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Scatter charts in Power BI

A scatter chart shows the relationship between two numerical values and displays points at the intersection of an x and y numerical value, combining these values into single data points.

It always has two value axes to show that is one set of numerical data along a horizontal axis and another set of numerical values along a vertical axis.

Following are some consideration of using Scatter charts, recommended by Microsoft as follows :

  • Can be used when to show relationships between two numerical values.
  • When to plot two groups of numbers as one series of x and y coordinates.
  • To use instead of a line chart when you want to change the scale of the horizontal axis.
  • To turn the horizontal axis into a logarithmic scale.

Lets take a look how to create a scatter chart in Power BI step by step.

Here we have a sample dataset named Orders as shown below.

Creating a Scatter Chart

Lets create a scatter chart which visualizes the relationship between Sales and Profit by Sub-Category and Category.

Now go to Fields pane, there you can see various option as shown below.

Lets understand these option:

  1. Details: specify the column that represents the Bubbles/ Marker.
  2. Legend: specify the column that sub divide the details data.
  3. X Axis: specify the column that represents the numerical data on horizontal axis.
  4. Y Axis: specify the column that represents the numerical data on vertical axis.
  5. Size: It is an additional third data dimension, can specify the column that represents the bubbles/marker size.
  6. Play Axis: specify what column that is responsible for the trend overtime.
  7. Tooltips: specify the column to be included in information displayed when hovering on a bubble in the chart.

Lets create a scatter chart, drag the columns into fields pane as shown below.

Once you done with that, you will see that scatter chart is created as shown below.

You can see, it displays the trend of bubbles that represents the Sales and Profit by Sub-category and Category.

Lets add a quantity fields in chart that will represent the bubble size, and the largest bubble in the chart represent the largest quantity value, smallest bubble represent less quantity value in compare to largest one.

After adding the Quantity, lets take a look at scatter chart, and you can see, the size of the bubbles has changed as per the Quantity values.

Also the largest bubble in the chart have the largest quantity value in compare to other.

Also, it displays the valuable information when you hover on a bubble as shown below.

Adding a Play Axis in chart

Lets see how the Play axis can be used to show the trends in your data, here we will see the trends by state, Lets add a state column into Play axis as shown below.

You can also add a any date column to Play axis to see the trends.

Once you add a State column to Play axis, then you can see a state wise trend of sales and profit by sub-category and category, just click on “play” and focus on how data is evolving.

Formatting scatter chart

You can format the chart to make it more attractive and informative.

Before formatting the chart, just remove the state from play axis.

Lets go to Format pane, and enable the Category, it shows the sub-category for each bubble in chart as shown below.


In case, if you want other shape instead of bubble, you can change the shape to a diamond, triangle, or square.

Go to Shapes option in Format pane, and select the shape from Marker Shape drop down, also can set the Size of shape.




You can also format  Title, Data colors, Plot Area, Color border, X axis, and Y Axis as per your requirement.

Note that, You can set the max data volume to any number up to 10,000. If you get into the higher numbers, that means a longer loading time. so it is suggested that do testing first to ensure good performance.

You can also adds important trends or insights in your chart using a Analytics pane.

Lets go to Analytics pane, there you can see various analytics option.

Go Median Line, and click on +Add button.

Once you click on +Add button. By default, Power BI adds a median line for Sales.

If you do not want median line for Sales, you can change it from Measure drop down.

Lets select the Profit in Measure.

You can see, a median line is added for Profit in Chart.

Similarly, you can explore other analytics options, and add more insights into your charts.

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