# How to calculate the standard deviation in a microsoft excel spreadsheet? Step by step guide

When **working in spreadsheet programs,** you must constantly use **mathematical formulas and equations** to carry out different types of **mathematical operations** . In this regard, **Excel** has a large number of **advantages since its repertoire of functions is very wide.**

This is how here you will also have the opportunity to calculate what the **standard deviation is**, which is a **measure of dispersion** that indicates in a **data set how far the values can be with respect to the mean or average. **What makes it become a more than necessary function when knowing **any type of statistics in the data** you are handling.

In this way, being able to know **how to apply this tool within the Excel spreadsheet is very important**, since that way you will be able to know the probabilities of an **event occurring or not** . To do this, follow in detail everything **that will be explained below in the post** .

## What is the standard deviation in statistics and what does it allow us to know?

**The standard or typical deviation** as it is also known is a **statistical measure** that allows you to know the information about **the average dispersion of a variable,** so it is very interesting when you want to know **how far the values are from the average value. **It is important to note that the standard deviation **is always greater than or equal to zero** .

**For this concept to be clearly understood, it will be necessary to analyze two concepts about deviation, such as the following:**

**Deviation:**It is the separation that exists between**any value in the series and the mean or average,**as it is also called.**Mathematical expectation, mean, or expected value:**This is the mean**of the sample data series**.

Knowing these two terms, then it can be said that **the standard deviation** is going to be calculated in a similar way to the mean, but this time **the values of the deviation are taken** . Although this **reasoning is logical and intuitive**, there is a failure that can be verified with the following image.

As can be seen, in said image presented **6 values are observed**, this means that **N = 6, the mean of the observations is presented by the black line that is located in the entire center of the graph**, it has a **value of 3.** Therefore, knowing the mean, **deviation** can be understood as **the difference between any of the observations and the black line.**

**This means that there are 6 observations, so the following procedure must be carried out with each of them:**

- Deviation à
**(2-3)**= -1 - Deviation à
**(4-3)**= 1 - Deviation à
**(2-3)**= 1 - Deviation à
**(4-3)**= 1 - Deviation à
**(2-3)**= -1 - Deviation à
**(4-3)**= 1

If you can see when you add **the two deviations**, **6 deviations, and divide by N = 6,** the result ends up being **zero. **The logic would be that the **mean deviation was 1**, but a mathematical characteristic of the mean with respect to **the values that form it is** that **the sum of the deviations is zero**, in order to solve this it will be necessary **to square the deviations.**

## Steps to calculate the statistical standard deviation in a Microsoft Excel worksheet

**In order to carry out this mathematical calculation in your Excel worksheet, it will be necessary to carry out each of the steps that we are going to indicate below:**

- The first thing will be to enter
**Microsoft Excel**where you have the data with which you are working or enter a**blank document of the application**. - The next thing will be to
**enter the values**you want to use, for this choose**the column**you want and add each of**the data**and then write**the value for each data in the cells**. An example of this would be that in**column A**as the area where the data is entered, you could write a number in**cell A1, in cell A2, in Cell A3**and so on.

- Once you have entered all
**the data in column A**, the next thing to do will be to click on a**blank cell**, here you must select the cell where you want**the standard deviation value to be displayed.**

- The next thing will be to write the
**standard deviation**formula in the empty cell that you have selected, this formula is the following:**= STDEV.P ()**where**P means the “Population”.**The standard deviation of the population takes into account all the points so this will be**the value of N.** - In order to find the standard deviation of a sample you must write the following
**formula = STDEV.M ().**In this case, the standard deviation of a sample will take into account a value less than**the number****of data****points**you have**(N-1).**

- Now you must add what is the range of values, between the parentheses you must
**write the letter and the number of the cell that contains the first portion of data,**write a**colon (:)**and then**the letter and the number of the last cell of data.**This will allow you to define the range to evaluate. For example, if you are in**column A then you must place from A1: A10,**these being the cells that contain all the data to be evaluated. In the case that you want to show**the standard deviation of values of different cells**then it will be necessary that you place it in the following way:**= STDEV.P (A1, B3, C5).** - Once these data have been entered, you must press the
**“Enter”**key so that**the solution of the formula is carried out**and thus you can know the result of**the standard deviation of the data series you are evaluating**.