# Given a data set. how do you know whether to calculate sigma or s? ## General guidance

Concepts and reason
The problem deals with the concepts of identifying the standard deviation.

Fundamentals

The population standard deviation is calculated if the data set represents a population or the sample drawn from a population. The sample standard deviation s is calculated if the data set represents a sample.

## Step-by-step

### Step 1 of 2

The sample standard deviation is usually denoted by s. The population standard deviation is usually denoted by .

The value of the sample standard deviation and the value of the population standard deviation are not same for the same data set.

### Step 2 of 2

The population standard deviation is calculated if the data set represents a population or the sample drawn from a population. The sample standard deviation is calculated if the given data set represents a sample,

Therefore, for a given data set, one would have to determine if it represented the population or if it was a sample taken from the population. If the data are a population, then sigma is calculated. If the data are a sample, then s is calculated.

The symbol stands for population standard deviation. If the data set represents a population. The symbol s stands for population standard deviation. If the data set represents a sample.