waterfall chart

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Tool for Professionals

If you have used data display, as shown in the picture on the left, at least once, you are one of those professionals who are familiar with the waterfall chart (also known as bridge). The invention of this type of chart is considered to be found out by McKinsey consultants.

The waterfall chart is an excellent tool for data visualization since it allows demonstrating the contribution of each indicator to the general result and gives the key to understanding the events that occurred in a business. These qualities made the waterfall chart an integral part of financial results presentation and other important business characteristic rates.

Waterfall chart in Excel

In spite of immense popularity of waterfall charts, Microsoft has added support for waterfall charts only since Excel 2016, but did it not so well.

First, waterfall charts have inconvenient adjustment of the column colors: in order to change the color a user must create his own color theme. Besides being different from the familiar color calibration of other chart types, by setting the color theme you do not see which columns of the chart you are changing. In Excel, you cannot apply different color themes to the charts in one workbook. Therefore, you will have to create different books for the charts of incomes (for example, revenue, profit) and expenses (for example, cost price). It is terrible…

Second, the Excel waterfall chart does not support opportunity to plot charts on the vertical axis. This type of charts is very convenient to use in presentations together with comments and notes as it allows you to fit more text on a slide.

Third, it is not possible to add auxiliary data series to the Excel waterfall chart. Therefore, you will not be able to display additional information (for example, the rate of indicator change).

So, if you are not satisfied with the standard composite function or you are using an earlier version of Excel, then you have to make efforts in order to master plotting waterfall charts by means of a stacked column chart or an up-down bar.

Build a waterfall chart manually

If you already know how to create such charts, just remember how much time you spent to plot your first waterfall chart with crossing the axis during transition from positive values to negative ones (or vice versa)?

Practice shows that employees who are given a task to create such a chart for the first time spend a few hours for this process. In spite of all the time spent, many of them still cannot manage to create a universal template on their own.

So, you have created a chart but the problems are not over. One month or a quarter has passed, and you need to update data for a new presentation. Here you face the second problem – formatting of the updated chart. This process takes quite a while because you have to align and format the labels on all the updated charts manually, with the help of the mouse! In case you did not manage to create a universal formula for the chart plotting, you will also have to paint the chart's columns manually.

It does not require much knowledge and skills but, first of all, it takes time which is always not enough anyway, secondly, it is very easy to leave something out of account, and finally, if for some reason you will have to update data or resize the chart (for example, before inserting it into PowerPoint), the process of alignment and formatting will have to be repeated. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens over and over again. After two or three iterations anyone can get annoyed and have bad mood…

There is a solution!

In order to solve these problems, we have developed a Waterfall Chart Studio add-in for Excel. When using the add-in, you receive the following benefits:

  • — You do not have to worry about the color setting of the waterfall chart columns!
  • — You do not need to look for workarounds for plotting a waterfall chart!
  • — You do not have to spend time on formatting waterfall charts after updating or resizing!

In just one click, the add-in will do all the work for you!

By purchasing the add-in, first of all you get:

  • — Time for analysis and making decisions rather than for charts plotting
  • — You are using your head, not your hands — the mechanical work is done by the add-in
  • — And what's the most important, you use your or your subordinates' time effectively — the most important and irreplaceable resource!

The add-in supports all possible variants of plotting the charts of waterfall type, such as:

  • — horizontal chart
  • — horizontal chart with crossing the axis
  • — horizontal chart with subtotals
  • — the same variants of charts constructed on the vertical axis (rotated waterfall chart)
  • — horizontal analyze on the chart (absolute and relative variances)
  • — color setting of variance effect (F or U/A)
  • — waterfall chart for income and expenditure

And all of this diversity can be reached in just a few mouse clicks, all you have to do is to make some efforts to prepare the data!

In order to verify the efficiency of Waterfall Chart Studio download the Trial Version now for free! Before installation we recommend you to check out the End User License Agreement and read the Installation Instruction.

Trial Version Restrictions

  • — Validity period — 30 days
  • — The watermark Fincontrollex® Waterfall Chart Studio
  • — A white background with a watermark will be set after update the charts
  • — At the first startup an user is offered to try the Fincontrollex® Variance Analysis Tool

Technical Requirements

  • — Windows 7 — 10
  • — Microsoft Excel 2010 (or higher) for Windows
  • — .Net Framework 4.6 (or higher).

You can get the rest of the hardware requirements on Microsoft Support web-site.

Attention! The add-in does not work on Mac PCs and in earlier versions of Microsoft Excel for Windows (due to the absence in these versions of some features for managing charts).

Video review

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