Coefficient of Variation

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Definition: Coefficient of Variation

The mean values only show the central tendency. But to know by how much the data varies from the centre measures such as range, standard deviation and variance is used.

Coefficient of variation shows the dispersion in the data. In terms of probability distribution, it is the normalized measure of the dispersion. It is denoted as CV. It is an independent unit of measurement and does not take into account the unit of the population. It is meaningful only for ratio scales as the mean is unique in this case and the values should be non-negative.

CV = s/x

Here ‘s’ is the standard deviation. ‘x’ is the mean.


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