• Hi All

    Please note that at the Chandoo.org Forums there is Zero Tolerance to Spam

    Post Spam and you Will Be Deleted as a User


  • When starting a new post, to receive a quicker and more targeted answer, Please include a sample file in the initial post.

Scatter chart where size of dots (circles) varies


New Member
I read through every visualization post on PHD to find an answer this question. It was such a pleasure. I could spend all day fooling around with the neat visual stuff on Excel. I didn't find the answer, though, so I wanted to ask it here.

I want to add a third variable to a scatter plot. Here's how it would work. The Y axis is a country's economic growth. The X axis is some measure of the risk of doing business in a country. And the dots (circles) are proportional to the size of the economy.

So, for instance, China is growing at 8% per year, is risky to do business in, and has a huge economy. The circle for China would be high up on the Y axis (high growth) and over to the right on the X axis (high risk). So far this is just a scatter plot. What I can't figure out is how to make the China circle huge (because it's the third biggest economy in the world).

Same deal with Denmark (low growth, low risk, tiny circle), Japan (low growth, low risk, enormous circle), Azerbaijan (high growth, high risk, tiny circle) and Zimbabwe (low growth, high risk, tiny circle).

I've got all of the data. Any suggestions on how I might do this? And while I'm at it, any suggestions on alternate ways of visualizing something like this?




New Member
I'm replying to myself - went over to ManyEyes and found exactly what I'm looking for:


Unfortunately I can't upload the data (I don't own it) to ManyEyes, and I need to do this in Excel.


New Member
Why not use bubbles ? here is one similar example http://chandoo.org/wp/2007/04/04/start-early/

of course bubble are difficult to mend (as they can overlap and all that crap) but it is far easier than doing something fancy....

I have used them to make a map of olympic medal visualization. http://chandoo.org/wp/2008/08/06/olympic-medal-country-year-excel-bubble-chart/


New Member
Hello Chandoo,

I want to do something similar to what Dan was asking for, only I'd like the third variable to be the color of the individual data point. So for instance, I have 3 pieces of data describing each discrete sample. I'd like to be able to create a Scatterplot in Excel (first two columns for X and Y) and then color the data points based on their value in the third column. So far I've had no luck figuring this out - any thoughts?

Thanks so much for your excellent blog - check it everyday!