Waterfall charts provide an effective way to visualize and analyze the cumulative impact of a number of sequentially introduced positive or negative drivers on an initial value.
A typical example is the so-called _EBITDA bridge_—an instrument used to forecast the future financial performance of a company based on the latest available EBITDA and estimated effects of different measures taken, like price increases.
The frequent use of these types of charts by strategic consulting firms in client presentations led to its widespread adoption in accounting, sales, and management.
Next to “waterfall diagram” this chart is sometimes also referred to as “flying bricks chart” or “Mario chart” due to the floating columns: their look closely resembles they way bricks are laid out in 2D jump’n’run games like the classic “Mario Bros.” arcade of the early 1980s.
This Waterfall-chart vizzard is flexible and easy to customize. Choose different colors for positive and negative values (you can either pick the suggested colors of the selected theme or enter any Hex color code). Create stacked columns (grouped drivers), inserting separate values and their respective labels in the cards on the sidebar. Format numbers by defining precision (decimal places), as well as the decimal and thousands separators. Click on the “wheel” icon to set the unit to express your values, by inserting a symbol or a text as a “prefix” or a “suffix.” Define the range of your axis, establishing its minimal and maximal values.
For a more detailed chart, make sure to show the connectors and the grid; or hide them for a cleaner look. If needed, set the first column as “neutral.”