In statistics, CV or coefficient of variation is a measure of the variability of a sample dataset expressed as a percentage of the mean. It is calculated as the ratio of the standard deviation of the sample to the mean of the sample, expressed as a percentage.

Add up the values in your dataset and divide the result by the number of values to get the sample mean.

Subtract the sample mean derived in the previous step from each of the data values, to get the deviation of each value from the sample mean. Multiply each deviation by itself to get the squared deviations of the values.

Add up the squared deviations.

Divide the sum of the squared deviations (calculated above) by (n - 1), where n is the number of values in your dataset. The result is the variance of the dataset.

Take the square root of the variance to get the standard deviation.

Divide the standard deviation by the mean (calculated previously), and then multiply by 100 to get the coefficient of variation.

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Nick Botero began writing professionally in 2009. Already, he has more than 100 articles on eHow, and he maintains a few creative blogs on Blogger. Botero has a Master of Arts in public policy from the University of Maryland.

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