How to use the Excel DSTDEV function

The Excel DSTDEV function returns the standard deviation of sample data extracted from records that match the given criteria. If data represents the entire population, use the DSTDEVP function.

Syntax: =DSTDEV (database, field, criteria)

The DSTDEV function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Database    Required. The range of cells that makes up the list or database. A database is a list of related data in which rows of related information are records, and columns of data are fields. The first row of the list contains labels for each column.
  • Field    Required. Indicates which column is used in the function. Enter the column label enclosed between double quotation marks, such as “Age” or “Yield,” or a number (without quotation marks) that represents the position of the column within the list: 1 for the first column, 2 for the second column, and so on.
  • Criteria    Required. The range of cells that contains the conditions that you specify. You can use any range for the criteria argument, as long as it includes at least one column label and at least one cell below the column label in which you specify a condition for the column.

Example: Let’s look at some Excel DSTDEV function examples and explore how to use the DSTDEV function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

Example 1:

In the example below, the Dstdev function is used to find the sample standard deviation of scores obtained in English, by male students. The criteria are specified in cells G1 – H2 and the Dstdev formula is shown in cell G3.

DSTDEV function - How to use the Excel DSTDEV function

Syntax:  =DSTDEV(A1:E13,”Score”,G1:H2)

Result:

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Excel DSTDEV function - How to use the Excel DSTDEV function

The above Dstdev function calculates the sample standard deviation of the values in cells E6, E9 & E12, and therefore returns the value 10.1%.

Based on the Excel spreadsheet above, the following DSTDEV examples would return:

Example 2:

In the example below, the Dstdev function is used to find the sample standard deviation for the Math scores obtained by students over 8 years of age.

DSTDEV function 1 - How to use the Excel DSTDEV function

Syntax: =DSTDEV(A1:E13,”Score”,G1:H2)

Result:

DSTDEV function in excel - How to use the Excel DSTDEV function

The above Dstdev function finds the sample standard deviation of the values in cells E2, E8 & E11 and so returns the value 18.9%.

Note:

  • DSTDEV is mean to calculate variance for a sample. If data represents the entire population, use the DSTDEVP function.
  • DSTDEV supports wildcards in criteria.
  • Criteria can include more than one row (as explained above).
  • The field argument can be supplied as a name in double quotes (“”) or as a number representing field index.
  • The database and criteria ranges must include matching headers.

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