# How to use the DSTDEV function

**What is the DSTDEV function?**

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

**What is DSTDEV an abbreviation of?**

DSTDEV is an abbreviation of Database Standard Deviation.

**What is a database in this context?**

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.

**Why use the DSTDEV function?**

The DSTDEV function multiplies numbers that match a condition or criteria in a list/database whereas the STDEV.S function performs a calculation without a condition/criteria.

**Where can you place the criteria range?**

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.

**What criteria characters are allowed?**

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

**What is a STDEV?**

STDEV stands for standard deviation.

Standard deviation tells you how far from the average values are spread out. Both charts above have numbers and an average plotted, they share the exact same average however, the numbers are not the same.

Chart A above shows that the values are more spread out than the values in chart B. Chart A has a standard deviation of 23.45256334, standard deviation for chart B is 5.207075606. Standard deviation is fundamental in statistics.

**What is the difference between the DSTDEV function and the DSTDEVP function?**

DSTDEVP function calculates the standard deviation for a population and the DSTDEV function calculates the standard deviation for a sample. DSTDEVP uses the count of all values (n) in the denominator.

DSTDEV uses (n-1) in the denominator (Bessel's correction). This accounts for the difference between sample variance and population variance in statistics. DSTDEV is better for sample inferential statistics.

DSTDEVP math formula:

DSTDEV math formula:

**When to use the DSTDEVP function and the DSTDEV function?**

Use DSTDEVP if you have the full population data. Use DSTDEV if you have a sample of limited data from a larger population. DSTDEVP will result in a lower standard deviation compared to DSTDEV on the same data.

Sample standard deviation is considered a better estimate for inferring population parameters.

**What is inferring population parameters?**

Population parameters refer to the actual values of statistics that describe an entire population, such as the population mean or standard deviation. However, the true population parameter values are often not known.

**What is sample inferential statistics?**

Sample inferential statistics are methods that allow using statistics calculated on a sample of data to infer the unknown population parameters.

For example:

- The sample mean can be used to estimate the population mean.
- The sample standard deviation can estimate the population standard deviation.

## DSTDEV Function Syntax

DSTDEV(database, field, criteria)

## DSTDEV Function Arguments

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

field |
Required. The field argument lets you choose which column to use. You canÂ use the column name enclosed withÂ double quotation marks orÂ theÂ correspondingÂ column number. |

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

## DSTDEV Function Example

Formula in cellÂ B15:

### Functions in 'Database' category

The DSTDEV function function is one of 11 functions in the 'Database' category.

## How to comment

How to add a formula to your comment<code>Insert your formula here.</code>

Convert less than and larger than signsUse html character entities instead of less than and larger than signs.

< becomes < and > becomes >

How to add VBA code to your comment[vb 1="vbnet" language=","]

Put your VBA code here.

[/vb]

How to add a picture to your comment:Upload picture to postimage.org or imgur

Paste image link to your comment.

Contact OscarYou can contact me through this contact form