Ultimate Bubble Chart Tutorial

Bubble charts are often used in business to visualize the relationships between projects or investment alternatives in aspects such as cost, value, and risk.

Bubble charts or bubble plots are extremely useful graphs for comparing the relationships between data objects in three numeric data dimensions: the X-axis data, the Y-axis data, and data represented by the bubble size. By visualizing project portfolios using bubble charts, you can find out clusters of relatively attractive projects and less attractive projects.

The Definition of Bubble Chart

A bubble chart is a variation of a scatter chart in which the data points are replaced with bubbles. Bubble charts plot data defined in terms of three distinct numeric parameters. They allow the comparison of entities in terms of their relative positions with respect to each numeric axis and their size as well.

Bubble Chart Example

A bubble chart displays a set of numeric values as circles. It is especially useful for data sets with dozens to hundreds of values, or with values that differ by several orders of magnitude.

When to Use Bubble Chart

Bubble charts are often used to present financial data. Use a bubble chart when you want specific values to be more visually represented in your chart via different bubble sizes. Bubble charts are useful when your worksheet has any of the following types of data: three values per data point, negative values and multiple data series.

Bubble Chart Example

Compared with many charts and graphs, bubble charts have lots of advantages. They can legibly show data values that differ by a ratio of 100,000, and can display hundreds of individual values at once. You can think of them as performing a visual square-root transform on the data set.

Steps to Draw a Bubble Chart

Although it is convenient to use bubble charts for visually displaying data, it is still kind of difficult to draw the bubble chart by hand. No worries, it is quite an easy job to draw a bubble chart with the help of bubble chart maker. Now let me show you how to use bubble chart maker to draw a bubble chart step by step.

First things first, select your favorite bubble chart shape from the library which is on the left of the canvas.

Choose Bubble Chart Shape

Drag and drop the bubble chart shape you have chosen on the drawing page. On the upper right of the bubble chart shape, you may find a floating button as the picture below shows.

Bubble Chart Floating Button

There are lots of options from the floating button, and the first option is "Load Data from File". The default data format for the bubble chart example is text (.txt) file. Also, please kindly note that the data arrangement of your data file should be like what the picture below shows.

Bubble Chart Examples Data Arrangement

Tips: Edraw also supports csv file, text and csv file exported by Excel. If you installed Office Excel, Edraw can load xls and xlsx file.

You may also add or delete a point, set point number, set axis max and min scale, set max and min value, show or hide data labels, etc. The last option on the floating button is "Appearance Option", when you double click it, you may find a small window like the picture below shows.

Bubble Chart Appearance Option

You may customize other bubble chart features to make it look more attractive.

View Bubble Chart Examples

View Bubble Chart Symbols

How to Make a Bubble Chart

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