What is a waterfall chart?
The waterfall chart (or diagram) is a column graph that provides an efficient way to visualize and analyze the cumulative impact of sequential positive or negative drivers on an initial value. In this chart, columns add up and subtract from each other, following the flow of revenues and expenses.
A typical example of a waterfall chart is the so-called “EBITDA bridge” — an instrument to estimate the value of a company or to forecast its financial performance, based on the latest available EBITDA and estimated effects of economic and political changes, as well as strategy shifts and measures (e.g., tax reliefs, price increases, mergers and acquisitions).
This column chart is widely adopted in accounting and sales, as well as in management. It is also regularly used by strategic consulting firms looking at different attributes to analyze the state of a business like cash flows.
Fun fact: This chart is also referred to as “flying bricks chart” or “Mario chart” due to its 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. In finance, it’s also often referred to as “Bridge chart.”
How to create a waterfall chart with Vizzlo?
This vizzard is the easiest and most beautiful alternative to the Excel waterfall chart or any ready template. You can color code it and create yours with ease. Follow these easy steps:
- On the tab “APPEARANCE” of the sidebar, choose the colors for positive and negative values (you can either pick the suggested colors of the selected theme, use the color picker or enter a Hex color code).
- Click on any column to edit it. On its active card in the sidebar, you’ll be able to detail its breakdown, by listing values.
- Alternatively, use Vizzlo’s spreadsheet to paste your data or import it form your Excel or CSV files.
- Add a subtotal column by clicking on the “Σ” handles on the right side of any selected column.
- Explore the layout settings to show or hide the connectors, and choose how to display the labels
Waterfall chart maker: key features
- Custom colors and lines
- Custom axes and grid
- Custom number formats
- Optional labeling of individual values
- Optional sum values
- Adjustable min/max values for the y-axis
- Scale break