Waterfall charts help to convey how an initial value is affected by a series of intermediate positive or negative values.

Waterfall charts are particularly useful for understanding the gradual transition in value of an item that's subject to increment or decrement.

Whole columns represent the initial and final values, while the intermediate values are expressed as floating columns. The columns are color-coded to distinguish between positive and negative values. Positive values are green; negative values are red; and totals are gray. These colors can be customized in the Card configuration panel.

Waterfall charts are very flexible. For example, for viewing product earnings, company profit, cost sheets, the number of contracts in hand, the structure of a sales pipeline, cash flow statements, or tracking how divisional profit and loss is formed.

See add a chart card to a board and add a chart card to a worksheet for how to add a waterfall chart to a board or worksheet. 

Unlike bar or column charts, waterfall charts display positive and negative values side by side. This layout means waterfall charts enable you to easily compare positive and negative changes at a glance.

Note: If a Waterfall chart uses percentage values, and the end total is a partial sum of the line items preceding it, no total is displayed in the Waterfall chart.

A common use of waterfall charts is visualizing profit and loss statements. This typically consists of a series of increments and decrements, divided into subcategories.

Waterfall charts have configuration options available under the Axis and Data headings. These options include an:

  • Auto axis toggle that adjusts the smallest value of the y-axis. Use this option when you need to compare intermediate values that are small, relative to the initial and the final values of your chart. 
  • Suppress zeros toggle that removes any data items with a value of 0. This streamlines your waterfall charts, making positive and negative data items more prominent.
  • First item as total toggle that changes the first column on your chart to be the same color as a total. If the starting data item on your waterfall chart is a total, this can be useful to aid understanding.

Waterfall charts only use the first column of a view and display the view's rows as columns on the chart. To ensure synchronization with your page when building the view for your chart, you can:

  • Pivot list items to rows and line items to columns.
  • Pivot line items to rows with time as a context selector.

These methods enable you to change how data is displayed on a waterfall chart by changing the time context selector.

Use a waterfall chart to answer:

  • What happened to the value of X over the past year and why?
  • What are the different values that result in Y?
  • Which of these factors had the largest impact on Z?

A waterfall chart may not be a good option when:

  • You need a card to fit into a small space, as waterfall charts require a lot of horizontal space on a board.
  • Multiple data items need to be compared simultaneously, as waterfall charts can only display the first column of data in a view.

Waterfall charts don't aggregate values. You'll need a valid line item to make sure your calculations are always correct. 

Leaf levels are a key part of aggregation. If you remove leaf levels that are used in your chart, this impacts your data display.

Use a different type of chart if:

  • You're comparing multiple data series over multiple time periods. Use a stacked bar or column chart instead.
  • You want to identify trends for a group of values. Use a line chart instead.

To learn about other types of chart, see the Charts page.