Some of the charts and graphs in Excel have overlapping uses.
Here are a few points of when to use a scatter plot:
1. Showing the correlation of the variables.
The main purpose of a scatter plot is to show the correlation between the variables. If there’s no correlation, the points on the chart appear scattered.
However, if there’s a correlation, positive or negative, a diagonal arrangement (resembling a line) of the points can be observed. Like our example above, you can see a correlation where an increased in pageviews results in an increased in sales.
2. The variables being observed are numeric.
If the variables are numeric, a scatter plot is a good choice to visualize the data. If not, as in cases where the other variable is time (or periods of time), a line graph would do.
3. Spot trends in the variables.
Because scatter plots show the correlation between the variables, they’re also a good tool to spot trends.
If the variables on both axes increases, it denotes a positive trend or correlation. But if the variable in the vertical axis decrease, it’s negative.
4. Ability to scale the horizontal axis.
Because the horizontal axis is a value axis, scaling it is possible. You can also turn it into a logarithmic scale.