Statistics How To

Scatter Plot in Excel: Easy Steps plus Video

Microsoft Excel for statistics > Scatter plot in Excel

Scatter Plot in Excel: Overview

A scatter plot is a type of graph that shows how two sets of data might be connected. When you plot a series of points on a graph, you’ll have a visual idea of whether your data might have a linear, exponential or some other kind of connection. Creating scatter plots by hand can be cumbersome, especially if you have a large number of plot points. Microsoft Excel has a built in graphing utility that can instantly create a scatter plot from your data. This enables you to look at your data and perform further tests without having to re-enter your data. For example, if your scatter plot looks like it might be a linear relationship, you can perform linear regression in one or two clicks of your mouse.

Scatter Plot in Excel: Steps

Sample question: Create a scatter plot in Microsoft Excel plotting the following data from a study investigating the relationship between height and weight of pre-diabetic patients:
Height (inches): 72, 71,70,67,65,64,64,63,62,60
Weight (lb): 180, 178,190,150,145,132,170,120,143,98

Step 1: Type your data into a spreadsheet. For the scatter plot to work correctly, your data must be entered into two columns. The example below shows data entered for height (column A) and weight (column B).
scatter plot in excel

Step 2: Highlight your data. To highlight your data, left click at the top left of your data and then drag the mouse to the bottom right.
scatter2

Step 3: Click the “Insert” button on the ribbon, then click “Scatter,” then click “Scatter with only markers.” Microsoft Excel will create a scatter plot from your data and display the graph next to your data in the spreadsheet.
scatter3

Tip: If you want to change the data (and therefore your graph), there’s no need to redo the whole procedure. When you type new data into either column, Microsoft Excel will automatically calculate the change and instantly display the new graph.

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