Using a waterfall chart

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1. Overview

A waterfall chart displays the cumulative sum of a series of values as a specialized type of bar chart. It visualizes a measure's changes over a particular sequence, and well as its totals.

2. Selecting data

A basic waterfall chart can have a single measure and a single hierarchy.

A basic waterfall chart
A basic waterfall chart

More complex displays are possible using multiple measures, or multiple hierarchies added to COLUMNS (Series). Doing this will stack each set of values on each bar. This can be useful for showing how several sub items affect the total.

Waterfall chart with columns hierarchy
Waterfall chart with columns hierarchy

2.1. Totals and aggregators

As the chart shows cumulative effects, the measure's Aggregator should be set to Sum, which will ensure that the totals that are displayed on the chart reflect this cumulative total. Using other aggregations is possible, but may not display the desired result on the chart.

Subtotal bars will be displayed if there are multiple hierarchies or multiple levels selected on Rows in the Data Analysis Panel.

Waterfall chart with subtotals
Waterfall chart with subtotals

3. Properties

The Grand Total bar is hidden by default. To show it, un-check Hide Grand Total in the Properties window's Main tab for the chart.

A waterfall chart (sometimes called a 'bridge' chart) typically displays connecting lines bridging bars that start or end at the same position. They can be turned off by setting Connecting Line Style to None in the series Look properties.

Setting connecting line style
Setting connecting line style

4. States

A common choice for waterfall charts is to visually distinguish between bars with positive versus negative values. This can be achieved by using states. For more information, see the Set up states on a metric set article.

Waterfall chart with states for positive, negative, and total values
Waterfall chart with states for positive, negative, and total values

Positive and negative states can compare against the constant value zero, while states identifying totals can compare against a hierarchy value of All.

Configuring the Grand Total state
Configuring the Grand Total state

5. See also

 

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