How to Create a Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables (with Easy Steps)

This tutorial will demonstrate the steps to create a scatter plot in excel with 3 variables. A Scatter Plot (also known as x-y graphs, XY scatter charts) is very useful in interpreting charts. You can use it to display the relationships between different variables. Scatter Plots are best for representing data with more than 2 variables.


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here.


Why Do We Create Scatter Plot with 3 Variables in Excel?

The common uses of the chart are:

  • Scatter plots are best for displaying data with more than 2.
  • The major advantage is you don’t have to use any other chart to display complex data with more variables.
  • You can use this chart to interpret the relationship between major key data.
  • You can use this chart for controlling process quality with a corrective approach.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Create Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables

We’ll use a sample dataset overview as an example to understand easily. For easy understanding, the independent variable is placed in the left column as the x-axis and the dependent variables are placed in the right columns and will be plotted as the y-axis and z-axis. At this point, to create a scatter plot with 3 variables, follow the steps below to do so.


Step-01: Arrange Dataset for Scatter Plot with 3 Variables

For instance, we have a dataset of people with their Month(X) in Column B, Product Price(Y) in Column C, and Items Sold(Z) in Column D.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Create Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables

Read More: How to Make a Scatter Plot in Excel with Multiple Data Sets


Step-02: Generate Scatter Plot

Generating a scatter plot diagram with your data points can help you to determine the potential relationship between them. To generate a scatter chart follow the steps:

Steps:

  • At first, select Column B, Column C, and Column D. Then, click the Insert tab and go to the Insert Scatter option, and select Scatter.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Create Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables

  • After selecting the Scatter option the following result will come on the display screen.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Create Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables

Read More: How to Create a Scatter Plot in Excel with 2 Variables


Step-03: Apply Different Scatter Plot Types with 3 Variables

In this step, you will learn to use different scatter chart types. You can use any of the following as per your need.

Steps:

Apply Different Scatter Plot Types with 3 Variables

  • But if you select ‘Scatter with Straight Lines’, the following result will come on your screen.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Create Scatter Plot in Excel with 3 Variables

Read More: How to Create a Scatter Plot with 4 variables in Excel (with Quick Steps)


Types of Scattering Graph and Correlation

If you want to use the scatter plot properly, you must know how these variables are connected with one another. There are three types of Correlation in scatter plotting:

Positive Correlation: if with the increase in the x variable, the y variable also increases then it is a positive correlation. The best example of a positive correlation is- the total time a student spent studying vs his scores.

Negative Correlation: if with the increase in the x variable, the y variable also decreases then it is a negative correlation. The relation between class bunks and obtaining scores is one of the best examples of negative correlation because the amount of class bunks increases and the obtaining scores decreases.

No Correlation: if there is no connection between the variables then it is called no correlation. For example, students’ height has no correlation with their grades.


Similar Readings


Designing XY Scatter Plot with 3 Variables in Excel

Adjusting Axis Scale (Reducing White Space)

If the points are assembled at the top, bottom, right, left or any side of the graph, then you may want to clear the space. To reduce the white space follow these steps:

Steps:

  • Initially, Right-click on the x-axis, use Format Axis and set the Minimum and Maximum options as needed.
  • Additionally, you can make changes in the spacing between the grid lines using the Major and Minor.

Designing XY Scatter Plot with 3 Variables in Excel


Attaching Labels to Scatter Plot Data Points

If a scatter graph has comparatively small data points, then you can label the data points with their name for better visualization.

Steps:

  • Firstly, select the whole chart and click on the Chart Elements option.
  • Secondly, check the Data Labels box and then select More Options.

Designing XY Scatter Plot with 3 Variables in Excel

  • Thirdly, click on the Label Options, choose the Value From Cells option and then go to Data Label Range. In the Select Label Range box, choose the desired column.

Designing XY Scatter Plot in Excel

  • After pressing OK, you will get a result similar to the below.

Designing XY Scatter Plot in Excel

Read More: How to Add Data Labels to Scatter Plot in Excel (2 Easy Ways)


Adding Trendline and Equation

To understand the connection between the two variables, you can use trendline in your chart.

Steps:

  • At the starting point, press right-click on any data point and select Add Trendline.

Designing XY Scatter Plot in Excel

  • Then,  look over the Display Equation on the Chart box on the Format Trendline which will come to the right side of your window just  after you’ve added a trendline. The result will look similar to this:

Read More: How to Add Line to Scatter Plot in Excel (3 Practical Examples)


Switching X and Y Axes in Scatter Chart

A scatter plot normally uses the horizontal axis to represent the independent variable and the vertical axis for the dependent variable. If you have plotted the graph other than that, then you have to fix it and the easiest way to do that is by swapping the columns.

Steps:

  • Right-click on either the x or y-axis and click on the Select Data tab.

Designing XY Scatter Plot in Excel

  • Copy ‘Series X values’ to the ‘Series Y values’ box and vice versa.

  • After clicking OK, your scatter plot will show this transformation:


Things to Remember

When two or more data points are very close to each other, their labels can overlap. In this case, to fix this, click on the labels, and then select only the overlapping data. After that, point your mouse cursor to the selected label and wait until the cursor changes to the four-sided arrow, and then drag the label to the desired position. As a result, you will have a perfect Excel scatter plot with better labels.


Conclusion

Henceforth, follow the above-described methods. Thus, you will be able to calculate how to create a scatter plot in excel with 3 variables. Let us know if you have more ways to do the task. Follow the ExcelDemy website for more articles like this. Don’t forget to drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.


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Zehad Rian Jim

Zehad Rian Jim

Hi there! I am Zehad Rian Jim. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering from BUET. Currently, I am working as a technical content writer at ExcelDemy. You will find all my articles on Microsoft Excel on this site. Outside of the workplace, my hobbies and interests include watching movies, tv series, and meeting new people. I also enjoy sports. My favorite sports are Cricket (to watch and play) and Badminton (play).

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