The **coefficient of variation (CV)** helps you tell how far your data is dispersed around the mean. The formula is simple. The standard deviation is divided by the mean to find CV. Let’s learn **how to find the coefficient of variation in Microsoft Excel.**

## How to Find the Coefficient of Variation in Excel

Consider a sample data set like this. You want to find the coefficient of variation to determine the precision of an estimate. A **higher** CV suggests less precision; a **lower** CV suggests greater precision.

The first step is to find the CV formula’s two inputs: the **sample standard deviation**, and the **sample mean. **

Click into cell **C1**, and type **=** to begin a formula. Since we’re using sample data, type in the formula **STDEV.S**. Add **(**, then click and drag to highlight the column of data. Here, that’s cells **A2:A5.**

Close the formula with **)**, then press **Enter**. Cell **C1** populates with your sample standard deviation.

*Hint: If you’re working with a population, the formula would be STDEV.P.*

Now, click in cell **C2.** Type **=AVERAGE(,** then highlight your data again. Once again, conclude the formula with **)**, then hit **Enter**. You now have the average (or the mean) of your data.

Cell **C3** will be home to your coefficient of variation (CV). Click into it, and type **=**. Then, click on cell **C2,** type **/**, and click on cell **C1**. This is your CV formula.

Hit **Enter** again, and Excel will display your coefficient of variation. It’s worth noting that the CV is typically displayed as a percentage.

To format it this way, first ensure you have the cell collected. On Excel’s **Home** tab, just below **Number Format,** click the **Percent Style** button. Your CV will now be formatted as a percentage.

As you can see, it’s easy to find the coefficient of variation in Excel. Formulas make it effortless and help keep your analysis moving quickly.