How to Make an X Y Graph in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is capable of making all sorts of graphs, from line graphs to pie graphs as well as gantt charts. All you really need to do to make a specific chart is to select your relevant data and insert a new chart using that data (except Gantt charts, which you have to make from scratch).

Meanwhile, the X-Y graph is one of the more useful graphs around you can use to compare two categories together, particularly if you suspect that one factor directly influences the other factor.

What is an X Y Graph?

Some metrics in your data might prove critical or correlated with one another, such that their presence might indicate one influencing the other directly, inversely, and so forth. The XY or X-Y graph can help you understand the relationships of such variables.

  • Also Known as Scatter Chart: The XY graph, also known as the scatter chart or scatter plot, visualizes data to show or establish a relationship (or lack thereof) between two variables in an easy-to-read fashion.
  • Productivity and Training Hours: Those who suspect of a link between training hours and employee productivity, for instance, can chart out how when you increase your training hours your productivity is raised.
  • Answer Time and Number of People Working: The average answer time can also be influenced by the number of people working in a shift when it comes to call centers. There might be a correlation but if there isn’t the XY chart will expose it.

How to Make an X Y Graph in Google Sheets

Here’s the deal when making an XY graph in Google Sheets. It’s relatively easy if you know how to do it and what the chart is used for. First thing’s first though:

Step 1: Open a new Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Step 2: Input the data you want to graph. In particular, we’ve fetched the info we’ve put into this spreadsheet from comparison and statistic sites and Wikipedia.

Make XY Chart Step 2A - Get data for input

We’ve gotten our data for average height among NBA players from this link containing other stats like number of players, average weight, average age, number of NBA seasons played, and so forth.

Meanwhile, we’ve gotten our data from the top teams in the NBA finals for the last 10 years from this link.

Make XY Chart Step 2B - Input the data you want to graph

Step 3: Create the chart. You can click the “Insert” menu and selecting “Chart” or clicking the “Chart” icon on the horizontal toolbar.

Make XY Chart Step 3 - Create the chart

Step 4: Change the chart type, enhance data visuals, and customize your x-y graph. First off, select “Scatter graph” as your chart type.

Make XY Chart Step 4A - Choose scatter chart as chart type

Across the board, the number of players relative to average height is pretty equal. All the players average around 200 centimeters in height and the number of players are under 20 players.

Let’s now check the data comparing the number of players and the average height of the teams that ended up in the NBA finals.

Make XY Chart Step 4B - Championship teams end up even closer to the 200 cm average

Even with the presence of “shorter” super players like the 188 cm (6’1″) Stephan Curry and the NBA’s increased focus on the 3-point shot, the necessary presence of big men average out the team height to about 200 cm (6’5″ or 6’6″, like about the height of a Michael Jordan).

The impact of large forwards, centers, and whatnot such as 208 cm (6’8″) Kevin Durant and 206 cm (6’7″) LeBron James will mean that even shorter players will still require height for team play overall.

Long story short, no matter how many new players you get for your team, they’ll always average around the height of a Michael Jordan because the NBA is a game of height as well as skill.

Step 5: Let’s incorporate data more suited for an x-y chart, like changing revenue across a period of time. The x-axis is for the year, the y-axis is for the revenue in trillions, and the series are long-time rivals Microsoft and Apple.

Make XY Chart Step 5 - Incorporate changing data instead

Around the 2010s, the revenue between Steve Job’s Apple and Bill Gates’ Microsoft were still going head-to-head. Ironically, ever since the death of Steve Job in 2011 (Bill Gates himself stepped down as CEO in 2000 and left the company altogether in 2022), Apple revenues skyrocketed.

Thanks to the continued success of the iPhone back in 2007 all the way to the present, Apple has overtaken its rival Microsoft by leaps in bounds through consumer hardware instead of software.

The Final Judgment

To turn data into the XY graph, just select the data on the table, go to the “Insert” menu, then select “Chart” (or click the “Chart” icon on the horizontal toolbar).

From there, the chart type should be “Scatter” and make sure the data involves gradual change and correlated variables that could affect the change.

Data visualization is important in conveying information effectively at a glance. It’s also crucial to showcase your data in a visually appealing and compelling way. You can visualize data by putting them in graphs like the XY graph.


  1. Making an x-y graph in Google Sheets“,, April 28, 2021
  2. Vertex42, “Creating an XY Scatter Plot in Google Sheets“, YouTube, August 15, 2017
  3. How to Make an x y Graph in Google Sheets: Easy Steps to Follow“,, Retrieved July 19, 2022
  4. Google Docs & Microsoft Office Tutorials, “How to Make an X-Y Graph In Google Sheets – [ Step-by-Step ]“, YouTube, January 24, 2021

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Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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