In Anaplan, a scatter plot displays values, along two axes, for two sets of data series. The distribution of the dots across the axes demonstrates the existence, or absence, of correlation between the events. Bubble charts, which are an added dimension of scatter plots, replace the plotted dots with bubbles. These bubbles represent a third series of data, typically meaning size or volume of a dimension related to the first two series.

In both cases, a single series of data is charted from the first two columns of line items (three in the case of a bubble chart) in your grid.

Two side-by-side charts. The first depicts a scatter plot and the second depicts a bubble chart.

Switch on Trendlines to more easily analyze your data. Then, you can use:

    • Linear trendlines, for simple linear data sets and produces a best-fit straight line. This is used to demonstrate constant progression or decline.
    • Polynomial trendlines, when values fluctuate and creates an up-and-down curved line. This is used to analyze gains and losses in a large data set.
    • Exponential trendlines, with larger datasets with continuously fluctuating values. These trendlines cannot contain nonpositive (greater-than-zero) values in the Y-axis, and will be unavailable if these values are present.
    • Logarithmic trendlines, to facilitate the display of sudden increases or decreases in the trend, but tend to level out. Due to their nature, Logarithmic trendlines cannot contain nonpositive (greater-than-zero) values in the Z-axis and will be unavailable if these values are present.

Scatter plots and bubble charts can also use conditional formatting. This allows you to set statuses to color the bubble or plot markers based on rules and values. In this case, formatting is defined by your source view's fourth column of data. To use conditional formatting in scatter plots and bubble charts, follow the process in Configure conditional formatting. After updating the chart, go to the Chart tab, and expand the Series section. Toggle right on Use conditional formatting from <list item name>. The formatting displays on your chart.

On the Context tab you can toggle hierarchy filters. The hierarchy filter selector displays on the published chart, for that card on your board or worksheet. Via this filter, users can navigate different branches of the list hierarchy in the source model. 

To learn how to add a scatter plot or bubble chart to a board or worksheet, see Configure a chart card.


The scatter plot and bubble chart are best used when comparing paired numerical data, not necessarily associated to a time dimension. The plot of markers across the visualization helps you to categorize the data, based on your use case. If the markers are grouped tightly together, then there's a high correlation. If the markers on the chart are more random in distribution, then there's low to no correlation in the data.  With scatter plot and bubble charts you can:

  • Determine the root cause of a given scenario, by comparing numerical data.
  • Visualize the relationship between your two data series.
  • Identify where or who are the outliers in the data set.
  • Determine a trend in the correlation of data.
  • Identify opportunities or risks, within a competitive scenario.

Apart from generic chart configuration options, scatter plot and bubble charts have unique configuration options and requirements. These include:

  • Define minimum and maximum values for the chart axes.
  • Create a bubble chart via the Card Configuration Chart tab (toggle right on Size).


A scatter plot or bubble chart may not be the best option when:

  • You analyze small amounts of data
  • You use non-numerical data

Anaplan's mobile app does not support scatter plot and bubble charts.


We update Anapedia content regularly to provide the most up-to-date instructions.