Fundamentals of Statistics contains material of various lectures and courses of H. Lohninger on statistics, data analysis and chemometrics......click here for more. 
Home Univariate Data Measures of Variation Coefficient of Variation  
See also: Standard Deviation, Signal and Noise, Regression  Straight Line  
Coefficient of Variation
Specifying the standard deviation is more or less useless without the additional specification of the mean (and of course the type of distribution). It makes a big difference if s = 5 with a mean of = 100, with a mean of = 3. Relating the standard deviation to the mean resolves this problem. The coefficient of variation is therefore defined by , which is a relative measure of the variation. However you should be aware of the fact that the coefficient of variation becomes more or less useless when the mean approaches zero. So don't use the coefficient of variation for comparing detection limits (where the signal to noise ratio falls below 3).


Home Univariate Data Measures of Variation Coefficient of Variation 
Last Update: 20121008