The mean represents the average value in a dataset. It gives us a good idea of where the center of a dataset is located.

The standard deviation represents how spread out the values are in a dataset. It gives us an idea of how closely the observations are clustered around the mean.

Using only these two values, we can understand a great deal about the distribution of values in a dataset.

To calculate the **mean** of a dataset in Excel, we can use the **=AVERAGE(Range)** function where *Range* is the range of values.

To calculate the **standard deviation** of a dataset, we can use the **=STDEV.S(Range)** function, where *Range* is the range of values.

This tutorial explains how to use these functions in practice.

Technical Note

Both the

STDEV()andSTDEV.S()function calculate thesamplestandard deviation.

You can use the STDEV.P() function to calculate the

populationstandard deviation if your dataset represents the entire population of values.

However, in most cases we’re working with sample data rather than an entire population so we use the STDEV.S() function.

**Example 1: Mean & Standard Deviation of a Single Dataset**

The following screenshot shows how to calculate the mean and standard deviation of a single dataset in Excel:

The mean of the dataset is **16.4** and the standard deviation is **9.13**.

**Example 2: Mean & Standard Deviation of Multiple Datasets**

Suppose we have multiple datasets in Excel:

To calculate the mean and standard deviation of the first dataset, we can use the following two formulas:

**Mean:**=AVERAGE(B2:B21)**Standard Deviation:**=STDEV.S(B2:B21)

Next, we can highlight cells B22:B23 and hover over the bottom right corner of cell B23 until a tiny **+** appears. We can then click and drag the formulas over to the next two columns:

**Additional Resources**

How to Calculate a Five Number Summary in Excel

How to Calculate the Interquartile Range (IQR) in Excel

How to Calculate the Standard Error of the Mean in Excel