SKEW function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the SKEW function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

Description

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], ...)

The SKEW function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Number1, number2, ...    Number1 is required, subsequent numbers are optional. 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:

Equation

Example

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

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. 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.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

 
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Data
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Formula Description (Result)
=SKEW(A2:A11) Skewness of a distribution of the data set above (0.359543)
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses