Waterfall Chart in Power BI

A Power BI waterfall chart is also called a bridge chart. It uses a series of continuous vertical bar columns showing the profit (gain) or loss. The columns in this chart are color-coded, where green represents the increase (positive), red means the decrease (negative), and blue for the total.

Power BI Waterfall Chart is very useful for visualizing the Sales or Profit over some time. Let me show you how to create a Waterfall Chart with an example.

When to use Power BI Waterfall charts?

  • To examine the changes that happened to the total profits or any value.
  • To identify or track the profit and loss of the whole business.
  • Helpful to show categorical or sequential data.
  • To track the changes (money or number) across time, categories, or stages.

For this Power BI Waterfall Chart demonstration, we are going to use the Excel Data Source that we created in our previous article. So, Please refer to Connect to Excel Multiple Excel Sheets article to understand the Power BI Data Source.

How to Create a Waterfall Chart in Power BI

To create a Waterfall Chart, first, Drag and Drop the Profit from the Fields section to the Canvas region. It automatically creates a Column, as shown below.

Source 1

Let me add the Product Sub-Category to the Axis section.

Add Fields to Axis and Values 2

Click on the Power BI Waterfall Chart under the Visualization section will automatically convert a Column Chart.

Converting Column to Waterfall Chart in Power BI 3

Next, we added the Data Labels so that you can see the increased or decreased profit amount. Under the sentiment colors, you can change these bar colors as well.

Waterfall Chart in Power BI 4

Create a Waterfall Chart in Power BI Approach 2

First, click on the Waterfall Chart under the Visualization section. It automatically creates it with dummy data, as shown in the screenshot below.

Add Category, breakdown, Y-Axis, Tooltip of WF 5

To add data to the Power BI Waterfall Chart, we have to add the required fields:

  • Category: Please specify the Column that divides this plot (Horizontal axis column).
  • Breakdown: Specify the Column that sub-divides the Details data.
  • Y-Axis: Please specify the Metric Column that represents the Vertical Axis.

Let me drag the Profit from the Fields section to the Y-Axis section.

Add Measures to Y-Axis of a WF 6

Next, let me add the Product Container to the Category section. You can do this by dragging the Product Container to the Category section or simply checkmark the Product Container column.

Add product Container to Category section 7

Next, we added the Data Labels so that you can see the increased profit.

Adding Lables 8

From the above screenshot, you can see that it is sorted by Profit in descending order. So, let me sort the chart by Profit in ascending order.

Sort the Power BI Waterfall Chart

To do this, click on the … (3 dots) on the top right corner, and select the Left corner of the Sort By Profit option, as we have shown below.

Sort by Field 9

This time we sorted the data by Product Container in descending order.

Sort by Product Container Option 10

This time we sorted the data by Product Container in ascending order.

Sort By Option in WF 11

Explore or Breakdown the Waterfall Chart

Let me add a Customer Segment to the Breakdown section. And as you can see from the screenshot below, it has been further divided based on the Customer Segment.

Breakdown Option of Waterfall Chart in Power BI 12

Let me do some quick formatting to this Power BI Waterfall Chart

NOTE: I suggest you refer to the Format article to understand the formatting options.

Waterfall Chart in Power BI 13

Waterfall Chart FAQs

How do you create a waterfall in Power BI?

Click on the Waterfall icon under the Visualization will automatically create a dummy. In addition, adding a Numeric measure (Profit or money spent) to the y-axis and a series or dimension to a category section generates the actual waterfall chart. For example, if you add another dimension to the Breakdown section, it will explore the details of the bridge chart.

How to create a drill down waterfall chart in Power BI?

Adding any hierarchy to the category section will enable drill-down action—for instance, date hierarchy or geography.

What is a waterfall chart with an Example?

In general, Waterfall charts show the profits over time or running totals. These charts help to understand the positive and negative outcomes of the changes.

How do you add data labels to a Power BI waterfall chart?

Under the Visualization pane, click on the Format your chart option. Next, toggle the Data labels option On. Furthermore, you can format the color, font style, and size and display units to thousands, millions, etc.