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Standard Deviations

A standard deviation is a measure that expresses how much a set of numbers varies from one another. It is one important method of determining the spread of different numbers across the range of values that the numbers are able to take. For example, and as a practical matter, the age of individual human beings can range from 0 to 90. But the ages of 500 high school students spread differently across the possible range of values than do the ages of 500 college students.

Because people's ages vary, there is uncertainty about people's ages. Because supplier prices vary, there is uncertainty about supplier prices. A business manager is confronted by uncertainty every day and needs to understand how to deal with it.


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