## Covariance Matrix in excel

The covariance matrix is a square matrix to show the covarianceCovarianceCovariance is a statistical measure used to find the relationship between two assets and is calculated as the standard deviation of the return of the two assets multiplied by its correlation. If it gives a positive number then the assets are said to have positive covariance i.e. when the returns of one asset goes up, the return of second assets also goes up and vice versa for negative covariance.read more among the columns and variance in columns. Excel presented with an inbuilt ‘Data analysis’ tool to determine the covariance between the different data sets. The present article will explain the calculation of the covariance matrix in Excel by covering the following topics, including

### Explanation

Covariance is one of the measures used for understanding how a variable is associated with another variable. The following formula is used for covariance determination.

**COV (X,Y) = ∑(x – x) (y – y) / n**

The covariance matrix is a square matrix to understand the relationships presented between the different variables in a dataset. It is easy and useful to show the covariance between two or more variables.

The covariance will have both positive and negative values. A positive value indicates that two variables will decrease or increase in the same direction. A negative value indicates that if one variable decreases, other variable increases, and an inverse relationship exist between them. The covariance matrix is represented in the following format. The three-dimensional covariance matrix is shown as

To create the 3×3 square covariance matrix, we need to have three-dimensional data. The diagonal values of the matrix represent the variances of X, Y, and Z variables (i.e., COV(X, X), COV(Y, Y), and COV (Z, Z)). The covariance matrix is symmetric with respect to diagonal. This indicates that COV(X,Y)=COV(Y,X), COV(X,Z)=COV(Z,X), and COV(Y,Z)=COV(Z,Y). One point to remember about this matrix is the resulting from the NXN covariance matrix for data of n-dimensional.

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For eg:

Source: Covariance Matrix in Excel (wallstreetmojo.com)

### How to Use a Covariance Matrix in Excel?

The covariance matrix is used in various applications, including

- Analyzing how two vectors are differentiating from each other
- Used in machine learning to determine the dependency patterns between the two vectors
- The covariance matrix is used in telling the relationship among the different dimensions of random variables.
- Used in stochastic modeling in financial engineeringFinancial EngineeringFinancial engineering is field which uses mathematical techniques, financial theories, engineering tools and advanced programming techniques to solve critical and complex financial problems.read more to correlate the random variables
- The principle component is another application of the covariance matrix to original variables to linear independent variables.
- In data analysis, the covariance matrix has a vital role.
- The covariance matrix is utilized in modern portfolio theoryModern Portfolio TheoryAn investment model like modern portfolio theory or MPT allows investors to choose from a variety of investment options comprising of a single portfolio for earning maximum benefits and that too at a market risk which is way lower than the various underlying investments or assets.read more in the estimation of risks.
- The measures of the covariance matrix are used in anticipating the returns on the financial assetsFinancial AssetsFinancial assets are investment assets whose value derives from a contractual claim on what they represent. These are liquid assets because the economic resources or ownership can be converted into a valuable asset such as cash.read more.

### Examples of Covariance Matrix in Excel

Given below are some of the examples to use the covariance matrix in excel.

#### Example #1

**Performing covariance analysis on the marks obtained by students in different subjects.**

**Step 1:** The following data, including the marks of students in Mathematics, English, and Science, are considered as shown in the figure.

**Step 2:** Go to the “Data” tab on the ribbon and find the ‘Data analysis’ ToolPak on the right side corner.

If “Data analysis” ToolPak not available, then follow these steps.

**Step A:** Go to the ‘File’ tab and then select the “options.”

The following screen will be opened.

**Step B:** Go to Add-ins. Under the Manage Option, ensure that ‘Excel add-insExcel Add-insAn add-in is an extension that adds more features and options to the existing Microsoft Excel.read more’ is selected and select the ‘Go’ button, as shown in the figure.

**Step C:** Select the “Analysis-Tool Pak” and “Analysis-ToolPak VBA,” as shown in the screenshot.

After completing these steps, the “Data analysis” tool pack is added to the ‘Data’ tab.

**Step 3:** Click on Data Analysis. This opens the “Data Analysis” dialog box. Select the “Covariance” by scrolling up and click on “OK.”

It displays the “Covariance” dialog box.

**Step 4:** Select the range of input, including the subject names, check the “labels in First Row,” and give the “output range” in the existing worksheet. And click on “OK.”

**Step 5:** We will get the output as follows –

The upper part of the diagonal is empty as the excel covariance matrix is symmetric towards the diagonal.

#### Example #2

** Perform calculation of the covariance matrix to determine variances between the returns of different portfolio stocks.**

**Step 1:** For this example, the following data, including the stock returns, are considered.

**Step 2:** Opens the “Data Analysis” dialog box and select the “Covariance” by scrolling up and click on “OK.”

It displays the “Covariance” dialog box.

**Step 3:** Select the range of input, including the headers, check the “labels in First Row” and give the “output range” in the existing worksheet. And click on “OK.”

**Step 4:** We will get the output as follows –

The upper part of the diagonal is empty as the covariance matrix is symmetric towards the diagonal.

#### Example #3

**Calculation of covariance matrix for stock prices of corporate companies**

**Step 1:** For this example, the following data, including stock prices of different companies, are considered.

**Step 2:** Opens the “Data Analysis” dialog box, select the “Covariance” by scrolling up and click on “OK.”

It displays the “Covariance” dialog box.

**Step 3:** Select the range of input, including the headers, check the “labels in First Row” and give the “output range” in the existing worksheet and click on “OK.”

**Step 4:** We will get the output as follows –

### Things to Remember

- The covariance tool presented by Excel has some limitations, including the determination of only population variances formulaPopulation Variances FormulaPopulation variance can be calculated using this formula: σ2 = ∑ni=1 (xi – μ)2 / N, where, σ2 is population variance, x1, x2, x3,…..xn are the observations, N is the number of observations and µ is the mean of the data set.read more, creation of matrix with only lower diagonal values, and consideration of formulae only for a variance.
- When return values are changed, it doesn’t automatically update the values of the matrix.
- The upper half of the matrix is displayed as empty since it is symmetric, and mirror-image values are displayed in the lower diagonal.

### Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to the Covariance matrix in Excel. Here we discuss how to use the covariance matrix in excel along with the examples and downloadable excel sheet. You can learn more about excel from the following articles –

- Convert Function in Excel
- Statistical Functions in Excel
- Correlation vs. Covariance
- Formula of Covariance

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