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Scatter Plot Examples | How to Read a Scatter Plot

A scatter plot is a type of graph used by data analysts or statisticians to understand the relationship between two variables. This graph involves plotting the data points and getting a scattering of these points on the graph. Scatter analysis comes in when you want to know the type of pattern formed by the data points or what the pattern entails. 

In this article, we’ll understand scatter plot graphs with the help of examples.  

Scatter Plot or Scatter Diagram

A scatter diagram visualizes the correlation between the two variables taken along the X-axis and Y-axis. It is most commonly used in scientific fields to make sense of the raw data. But, nowadays, it is increasingly used by businesses to understand what the data is saying. This helps marketers make important marketing decisions or modify their strategies. 

For example, suppose you are describing your room to a stranger. You might take a lot of time to convey every minute detail. Still, they will have an unclear idea of how your room looks like. On the flip side, if you send them a photo, they will just take a moment to see your space. 

The same thing applies to keyword research, where you have to juggle with spreadsheets or tables. You can visualize the key findings on a scatter chart rather than struggling to analyze the numbers.

How Does A Scatter Plot Look Like?

In a scatter plot, data points are placed along the coordinate axes. Generally, the X-axis indicates independent variables, and the Y-axis shows dependent variables. The data points form a scattered pattern, which may express a correlation between the variables.  

Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Suppose you plot keywords in a scatter graph with CPC on one axis and search volume on the other. Here, you will find that the search volume increases with the cost per click. This helps you get a correlation between the important metrics so that you can make smart decisions regarding the keywords. 

How to Create A Scatter Plot?

One important data analysis form you can create in Excel is regression analysis. For example, you can use it to determine the relationship between sales and expenditures, how changes in temperature affect ice cream sales, or whether exercise is related to a person’s longevity.

In order to draw a scatter plot in MS Excel, follow the following steps-

  • Choose the worksheet range, i.e., A1:B11.
  • Go to the Insert tab and choose XY chart.
  • Choose the chart subtype that includes no lines. Excel will display your chart in the form of XY scatter.
  • If the chart is looking inappropriate, you can use colors or annotations.
  • Click the Trend line button under the Add Chart Element menu to add a trend line.
  • Add the Regression equation to the plot and press ‘Ok.’

How to Read a Scatter Plot?

Now that you have created a scatter plot, the next thing is to know how to read it. For this, check the axes first. Not all the scatter plots display similar variables. Some scatter diagrams might compare metrics with different measuring units. Thus, when you are starting to look at the data, keep this thing in mind.

Visualize the different sections and find out what lines you can draw or what data point groups are there that are good to make a comparison. The next step is to identify the shape. Do the points move along the axes? Are the points moving in a linear fashion? 

The data points may show a positive, negative, or null correlation between the data points. You can make the scatter plot more impressive and attractive using colors and annotations.

When you should use:

You can easily use a scatter plot for the things that have a lot of data, and you want to identify the relation between the data points. Create the scatter plot, draw the line for the best fit and then determine the relationship between the points.

With the scatter plot examples you will have a lot of advantages over other visualization charts. With this, you can easily identify the trends, patterns, and relationships between various data points. Think of it this way, whether you want to compare the behavior of different age groups or want to correlate in other ways, you can find them by using a scatter plot. Once you get the results- positive, negative, or zero, you will be able to make better decisions.

How to Draw the Best Scatter Plot:

When you have lots of different data variables, it becomes confusing for the viewers to see which variable presents which axis and the relation between the two. However, with a scatter plot, you will be able to draw the line to identify the correlation between different variables.

  • Don’t draw too many variables, as too many trend lines can make it difficult for you to identify. So, try comparing two trend lines instead of juggling between many.
  • Use various sizes or colored dots to identify variables.
  • Visualize the data in different sections; you can do this by grouping the points or quadrants to compare things.
  • Don’t forget to highlight different data points with colors or figures to make them easy to understand.
  • Also, a null scatter plot highlights no correlation between the different data points. If the dots are straight, it is called a linear scatter plot. Likewise, you may notice a U-shaped or curve.  


These are quite helpful when you want to see a correlation between the data points. This chart type not only shows the direction of the correlation between the variables but also the intensity of the correlation. If you are using scatter plots in keyword research to understand how one metric affects the other, you can optimize your strategy and save time and money. While you can create a scatter plot on Excel, you can also look for a data visualization tool to draw it and analyze the data. 

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