Power BI Waterfall Chart – Detailed Guide

In this Power BI article, I will explain what is a Power BI Waterfall chart and when we can use a waterfall chart in Power BI.

Additionally, we will discuss how to create a waterfall chart in Power BI using an Excel sheet as well as a SharePoint list.

Power BI Waterfall Chart

  • A Power BI waterfall chart displays a running total when numbers are added or subtracted.
  • It helps to understand how positive and negative modifications affect a primary value.
  • Colors are commonly used in columns to distinguish between increases and decreases.
  • In a waterfall chart, a specific bar is placed at the end of the preceding bar, with the baseline described by whether the previous number increased or decreased.
  • In the Power BI waterfall chart, positive values are typically represented by green, whereas negative values are represented by red.
  • A third color will be used for the final total.

When to use a waterfall chart in Power BI

Here, we will see when we can use the waterfall chart in Power BI.

The Power BI waterfall chart is the best choice for:

  • Showing how something changes over time, like a measure across different periods or categories.
  • Highlighting big changes that add up to a total.
  • Displaying your company’s yearly profit by breaking down different sources of revenue and expenses to reach the total profit or loss.
  • Displaying the starting and ending number of employees in your company for a year.
  • Visualize your monthly earnings and expenses, along with the remaining balance in your account.
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How to create a waterfall chart in Power BI

We will see how to create a waterfall chart in Power BI Desktop using an Excel and SharePoint list.

Create a waterfall chart in Power BI using Excel

For example, we will use the Financial Excel workbook to create a Waterfall chart in Power BI that will display Cogs based on Product.

waterfall chart in power bi

Follow the below to create a Waterfall chart in Power BI Desktop.

  • Open Power BI Desktop, and then click on Excel workbook from the ribbon.
  • Select the Excel from your local system.
Power Bi Waterfall chart

The Navigator window will open, from here select the table and then click on the Load.

 Waterfall chart Power Bi
  • To create the Waterfall chart in Power BI, select the Waterfall chart from the visualization pane.
  • Now the blank waterfall chart is added to the Power BI Canvas.
when to use waterfall chart in power bi

To add data to the Power BI Waterfall chart, we need to include the following required fields:

  • Category: This represents the horizontal axis, specifying the columns that divide the chart.
  • Breakdown [optional]: This specifies the column that further subdivides the detailed data.
  • Y-axis: This specifies the metric columns representing the vertical axis.
  • Drag and drop the COGS and Product to the y-axis and Category field, respectively.
  • Now the waterfall chart is displaying the Cogs based on the Product.
how to create waterfall chart in power bi

Create a waterfall chart in Power BI using SharePoint List

I have a SharePoint list named Financial Sample, having various fields with different data types, as shown below.

power bi waterfall

By using this SharePoint list data, we will create a Waterfall chart that will show sales based on Segment.

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Follow the below steps to create a waterfall chart using the SharePoint Online list in Power BI Desktop

  • In Power BI Desktop, click the Get data option and select More. Then select Online Services and the SharePoint Online List.
  • Then click on the Connect button.
waterfall power bi
  • Provide the SharePoint online site URL. Under Implementation, select 2.0 . Expand the Advanced option -> Under View mode, select Default view from the list. Click Ok.
simple waterfall power bi
  • In the Navigator window, select your SharePoint list and click on the Load button.
waterfall charts in power bi
  • To create the Waterfall chart in Power BI, select the Waterfall chart from the visualization pane.
  • Drag and drop the Sales and segment to the y-axis and Category field, respectively.
  • Now you can see the Waterfall chart in Power BI displays sales based on Segment with total sales.
what is waterfall chart in power bi

This is how we can create a Waterfall chart in Power BI Desktop.

Conclusion

In this Power BI tutorial, we learned what a Waterfall chart is, when to use it, and how easily we can connect to the data source and create one using an Excel and SharePoint list.

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