The Standard Deviation is a statistical measure, that is closely linked to the Variance. Both measures are commonly used across a set of values, to identify the amount that the values differ (or deviate) from the average value.Further information is provided on the Wikipedia Standard Deviation page
The Excel STDEV.P function calculates the standard deviation of a supplied set of values.
The function is new in Excel 2010 and so is not available in earlier versions of Excel. However, the Stdev.P function is simply an updated version of the Stdevp function, which is available in earlier versions of Excel.
The syntax of the Stdev.P function is:
Note that the Stdev.P function is used when calculating the standard deviation for an entire population. If you are calculating the standard deviation of an sample population, you need to use the Stdev.S function.
A company keeps a record of its monthly sales figures, over the last three years. These are stored in cells B3-B14, D3-D14 and F3-F14 of the spreadsheet on the right above spreadsheet.
The standard deviation of the three years' sales figures is calculated in cell H3 of the spreadsheet. The formula for this, as shown in the formula bar, is:
As shown in cell H3, the standard deviation for the 3 years of sales figures is 2,484.05
In the example above, the arguments to the Stdev.P function are input as 3 cell ranges. However, you can also input figures directly, as individual numbers or number arrays.
For example, if, during January and February 2010 the sales figures are 13,000 and 14,500, you could add these directly into the above function as follows:
This gives the updated standard deviation value of 2,435.35
Further information and examples of the Excel Stdev.P function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.
If you get an error from the Excel Stdev.P function this is likely to be one of the following:
|#DIV/0!||-||(Note that text representations of numbers, that are supplied as a part of an array, are not interpreted as numeric values by the Stdev.P function).|
|#VALUE!||-||Occurs if any values that are supplied directly to the Stdev.P function are text values that cannot be interpreted as numeric values.|