Google Data Studio Scatterplot & Bubble Charts

By Zekeriya Mulbay

Scatterplot & Bubble charts are for comparing variable according to relationships between them. Charts might have points or circles. Charts have X and Y axis.

Scatter charts in help see the relationship between 2 metrics for up to 3 dimensions. For example, a scatter chart can show if there's a correlation between ad spend and conversion rate for a specific campaign, letting you answer questions such as "Do more expensive ads result in better conversions?"

Bubble charts show data with 3 dimensions. It's similar to a scatter plot where the first 2 dimensions are the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) coordinates, but it adds a 3rd dimension which is represented in the chart as the size of the bubble.


Left example compares the average course completion rate with the average activity rate (a measurement of how engaged the students were, in terms of forum posts, class activities completed, etc.) There is also a trendline which goes upwards. This shows there is a positive relationship between activity rate and completion rate. I.e., the more engaged the student, the more likely they are to complete the course.

The right one compares the average student grade with the number of hours of homework for each course. There is also a trendline which shows - the less homework assigned, the better the average grade.

How to add a scatterplot and bubble chart

Chart Settings

Click on the chart, afterwards on the right, use the properties panel to change the chart options.

Data Tab

This tab shows settings related to the data source.

  • Data source: A data source lets you connect to the data set you want to use. Data source options are: change the data source, view/edit the data source, add a blended data source.
  • Dimension: Dimensions are categories for your data, and dimension values are a name, description or another characteristic of a category. You can choose dimensions either directly from the available fields or by clicking the "Add Dimension" link. Dimensions may differ according to cart types. For example, geo charts' dimensions will be only locations.
  • Drill down: This option appears in the chart that supports it. Drilling down gives viewers a way to reveal additional levels of detail. When you turn on Drill down, ****each dimension you add becomes another level of detail you can see. Here is an example of how drill down works;
  • Metric: Metrics are used to measure the contents of dimensions and provide the chart with a numeric scale and data series. Drag fields from the Available Fields tab on the right onto the chart to add measurements. You can also click Add metric in the Data tab.
  • Metric X: The X (horizontal) axis metric (e.g. Avg Grade in the right-hand example above).
  • **Metric Y:**The Y (vertical) axis metric (e.g. Homework Hours in the right-hand example above).
  • **Bubble Size:**Setting this causes the chart to display as a bubble chart. This metric determines the size of the data points.
  • Metric Slider gives the viewer an option to filter desired metric value to view. For example, you can limit the chart to only show Average Orders where the total value is between $100 and $200. (not all charts offer this option)

💡At least 1 metric is required. You can have up to 20 metrics in a single-dimensional graphic. One metric can be used for charts with two dimensions.

Setting the default sort: The Sort and Secondary sort options control the default sorting behaviour. You can select any metric in the chart's data source, or any dimension currently displayed in the chart, to use as the primary or secondary sorting field. The Secondary sort option only appears when there is an appropriate combination of dimensions and metrics in the chart.

Default date range: This lets you set the timeframe for an individual chart*.* When this is changed, this specific chart's date range overrides the date range of the page. Default date range options:

  • Auto: Applies the date frame of the dashboard if there is a data selector. If not, then tries to include all data.
  • Custom: This Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.
  • Date compare type: Displays comparison data for the selected time period.

Filter: Filter help filter the raw data which is coming from the data source. It might be helpful when you want to include specific values or exclude some. For example, you might want to exclude ad campaigns with zero impressions.

Google Analytics segment: This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source. A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Data Studio charts to help ensure that your Data Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data.

Interactions: When interactions are enabled on a chart, that chart acts as a filter control. Here is an example, on this dashboard, the campaign table has the interactions option activated. So viewers can click on any row and top metrics represent metrics of this selected row.

Style tab

A chart's style properties control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.

Colour by: Here you can change colour settings.

Reference lines: This lets you to compare your data to a reference data. For example, you can use reference lines to visualize daily sales against a target sales figure.

Trendline: Adds an additional line to show the trend in the change of metric values. A linear trendline is a straight line that most closely approximates the data in the chart. If your data is best explained by an exponential of the form eax+b, you can use an exponential trendline to show the direction of your data. A polynomial trendline displays data directionality as a curved line. It can be useful for analyzing large, highly variable data series.

Axes: These options control the display of the chart axes titles and scales. A right Y-axis section appears when you have more than 1 metric in your chart.

  • Show axes: Shows or hides the chart axes.
  • Reverse Y-Axis direction: Controls the vertical display of the Y-axis.
  • Reverse X-Axis direction: Controls the horizontal display of the X-axis.
  • Show axis title: Shows or hides the axis labels.
  • Axis min and max: Set minimum and maximum values for the Y-axes.
  • Custom tick interval: Controls the interval between axis ticks.
  • Log scale: Makes the Y-axis scale logarithmic.

Grid: These options control the look of the chart grid.

  • Axis colour: Sets the colour of the x-axis line.
  • Grid colour: Sets the colour of the grid lines.
  • Chart Background: Sets the colour of the chart background.
  • Chart border colour: Sets the colour of the inner chart border.

Background and border: These options control the appearance of the chart background container.

  • Background: Sets the chart background colour.
  • Border Radius: Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. A border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
  • Opacity: Sets the chart's opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
  • Border Color: Sets the chart border colour.
  • Border Weight: Sets the chart border line thickness.
  • Border Style: Sets the chart borderline style.
  • Add border shadow: Adds a shadow to the chart lower and right borders.

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