Plots in Excel (Table of Contents)
Introduction to Plots in Excel
Plots are charts andn graphs which are used to visualize and interpret data so that values for two different variables can be represented along the two axes (horizontal axis, i.e. the x axis and vertical axis, i.e. the y axis). Plots are basically scatter charts generally used to show a graphical relationship between two variables
Scatter plots use the Cartesian axes or coordinates so as to display the two data sets’ values.
In MS Excel, some layouts that are available for scatter plot are:
- Simple Scatter plot.
- Scatter with smooth lines and markers.
- Scatter with smooth lines.
- Scatter with straight lines and markers.
- Scatter with straight lines.
- Bubble chart.
- 3-D Bubble chart.
We can interpret the scatter plots in the following manner:
- If the data points on the plot look like they are randomly scattered, then it implies that there is no correlation between the two variables.
- If the data points on a plot are spread widely on the plane, then it implies that the correlation between two variables is weak.
- The correlation between two variables is said to be strong if the data points are concentrated around a line on the plot.
- The correlation between two datasets is positive If the data points’ pattern on the plot goes from lower left to upper right
- The correlation between two datasets is negative if the data points’ pattern on the plot goes from upper left to lower right,
Examples of Plots in Excel
Lets us discuss the examples of Plots in Excel.
Example #1 – Simple Scatter Plot
Let us suppose there is an interrelated dataset where we have some people’s monthly salaries and their expenditures. Now the relation between salary and expenditure can be plotted in Excel with the help of a scatter plot.
We have the following data of monthly salaries and expenditures in an Excel file:
Now in order to create a scatter plot for this data in Excel, the following steps can be used:
- Select the dataset and click on the ‘Insert’ tab. Now select ‘Scatter Chart’:
- With this, we will have the data plotted as follows:
Now the chart title can be changed by double-clicking on it and then renaming it:
- Now right click on the scatter lot -> Click on ‘Select Data’:
- On doing this, we will get a popup window:
- In the resulting window, select ‘Salary’ in the section: ‘Legend Entries’, and then select‘Remove’.
- Now in the section ‘Legend Entries’, select ‘Expenditure’ in this window, and choose ‘Edit’ :
- With this, we will have a popup window for the edit series:
- Now in this ‘Edit Series’ window, select ‘Salary’ range under ‘Series X values’:
- This will finally generate the below scatter plot:
- Now right-click on any data point or dot) -> Select ‘Format data Series’:
- With this, we will have a ‘Format Series’ dialog box. In this, click on ‘Effects’ and choose ‘3-D Format’:
- Now under ‘3-D Format’, select ‘circle’ type top level:
- Now in the ‘Format Series’, choose ‘Fill & Line’ and select ‘Marker’:
- Expand the ‘Fill’ option in the ‘Marker’ section -> Select ‘Vary colors by point’:
With this, each dot or data point will be represented with a different colour
- Now expand ‘Marker Options’ in the ‘Marker’ section. Choose ‘Built-in’ and then increase the value of size:
With this, the data points’ size will be increased.
- Now on the right of the plot, click on the ‘Plus’ icon in order to open the ‘Chart Elements’ dialog box:
- Now check mark ‘Axis Titles’in the ‘Chart Elements’ dialog box. On doing this,we will have an ‘Axis Title’ textbox on both the axes. (horizontal and vertical
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