Power BI Waterfall Charts: A Detailed Guide (2023)

What is a waterfall chart?

Power BI's simple waterfall chart shows each individual element that contributes to the final price. This is where the waterfalls map gets its name, as the water in most waterfalls rarely flows perfectly in unison. We have a starting line that represents the starting value and it starts at a zero baseline. Then we have some bars that seem to float in space – these are transition values ​​that represent positive and negative changes in the initial value. They can be time-based or category-based. Finally, we have a final line that represents the final value and takes into account the results of all the transition values ​​that appear.

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What is the difference between a waterfall chart and a bar chart?

Since the waterfall chart is typically used for very specific use cases, only a specific demographic group regularly interacts with the waterfall chart. In the first interaction, most users, for exampleintuitively relate the waterfall chart to the column or bar chart. But the difference is very simple.

A column or bar chart displays the total value of a metric in each category using bars. Each row has a zero baseline.

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A waterfall chart plots positive and negative changes in a value. We therefore have a start line and an end line – both with a zero baseline. Each of the floating middle bars has its own baseline, which is the end of the previous measure. This baseline can start from the top or the bottom, depending on whether this line represents positive or negative change.

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When should you use a waterfall chart?

The waterfall chart serves a very specific but useful use case, making it a particularly popular choice in finance. There really is no alternative to Power BIrampchart that focuses on total net changes.

Waterfall charts are mostly used for income statements and financial analysis. But if you look at the big picture, there's more you can visualize using Power BI waterfall charts, as long as the focus is on the cumulative values ​​and their corresponding changes.

7 tips for creating a waterfall chart in Power BI

Detail Cachoeira PROis a stable custom waterfall view for Power BI. By using all available customization options, you can be sure to create an easy-to-use waterfall chart. Here are just a few things to keep in mind to create the ultimate waterfall in Power BI.

1. Use color to tell a story

Be sure to use different colors for positive and negative values, and preferably a third color for the start and end sets. If you want to learn how to customize the colors of your columns in Drill Down Waterfall PRO, take a lookguide.

As for the colors to use, that really depends on the story of the data you're trying to tell. When looking at profits, growth is a good thing. However, this is not the case when looking at expenses. As with all reports, it's important to consider the context of the data you're visualizing with the Power BI waterfall chart.

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2. Add connecting lines

Even if your users have already encountered a Power BI waterfall chart, you still want to provide them with the easiest readability. A problem that can occur with the Power BI waterfall chart is when the values ​​are very close in size, the user can get confused when trying to decipher the start or end of a value, especially if they are more used to regular bar charts.

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To guide the end user's eye, you can add connecting lines between each value. This will show the correct order of the positive and negative values ​​so the user doesn't get confused when quickly reading a waterfall chart.

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To add connector lines, simply go to Column Options and adjust the column and cluster padding fields to your liking.

3. Create and customize labels

Following the same principlesPRO combo barcustom look, Waterfall PRO lets you customize each tag for each row. So you can change the background and highlight specific values ​​that your user can pay special attention to, thus improving the readability of the report.

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The labels in the figure above are correctly positioned and color-coded to highlight the respective positive and negative values. As you can see, this also helps in cases where the value changes are visually small and you can leave it to the label to display the relevant information. You can achieve so much more with value tags - we've put together a comprehensiveguideif you want to know the full picture.

4. Set goals with limits

For users who want to read a graph quickly, consider addingLimits. If you want to show where your values ​​stand against any defined goals or benchmarks, Drill Down Waterfall PRO lets you add thresholds. You can set area and line boundaries depending on user preferences.

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Also, Waterfall PRO has the option to enable static and dynamic thresholds. So you can either manually define a fixed threshold line by entering your own values, or choose one of Power BI's many aggregation options – the choice is entirely yours.

5. Determine the order

This feature is optional but can be useful for better readability. Unlike the custom combo chart with 25 lines, Drill Down Waterfall PRO has only one field that edits values, called Change. This field only needs your values ​​and the chart does the rest of the work for you, automatically calculating the positive and negative differences and how they affect the resulting equity.

After entering your values, you have the option to plot the sequence. The order field allows you to define the order of all categories in your waterfall chart. It seems like a small detail, but it can be very useful in some situations. Let's say you are creating a performance report that will be displayed to different groups. The Sequence field allows you to address each matching group by marking the return value as the number 1 in the sequence, thus improving readability for those users.

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To learn more about the Drill Down Waterfall PRO sequence field, you can learn about its initial setupin our guide.

6. Select subtotal mode

You have now sorted your series of categories, but some of them are missing values. Waterfall PRO can calculate and display them independently if you select Subtotal mode.

If you run into a situation where you have set the order but some fields are missing values, the waterfall chart will dynamically calculate them instead of ignoring them. There are four options to choose from. You can find them on the Format tab under Column Options.


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Quick review of how subset functions differ:

  • None - Ignore any resulting subsets and the final total.

  • Total – Calculates and displays the final total only.

  • Last - add only the last subset. You can specify a dynamic name for the last subset.

  • All - calculates all subsets, no grand total.

You can also learn more about each subset by following thisvideo.

As mentioned earlier, this feature is optional. If you want full control over the data, Drill Down Waterfall PRO also lets you calculate missing values ​​independently by extracting your own data containing all the necessary calculations.

7. Filter between charts

Waterfall PRO Custom Visualization for Power BI comes with an easy-to-use filtering function between charts. You can create a waterfall chart that acts as a sort of table of contents for your report that your viewers can use to filter the rest of the report. To give you some ideas, this would work well in conjunction with ourCombo PROePRO Time Seriescustom images for Power BI.

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These interactions and exercises can also be used on touch input devices, making the Drill Down Waterfall PRO's custom look a good choice for executive-level graph analysis where decisions need to be made quickly. It makes sense if you make a profit and loss waterfall chart.


Drill Down Waterfall PRO is a fully customizable waterfall view for Power BI. You can use it on its own and as a filter for the rest of the report. By using all its features, you can make the charts do most of the work and reveal unique information that your users would otherwise miss. As with all custom ZoomCharts images, ease of use for the end user is a priority. This custom image can be adjusted to suit different demographics of users who are familiar with waterfall charts or just learning how to analyze them.

Para Drill Down Waterfall PRO

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