Chapter 22. How to Make a Scatter Plot

After the bar chart and line graph, I find the scatter plot to be one of the most effective visualization options for analyzing data. A scatter plot displays data points at their respective intersections of two measures, and displays every data point on the same view. The marks can then be further encoded by up to three additional measures and/or dimensions by leveraging the Color and/or Size and/or Shape Marks Cards.


While scatter plots allow you to use several combinations of dimensions and measures, each new encoding increases the cognitive load on your end users. In other words, it makes it harder for them to process the view.

This ability to slice and dice data points in several ways within a condensed space provides an effective means for identifying patterns. Not only that, scatter plots provide a natural way to segment the marks into four quadrants by simply adding a reference line to each of the two axes. You can even take this a step further in Tableau by creating sets for each of the four segments to use for deeper analysis later. This chapter shares how to create a scatter plot in Tableau and use the results to create segments.

How to Make a Scatter Plot in Tableau

For this walkthrough, we’ll be evaluating all of our products across the Sales and Profit Ratio measures. When you build a scatter plot, one measure will form the y-axis and one measure will form the x-axis. The marks on the view will then be plotted at the intersection ...

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