While studying statistics, you may come across various topics that can confuse you or make you worried, and if you don’t understand the basics of those concepts, you may face difficulties in solving the questions related to that topic.

One such topic is the standard deviation. A standard deviation (or σ) is the distance from the mean that a set of data is as compared to other data. A low standard deviation means the data are clustered around the mean, whereas a high standard deviation indicates data are more dispersed. Normal curves are shaped by their means and standard deviations. That is to say, the mean determines how skinny or wide the curve will be. Acquiring these two numbers in turn will give you all the information you need to determine the shape of any curve.

## What is standard deviation?

As a way of measuring the quantity of variation between the means of two groups of values, the standard deviation measures how much the values vary. A low standard deviation indicates that the values tend to be close to the mean, while a high standard deviation indicates they are spread out over the population.

The standard deviation of security measures the variance between price and timing based on the historical return on a security. It reveals the volatility of security when applied to its annual return.

## Calculation of standard deviation:

- Putting all the data points together and dividing by the number of participants yields the mean value.
- In the following procedure, each data point is variance calculated by subtracting the mean from its value, then squaring the resulting result, adding the results, and dividing by the number of data points less one.
- After calculating the variance, the standard deviation can be calculated with the square root of the variance.

## The formula of standard deviation

### Example of standard deviation:

Let’s say we have five data points, three data points, and seven data points, for a total of 22. We will then divide 22 by four, which results in 5.5. This gives us x̄ = 5.5 and N = 4.

To calculate the variance, each data point is subtracted from the mean, resulting in -0.5, 1.5, -2.5, and 1.5. Once those values are squared, each of them becomes 0, 2.25, 6.25, and 2.00.

After adding the two square values together, we get a total of 11, which is divided by N minus 1, or three, resulting in an approximate variance of 3.67.This results in the square root of the variance, resulting in approximately 1.915 standard deviations.

### Tips to solve standard deviation questions:

- Using n for the number of data observations or the figure of the population size, the standard deviation is the square root of the average squared difference in data observations from the mean.
- This is the indicator that shows how spread the data points are around the mean. The standard deviation represents the positive square root of variance.

## Why standard deviation is apt for checking variability? :

The standard deviation formula is the most appropriate way to calculate variability, even though there are simpler methods to do so. A higher standard deviation indicates that the distribution is not only more random but also unevenly distributed.

You can also calculate the mean absolute deviation (MAD) instead of standard deviation, which is similar to the standard deviation but is simpler to calculate. First, you convert each deviation from the mean into absolute values.

The MAD is easier to calculate than an average; you don’t have to take into account squares or square roots. However, it is a less precise measure of variability.

As the standard deviation scales up, curves with a large standard deviation tend to be flatter and smokier, and curves with a small standard deviation tend to be drabber and denser. If you want to learn about standard deviation from the best teachers, Cuemath experts can help you with that & hence you can understand things more clearly & precisely.