Friends, in today’s article we are going to talk about how to make a scatter plot in Google Sheets.
Do you know, visualization tools like graphs & charts are required for providing better insight into your data, and scatter plot is one of the most useful visualization tools. It will help you to make various inferences about data distribution.
So, let’s learn how to make a scatter plot in Google Sheets.
What Is A Scatter Plot In Google Sheets?
A Scatter plot is also known as an XY graph or a scatter chart. It is a visualization of tools that plots data points along vertical & horizontal axis.
With the help of a scatter plot, you can deduce various things.
- See how data points are distributed.
- Identify the trends in data distribution.
- Understand how data variables are related to one another.
- Determine how individual data points are correlated to the trends in data.
For example – you are having data on the height & weight of 15 people, so you can plot it on a scatter plot in Google Sheets & can analyze how both are correlated.
Note – The effectiveness of the scatter plot will become more deceptive when you will see how to make it.
Let’s see how you can make an XY graph in Google Sheets.
How To Make A Scatter Plot In Google Sheets?
You can easily create an intuitive & attractive scatter plot with just a few clicks.
To know how to make a scatter plot in Google Sheets we will be using below sample data of height & weight.
In this data, we have included the weight vs the height of random people. Now we want to make a scatter plot to know how their two values are related to each other.
So, to make a scatter plot for the above data, you need to follow the below steps.
- First, select the data which you wish to visualize in your scatter chart. You may also add cells having titles. So, let’s select cell range A1:B21.
- Now click on the insert in the menu bar.
- From the insert option, select the chart option.
- Now this will display a scatter chart on your Google Sheet along with the chart editor sidebar.
Note – Google usually understands the data selection and will display the chart which is the best representation as per Google. Ideally, a scatter chart is displayed, however, if you think, it is not showing the correct chart option, then you can edit the char under the chart editor option.
Video Source – Youtube
How To Change Chart Type Via Chart Editor?
Your chart editor will be displayed on the right side of your google sheets. If you are unable to see the chart editor, click on three dots (upper right side) and your chart editor will start displaying.
Your chart editor will look as below.
- Now to get the correct chart type, you need to click on the drop-down under the chart type option. (Currently, it is showing as a line chart)
- Click on scatter plot and your current chart will start displaying scatter chart.
- Now you should see a scatter chart in your Google worksheet.
Here weight and height are distributed in 2-D space.
Looking at these points in a scatter plot will not give you much insight, so you can go for patterns in the data by adding trend lines across your scatter plot.
This trend line will solve three purposes.
- You can check if there is any strong correlation between weight & height. The correlation will be stronger if the line will be closer to the bulk of data points.
- Data trends can be seen (if any). It can be a downward or upward trend in weight as the height increases.
- Data points that are too far from the trend line can be easily identified.
Note – There are multiple other inferences that you can make from the scatter plot once the trend line is in place. Do not worry, as Google Sheets will perform all the background calculations and will give you an optimal trend line.
You might be thinking, how to add a trend line. Let’s see a procedure of the same
How To Add A Trend Line In Google Sheets?
With the help of a chart editor, you can easily add a trend line to your scatter plot.
- Under customize option in chart editor you can add a trend line.
- Now click on the series drop-down option.
- Now you can see three check boxes i.e., error bars, data labels and trend lines.
- Check the trend line box.
And you can see a trend line displayed in your scatter plot.
Explore Other Trend Line Options In The Chart Editor
You might have noticed that after selecting the trend line check box, you have got new options to explore in the chart editor. With the help of these options, you can customize the trend line as per your requirement.
- Here you will get the option to change the colour of the trend line. Here we have set the colour of our trend line as red.
- You can also change the thickness and opacity of the trend line.
- Here you will also get the choice of your trend lien like, you can get moving average, polynomial, exponential and linear trend line. (There are chances, you may get a different set of options for every type of trend line)
- Under the label option, you can customize the label option to ‘none’, ‘custom’ or ‘use equation’
None – no label
Custom – here you will get customizable legend for the trend line
Use equation – you can display equation for trend line
With the help of the trend line equation, you can easily infer and determine the Y-value for any point.
How To Customize The Scatter Chart In Google Sheets?
Along with adding a trend line, many other customization options are available for you to apply on your scatter chart. Below are some of the customization which you can explore.
- Change chart style
With chart style category you can change the background colour, size, font style, and border colour of your chart.
- Chart & axis title
This option will provide you formatting & text for the chart titles & subtitles, along with axis titles.
With the help of the series category, you can choose the colour of the points in your scatter plot. This will help if you wish to compare various variable distributions in a single scatter plot from 2 or more data sets.
To see how on-trend or reliable each data point is, you can also check the error bars option.
You can also use the option of data labels to identify line trends more clearly.
With the help of this category, you can customize the formatting & setting of scatter chart legend.
- Vertical & Horizontal axis
These two categories can be used to
- Display X & Y-axis as a label instead of numeric values.
- Make the X & Y axis value italicized or bold.
- Customizing the font size of the X & Y-axis.
- Changing the font for vertical & horizontal axis.
- Customizing text colour of entire scatter chart.
6. Gridlines & Ticks
With the help of this category, you can format a scatter plot to contain minor and/or major gridlines.
You can also customize what colour of gridlines you want.
How To Make A Scatter Plot In Google Sheets With Two Sets Of Data?
You can easily make a scatter plot in google sheets with two different data sets.
Just select the entire data (like we did above) and select the chart option.
You will see two different values in your scatter plot.
Note – Always remember that you cannot add any random set of data. Your data should be easily plottable on both axis.
In our example, both variables are measured in KG.
I hope now you have very clear understanding about how to make a scatter plot in Google Sheets. If you have any doubt, you can feel free to contact us via comments.