# Scatter chart - how to show "spike" headings on horizontal axis and also 1 standard deviation error bars

hi Folks
got asked this question by a scientist. I've attached a file and she wants to show her results with the "spike" headings on the horizontal axis, days on the vertical, - I've played around with it a bit and I've got closer to what she wants with a line chart but as far as I can see she wants the three days data closer together and to be in a scatterchart. Any suggestions?
LVL 1
###### Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
Hello,

tell the scientist that a chart needs at least one value axis. If the "spike headings" are text are on the X axis and the days are on the Y axis, there is no way to plot any values.

Instead of thinking about "how can I make a chart from this data?", turn around, close your eyes. Ask yourself (or the scientist) "What question do I have that I expect the data to answer?" Put those questions into words. After that, we can think about how to construct charts that answer those questions.

cheers, teylyn
Author Commented:
So are you suggesting that the Spikes piece should be presented numerically?  i.e. instead of having Spike 1 10⁵, Spike 2 10⁴ have something like 1, 2 instead?
Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
What question should the chart answer? What should the chart show to the reader?
In your example (where the days are NOT on the vertical axis), I see three lines. What is their significance? What do the error bars mean?

"She wants it in a scatter chart" is the wrong approach. A better approach would be "What is the relationship between A and B" or "What is the difference on between A and B day over day?". With questions like these, you can select an appropriate data visualisation and chart type.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by