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NZAMT NZQA NZ Grapher NZ Maths Census at School Study It

Making Scatter plots

1.11 Bivariate Home | Assessment Criteria | Ask a Question | Make a Plan | Collecting Data | Cleaning Data | Making Scatterplots | Describing Scatterplots | Outliers | Line of Best Fit | Population Inference | Conclusion | Revision


Scatter Plots

Displaying data in a scatter plot

Ensuring the variables are correctly placed - EXPLANATORY on the 'x' axis and the DEPENDENT variable on the 'y' axis

making a Scatter Plot in Excel (allow macros)

Scatterplots Class notes, Blank notes

pg284, pg360



When investigating bivariate data making a scatter plot is the first step.

What types of scatter plot associations are possible?

How do we make a scatter plot using Excel?

If the scatter plot indicates a linear model is appropriate then we can proceed.

One variable could be influencing (or be an influence in causing) the other variable. This is called the 'explanatory' or 'independent' or 'predictor' variable (should be plotted on the 'x' axis)

The other variable is the 'dependent' or 'response' variable
(plotted on 'y' axis)

If neither variable 'causes' the other then either
variable can be plotted on the 'x' axis.

There may be an ‘association’

making a Scatter Plot in Excel (allow macros)


1) Have the data explanatory (x) on left and dependent variable (y) on the right


2) Highlight both data sets (click and drag)


3) 'Insert' --> Scatter plot (under chart tab)


4) Click on the graph then the 'chart tools' --> Design --> Add axis labels


5) Label the axis with units.


6) Right click on the data values and 'add trend line, 'linear' & Show equation (tick box)


Carbohydrate total (g) Energy (kJ)
28.7 1070
29.2 1280
37.6 1435
47.7 2086
21.8 1164
41 2414
37.5 2196
56.1 2589
47.5 1417
26.8 1301
27.3 1608
17.2 578
55.5 1201





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