Scatter charts

Scatter charts show numeric coordinates along the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) axes. Use a scatter chart when you want to find how much one variable is affected by another.

For example, plot the salary of employees and years of experience.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

Scatter chart

How to format your data

  • First column: Enter values for the X axis.
  • First row (Optional): In the first row of each column, enter a category name. Entries in the first row show up as labels in the legend.
  • Other columns: Enter Y values. Each column of Y-values shows up as a series of points on the chart.
  • Other rows: Each row is a point on the chart.

Tips:

  • Add a trendline to find patterns in your data.
  • The closer the data points come to making a straight line, the stronger the correlation between the 2 variables.

Examples

Ice cream sales & temperature
Temperature(In Fahrenheit) Ice Cream Sales
54 $125
58 $175
59 $325
62 $275
64 $425
65 $400
67 $450
72 $425
73 $450
75 $525
77 $550
80 $625

 

Scatter chart showing ice cream sales and temperatures

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Revenue & expenses
Month Expenses Revenue
January $90,000 $110,000
February $120,000 $115,000
March $100,000 $117,000
April $110,000 $130,000
May $125,000 $127,000
June $60,000 $80,000
July $50,000 $87,000
August $70,000 $95,000
September $100,000 $110,000
October $120,000 $133,000
November $145,000 $150,000
December $90,000 $120,000

 

Scatter chart showing revenue and expenses

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Other types of scatter charts

Bubble chart

Use a bubble chart to show data with 3 dimensions. Like a scatter chart, the first 2 dimensions are the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) axes. The third dimension is the size of the bubble.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

Bubble chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label. The label shows up inside the bubble.
  • Column 2: Enter values for the X axis.
  • Column 3: Enter values for the Y axis. Each column of Y-values will show as a series of points on the chart.
  • Column 4: Enter the name of the data series. Each data series is a different color. The name shows up in the legend.
  • Column 5: Enter a number for the size of the bubble.
  • Rows: Each row represents a bubble on the chart.

Example

District enrollment

School Number of students Acceptance Rate School Type Size
Summerville Prep 400 95 Elementary 9
Sunset Academy 750 75 Elementary 8
Eastwood Middle School 250 40 Middle school 10
Greenlands High School 400 65 High school 7
West Shores High school 500 30 High school 6

 

Bubble chart showing student enrollment in district schools

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Customize a scatter chart

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Double-click the chart you want to change.
  3. At the right, click Customize.
  4. Choose an option:
    • Chart style: Change how the chart looks.
    • Chart & axis titles: Edit or format title text.
    • Series: Change point colors, axis location, or add error bars, data labels, or trendline.
    • Legend: Change legend position and text.
    • Horizontal axis: Edit or format axis text, or reverse axis order.
    • Vertical axis: Edit or format axis text, set min or max value, or log scale.
    • Gridlines: Add and edit gridlines.
    • Bubble: For bubble charts, change how the bubble looks.

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