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The waterfall chart, also known as the bridge chart, illustrates how an initial value becomes the final value through a series of additions and subtractions. It can be used to analyze sales and profit, changes in the budget amount, or the number of employees.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a waterfall chart in Google Sheets.
Data for a waterfall chart is straightforward.
For this tutorial, we will use hypothetical data of a company’s monthly revenue. Negative numbers are shown in parentheses.
Step 1. Select your data.
Step 2. Go to Insert, then click Chart.
Or look at the near end of the main toolbar and click on the chart icon.
Step 3. Google Sheets will automatically create a graph based on your data. If the chart is not on the waterfall chart type, go to the Chart Editor, which pops out at the right side of your google sheet. Select Setup. Under chart type, click the drop-down menu, then scroll down and look for the waterfall chart located under the subsection Other.
If you accidentally closed the Chart editor, you can still open it by selecting the chart on your sheet. Click on the vertical ellipsis icon located at the upper right corner of your chart. Select Edit chart.
Step 4. You now have a waterfall chart.
Google Sheets automatically computed the subtotal, and it is plotted as the gray-colored bar located at the last column in your waterfall chart. You can also hover the cursor to each bar in the chart to show their corresponding value.
Initially, Google Sheets adds connector lines to each bar in your waterfall chart. You can modify these connector lines by ticking on the Show connector lines on the Chart option under the Customize tab. Choose among the connector lines’ color, thickness, and dash type. To remove the connector lines, just tick off the Show connector lines option.
In some cases, like income statements and employee growths, it is also essential to note the initial values, which are usually located on the first row of your dataset. To emphasize that on your waterfall chart, you can simply tick on the Use first value as subtotal under the Series tab option of the Customize tab.
You can also add subtotals within your waterfall chart. Let’s say we want to look at the semi-annual total revenue. To do that,
Step 1. Under the Series option, click Add new subtotals.
Step 2. Several options will appear. You can create a new sub-item label. Choose among the subtotal types and column index where you want to include your new subtotal. You can put it after a specific column index, or you can simply replace a specific column index.
Step 3. You now have a new subtotal in your waterfall chart.
You can also customize some aesthetics of the waterfall chart depending on how you would like to present it. Click here for the tutorial on how you customize the chart and axis titles, legends, and other basic formatting of the waterfall chart.
You can practice creating a waterfall chart using this sample sheet.