Horizontal Waterfall Chart
Originally published: 01/05/2020 08:30
Last version published: 06/06/2020 07:09
Publication number: ELQ-87019-2
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Horizontal Waterfall Chart

A smart and efficient chart with detailed step-by-step instructions

Waterfall charts are used to explain variances between the numbers. This Excel chart shows how the changes in product profitability affected the changes in net income between the years.

There can be plenty of other uses of this chart, e.g.:

- change of total assets or inventory,

- change of IRR between model scenarios,

- a walkdown from gross revenue to net income,

- explanation of difference between net income and net cash flow (through non-cash expenses and changes in balance sheet items).

Traditional waterfall charts were set up vertically, but to me horizontal charts look more convenient and elegant. What makes my chart really unique are colored arrows showing the direction of changes. This chart will surely help you make your presentations look professionals and your reports - impress your clients, managers and colleagues.

The contents and formats of the chart can obviously be changed to your requirements. All components of the chart (arrows, pillars) are native Excel chart elements are updated automatically as you change the source data, without any manual interventions.

The attached Excel file contains the chart itself and very detailed step-by-step explanations of how such a chart can be set up from scratch. These instructions might serve as an Excel refresher and as a guide to developing other professionally designed charts.

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Further information

A chart to visualise variance factors between the numbers

Explaining variances between e.g. model scenarios, change in revenue by years, differences between net income and net cash flow and many others



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