Waterfall graph is a floating bar graph used to pictorially depict movement of any parameter or how various parts contribute to a whole parameter. For e.g. how the Headcount or profit has moved over last week, last month etc. OR various components of Net profit and so on. Given below is the example of a sample waterfall graph.
Steps to make waterfall graph
Step 1: Make the data table.
- Create the data table for base values and movements
in the below mentioned format.
- Since the values moves from positive to negative and negative to positive, we will have to create another table linked to the above table
- In the table above, I have used two dummy columns (cells with gray background) which are not used in graph, but are used for calculating other values
- Before – Running total before the current row value
- Formula – =SUM($B$2:C2)
- After – Running total after the current row value
- Formula – =SUM($B$2:C3)
- Axis Label – Self explanatory
- Base Value – For Start and end points
- Formula – =IF(B2<>0,B2,0)
- Blank – For a hidden series for adjustment
- Formula – =IF(J2*K2>0,IF(J2*C2>0,J2,K2),0)
- Positive Bars – Used for depicting bars above 0 (Horizontal axis)
- Formula – =IF(J2>0,IF(K2>J2,C2,IF(K2<0,J2,ABS(C2))),IF(K2>0,K2,0))
- Negative Bars – Used for depicting bars below 0 (Horizontal axis)
- Formula – =IF(J2<0,IF(K2<0,-ABS(C2),J2),IF(K2<0,K2,0))
Step 2: Make the graph
- Select the second data table (Only upto Negative Bar column) and Click Insert --> Column Chart --> Stacked column (this will insert stack bar graph as shown in the screenshot below)
- Select the legend and press delete to remove legend
- Select adjustment series and hide it by selecting No shape fill and no shape outline from format menu.
- Apply same Shape colour to Positive and Negative Bars. So that it appears as a single bar while crossing the Horizontal axis.
- Change the Axis label setting to Move the axis label below the negative values. Right click on Axis --> Format Axis --> Change Axis Label property to “Low”
- Make other formatting changes like Border, background colour, font, Gridlines etc.
You can download the Excel file for above example from HERE.