Use Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets | Easy 2022 Guide

Use Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets | Easy 2022 Guide
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Waterfall charts in Google Sheets

How to Create a Waterfall Chart in Google Sheets

Learn how to create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets.

Introduction

A Waterfall Chart consists of bars that represent the starting and ending values of any quantity by connecting them using intermediate floating bars or bridges. These intermediate bridges demonstrate how the starting value increases or decreases before reaching the final value. Hence a Waterfall Chart in Google Sheets can be used to reflect the positive and negative changes taking place in a value over a period of time.

Source: Guillermo Esquivel, Medium article on Waterfall Charts

As you can see above, waterfall Charts in Google Sheets are an excellent way to showcase changes in a data variable over time. Read more on why Waterfall Charts are special.

If you are a marketer, you should read why Waterfall Charts help you track your marketing goals.

Example Data

The following spreadsheet shows the sales made by a company in the past 12 months. In this data, the positive values represent an increase in sales, while the negative values represent a decrease in sales. I will use this data to demonstrate how to create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets. 

Data representing the increase and decrease in sales of a company for the past 12 months.
Fig 1: Example Data | Create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets

Creating the Waterfall Chart 

Step 1: Select the data 

First, let’s select the data for which we want to create the Waterfall Chart. 

Select the data to create Waterfall chart
Fig 2: Select the data | Create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets

Step 2: Insert Chart

After selecting the data, click on Insert -> Chart

Choose Chart option from the Insert tab
Fig 3: Insert Chart | Create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets

Step 3: Select Waterfall Chart

From the Setup tab of the Chart Editor, select the Waterfall Chart

Select Waterfall chart from the Setup section of the Chart Editor
Fig 4: Select Waterfall Chart | Create Waterfall Charts in Google Sheets

As you can see in the figure below, the following chart is created. 

The waterfall chart
Fig 5: Waterfall Chart is displayed

Step 4: Add connector lines 

Under the Chart style section of the Customise tab select the option to Show connector lines. As shown in the figure below, connector lines are displayed on your chart. 

Adding connector lines to the Waterfall chart
Fig 7: Add connector lines

Add new subtotals to your chart 

Let’s suppose we now want to add the Mid -Year sales as a new subtotal to our chart as well. To do this under the select the Add subtotal after last value in series option under the Series section of the Customise tab, and click on Add new subtotal button. 

Adding new subtotals to the Waterfall chart
Fig 8: Add new subtotal

After this specify the custom label for your subtotal, subtotal type and column index. 

Specifying new subtotal details
Fig 9: Specify new subtotal details

As shown in the figure below, the new subtotal bar gets added to the chart. 

Inserted new subtotal
Fig 10: New subtotal is inserted

Customizing the Waterfall Chart 

In order to make any customization in the Waterfall Chart, head over to the Customize tab in the Chart Editor. 

As shown in the figure below, here you will find the following options- 

  • Chart style: This option allows you to change the chart color, font style, add or edit connector lines etc.  
  • Chart & axis titles: You can add titles to the chart and axis using this option. 
  • Series: You can format the chart data labels and also add new subtotals to your chart using this option.
  • Legend: Changes the position of your chart
  • Horizontal axis: Allows you to edit the chart’s horizontal axis. 
  • Vertical axis: Allows you to make changes in the chart’s vertical axis. 
  • Grid lines: This option allows you to add and edit grid lines in the chart. 
Make modifications in your Waterfall chart by using the Customize tab of the Chart Editor
Fig 11: Customize section of Chart Editor

See Also

  • Gantt Charts in Google Sheets: Learn how to create Gantt Charts in Google Sheets.
  • Tree Map Charts in Google Sheets: An easy guide to help you create Tree Map Charts in Google Sheets.
  • Radial Bar Charts in Google Sheets: More on how to generate Radial Bar Charts in Google Sheets.
  • Candlestick Charts in Google Sheets: Quick guide to teach you how to create Candlestick Charts in Google Sheets.

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