Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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ERROR BARS
With Excel, you can easily generate error bars to
provide an estimate of the potential error in
experimental or sampled data. In science, marketing,
polling, and other fields, people make conclusions
about populations by sampling the population or
devising controlled experiments. When data is
sampled or generated in laboratory conditions, the
resulting numbers approximate the larger reality
you are exploring. An error bar shows the range of
possible values for these experimentally derived
numbers. With Excel, you can show the range of
possible values in several ways: as a fixed number,
measured in the same units used to measure data,
above or below each data point in your data series;
as a percentage of the data point; or in terms of
standard deviation units.
Standard deviation units indicate whether an
experimental number is reasonably close to the
population characteristic being studied. For example,
you can have a confidence level of 95 percent that the
population mean falls within two standard deviation
units of the sampled mean, which you know.
1
Click your chart.
The Chart tools become
available.
l
1
2
2
Click the Layout tab.
3
Click Error Bars in the Analysis
group.
A menu appears.
3
4
Click More Error Bars Options.
l Alternatively, click the
appropriate menu option.
4
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