Plotting Data. How to Make a Scatter Plot in Google Sheets

Instructions: How to Make a Scatter Plot in Google Sheets #

Scatter plots are an effective way to visualize and analyze data with two numeric variables. In Google Sheets, you can easily create a scatter plot to showcase the relationship between two sets of data. In this article, we will explore how to make a scatter plot manually in Google Sheets, as well as how to automate the process using Google Apps Script.

Manual Method: Creating a Scatter Plot #

  1. Open a new or existing Google Sheets document.
  2. Enter your data in two adjacent columns. For example, let's say the x-values are in column A (A2:A11) and the corresponding y-values are in column B (B2:B11).
  3. Select the data range, including both the x and y values.
  4. Click on the Insert menu and select Chart from the dropdown.
  5. In the Chart editor sidebar, select the Chart type dropdown icon (looks like a column chart).
  6. Scroll down to the Scatter section and choose the desired type of scatter plot. The options include Scatter, Straight line, Smooth line, or Scatter with straight lines.
  7. Customize the chart style, layout, and labels according to your preference.
  8. Click Insert to add the scatter plot to your Google Sheets document.

Automating with Google Apps Script #

If you frequently need to create scatter plots in Google Sheets and would like to automate the process, you can use Google Apps Script. Here's an example script to create a scatter plot:

function createScatterPlot() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var chart = sheet.newChart()
.addRange(sheet.getRange('A2:B11')) // Adjust the range as per your data
.setPosition(5, 5, 0, 0)

To use the script:

  1. Open the Google Sheets document where you want to create the scatter plot.
  2. Click on Extensions from the menu bar, then select Apps Script.
  3. In the Apps Script editor, paste the above script.
  4. Modify the range 'A2:B11' to match your data range.
  5. Save the script (e.g., scatter_plot_script).
  6. Close the script editor.
  7. Refresh your Google Sheets document, and you should see a new Create Scatter Plot option under the Add-ons menu.
  8. Click on Create Scatter Plot to generate the scatter plot based on the provided data range.

Use Case Examples #

Scatter plots are versatile visualizations that can be used in various scenarios. Here are a few examples:

  1. Economics: Use a scatter plot to illustrate the relationship between GDP and inflation rates over a specific period, helping analysts identify any correlation between the two variables.
  2. Marketing: Visualize the relationship between advertising expenditure and sales revenue to determine the effectiveness of advertising campaigns across different channels.
  3. Education: Plot student test scores against the hours of study to assess if there is a positive correlation, providing insights into study habits and outcomes.
  4. Healthcare: Track and analyze the relationship between patient age and blood pressure readings to identify potential health issues or trends.

These are just a few examples of how scatter plots can be utilized to gain insights from data relationships.

In conclusion, creating scatter plots in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. By following the manual instructions or implementing the provided Google Apps Script, you can visualize your data effectively and gain valuable insights through scatter plots.

See how to make a graph in Google Sheets to explore different ways of visualizing data beyond scatter plots.
If you want to add a line of best fit to your scatter plot, here's a helpful guide.
For data analysis purposes, you might find this tutorial on creating pivot tables in Google Sheets.
To query and filter your data in Google Sheets, refer to this step-by-step tutorial.
Finally, if you need assistance with sorting and querying, you can check out this article on how to sort query results in Google Sheets.