How to Calculate the Standard Error in Excel

How to Calculate the Standard Error in Excel

Calculate the Standard Error in Excel: Microsoft Excel has been an invaluable tool for many individuals and organizations in the recording and manipulation of data. The Office product does not offer the ability to calculate the Standard error for a sample within a population.

Standard error does not have an function, but it is still possible to manually calculate the value. We will show you how to calculate a sample’s standard errors in Microsoft Excel.

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Why is standard error calculation important?

When using sample data sets, standard error can be an important calculation because it allows you to estimate their reliability. Your standard error will decrease as you include more samples in your standard deviation calculation. Because you have included a larger number of samples, you can be more confident in the accuracy of your sample’s relationship to the population.

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How do you calculate standard error in Excel?

It shouldn’t matter that the standard error doesn’t have its own function. Standard error calculates the standard deviation for a sampling distribution. You can use the function below to calculate this standard deviation and then divide it by the square root of how many samples you have.

Below are two ways to calculate standard error in Excel. The most important one is the one you choose.

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Manual Calculation

Excel also allows you to manually calculate the standard error. This method is suitable for those who don’t want to use functions when performing calculations. This method is more complicated than functions.

These are the steps to manually calculate the standard error for a sample population using Excel.

  1. Excel opens your Excel workbook.
  2. In the grid, enter your values.
  3. Calculate your standard deviation.
  4. Calculate the square root for the number of samples that you have used.
  5. Divide the calculated standard deviation by your calculated squared root.

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Using Library Functions

Because it uses Excel library functions, this method is relatively short. It allows for more human error. This method can be used to calculate the standard error for a sample if you prefer Excel functions.

To calculate the standard error in Excel, you need to use three functions:

  • STDEV.S This function calculates a sample’s standard deviation.
  • SQRT This function calculates the square root value of a number.
  • COUNTA – This function calculates how many cells aren’t empty.

These steps will help you calculate the standard error in Excel.

  1. Open Excel.
  2. In the Excel grid, enter your data.
  3. To calculate the standard error, enter the formula in a new cell.

To calculate the standard error for other samples that you have entered in a column or row, you can use Flashfill. Flash fill is done by placing your cursor at the bottom-right corner of the cell where you have entered the formula, and then dragging it across the cells.

Excel can recognize a pattern and use this formula to calculate standard error for the other samples.

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Errors when Calculating Standard Error In Excel

You might encounter some error messages when calculating the standard error for a sample. Excel assigns each error a unique code that uniquely identifies the problem. Users can then fix the errors and continue with their calculations.

These are some common errors that Excel can make when you’re trying to do your calculations:

  • #NAME: This error may occur if you type incorrectly the names of the functions that are used to calculate the SE for a sample.
  • #REF! – This error could occur if the cells you’ve mentioned are missing or have been replaced.
  • #VALUE Most errors are caused by incorrect syntax in formulas.
  • #SPILL You might encounter this error when you try to use the flash fill feature that we have mentioned.


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