Standard Deviation Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Standard deviation is a statistical measure that tells us how spread out numbers are in a set. If you’re working on Google Sheets and you need to calculate the standard deviation of a data set, you’re in luck because it’s pretty easy to do. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll have your answer in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Calculating Standard Deviation in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Calculating the standard deviation in Google Sheets will help you understand the variability or dispersion of a set of data points. Ready to crunch some numbers?

Step 1: Enter your data in Google Sheets

Input all the data points for which you want to calculate the standard deviation in a single column in Google Sheets.

Data entry is the first and most essential step. Make sure all your numbers are in one column without any gaps or text to get an accurate calculation.

Step 2: Click on an empty cell

Choose an empty cell where you want the standard deviation result to appear.

This cell will be the home for your calculated standard deviation. It’s like picking a spot for your newly planted tree to grow!

Step 3: Type the formula

In the selected cell, type the formula =STDEV.P() for the entire population or =STDEV.S() for a sample.

The formulas differ based on the data set you’re working with. STDEV.P calculates the standard deviation for the entire population, while STDEV.S is for a sample of that population.

Step 4: Select the range of data

Inside the parentheses, highlight the range of cells that contain your data.

You’re telling Google Sheets, “Hey, look here! This is the data I want you to use for the calculation.”

Step 5: Press Enter

Hit the enter key to compute the standard deviation.

Voila! The number that appears is your standard deviation, indicating how much your data points deviate from the mean (average).

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully calculated the standard deviation of your data set in Google Sheets. You can use this information to analyze the variability of your data and make informed decisions based on your findings.

Tips for Standard Deviation in Google Sheets

  • Tip 1: Always double-check your data range. Including an incorrect cell can throw off your entire calculation.
  • Tip 2: Use STDEV.P when you have data for the entire population and STDEV.S for when you have a sample.
  • Tip 3: If your data has text or logical values, use the STDEVA function, which includes those in the calculation.
  • Tip 4: Keep in mind that the higher the standard deviation, the more spread out your data is.
  • Tip 5: Remember that standard deviation cannot be negative. If you get a negative number, recheck your steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between STDEV.P and STDEV.S?

STDEV.P is used when you have a complete set of data for the entire population, while STDEV.S should be used when you’re working with a sample of the population.

Can standard deviation be zero?

Yes, if all of your data points are the same, the standard deviation will be zero, indicating no variability.

What does a high standard deviation mean?

A high standard deviation means that the data points are spread out over a wider range of values.

Can I calculate standard deviation if my data has blanks or text?

Yes, you can use the STDEVA function, which includes text and logical values in the calculation.

Is there a limit to the amount of data I can use to calculate standard deviation in Google Sheets?

Technically no, but Google Sheets might slow down or become unresponsive if you’re working with extremely large data sets.


  1. Enter your data in a single column in Google Sheets.
  2. Click on an empty cell where you want the result.
  3. Type the formula for standard deviation.
  4. Select the range of data points.
  5. Press Enter to calculate the standard deviation.


Calculating standard deviation in Google Sheets is a valuable skill that can aid in various data analysis tasks. Whether you’re a student, a business analyst, or just someone who loves to crunch numbers, knowing how to quickly and accurately determine the spread of your data is essential. With the simple steps outlined above, you can easily compute the standard deviation for either a sample or an entire population. Keep in mind the different formulas and when to use them, and don’t forget the helpful tips to ensure your calculations are spot on.

Remember, understanding the variability of data is crucial in making predictions and decisions. Standard deviation gives you a numerical insight into the consistency of your data set, which can be incredibly useful in many real-world applications. So, why not give it a try on your next project or assignment? With the power of Google Sheets and your newfound knowledge, you’re well-equipped to tackle any data analysis challenge that comes your way.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy