The Easiest Standard Error Google Sheets Guide [2022]

Google Sheets is a fantastic tool for data analysis. Many people use it to analyze mathematical data and often need to understand the relation between the data inside a specific dataset. One way to do this is to find the Google Sheets standard error of the mean of the data.

This article will explain how to calculate standard error Google Sheets methods and how to interpret them.

What Is Standard Error in Google Sheets?

The mean standard error is a mathematical method to measure how far apart values are in a data set. The mathematical formula for this is:

Standard error = s / √n

In this formula, the arguments are:

To learn how to calculate standard error in Google Sheets we have to move that formula into the program.

Standard Error Google Sheets Syntax

Translating this equation into Google Sheets, we will be using three formulas: STDEV.S, SQRT, and COUNT. Here is the syntax of all of these formulas:

  • dataset: this is the cell address for the array.
  • value:  this is the number for which the square root is calculated. It can also be a cell address.
=COUNT(v1, v2, …)
  • v1: this is the first value or cell range to consider when counted.
  • v2: additional ranges ar values can be added depending on circumstances.

Now that we know the basic formulas needed to find the standard error on Google Sheets, here is the syntax to follow:

=STDEV.S(range) / SQRT(COUNT(range))

Now, let’s take a look at how to find standard error in Google Sheets with an example.

How to Find SEM on Google Sheets

In this demonstration, we have a set of data with randomized values. Here are the steps you need to follow to find the standard error of the mean Google Sheets:

Step 1: We will divide the formula into two parts. The first part has the STDEV.S formula, while the second one has the SQRT and the COUNT formula. To start, select the cell where you wish to input the formula.

Step 2: Start writing the =STDEV.S( part of the formula. Then type in or select the cell address range. In this case, it is A2: A21. Finally, finish this part of the formula by adding a closing bracket. Now, add a division slash (/).

Step 3: Now, we will be nesting the COUNT formula inside the SQRT formula. To do this type in the =SQRT( part of the formula, followed by the COUNT( part. Then input the same range in the formula as the STDEV.S formula and follow it with a closing bracket. Make sure the number of closing brackets is the same as the opening brackets.

Step 4: Click on Enter to execute the formula.

How to Interpret the Mean Standard Error Values

There are essentially two things you need to know to correctly interpret the value of the mean standard error.

1) Larger SEM Value Means More Spread Out Values

When the difference between the values in a table tends to be larger, the SEM value increases.

In the first dataset, the values are much closer to each other, which means that the SEM value is smaller. In the second dataset, we changed the value significantly larger than the others, which made the SEM value rise from 0.8386714776 to 49.37885218.

2) SEM Value Increases With Smaller Sample Sizes

As the number of values increases, the SEM value is likely to decrease.

In the first dataset, there are 20 values in the dataset while in the second dataset, there are only 9. This causes the SEM value to change from 0.8386714776 to 1.490329255. If the extra figures were outliers, then the SEM number would have increased instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Standard Error Mean?

The standard error is used to find the accuracy of the data. A larger value means that the data is more spread out, meaning it could be less accurate in many scenarios. The formula for the Standard Error Mean is:

Standard error = standard deviation / √size

What Are Standard Error Bars?

Standard error bars are used to graphically represent the variation between data in a set. They are used on graphs to visually indicate the uncertainty in the values in a dataset.

What Is the Symbol for Standard Error?

The symbol for standard error of mean is:


Wrapping Up How to Calculate Uncertainty in Google Sheets

We hope this article helped you better understand how to find standard errors in Google Sheets. Although there isn’t one standard error Google Sheet formula, you can use a combination of a few easy formulas to do so.

Jake Wright

Jake Wright

Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.