Excel DSTDEV Function

Using the Excel DSTDEV Function


The Excel DSTDEV function estimates the standard deviation of a population based on a sample by using data from a field, or column, of records in a list or database that match user specified conditions.

If the data is representative of the entire population, use the DSTDEVP function.


=DSTDEV (database, field, criteria)

Syntax Breakdown

Required. A range of cells that make up the list or database. The first row of most lists and databases contains labels for each column.

Required. Which column should be used in the function. The column label should be enclosed in double quotation marks, for example "Score" or "Time", or a number, without quotation marks, that represents the position of the column. For example, 2 for the second column and 3 for the third column.

Required. Range of cells containing user specified criteria. The criteria range must include at least one column label and one cell below the column label.

Criteria is able to accept more than one row below the column label. When more than one row is used, the function joins each row with OR logic, and the expressions in a given criteria row are joined with AND logic. Be sure the criteria doesn't overlap the list.

Criteria supports the use of wildcard characters, such as the question mark (?) and asterisk (*). The function also handles expressions such as <, >, and <>.

A word of caution with wildcards: it appears as if support is not as extensive as with other functions, like SUMIFS, that accept wildcards. If you use wildcards, be sure to test and verify that the output is what you would expect.

Usage Notes

DSTDEV calculates the standard deviation of sample data that is extracted from records which meet specific criteria. The database and criteria ranges must include matching column headers.

The database argument is a range, or list, of cells that includes column headers. Field is the name, or index of the field, to get the value(s) from. Criteria is a range of cells with headers that match those in the database argument.