In , we showed that different open addressing hash functions perform differently when the data elements are not uniformly distributed. So, it is tempting to attribute their difference to some mechanism governing the behavior of the hash functions. In this paper, a simple method of characterizing open addressing hash functions is presented. We showed that, indeed, the nature of data spreading ability characterizes the behavior of different open addressing hash functions. We measured and analyzed the spreading speed of a cluster of data elements under different open addressing hash functions. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis showed that different hash functions have different abilities of spreading out clustered data elements. The hash function, which spreads out clustered data elements over the whole table space more uniformly and faster, has better performance when it is applied to clustered data. Experimental results are presented to support our claims, which is followed by some theoretic analysis.