## How to use the DSTDEV function

*Article updated on April 07, 2018*

The DSTDEV function calculates an estimation of the standard deviation based on a sample of a population. The function also allows you to specify criteria applied to a population/database.

The standard deviation is a number describing how widely numbers are distributed around the average value.

Formula in cell B15:

### Excel Function Syntax

DSTDEV(database, field, criteria)

### Arguments

database |
Required. The cell reference to a list or database. |

field |
Required. The field argument lets you choose which column to use. You can use the column name enclosed with double quotation marks or the corresponding column number. |

criteria |
Required. A cell reference to the criteria range. The criteria range needs to have column labels and at least one condition below the column label. |

### Comments

Excel defines a database as 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.

Allowed criteria range characters are less than and greater than signs <>, use them to specify a criteria range. Also, asterisks * can be used to match partial strings.

You can place your criteria range wherever you want on your worksheet, however, it is not recommended below the list/database. The function needs a blank row below the list to work properly.

### Functions in 'Database'

The DSTDEV function function is one of many functions in the 'Database' category.