IAF Methods

Scatter diagram

by for . Last edit was about 2 years ago
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This tool is used as a visual aid when wanting to analyze the correlation between two factors.

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Additional info


The intent of the process is to find out about the different variables in context to each other and to identify which influence they may have.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • A whiteboard and markers, large sheet of paper, or projection screen and computer in order to create the chart is recommended, however the chart can also be hand drawn.



Types of participants: Any types of participants can be involved in this process.

Time needed: The time needed depends on the variables that are examined, and on the time interval that is to be checked.

Ideal conditions: The to be observed participants should feel comfortable in their environment and should be able to work normally.

Pre-Work Required: Collecting data and the supposed effects


Scatter diagrams are easy to construct and therefore a quick method to analyze certain correlations.

The first step is to collect at least forty paired data points. This means that data of the cause being tested and the supposed effect at one point in time has to be collected. An example would be the time of the day for the X axis, and the work done (for example pieces of...) on the y axis. Consequently, this means that the cause is on the horizontal line, whereas the expected effect will be on the vertical axis.

Then, determine the highest and the lowest value of each variable and mark the axes accordingly.

Next, mark the paired points in the diagram, and if there happen to be multiple pairs with the same value, do draw as many circles around the point as there are additional pairs with those same values.

The last step is to evaluate, hence, identify and classify the patterns of the association or company according to the example graphs that are attached. Great care is needed when interpreting the chart so as not to leap to conclusions.


Follow-Up Required: The client will have to analyze the collected data further so as to improve possible problems.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: The outcome will be a scatter diagram which analyses the correlation of two variables such as day time and work done.

Potential pitfalls: A potential pitfall is the misinterpretation of the results.

How success is evaluated: The process is successful when a Scatter Diagram has been created and when/if it reveals insightful and new information


Source: http://www.qaproject.org/methods/resscatter.html

Derived from: This process derived from the scatter plot/ scatter chart that is used in mathematics and other sciences.

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  • I can see the potential use of this as a visual to clearly see correlations. I think it would be good to do some research about scatter plotting before using it, as the instructions are at a very high level.

    about 3 years ago