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The DEVSQ function returns the sum of the squared deviations of a dataset from its mean. The function is most commonly used in statistics to calculate the variance of a set of values.


Use the DEVSQ formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter and 1 optional parameter:

=DEVSQ(value1, value2)
  1. value1 (required):
    The first value or range of values representing a dataset.
  2. value2 (optional):
    Optional. The second value or range of values representing a dataset.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the DEVSQ formula in Google Sheets.

Calculating the variance of a dataset

By using DEVSQ, you can quickly calculate the variance of a dataset in Google Sheets. Simply input the range of values you want to calculate the variance for into the function and it will return the variance.

Determining the spread of a dataset

The sum of squared deviations calculated by DEVSQ can be used to determine how spread out a dataset is. The larger the sum of squares, the more spread out the dataset.

Common Mistakes

DEVSQ not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the DEVSQ Google Sheets Formula:

Incorrect number of arguments

DEVSQ requires at least two arguments, but no more than 30. Check that your formula includes the correct number of arguments.

Non-numeric values

DEVSQ only works with numeric values. Check that all of your arguments are numbers or use the VALUE function to convert non-numeric values.

Empty cells

DEVSQ returns an error if any of the cells in the range are empty. Make sure that all cells contain values or use the IFERROR function to handle empty cells.

Incorrect range

DEVSQ requires a range of cells as its argument. Check that you have selected the correct range of cells and that there are no extra commas or spaces in the range.

Mismatched ranges

If the ranges you provide as arguments are not the same size, DEVSQ will return an error. Make sure that the ranges you use are the same size.

The following functions are similar to DEVSQ or are often used with it in a formula:


    The AVERAGE function calculates the average (arithmetic mean) of the values passed to it. It is commonly used to find the average of a range of cells containing numerical data.

  • VAR

    The VAR formula calculates the variance of a set of numerical values. Variance is a measure of how spread out a set of data is in relation to the mean. This formula is commonly used in statistical analysis to measure the variability or diversity of a dataset.


    The STDEV function calculates the standard deviation of a set of numbers. It measures the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of values from the average (mean) value. It is commonly used in statistics to determine the spread of a data set. The values can be supplied as individual cells, ranges, or constants.


    The CORREL formula returns the correlation coefficient between two sets of data. This coefficient represents the strength of the linear relationship between the two sets of data, with values ranging from -1 (perfect negative correlation) to 1 (perfect positive correlation).

Learn More

You can learn more about the DEVSQ Google Sheets function on Google Support.