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September 12, 20193 min read

What is Scatter Plot and How to use it? [Guide]

In the 21st century, there is nothing more powerful than data. Data can help you, boost the revenue of your company, changing your workout habits, or just being more efficient in your everyday life. Data is simply knowledge, this can get you the results you really want or need for improvement, but in the end of the day what you really need is information and visualization. Data visualization tools are essential because it’s easier to understand big amount of information by using charts, maps or any visual elements and Scatter plot is the storyteller of the charts.

What is Scatter Plot?

Scatter plot is a simple magic tool, where you can see the “relationship” between two variables. Whether you would like to figure out a relationship between two departments of your company, or just a quick review of your height and weight year after year - this a powerful and useful visualization. We are unsure who invented scatter plot first because people have been plotting data on paper or maps since ages.


In 1905 a Danish astronomer Ejnar Hertzprung noticed some correlation in between the luminosity and the color of the stars, he ranged them through the color spectrum from blue white - red. Between 1911 and 1913 American astronomer Henry Norris Russel independently plotted that data, and they noticed something, which could change our understanding of the cosmos.They understood the relationship between the life and the color of the stars how they age, and how they change from new white starts to old red stars.

How Scatter Plot works?

Scatter plot is a two-dimensional data - analyzation that uses dots for representing the values between two variables.

iframe There are two axis - x and y - where you can plot your data. Often when we see a chart we can quickly realize new information, that’s why it’s important to visualize your data in an effective way.

Make it obvious, so the chart explaining itself, but be careful don’t go too hard on the coloring, cause you might end up not giving the right information.

Data and visualization have to work together, this is a very delicate balance, and at the end of the day, you want to understand and benefit from your data. Scatter plot can be “dressed up” in many - many different ways: you can play around color and shape.

iframe As I mentioned before scatter plot is used when you want to show the relationship or correlation between two variables. Each scatter plot has a horizontal axis ( x-axis) and a vertical axis (y-axis). One variable is plotted on each axis.

Most scatterplots contain a line of best fit, this can even help to understand the relationship between the variables of even predict the future a little bit, but careful with that, because this can give you misleading results.

How to read a scatter plot?

You can see different types of correlations between variables.

Positive correlation - this is when both variables move in the same direction, like the temperature rising during the summertime - the amount of ice cream we eat.

Negative correlation: the variables move in opposite directions - as one variable increases the other decreases and the opposite one variable increases the other one is decreasing.

No correlation - One option you might have, there is no relationship found in your data.


Scatter plot also allows you to zoom in a specific part of the graphic therefore you detect and examine the root of a problem.

You may be wondering when you should use scatter plot?

Unlike other charts, scatter plot has the ability to show the relationship between the cloud of data. Use it..

  • ..when you are trying to identify the root causes of a problem
  • ..when you have paired multiple data
  • ..when you explore relations
  • ..when you want to visualize correlation

Be careful, overplotting can be a mistake, when the sample size is high, also don’t forget to add subgroups, if you have, because this can reveal important hidden patterns in your data.

How to create a Scatter Plot?

After all the last thing now is to create a great scatter visualization. Our belief that data analysis can be accessible for everybody, therefore we built a system that can make your everyday life a lot easier.

AnswerMiner is a self - service analytics tool that helps you to explore your data easily and create any type of visualization, including Scatter Plot. After connecting your data just select the data, you want to visualize on a chart and AnswerMiner will do the job automatically. Sign up and try it for free!

As you can see now, analyzing your data will improve your life, and it can help you to take action, and get the results you really want. Our team is working tirelessly to help you to achieve your goal every day!

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