Scatter Plot In Excel

What Is The Scatter Plot Chart In Excel?

A scatter plot chart in Excel is a powerful data visualization tool that allows professionals to analyze the relationship between two variables. It displays data points on a horizontal and vertical axis, each representing the value of one variable against another. This chart type is especially useful when comparing large sets of quantitative data. By examining the distribution pattern of these points, professionals can identify any correlations or trends within the dataset. Scatter plots can help highlight positive or negative relationships, clusters, outliers, or even lack of correlation between variables.

For instance, let us consider a dataset containing information about students’ marks.

To begin, select cells A1 to B6 and proceed to insert a scatter chart.

Scatter Plot in Excel Intro

Upon completion, we will obtain a visually appealing Scatter Chart, as depicted below. Here the data from the X and Y axes are accurately plotted.

Scatter Plot in Excel Intro - Graph
Key Takeaways
  • The Scatter Plot in Excel is a powerful tool for illustrating the correlation between two interrelated data sets, namely the X and Y variables.
  • To ensure accurate analysis, it is crucial that we exercise caution when selecting our data.
  • It is advisable to begin with smaller datasets, as this will facilitate a better understanding of the analysis process and the utilization of scatter charts.
  • Also, to effectively convey our data through scatter plots, we must consider the audience’s familiarity with the subject matter.
  • We can enhance comprehension by incorporating a connecting line within the chart to link the data points.

How To Make A Scatter Plot Chart In Excel?

To make a scatter plot chart in Excel, ensure we have the necessary data organized in two columns. The first column should contain the independent variable values, and the second should hold the corresponding dependent variable values. Then, select both columns by clicking and dragging over them. Next, navigate to the Insert tab on Excel’s ribbon and click on Scatter under the Charts section. From there, choose the desired scatter plot type, such as markers only or markers connected by smooth lines. Excel will generate a basic scatter plot chart.

Still, to enhance it professionally, we can adjust various elements like axis labels, gridlines, titles, colors, and font styles through formatting options available in the chart design tools. It is recommended to add a trendline for further analysis; select the plotted data points, right-click and choose Add Trendline, then customize it as needed. Finally, review and refine our scatter plot by adding legends or other annotations if required for clarity or enhanced documentation purposes.

To create a Scatter Plot Chart in Excel, we can utilize the built-in options provided by the software.

The steps to create an Excel Scatter Chart are as follows:

Step 1: Begin by selecting the Insert tab. In the Charts group, locate and click the Scatter option. From there, please choose the chart type that best suits the information we wish to present.

Scatter Plot in Excel - Example 1 - Step 1

Step 2: Once selected, the scatter plot chart will appear adjacent to the Excel data table.

Please refer to the image below for a visual representation of the scatter plot chart generated after selecting the Scatter chart option.

Scatter Plot in Excel - Example 1 - Step 2

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Types of Relationship In Scatter Plots In Excel

Scatter plots in Excel are a powerful data visualization tool that can provide valuable insights into the relationship between two variables. In such plots, data points are represented as individual dots on a Cartesian coordinate system, with each dot corresponding to a specific pair of values for the two variables being analyzed.

Different types of relationships can be observed in scatter plots, such as positive, negative, or no relationship.

  • In a positive relationship, the data points cluster around an upward-sloping line, indicating that the other variable also tends to increase as one variable increases.
  • Conversely, in a negative relationship, the data points tend to cluster around a downward-sloping line, suggesting that as one variable increases, the other decreases.
  • Finally, when there is no relationship or correlation between the two variables being analyzed, the scatter plot appears scattered across the graph without any discernible pattern or trend.

These relationships in scatter plots provide crucial insights into the nature and strength of associations between variables and aid decision-making processes across various professional domains such as finance, economics, and scientific research.


Scatter plots are an invaluable tool in Excel, offering a range of advantages that make them essential for data analysis.

  • One major advantage is their ability to accurately depict relationships between two variables, allowing analysts to identify patterns and trends easily.
  • By representing data points as dots on a graph, scatter plots visually represent the correlation between variables, making it easier to understand complex information at a glance.
  • Another advantage is the flexibility in customizing scatter plots within Excel. Users have full control over various elements such as axis labels, colors, markers, and trendlines, enabling them to create professional-looking visuals that align with their specific needs and preferences.
  • Furthermore, scatter plots excel at highlighting anomalies or outliers within datasets that may not be apparent through other analysis methods.


  • One disadvantage of using Excel scatter plots is that they can be time-consuming and cumbersome to create, particularly when dealing with large datasets. Unlike other charts, scatter plots require the data to be organized in a specific way, with two columns representing the independent and dependent variables.
  • This can be challenging when dealing with complex data sets and could lead to errors or inaccuracies if not executed properly.
  • Another disadvantage is that scatter plots in Excel lack advanced customization options.
  • While Excel provides basic formatting capabilities, it fails to create visually appealing and advanced scatter plot visualizations.
  • Additionally, interpreting scatter plots in Excel can be more difficult than dedicated statistical software packages as it lacks built-in data analysis and regression modeling features.

Therefore, professionals should consider alternative data visualization tools to overcome these limitations when working on complex analyses or requiring more sophisticated visualizations.

Important Things To Note

  • The Scatter Plot in Excel is a valuable tool allowing us to analyze the relationship between two data sets visually.
  • We can derive meaningful insights from these plots by employing visual enhancements and understanding the underlying principles.
  • By employing colors or bold lines, we can enhance the visualization of datasets, enabling us to identify patterns or trends more easily.
  • This adds visual appeal to the chart and ensures that the information conveyed is clear and concise.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the Scatter Plot in Excel not working?

One common issue could be the incorrect data range selection for both the x and y variables. For a scatter plot to display accurately, the data points must be exclusive and orderly; failing to accomplish this may result in an inaccurate representation of relationships between variables.
Another potential problem could arise if one or both of the selected data ranges contain error values, such as “#N/A” or “NA,”.

2. Where is the Scatter Plot in Excel found?

To locate the scatter plot in Excel, users should navigate to the Insert tab at the top of the application window.
By clicking on the Charts group under Insert, users will find various chart options in a drop-down menu. Among these choices lies the scatter plot graph, which can be selected to insert into the worksheet.

Scatter Plot in Excel - FAQ 2

3. Can we generate a 3D Scatter plot in Excel?

It is possible to generate a 3D scatter plot in Excel. For example, the following table represents the number of males and females who engage in various games. Now, let us learn how to construct a 3D Scatter Chart.

Step 1: Select the table containing the relevant data. Then, navigate to the Insert tab and choose the Scatter chart option.

FAQ 3 - Step 1

Step 2: Once the Scatter chart is generated, right-click on the plot and select the Format Data Series option from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: The Format Data Series section will appear on the right-hand side. Within this section, opt for the Slant option under the 3-D Format category.
Step 4: Select the Built-in radio button within the Marker options.
Step 5: Enhance the visual appeal of the chart by modifying the color of the plots through the Fill option.
We can see a 3D Scatter Plot Chart in Excel.

FAQ 3 - Step 6

Download Template

This article must help understand Scatter Plot Charts in Excel formulas and examples. We can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to What Is Scatter Plot In Excel. We learn how to make scatter plot chart in excel with examples and download template. You can learn more from the following articles –

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