Standard error is a commonly-used statistical analysis. It’s easy to calculate when you use a spreadsheet to do the work for you. Let’s learn how to find standard error in Microsoft Excel.
How to Find Standard Error in Excel
Standard error helps you gauge the accuracy of a given data sample. It’s useful to determine how meaningful your data is, by calculating how well it represents an overall population.
Standard error is computed with a simple formula. The standard deviation of a given data set is divided by the square root of the number of data samples.
The formula is as follows:
Standard Error = Standard Deviation / Square Root of Count of Samples
Consider the data set below. You can perform this analysis with any data set. Let’s find the standard error of the sample.
Begin by finding an empty cell on your worksheet. Type =, the standard beginning for every Excel formula. Then, type STDEV(. Click and drag to highlight your data set, then type ) again.
So far, your formula should look like this:
You now have the numerator of the equation complete. To finish the equation, you’ll need to type out the denominator.
Begin by typing /SQRT into the formula. Remember, this takes the square root of the number of samples in your data set. Cells A2 through A10 represent 9 separate samples.
That being said, complete your formula by typing (9).
Your complete formula should now read:
Press Enter on your keyboard, and Excel returns the value 8.793. This will be your standard error.
This is a great example of how easily Excel can be used to perform a statistical analysis. No matter how much data you have, the formula functions exactly the same. This saves you precious time by performing complex calculations in an instant.