Learning how to calculate variance percentage in Excel is a straightforward process. This guide will walk you through each step, ensuring that you understand exactly how to perform this calculation. After reading this, you’ll be able to find variance percentages quickly and efficiently using Excel.

## Step by Step Tutorial: How to Calculate Variance Percentage in Excel

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to calculate the variance percentage between two sets of numbers in Excel. This will help you analyze data better and make more informed decisions.

### Step 1: Open Excel and Enter Your Data

Start by opening Excel and entering the data you want to analyze in two columns.

For example, you might have sales data for two different months. Put the data for Month 1 in column A and Month 2 in column B.

### Step 2: Create a New Column for Variance Percentage

In the next empty column, create a header for the variance percentage calculation.

You might label this column "Variance Percentage" and place it in column C. This helps keep your data organized and easy to read.

### Step 3: Enter the Variance Percentage Formula

Click on the first cell under your "Variance Percentage" header and type in the formula: `=(B2-A2)/A2*100`

.

This formula calculates the percentage change from Month 1 to Month 2. Adjust the cell references if your data is in different columns.

### Step 4: Copy the Formula Down the Column

Select the cell with the formula, grab the small square at the bottom right corner of the cell, and drag it down to apply the formula to the rest of the rows.

This will ensure that each row calculates the variance percentage for the corresponding data points.

### Step 5: Format the Cells as Percentages

Highlight the cells with your variance percentage calculations, right-click, and choose "Format Cells." Then select "Percentage" and adjust the decimal places if necessary.

Formatting the cells as percentages makes your data easier to understand at a glance.

After completing these steps, Excel will automatically calculate and display the variance percentage for each set of data points.

## Tips: How to Calculate Variance Percentage in Excel

**Double-Check Your Data:**Ensure your data is correctly entered to avoid errors in your variance calculations.**Use Absolute References:**If you’re copying formulas to multiple rows, consider using absolute references (like`$A$2`

) to maintain consistent cell references.**Verify Results:**Cross-check a few calculations manually to make sure Excel is computing the variance percentage correctly.**Utilize Conditional Formatting:**Use conditional formatting to highlight significant variances, making it easier to spot trends.**Save Your Work:**Regularly save your Excel file to avoid losing any calculations or data.

## Frequently Asked Questions: How to Calculate Variance Percentage in Excel

### What is variance percentage?

Variance percentage shows the difference between two numbers as a percentage of the original number.

### Why is variance percentage important?

It helps you understand the extent of change between two values, making it easier to analyze trends and performance.

### Can I calculate variance percentage between more than two columns?

Yes, you can modify the formula to compare multiple columns, but it will require more complex calculations.

### What if I get a #DIV/0! error?

This error occurs if you try to divide by zero. Ensure your original value is not zero to avoid this error.

### How do I handle negative percentages?

Negative percentages indicate a decrease from the original value. Excel handles both positive and negative variances seamlessly.

## Summary

- Open Excel and enter your data.
- Create a new column for variance percentage.
- Enter the variance percentage formula.
- Copy the formula down the column.
- Format the cells as percentages.

## Conclusion

Learning how to calculate variance percentage in Excel can be a game-changer for understanding changes in your data. Whether you’re tracking sales performance, monitoring budget changes, or analyzing any other data, knowing how to find the variance percentage provides valuable insights.

Using Excel makes this process quick and efficient. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently calculate and interpret variance percentages. Remember to double-check your data and use features like conditional formatting for better visualization.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into data analysis, explore other Excel functions like VLOOKUP, pivot tables, and more. The more you practice, the more proficient you’ll become. Happy calculating!

Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.

His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop, and more.