 # VAR.S

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the VAR.S function in Excel, which is used to calculate the sample variance of a dataset. Variance is a measure of how much the values in a dataset differ from the mean (average) value. The sample variance is calculated by taking the sum of the squared differences between each value and the mean, divided by the number of values minus one. The VAR.S function is particularly useful in statistical analysis, as it helps to determine the dispersion or spread of data points in a sample.

## VAR.S Syntax

The syntax for the VAR.S function in Excel is as follows:

=VAR.S(number1, [number2], …)

Where:

• number1 is the first number or cell reference in the dataset. This argument is required.
• [number2], … are additional numbers or cell references in the dataset. These arguments are optional and can be up to 254 additional numbers or cell references.

Note that the VAR.S function ignores text values and logical values (TRUE/FALSE) in the dataset. If you want to include logical values in the calculation, you can use the VARA function instead.

## VAR.S Examples

Let’s look at some examples of how to use the VAR.S function in Excel:

1. Basic Example: Suppose you have a dataset with the following values: 5, 8, 12, 15, and 20. To calculate the sample variance, you can use the formula =VAR.S(5, 8, 12, 15, 20). The result will be 37.7, indicating the variance in the dataset.
2. Using Cell References: If the dataset is in cells A1:A5, you can use the formula =VAR.S(A1:A5) to calculate the sample variance.
3. Using a Named Range: If you have a named range called “Data” that contains the dataset, you can use the formula =VAR.S(Data) to calculate the sample variance.

## VAR.S Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the VAR.S function in Excel:

• Remember that the VAR.S function calculates the sample variance, not the population variance. If you need to calculate the population variance, use the VAR.P function instead.
• If you have a dataset with a mix of numbers, text values, and logical values, you can use the VARA function to include the logical values in the calculation. The VARA function treats TRUE as 1 and FALSE as 0.
• To calculate the sample standard deviation (a more commonly used measure of dispersion), you can use the STDEV.S function. The standard deviation is simply the square root of the variance.

## Common Mistakes When Using VAR.S

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the VAR.S function:

• Using the wrong function for the type of variance you need to calculate. Remember that VAR.S calculates the sample variance, while VAR.P calculates the population variance.
• Not including enough data points in the calculation. The VAR.S function requires at least two data points to calculate the sample variance. If you have only one data point, the function will return a #DIV/0! error.
• Accidentally including text values or logical values in the dataset. The VAR.S function ignores these values, which may lead to incorrect results if you intended to include them in the calculation.

## Why Isn’t My VAR.S Working?

If you’re having trouble with the VAR.S function, consider the following possible issues:

• Check for any errors in your formula, such as incorrect cell references or missing parentheses.
• Ensure that you’re using the correct function for the type of variance you need to calculate (sample variance vs. population variance).
• Make sure your dataset contains at least two data points. If you have only one data point, the VAR.S function will return a #DIV/0! error.
• Verify that your dataset does not contain any text values or logical values that you intended to include in the calculation. The VAR.S function ignores these values.

## VAR.S: Related Formulae

Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with the VAR.S function:

1. VAR.P: This function calculates the population variance of a dataset. Use this function when you have data for an entire population, rather than just a sample.
2. VARA: This function calculates the sample variance of a dataset, including logical values (TRUE/FALSE) in the calculation. Use this function if you want to include logical values in your variance calculation.
3. STDEV.S: This function calculates the sample standard deviation of a dataset, which is the square root of the sample variance. The standard deviation is a more commonly used measure of dispersion than variance.
4. STDEV.P: This function calculates the population standard deviation of a dataset, which is the square root of the population variance.
5. AVERAGE: This function calculates the average (mean) of a dataset. The mean is used in the calculation of variance and standard deviation.

By understanding the VAR.S function and its related formulae, you can effectively analyze the dispersion of data points in a sample and make informed decisions based on your statistical analysis.

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