A Dot Plot is one of the tested and proven visualization designs you can use to highlight:
The chart is incredibly easy to read and understand, even for less technical audiences. Use the Dot Plot Graph if your goal is to establish the general trends of key metrics and outliers (if any).
Popular data visualization tools, such as Excel, lack this chart. And this means you need a Dot Plot generator to access the cutting-edge chart.
How?
Actually, you don’t have to do away with Excel because there’s a way to supercharge it with third-party tools. As if that’s not enough, you’ll later discover how to leverage third-party tools to visualize your data with Dot Plot Chart.
In this blog, you’ll discover:
Before delving right into the how-to guide, let’s address the following question: What is a Dot Plot Chart?
Definition: A Dot Plot (also known as a Strip Plot or Dot Chart) consists of data points plotted as dots on a graph.
You can use the chart to visualize univariate and categorical data types. Dot Plot in Excel is best-suited for visualizing smaller data sets. To visualize bulky and complex data, we recommend Box Plots and Histograms.
Also, you can use the Dot Plot in Excel to uncover critical insights, such as trends and clusters in your business data. Take a look at the table below:
Can you provide a coherent and reliable story of what is going on?
Preferred Snack | Number of Students |
Popcorn | 6 |
Pretzels | 2 |
M&M’s | 3 |
Twizzlers | 4 |
Kit-Kats | 2 |
Note the difference after visualizing the data using a Dot Plot.
You can easily tell the most popular snack among the students who participated in the study. Popcorn and Twizzlers are the most preferred snacks. Conversely, KitKat and Pretzels are the least popular among the students.
Keep reading because we’ll address the following question in the coming section: What does a Dot Plot look like?
The Dot Plot in Excel displays the number of data points that fall into each category or value on the axis, thus showing the distribution variables in your data.
Furthermore, a Dot Plot groups vital metrics in your data in dots, which you can label easily. And this gives a visual depiction of the data distribution, similar to a histogram or probability distribution function. With this chart, you can easily detect macro insights, such as the central tendency, dispersion, skewness, and data modality.
Dots in this chart are organized along one axis to show the range of key data points with the help of a second axis (which shows the count in each group). These dots can be stacked vertically or horizontally, especially if your goal is to compare crucial metrics.
How to make a Dot Plot in Excel should never throw a curveball at you. Keep reading to discover more.
This chart comes in 2 key variants, namely:
Let’s check them out in great detail:
The Cleveland variant can visualize both continuous and categorical data types. Besides, it shares similarities with a Bar Chart.
But, unlike a Bar Chart which uses length, this chart uses dots’ positions to relay insights. This chart is attributed to William S. Cleveland, who was the pioneer of the concept of Continuous Variables in his book, “Elements of Graphing Data.”
Use a Cleveland Dot Plot if your goal is to track multiple variables because it does not require the axis to start at zero.
To visualize your data with this advanced chart, you need a Dot Plot maker, which we’ll discuss at great length in the coming section.
The Dot Plot variant (above) displays data insights just like a histogram.
The birth of this chart is attributed to Leland Wilkinson, a legendary data visualization expert. To visualize your data with the Wilkinson Dot Plot, you need a Dot Plot maker, which we’ll discuss at great length later.
In the coming section, we’ll address the following question: what are Dot Plots used for?
During the 70s, Gibbs and McIntyre pioneered using a Dot Plot to visualize the nucleic acid sequences (protein). The proteins are usually compared along the x and y axes. Since then, the chart has been widely used within bioinformatic circles.
The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) uses Dot Plot in Excel to display interest-rate projections during the Open Market Committee meetings. The chart is published in authoritative newspapers, such as Bloomberg and New York Times.
Excel is one of the most used tools for visualizing data because it’s free and easy to use.
A Dot Plot Chart does not exist in Excel’s chart library. But this does not mean you should ditch this freemium data visualization tool.
Did you know you can supercharge your Excel with third-party add-ins?
Yes, you can supercharge the functionality of your Excel by downloading and installing a particular add-in called ChartExpo.
So, what is ChartExpo?
We recommend this tool (ChartExpo) because it’s super easy to use.
You don’t need to take coding night classes to extract insights from your data. ChartExpo is more of a ‘drag-and-drop tool,’ which means you’ll only need to scroll your mouse and fill in respective metrics and dimensions in your data.
More so, this premium Dot Plot maker in Excel comes with a 7-day free trial period.
ChartExpo empowers you to visualize diverse data types, such as sales and marketing data, annual reports, monthly reports, office productivity data, etc.
The crown jewel benefit of this tool is that it produces charts that are easy to read and interpret. And, it allows you to save charts in the world’s most recognized formats, namely PNG and JPG.
ChartExpo comes loaded with a large number of intuitive charts and graphs in excel and google sheets, including ready-made and visually stunning Dot Plots, among others.
Click here to install ChartExpo into your Excel. Once you’re done, follow the easy steps below.
Each dot plotted in a Dot Plot denotes a specific number of observations from a given data set (unless specified, assume that each dot represents one observation).
The dots are arranged in columns over categories. And this is because the height of the column represents the absolute or relative frequency of observations.
The pattern displayed in a Dot Plot denotes symmetry and skewness. Dot Plot in Excel is often used to plot frequency counts in a small data set compared to other graphs.
Compared to more traditional charts, such as Bar Graphs, Dot Plot in Excel use less ink and space. And this means chances of clutter obscuring key insights are non-existent in this chart.
Secondly, a Dot Plot provides you with the freedom to work with a non-zero axis, unlike typical charts, such as Columns and Line Charts.
Lastly, a Dot Plot is among the charts that are easy to read and interpret.
A Dot Plot and a Line Chart share significant similarities because they both use dots to display insights.
However, they’ve got massive distinctions. For instance, dots in a Dot Plot Graph are ‘free-standing” and not connected with a line. Conversely, dots in a Line Chart are interconnected.
Dot plots chart made up of two axes. One of the axes shows the range of values or categories along which the data points are grouped. The second axis shows the number of data points in each group.
Dots may be vertically or horizontally stacked to display the magnitude of key data points.
Use a Dot Plot to extract trends insights into your data.
Dot Plots are among charts that are amazingly easy to read and understand. Besides, they’re best suited for small to moderate-sized data sets. Use a smart and inexpensive tool, such as ChartExpo, to access this chart.
What is a Dot Plot?
A Dot Plot is one of the tested and proven visualization designs you can use to highlight clusters, trends, and outliers in your data.
The chart is incredibly easy to read and understand, even for less technical audiences. Use the Dot Plot Graph if your goal is to establish the general trends of key metrics and outliers (if any).
One of the most significant advantages of this chart is it provides you with the freedom to work with a non-zero axis, unlike typical charts, such as Columns and Line Charts.
A Dot Chart in Excel comes in 2 key variants, namely:
Popular data visualization tools, such as Excel, lack this chart. And this means you need a Dot Plot generator to access the cutting-edge chart.
So how can you access a Dop Plot in Excel?
We recommend you download and install a particular add-in called ChartExpo to access a visually stunning and ready-made Dot Plot in Excel.
ChartExpo is incredibly easy to use and produces amazingly insightful charts. Furthermore, it has many advanced charts. You can easily export your Dot Plot into globally recognized formats: JPEG and PNG.
It gets better.
You don’t need programming or coding skills to visualize your data with Dot Plot in ChartExpo.
Sign up for a 7-day free trial to access ready-to-go and visually stunning Dot Plots for your data stories.