How to Calculate a Moving Range

By Kaylee Finn

The moving range is the difference between two successive data points. For a data set the moving range is a list of values. The moving range shows the stability of the data and is often presented in a moving range chart to more clearly illustrate this.

Subtract the second data point from the first data point and record this value. As an example take a data set of {1, 4, 4, 2, 7, 3}. Subtracting the second data point from the first gives us: 1-4 = -3.

Take the absolute value of the result. Continuing the example: abs(-3) = 3. Record the result as the first entry in a list.

Repeat step 1 and 2 for the rest of the data points starting by subtracting the third from the second. Again from the example data set, {1, 4, 4, 2, 7, 3} : {(1-4), (4-4), (4-2), (2-7), (7-3)} = {-3, 0, 2, -5, 4} = {3, 0, 2, 5, 4}. This list is the moving range for your data set.

About the Author

Kaylee Finn began writing professionally for various websites in 2009, primarily contributing articles covering topics in business personal finance. She brings expertise in the areas of taxes, student loans and debt management to her writing. She received her Bachelor of Science in system dynamics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.