Waterfall Chart Excel Model
Originally published: 24/04/2019 13:48
Publication number: ELQ-64923-1
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Waterfall Chart Excel Model

A real life example of a waterfall chart cascade in Microsoft Excel.

A waterfall chart is a form of data visualization that helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values. These intermediate values can either be time based or category based. The waterfall chart is also known as a flying bricks chart or Mario chart due to the apparent suspension of columns (bricks) in mid-air.

Waterfall charts were popularized by the strategic consulting firm McKinsey & Company in its presentations to clients.

A waterfall chart can be used for analytical purposes, especially for understanding or explaining the gradual transition in the quantitative value of an entity which is subjected to increment or decrement. Often, a waterfall or cascade chart is used to show changes in revenue or profit between two time periods.

This spreadsheet provides two sample waterfall charts and one stacked cumulative one. The Excel template is entirely customizable. The user is able to easily insert their own category names and titles. The first waterfall chart shows the breakdown of the Net Income with subtotals for the different segments of the Income statement.

The second one, by adding to the previous net income the changes on the various items of the Income Statement, gives a visual on how the various components contribute towards the current Net Profit.

The third chart provides a visual on the various components of the total Sales.

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