Scatter Plot Examples

Scatter plots are used to evaluate the correlation or cause-effect relationship (if any) between two variables.

There are three primary types of scatter plots:

Strong Positive Correlation

scatter plot example positive correlation

Data points are clustered along a trend line
Upward slope (as one variable increases so does the other).
R² is greater than .80

Strong Negative Correlation

scatter plot strong negative correlation

Data points are clustered along a trend line.
Downward slope (as one variable increases the other decreases.)
R² is greater than .80

No Correlation

Example of no correlation

Data points look like a shotgun blast
R² is less than .80


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Calculating the Correlation of Determination

If R², the correlation of determination (square of the correlation coefficient), is greater than 0.8, then 80% of the variability in the data is accounted for by the equation. Most statistics books imply that this means that you have a strong correlation.

Scatter Plots can be made manually or in Excel. However, you have to find the right chart to get a trend line and Excel will not calculate the R² for you.

QI Macros Add-in for Excel can create a scatter plot in seconds and will calculate the slope and R² for you. FREE QI Macros 30-Day Trial

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