What is connected scatterplot and how it works?

A connected scatterplot is a visualization technique used in Tableau and other data visualization tools to depict the relationship between two variables over a continuous scale. It combines the features of both scatterplots and line charts, allowing for the exploration of how the relationship between variables changes over time or along a specific dimension.

In a connected scatterplot, each data point represents a unique observation or data point and is plotted on a two-dimensional coordinate system, with one variable represented on the x-axis and the other on the y-axis. Unlike a traditional scatterplot where each point stands alone, a connected scatterplot adds lines or curves to connect consecutive data points in their respective order.

The connecting lines in a connected scatterplot provide a sense of continuity and directionality, allowing viewers to observe trends and patterns more easily. They can reveal temporal or sequential relationships and show how the relationship between the variables evolves as one variable changes.

Connected scatterplots are particularly useful for examining time series data, exploring trends, identifying clusters or groups of data points, and detecting outliers or anomalous observations. They can help uncover correlations, dependencies, or causal relationships between variables, providing insights into the underlying dynamics of the data.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Connected Scatterplot in Tableau using Superstore dataset:

Step 1:  Drag ‘Sales’ into Columns and ‘Profit’ into Rows. Then drag ‘Sub-Category’ into Details.

Step 2:  Right click on mouse and drag ‘Order Date’ into Details. Select the discrete ‘Year’.

Step 3: Right click on mouse and drag ‘Order Date’ into Filters and select the start year and the end year.
Step 4: Drag ‘Sub-Category’ into Color and use Ctrl + Drag SUM(Profit) to duplicate the scatterplot.

Step 5: Change the shape of first scatterplot into circle and the shape of second scatterplot into line. Right click on SUM(Profit) and click Dual Axis.

Step 6: Right click on Axis and select Synchronize Axis.

Step 7: Create a calculated field to change the line shape.
Step 8: Drag the calculated field (Line size) into Size and make sure the aggregation is Average.

Congratulations on your beautifully crafted connected scatterplot, and may your future visualizations continue to captivate and inspire others!










The Data School
Author: The Data School