# SKEW function

Returns the skewness of a distribution. Skewness characterizes the degree of asymmetry of a distribution around its mean. Positive skewness indicates a distribution with an asymmetric tail extending toward more positive values. Negative skewness indicates a distribution with an asymmetric tail extending toward more negative values.

Syntax

SKEW(number1,number2,...)

Number1, number2 ...     are 1 to 255 arguments for which you want to calculate skewness. You can also use a single array or a reference to an array instead of arguments separated by commas.

Remarks

• Arguments can either be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers.
• Logical values and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted.
• If an array or reference argument contains text, logical values, or empty cells, those values are ignored; however, cells with the value zero are included.
• Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers cause errors.
• If there are fewer than three data points, or the sample standard deviation is zero, SKEW returns the #DIV/0! error value.
• The equation for skewness is defined as:

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

• Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
• Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
• Press CTRL+C.
• In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
• To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A
Data
3
4
5
2
3
4
5
6
4
7
Formula Description (Result)
=SKEW(A2:A11) Skewness of a distribution of the data set above (0.359543)

Applies to:
Excel 2007