When looking for a sigma calculator, shoppers need to not only keep in mind that the term sigma is alternatively known as standard deviation.
When it comes to finding physical calculators that can do the job, not all technology is created equal.
While some of the more basic desktop calculators can help a user find a sigma value, they don’t often have built-in formulas that can do the job quickly and painlessly.
So what type of calculators are considered capable sigma calculators?
First, we need to know how to find a sigma value. Then we will discuss calculators that can do the job.
sigma calculator comparison table
top sigma calculator
Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
One of Casio’s most advanced scientific calculators to date was designed and engineered for easy operation at any skill level, making it an ideal device for both professional and student use.
The natural display and enhanced features, such as displaying root forms of equations, finding derivatives, product notation templates, and advanced inequality functionality make the fx-115ES Plus an extremely versatile product.
This calculator is ideal for not only general mathematics courses, but also for:
- Pre-Algebra
- Algebra 1 and 2
- Statistics
- Pre-Calculus
- Trigonometry
- Physics
- Engineering
A few of the top features of this calculator include:
- The natural textbook display shows expressions and results exactly as they appear in the textbook.
- Over 280 functions, including fractions, statistics, complex number calculations, base arithmetic, linear regression, standard deviation, computer science, and polar-rectangular conversions
- List-Based STAT Data Editor
- Table Function
- Matrix and Vector Calculations
- 40 Metric Conversions
- The multi-replay function allows you to backtrack step-by-step through calculations, where you can edit expressions and recalculate answers.
Product Specs:
- Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.4 x 3.1 inches
- Item Weight: 3.36 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- ASIN: B007W7SGLO
- Item model number: FX-115ES Plus
- National Stock Number: 7420-01-412-4136
- Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
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Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator
This Texas Instruments TI-30XA scientific calculator is ideal for students in a wide range of math classes, including general math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, and general science. Why? Because it can perform a wide variety of functions, including algebraic, trigonometric and statistical functions.
Some of the key features of this calculator include:
- One-line, 10-digit display
- Fraction features
- One-variable statistics
- Conversions
- Basic scientific and trigonometric functions
Product Specs:
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
- Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- ASIN: B00000JBNS
- Item model number: TI30XA
- Batteries: 2 CR123A batteries required
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HP 10bII+ Financial Calculator (NW239AA)
The 10BII is a smart choice when it comes to both business and finance needs and is a great choice for both professionals and students alike.
HP boasts that users will be able to work quicker and more efficiently with over ten time-saving, easily-accessible business functions.
Users should be able to easily calculate loan payments, interest rates and conversions, standard deviation, percent, TVM, NPV, IRR, cash flows, and so much more.
Not only is this HP model affordable, but it is also permitted for use on the CFP Certification Exam.
Product Specs:
- Brand Name: HP
- Item Weight: 8 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 3.2 x 5.7 inches
- Item model number: NW239AA
- Batteries: 3 LR44 batteries required
- Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
- Color: N/A
- Number of Items: 1
- Size: 3 1/4 x 5 3/4
- Manufacturer Part Number: NW239AA
- ASIN: B0002ABA8E
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Casio FX-7400G Graphing Calculator
This Casio graphic calculator offers an even greater range of functions than most standard scientific calculators.
Besides the noticeably larger screen, this calculator allows users to store, graph, take and analyze up to 10 functions and up to four pictures.
These can be stored and used as backgrounds for comparing graphs.
The Casio FX-4000G calculator has single- and double-variable statistics graphing, including box and whisker plots, median-median lines, histograms, scatter plots, X-Y lines, and broke lines.
It also offers single- and double-variable list-based statistics calculations including descriptive values and linear, quadratic, logarithmic, exponential, and power regressions.
Finally, the list editor creates, edits, and manages six separate data lists, and the data can be exchanged between list and table modes, while the sketch features allow users to draw points and horizontal and vertical lines on any graphics display.
Product Specs:
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 4 inches
- Item Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- ASIN: B00004TVF5
- Item model number: FX-7400GPLUS
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WHAT IS A SIGMA VALUE?
Before we can discuss which brands are considered quality sigma calculators, we first need to understand what a sigma value is.
A sigma value is a statistical term known as a standard deviation.
Okay, cool.
So what is standard deviation then?
It’s basically a measurement of the dispersion of a data set relative to its mean and is calculated as the square root of the variance.
It is calculated as the square root of variance by determining the variation between each data point relative to the mean. If the data points are further from the mean, there is a higher deviation within the data set; thus, the more spread out the data, the higher the standard deviation.
5 Step Instructions on Calculating Standard Deviations by Hand
Very few, if any, a statistician will ever calculate a sigma value, or standard deviation, by hand.
However, in order to get a solid understanding of where the numbers come from, it is important to know the steps.
The formula for the standard deviation (SD) is as follows:
In this formula, ∑ means “sum of,” x is a given value in the data set, is the mean of the data set, and is the number of data points in the population.
While the formula may look a little scary at first, by breaking it down into steps, it will be much easier to understand.
1. Find the mean.
2. For each data point, you will want to find the square of its distance to the mean.
3. Sum up the values found in step 2.
4. Divide the number found in step 3 by the number of data points.
5. Take the square root of that number.
Sigma Calculators That Will Do the Job
Not all calculators are the same. First, there are the more basic desktop calculators out there, such as the CASIO HL-820V calculator.
These are designed for simplicity at the tip of your fingertips. Because of their simplicity, they are made for simple calculations or calculations on the go.
Then there are scientific and graphing calculators. This is where the technology starts to get a little complicated, yet, at the same time, where doing calculations can get much simpler.
As we mentioned above, finding a sigma value can be rather complicated when you have to do it by hand.
So, by having a calculator that has a set function for this type of equation, it helps to take the stress out of finding the solution.
Because scientific and graphing calculators are so popular, the market is fully saturated with them. So which brands should you choose?
First of all, it’s not necessarily a “brand” choice.
What you want to look for when searching for a sigma calculator is a device that offers “standard deviation” in its listed abilities.
When you take a few minutes to look at the suggested calculators we have listed below, you will notice that each one has standard deviation listed as one of its many functions.
That being said, are there any specific brands a shopper should keep in mind when looking for a device that can be considered a sigma calculator?
The top two calculators currently on the market, especially for students, are Texas Instruments and Casio.
Those would be the ideal places to start if you don’t know where to begin when shopping for this type of technology.
From there, it is a matter of personal preference.
Why Focus on Calculators with Standard Deviation Functions?
While standard deviation is a topic covered in a variety of classes both through high school and college, many ask whether this topic is worth learning.
Does it have a use outside of school settings and in the real world?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
When it comes to professional use, investment research is one area that uses standard deviation quite a bit, since it is a measurement of risk.
The risk is an important factor in efficiently managing an individual’s investment portfolio.
Another area where the standard deviation is commonly used is in weather, especially when predicting daily high temperatures for multiple cities where one is located along the coast, while the other is located more inland.
It can be helpful to understand that the range of daily maximum temperatures for cities near the coast is smaller than for cities inland.
So while these cities, which are often located closer together, may have similar daily average temperatures, they won’t necessarily have the same daily temperatures.
On a warm day, cities located inland are generally warmer than those located next to a body of water.
Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a sigma calculator, does it matter if it is a scientific or a graphing calculator?
The short answer is no.
As long as the calculator offers users the standard deviation option in its description, then that is sufficient enough.
Remember, a sigma value is another term for standard deviation.
So, while you may not find a description saying, “sigma value” on it, if it has “standard deviation,” you’re good to go.
Are graphing calculators useful?
Of course, they are, but they aren’t necessarily needed besides in schooling situations.
Many professionals choose just standard scientific calculators over graphing calculators because graphing calculators are simply too bulky and full of unnecessary functions.
Yes, having a calculator with this function on hand can be useful, there are other alternatives for those who don’t make regular use of standard deviation on a regular basis.
While researching sigma calculators, we did come across quite a few online options to help users with calculating sigma values, summations, six sigma equations and other related calculations that all fall into the use of standard deviation and its variants.
That being said, it’s not always necessary to have a fancy scientific or graphing calculator on hand when trying to find the standard deviation.
In fact, with the steps we provided above, it can be done by hand or with the use of a simple desktop calculator.
Will a scientific or graphing calculator help in the process?
Of course! In fact, in many cases, they will be necessary, especially with more complicated data sets.
However, if a user has a rather basic data set then a user does have the option of taking to traditional pen and paper to work it out.
If we had to choose, we’d recommend a standard scientific calculator as it will do the job without being overly complicated.
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