How to Calculate Variance in Excel 2007

Written by carter mcbride
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How to Calculate Variance in Excel 2007
Due to the complexity of the calculation, using Excel reduces chances of human error when calculating variance. (laptop image by Ewe Degiampietro from

Microsoft Excel has a set of statistical functions, such as variance and standard deviation. You can enter all of your data into Microsoft Excel and then use the function to calculate the statistical data. This reduces the time it takes to calculate variance, because with variance, you must calculate the mean, then subtract each piece of data from the mean, then square the result; then you must divide the result by the sample size minus one. You do this for each piece of data and then add each result together to find the variance.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Enter your data into one row in Microsoft Excel.

  2. 2

    Type "=VAR(" in a cell that does not have data. For example, if all of your data is in column A, then use cell B1 for the variance function.

  3. 3

    Highlight your data by clicking on the top of the data and dragging the mouse down to the bottom of the data.

  4. 4

    Type ")" in the cell with your variance function to close the function and then press Enter. The cell now displays the variance of your data.

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