POWER BI: Waterfall Charts

The Basics: Waterfall Charts

Waterfall charts are a great way to visualize data and understand the cummulative effects of your data over time. You can also use a waterfall chart to show how much each component contributes to the final total amount. A waterfall chart tells you a story from your data by showing you how each positive or negative effect influenced the final outcome.

Some Example Interactive Graphs Using Power BI

Fig 1-a: Waterfall Chart: Sales Data

In the sales waterfall chart above we can drill down by selecting on the top right drill down arrow and then selelcting one of the data bars. You should see the data change to give you a break down of sales by year, quarter month and even day. This drill down feature allows us to see a top down high level view of the data while allowing for a data deep dive if needed.

Fig 1-b: Waterfall chart ROI Data

For ROI, the total amount bar is not the true return over the given period. We see that for data where we have one value divided by another, we need to be careful in how we interpret the total column. If instead we used profits rather than ROI we would see an accurate total on the right. Note:The components that make up the total accurately reflect the ROI for this sample dataset.

Fig 1-c: Waterfall Chart for Finances

A waterfall chart like the one shown above can be a useful visual to see how each component of a business contributes to the total revenue. For costs, a negative was added to each value to give to waterfall chart illustrated below. The final total gives Net Revenue. We could further expand on this graph by adding a breakdown for each component when selected. For instance the advertising component could further show a breakdown of online advertising, tv advertising, radio, print. Then too, each component of advertising could have its own component. For example online adverstising could be broken down in to Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, etc...

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