation was 2.

Pro Tip

When a formula is entered, Excel’s Formula bar will display it as well. The equal sign must always be used when entering a formula.




Check out the Excel guide for more details on using formulas in the programme as well as other helpful tips for getting the most out of it.