How to calculate standard error

How to Calculate Standard Error in Excel (step-by-step)

Most people process their data and perform their analysis using spreadsheet programmes like Microsoft Excel.

Several statistical metrics are used when performing data analysis. The means, medians, standard deviations, and standard errors are a few of these. These metrics aid in determining the data’s true nature.

I’ll show you two methods for calculating the standard error in Excel in this blog


One of the way is to use a formula, while the other makes use of the Data Analytics Tool Pack, which is typically included with every copy of Excel.

then let’s get going!.

What is standard Error?

Working with data from the entire population is impossible when using real-world data learn What is Standard Error Through this blog. As a result, we typically work with random samples taken from the population.

How close a sample’s mean is to the actual population mean can be determined by looking at its standard error.

In other words, the standard deviation of a sample from the population ,determines its standard error.

This makes it easier to assess how closely your sample’s mean corresponds to the actual population. It also aids in the analysis of the degree of variation or dispersion among your various data samples.


Typically, the formula: is used to calculate the standard error for a sample.

Using the formula above:

How to calculate standard Error in excel

SE stands for Standard Error,

σ represents the Standard deviation of the sample

And n denotes the sample size.

How to Find the Standard Error in Excel Using a Formula

Unfortunately, Excel does not currently have a built-in formula to calculate the Standard Error, at least not at the time this tutorial was being written. This is in contrast to the Standard Deviation.

However, you could quickly and simply determine the standard error using the formula above. The steps you must take are as follows:

  1. Click on the fx symbol just below your toolbar, next to the formula bar, and then click the cell where you want the Standard Error to appear.


  1. In the formula bar, type the Symbol”=”. Then enter =STDEV(.


  1. If your sample data is in cells B2 to B14, for example, you will see: =STDEV (B2:B14 in the formula bar after you drag and select the range of cells that make up your sample data.


  1. For the STDEV formula, close the bracket. You have thus far used the STDEV function to determine the sample data’s standard deviation.


  1. The square root of the sample size will be divided by this Standard deviation next. Let’s stick with our formula then. To indicate that you want to divide the outcome of the STDEV function, click on the formula bar after the STDEV formula’s closing brackets and add the symbol “/”. Your current formula is =STDEV (B2:B14)/.


  1. We use the SQRT formula to determine a number’s square root. The formula =STDEV(B2:B14)/SQRT( will now appear in your formula bar after you type SQRT(.


  1. Finally, you need to know the sample size, so you need to use the COUNT function. To do this, type COUNTS (after what is already in your formula bar, drag and select the range of cells that make up your sample data, and then close the bracket for the COUNT formula.


  1. The SQRT function’s bracket should also be closed. Consequently, your final formula should resemble this: =STDEV (B2:B14)/SQRT(COUNT(B2:B14)) Take note of the two closing braces at the conclusion. Both are for the COUNT and SQRT functions, respectively.


  1. I’m done now! Your sample’s Standard Error will appear when you hit the return key on your keyboard.  standard error

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You can use the same formula  to know “how to calculate the Standard errors” for those samples as well.

You just need to drag the fill handle (found at the bottom left corner of your calculated cell) to the right if your samples are arranged in adjacent columns, as in the image above.

You will receive standard errors for each of your samples as a result of this formula being copied to all the other cells on the right!

How to Find the Standard Error in Excel Using the Data Analysis Toolpak

There is an easier way to find not just the Standard error but practically all the statistical metrics you might need to analyze your sample data if you don’t feel like typing complicated formulas.

You must install the Data Analysis Toolpak in order to do this. You have access to a number of statistical functions through this package, including correlation, z-, and t-test functions.

Once the package is installed, you won’t need to install it again to use the tool whenever you need to analyze data.

Although it is included in your Excel package and is available for free, the Data Analysis Toolpak is not displayed in your standard toolbar. It won’t appear in your toolbar unless you activate it.

It is easy to activate, once you know how. To install and activate your Data Analysis Toolpak, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click Options under the File tab. You’ll get the Options window after doing this.
  2. Click “Add-ins” in the left sidebar from here.


  1. Select Analysis ToolPak from the list of Add-ins.


  1. Click the “Go” button next to Manage: Add-ins at the bottom of the window.


  1. Toggle Analysis ToolPak on by checking the box, then click OK.  excel data analysis

Your Excel toolbar will now include the Data Analysis Toolpak. The “Data Analysis” tool should be located at the very right of the Data toolbar (under the “Analysis” group) when you select the “Data” tab in Excel.

Do the following to determine your standard error and other statistical metrics:

  1. Under the Data tab, select the Data Analysis tool. The Analysis Tools dialogue box will open as a result.


  1. Click OK after choosing “Descriptive Statistics” from the list on the dialogue box’s left side.


  1. Fill out the “Input Range” box with the coordinates of the range of cells that contain your sample data. Additionally, you have the option to drag and select the required range of cells. You can choose the data from every column if the information is arranged in adjacent columns and pertains to more than one sample. For each column, you will receive a separate set of results.


  1. Check the “Labels in first row” box if your data contains column headers.]


  1. Choose the location where you want your results to appear. Picking “New Worksheet” is the safer option. This will make sure that the information appears on a brand-new worksheet and won’t change any of the data on your current worksheet.


  1. Click OK after checking the box next to “Summary Statistics.”

excel error

This will show all your analytical metrics in a worksheet

For your chosen sample data, the Standard Error will also be included in these metrics. You would receive analytics specifically for each column if you had chosen multiple data sets in multiple columns.


We covered two approaches in this article for determining the standard error of your sample data.

To calculate it, you can either write a formula or use a data analytics programme like Excel’s built-in Data Analysis Toolpak.

In either case, you can analyze your sample data for further processing using the Standard error data.

I hope this Excel tutorial was helpful.