Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

## Standard Deviation

 Author Message Toreador Hall of Fame Group: General Forum Members Points: 3869 Visits: 8126 Koen (da-zero) (1/28/2011)Then why is the explanation confusing? I find it pretty clear...The explanation is "The denominator of the variance for a sample population is n - 1, resulting in division by zero."This suggests it should give an error, and doesn't explain why it results in null instead.I guessed wrong, but I'm not sure what the question was supposed to prove, other than if you apply a function wrongly then you get a meaningless answer! Koen Verbeeck SSC Guru Group: General Forum Members Points: 64372 Visits: 13298 mdv 9731 (1/28/2011)I'm not really going to comment on that answer.Just happy you are not creating any kind of BI og reporting in our company :-)I might be wrong but i still question the result. Even if i know that it doesnt make much practical sence to talk deviation on 1 value.The question was about the result of the query (ergo: what does SQL Server do with it).Not what is the theoretical result according to statistics. (however, the explanation might be lacking. I'm (luckily) not a statistician)But don't worry, if I'll do BI or reporting in your company, I will read the requirements thoroughly ;-) How to post forum questions.Need an answer? No, you need a question.What’s the deal with Excel & SSIS?My blog at SQLKover.MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP sharath.chalamgari SSCrazy Group: General Forum Members Points: 2016 Visits: 798 Koen (da-zero) (1/28/2011)Then why is the explanation confusing? I find it pretty clear...It is Confusing because in his Query the parameter 1 does not mean that Number of samples.if you put 100 inplace of 1 still it gives the same null. as per his explanation it is not a divide by zero errorThe usage of the Function is wrong in the Query.see if we can use some thing like below it gives 0`SELECT STDEV(1) from sys.objects` Koen Verbeeck SSC Guru Group: General Forum Members Points: 64372 Visits: 13298 sharath.chalamgari (1/28/2011)Koen (da-zero) (1/28/2011)Then why is the explanation confusing? I find it pretty clear...It is Confusing because in his Query the parameter 1 does not mean that Number of samples.if you put 100 inplace of 1 still it gives the same null. as per his explanation it is not a divide by zero errorThe usage of the Function is wrong in the Query.see if we can use some thing like below it gives 0`SELECT STDEV(1) from sys.objects`Allright, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. How to post forum questions.Need an answer? No, you need a question.What’s the deal with Excel & SSIS?My blog at SQLKover.MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP mdv 9731 Valued Member Group: General Forum Members Points: 57 Visits: 126 That makes sence.So its really a matter of SQL Server returning NULL instead of #ERROR not having the correct syntax which obviously means that a FROM clause needs to be included.So the point proven is more like SQL Server returning a 'value' instead of an error.And not that it can't calculate :-) (and is has nothing to do with a zero division)'cause my point was that std. dev. is 0 if calculated on a single value no matter what it is (even if that makes no sence)Question good, formula good, Microsoft needs to work on documentationWe're all happyCheers valeryk2000 Right there with Babe Group: General Forum Members Points: 761 Visits: 412 Division by zero should be ERROR, not null. How come? Barry McConnell SSC-Addicted Group: General Forum Members Points: 448 Visits: 83 Right answer, wrong explanation. The stdev function is simply programmed to return null when the sample size is less than 2. It has nothing to do with division by zero. Division by zero is an invalid calculation not an unknown result. If it were allowed to perform the zero division the proper response of the function should have been to throw an error; instead they trapped the invalid condition and returned a NULL. I would also argue that this is an inaccurate result since it ignores the fact that an invalid data set is being used without returning the appropriate error. UMG Developer SSCarpal Tunnel Group: General Forum Members Points: 4120 Visits: 2204 Thanks for the question, it is good to know that SQL Server decides to return NULL for the standard deviation for a data value, though I don't think it is alone. wolfkillj SSCrazy Group: General Forum Members Points: 2760 Visits: 2582 What's going on here is that the STDEV() function in T-SQL returns the sample standard deviation (which for a single value will be undefined, hence the programmatically dictated NULL result) rather than the population standard deviation (which for a single value will be 0). BOL does not clearly state this, which apparently causes some confusion. Another T-SQL function, STDEVP(), returns the population standard deviation. Developers using statistical functions in T-SQL definitely should be aware of this! Jason WolfkillBlog: SQLSouthTwitter: @SQLSouth UMG Developer SSCarpal Tunnel Group: General Forum Members Points: 4120 Visits: 2204 Thanks for the explanation wolfkillj! That makes total sense now.