How to Create a Scatter Chart

Table of Contents

What is a Scatter Chart

Scatter Charts represent points with (x, y) coordinate values on an orthogonal X/Y plot. Here are specific variations of this type of chart, first three being described in detail here:

  1. Simple Scatter Chart – single-series scatter with markers at each (x, y) position.
  2. Labeled Scatter Chart – single-series scatter with additional text labels for each point.
  3. Grouped Scatter Chart – Scatter chart with more than one series of points.
  4. Bubble Chart – Scatter chart with variable size of the point markers.
  5. Dependency Crosstab Chart – used to show a relationship between identifier values.
  6. Quadrant Chart – Cartesian chart with the origin of X/Y axes moved in the middle.
  7. Block Plot – Cartesian chart with no markers, and labels in small styled boxes instead.
  8. Lollipop Scatter Chart – Scatter chart with the data labels inside the bubble markers.
  9. Polar/Radar Scatter Chart – Scatter chart on a Polar or Radar circular plot.

Steps to Create a Scatter Chart

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Chart query builder.
  2. Select one numeric column as Point ChartsScatter, for the vertical Y values.
  3. Select another numeric or text column as Label, for the horizontal X values or labels.
  4. Select an optional Category, for a Labeled Scatter Chart.
  5. Select an optional numeric Size, for a Bubble Chart.

Simple Scatter Chart

A chart with just a Scatter chart selection and a Label is a simple single-series Scatter chart.

  • When both are numeric values, the points will likely appear at irregular intervals.
  • When a text Label leads to a category X axis instead, the points appear at regular intervals left to right.
  • Both coordinates can also be text-only, for a Dependency Crosstab Chart.

Scatter Chart

The chart is by default monochrome, but could be changed to use multiple colors. Points with negative Y values may be also displayed with a different down color.

A different marker could be selected for the points. Data labels may be also displayed above or inside the point markers – for a Lollipop Scatter Chart – with either their X or (by default) Y values. Data labels can be also displayed as blocks, hiding the markers and forming a Block Plot.

The origin of the X/Y axis may be automatically moved in the middle of the chart area, forming a Quadrant Chart.

Labeled Scatter Chart

Frequent scenarios contain labeled points. When both X and Y are numeric values, you may need a textual label instead to describe each point. Labels may be unique or represent a group or category.

In either case, the way to achieve this is to set the additional label data column as Category, and show this Category in the data labels instead. The chart below goes event farther, showing the whole chart as a Block Plot: the Block Plot replaces all markers with styled data labels, displayed in small colored boxes.

Scatter Chart with Category

Grouped Scatter Chart

More than one Scatter chart selections create a multi-series Grouped Scatter Chart. By default, each series gets its own color and marker style, but both can be changed.

Grouped Scatter Chart

Customize your Scatter Chart

  1. Show the Scatter chart as multi-color, with each marker point getting a different color.
  2. Show data labels, inside the markers, and as lollipops.
  3. Switch to a 3D view and show a Quadrant.
  4. Continue by using the legend items to hide some series.

Custom Scatter Chart


  • Creating a Scatter Chart in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and easy: set the Y column as a Scatter chart, and the X column as Label.
  • Add a Category column for labeled points.
  • Add a numeric Size for a Bubble Chart.
  • Show the chart as a Quadrant.
  • Show data labels as in a Block Plot or as Lollipops.
  • Use both initial coordinates with text, for a Dependency Crosstab Chart.
  • All builtin powerful features of these chart type are common to most other charts: filtering series through the legend items, interactivity, monochrome or grayscale colors, rich axis and data label selections etc.
  • Switch to another builtin chart theme, or customize your own, for any possible color or other styles.