How to Calculate CV in Excel

By Hunter Taylor

CV is an abbreviation for covariance. Covariance is defined as a measure of the tendency of two things to move or vary together, and is widely used in statistics. The calculations needed to arrive at the covariance are very complex; however, Microsoft Excel has a simple formula that can be used to determine this measurement.

Step 1

Go to "Start">"Programs">"Microsoft Office">"Microsoft Excel," or "Start">"Microsoft Excel."

Step 2

Open Microsoft Excel.

Step 3

Type "Month" in cell A1; then type the months "January," "February," "March," "April" and "May" in the rows under "Month."

Step 4

Type "Rain (inches)" and "Frequency" in columns B and C, respectively.

Step 5

Type 5, 7, 3, 8, 4 in the "Rain (inches)" column.

Step 6

Type 2, 3, 5, 7, 1 in the "Frequency" column. The program is asking if the amount of rain changes with the number of times it rains in a month.

Step 7

Type "=covar" in cell C7.

Step 8

Type the opening parenthesis for the formula, then highlight cells B2 through B6.

Step 9

Type the comma, highlight cells C2 through C6, then type the closing parenthesis.

Step 10

Press "Enter." The result is 1.76, which means the more often it rains, the more rain the town receives.

Tips & Warnings

  • A positive covariance means that, as one variable increases, so does the other. A negative covariance means that, as one variable increases, the other variable decreases.
  • Do not presume a cause-effect relationship simply because two items move together.