A scatter plot is a type of graph that uses an X-Y coordinate system to show values for a set of data. They show how one variable is related to another variable. Many different types of careers employ the use of scatter plots, including jobs in government and in the private sector.
Scatter plots can be used to show how data is correlated or how one set of date depends on another. In medical research, scatter plots can be useful to see whether data may have a relationship. When there is a correlation between two sets of data, dots on a scatter plot will tend to cluster around a line. This can be useful when determining whether a studied medical phenomenon -- like death or disease -- is being caused by a particular disease.
The U.S. Census Bureau gathers national economic and demographic data and is the leading source of data for statistics about the population of the United States. Census bureau workers use statistical graphs like scatter plots to get a snapshot of the population and make inferences about clusters of data. For example, to investigate whether there is a correlation between low-income households and single-parent families, Census Bureau workers could use a scatter plot to visualize the data.
Geotechnology involves the use of science and engineering to manage natural resources. Scatter plots are used in a variety of geotechnological environments. For example, a geotechnologist may want to investigate the correlation between the elevation of a reservoir's surface and the pressure of fluid at a certain point. A scatter plot can be used to plot the data and further investigation can be performed on the chart to find out whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two variables.
Educational researchers investigate trends in education and make recommendations for improvement. Educational researchers work for federal and state governments, school districts and private entities. Scatter plots are often used in educational research to plot trends like the correlation between a GPA and a score on a standardized test. The same scatter plots can also be used to plot racial differences or differences in socioeconomic status to see if there is a trend.