# Thread: Scatter Graphs, how to plot data when dealing with large numbers

1. ## Scatter Graphs, how to plot data when dealing with large numbers

Hi all,

This may seem a basic question but I am really struggling to work it out (maths and stats really not my strong point!) I'm currently hand drawing a scatter graph for my first Uni assignment and need to plot some data along the Y axis. On my X axis I have used increments of 2 squares (on the graph paper) in order to present percentages from 0-100. This part was simple but now I need to plot data on the Y axis. The smallest number I need to plot is 80,000 and the largest 240,000,000.

Really not sure how to do this without literally squashing my data into the graph...0.8 and 239.6 are the exact numbers I have been given, but there's a key that clearly indicates this is per 100,000 - so I have mulitiplied them by 100,000 so you have an idea of numbers I am dealing with. I will however need to plot with 0.8 as my lowest and 239.6 as my highest. I am going to round up to 240 in order to help with dividing the axis up equally. I just need to know how many increments, because whenever I divide 240 million by 30 squares or whatever that isn't working out...

2. ## Re: Scatter Graphs, how to plot data when dealing with large numbers

I can't tell from your question whether the data you are plotting really contain only 2 points (0.8 & 239.6) or whether there are additional data between the two.

In any event, the only idea I can think of is if you have a gap in your data, you could use a double hash mark across the Y axis to "skip" values"

For example, if your data look like this:

0.8
1.0
100.6
180.7
239.6

There is a very large gap between the first two data points and the rest. In this case, you could create a graph where you skip, or abbreviate, the Y axis to get rid of this gap.

239.6 |
|
|
|
|
|
|
100.6 |
=
1.0 |
0.8 |
---------------------------------------------------------------

The two horizontal lines across are universally recognized to mean a break in the numbering of the Y axis. You can see an example at this link.

I hope that helps!

-S

Edit: sorry the above graph looks like garbage. I guess the forum posting doesn't like spaces at the start of a line.

3. ## Re: Scatter Graphs, how to plot data when dealing with large numbers

Thank you very much for your help, that's helped me look at alternative ways to deal with this data!! Many thanks