Variance Percentage or Percent Variation

sandro merlino

Member
italian
I have to write a title of an Excel column which shows the % between two columns.Sometimes the result is positive and sometimes is negative
Is it better to use "Variance Percentage" or "Percent Variation"
eg:


Column A..........Column B..........Variance Percentage or
................................................Percent Variation
.100...................75.........
.83.....................60........
.58.....................91........
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    One looks ordinary to me. The other doesn't. I'll leave it up to those who are interested in percentages to tell you whether they have different meanings. I have no special interest in statistics.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I suspect you mean "difference" not "variation". In any case your wording "% between two columns" is not precise and could mean a variety of mathematical quantities*. You will either need to say it in other words in a more precise fashion in English or ask in the Italian forum if it is a "direct" translation from a standard Italian term.

    * For example, in your first line, Column A is 133% of column B so the number you enter in Column C might be 33%; but Column B is only 75% of column A, so you might enter 25% in Column C etc, but this is a mathematics issue not a language one.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word variance has a specific meaning in statistics: the square of the standard deviation, which is a measure of how far members of a set of numbers are spread out from their mean. You should not use it unless that's what you mean. You should not use any other word when that is what you mean.
     

    sandro merlino

    Member
    italian
    After your suggestions i' ll leave out variance that i have seen on internet that can be used to describe the difference between the actual sales volume and the target.
    I have found "percent variation", "percentage of variation" and "percentage difference"

    Which one shall I go for ?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If it's what you get when you subtract one number from another, it's a difference. If it's expressed as a percentage of one of those numbers, it's a percentage difference.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The difference between 200 and 190 is always 10. The result of subtraction one from the other can be 10 or -10 but then you must specify which one is subtracted from which. If one number is the "starting" number and the second one a subsequent value for the same index, then you can refer to the second in terms of the first by
    1) simple percentage, (B is 95% of A)
    2) by difference (the difference between A and B is 10)
    3) the percentage difference between A and B is 5%
    4) the decrease from A to B is 5%
    5) the percent change from A to B is -5%
    6) the percent increase from A to B is -5%
    etc.
    A common way to create these things is to give the column a title such as "% Difference*" and then explain in a footnote or legend : * % difference = 100 x (A-B)/A
    It just needs to be unambiguous for the reader.
     

    sandro merlino

    Member
    italian
    I have seen on internet that "PERCENTAGE VARIANCE" is used to express the percentage between Actual and Budget values.
    Is it the same thing if I consider Actual vs Actual or normal values like 100 bananas vs 80 bananas ? or
    Do I have to say that in these examples this is a "PERCENTAGE VARIATION" ?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I have seen on internet that "PERCENTAGE VARIANCE" is used to express the percentage between Actual and Budget values.
    Is it the same thing if I consider Actual vs Actual or normal values like 100 bananas vs 80 bananas ? or
    Do I have to say that in these examples this is a "PERCENTAGE VARIATION" ?
    Your original question simply used "Column A and Column B". Now, when you start providing more specific examples, like budget, there may be accepted terms that need little further explanation - the mathematical equivalent of context for language questions. I have seen tables where the columns were labeled, for example "Actual", "Budgeted" " Variance" - in some of those the "Variance" was simply in $ or units, with "negative" values presented in () or with a - sign in front of them. Until you give us a specific situation, we can't really help to tell you "what you have to say" - there is no general answer.
     

    sandro merlino

    Member
    italian
    I am sorry i might have badly explained my problems. I thought that VARIANCE was just a mathematics specific word and VARIATION added to "percent"or"percentage"or"difference"or"change" was used to express the relation between numbers comparison in budget.


    The first one I need to know how i can express the percentage between actual 2014 vs actual 2013.I guess "Percentage Variation"
    The second one I need you to confirm that if I want to express the percentage between Actual 2014 vs Budget values, I can say "Percentage Variance"
    The third one I need to know how i can express the percentage between Qty 30 vs Qty 50 .I guess "Percentage Variation"
     
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