Business Intelligence Tools

How to Configure Scatter Plot Line Connections

  • Would you like to use the Line Connection feature in Scatter Plots but don’t quite know how?
  • Do you find the Line Connection configuration dialog confusing?
  • Would you like to see an example of the Line Connection feature?

This week a user reached out to me for help with the line connection feature in scatter plots.  This feature is used to connect markers and can be very handy on otherwise cluttered scatter plots.  Many people use this to create Gantt charts or calendars in Spotfire.  This user wanted to use the line connection feature to connect the markers of each well in the plot.  The image below shows his original scatter plot with some editing to show me the desired end result.  I’ve also included a screenshot of his first attempt.


















It’s not surprising that his first attempt turned out like it did.  The descriptors for line connection configuration aren’t very intuitive.  Spotfire uses the terms “Draw a separate line per value in:” and “Order each line by”.

In layman’s terms, “Draw a separate line per value in” means, “draw a separate line for each <insert categorical variable here>”.  This is similar to the marker by setting in a scatter plot, which means “put a marker on the plot for each <insert categorical variable here>”.  For example, draw a separate line for each well or draw a separate line for each API number.  In this case, the user wanted a separate line for each well, so he needed to enter the API or UWI column in the “Draw a separate line per value in” dropdown.

Next, there is more than one way to draw a line thru a series of points. Thus, the term “Order each line by” refers to the order in which the markers are connected.   c.Drilldays is on the X-Axis, and that is the order that line should go thru the markers.


With those two bits of config, the user was able to achieve the desired end result of connecting the markers in a scatter plot with the line connection feature.

Spotfire Version

Content created with Spotfire 7.12

If You Like This, Also Read…

If you liked this read, you might also like this post on line connections.  This example was a bit more complicated and explains how sometimes, you have to wrangle with the data to get the line connection.

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