Often you may want to plot the mean and standard deviation for various groups of data in Excel, similar to the chart below:

The following step-by-step example shows exactly how to do so.

**Step 1: Enter the Data**

First, let’s enter the following data that shows the points scored by various basketball players on three different teams:

**Step 2: Calculate the Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Group**

Next, we will calculate the mean and standard deviation for each team:

Here are the formulas that we used to calculate the mean and standard deviation in each row:

- Cell H2:
**=AVERAGE(B2:F2)** - Cell I2:
**=STDEV(B2:F2)**

We then copy and pasted this formula down to each cell in column H and column I to calculate the mean and standard deviation for each team.

**Step 3: Plot ****the Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Group**

Next, highlight the cell range **H2:H4**, then click the **Insert** tab, then click the icon called **Clustered Column** within the **Charts** group:

The following bar chart will appear that shows the mean number of points scored by each team:

To add the standard deviation values to each bar, click anywhere on the chart, then click the green plus (+) sign in the top right corner, then click **Error Bars**, then click **More Options**:

In the new panel that appears on the right side of the screen, click the icon called **Error Bar Options**, then click the **Custom** button under **Error Amount**, then click the **Specify Value** button:

In the new window that appears, choose the cell range **I2:I4** for both the **Positive Error Value** and **Negative Error Value**:

Once you click **OK**, the standard deviation lines will automatically be added to each individual bar:

The top of each blue bar represents the mean points scored by each team and the black lines represent the standard deviation of points scored by each team.

**Step 4: Customize the Chart (Optional)**

Lastly, feel free to add a title, customize the colors, and add axis labels to make the chart easier to read:

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Plot Multiple Lines in Excel

How to Create a Clustered Stacked Bar Chart in Excel

How to Create a Scatterplot with Multiple Series in Excel