Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Deviating from the Middle**

In Figure 9-4, cell D15 shows the variance calculated directly with the VAR.S

function: =VAR.S(B4:B8).

Try it yourself. Here’s how:

1. Enter a list of numerical values.

Any mix of numbers will do.

2. Position the cursor in the cell where you want the
variance
to appear.

3. Enter
=VAR.S(
to start the function.

4. Drag the pointer over the list, or enter the address of the range.

5. Enter a
)
and press the Enter key.

Variance is calculated on either a population of data or a sample of the

population:

✓
The VAR.S function calculates variance on a sample of a population’s data.

✓
The VAR.P function calculates variance on the full population.

The calculation is slightly different in that the denominator for variance of a

population is the number of items. The denominator for variance of a sample

is the number of items less one. Figure 9-5 shows how VAR.S and VAR.P are

used on a sample and the full population. Cells A4:A43 contain the number of

hours of television watched daily by 40 individuals.

Figure 9-5:

Calculating

variance

from the

mean.