A waterfall chart is a form of data visualization that helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values. If the values are not defined ahead of time or variable i.e. Starting Budget, Quarterly spend (YTD), Remaining Budget is a good example where the number of quarters elapsed cannot be predetermined at build time. Vitara offers a variation of the waterfall widget which includes a starting metric and cumulative sum of all the subsequent metrics finally shows a total bar.
There are two drop zones for the attribute. The ‘group by’ drop zone and ‘break by’ by drop zone. You can drop an attribute in ‘break by’ drop zone if you want to show the metric break up over attribute elements.
The chart enables plot options based on individual metrics. The property editor displays a list of metrics, each metric can be expanded to choose plot options for that metric. We have an option Non-Additive, where we cannot include the starting value in the total value and Auto compute total option, where we can disable the total value in the chart.
Attributes - Optional. If we want to show the metric in the form of ‘break by’ or ‘group by’ then we need attributes. The corresponding values of the metric for each attribute element will be shown in incremental order.
Metrics- A minimum of 2 metrics are required. The first Metric M1 is used as the starting value, the second metric M2 corresponding to each attribute is used to add or subtract from the starting value. The last bar (Total) represents the cumulative sum of metric M1 and metric M2.
Use as Filter Option - Not available
In the example below the group by and break by features are explained using the following data.
Break by: If we drop quarter attribute in ‘break by’ drop zone, by default chart will take the first value of the first metric as start value. If we want we can change it to total or last value also. The second metric will show in the break by the format of a quarter attribute. In our example, the quarterly values of Delta metric are added/subtracted in 4 steps of Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. The third metric will be a cumulative sum to the first and second metrics. The default function for the third metric is total. We can apply a break to individual metrics also.
Group by: When we put an attribute in the group by Dropbox, for every element of the attribute an individual chart will be drawn. To the above example, the year attribute is added to the group by drop zone. The year attribute has two elements 2015 and 2016. Now the chart will show the results grouped by year attribute i.e.quarterly information for 2015 and quarterly information for 2016.
From 4.4 version, a feature is added in waterfall chart to show the data labels outside the bar/column. This is available in data labels tab with ‘Show Label Outside Bar/Column’ checkbox. See the screenshot below
By default, this option will be enabled for the charts created from 4.1. Below screenshot shows how the data labels look after enabling ‘Show Label Outside Bar/Column’ option
‘Show Label Outside Bar/Column’ option is linked with horizontal data label positions. i.e, if data label is set to be shown outside the bar/coulmn, then the horizontal data label positions right, left, center will not have any effect on the chart.
In 4.2 release the concept of creating groups is introduced in the waterfall chart. We can group metrics of same nature. For example all the revenue metrics in one group and all the expenses metrics in group. The cumulative sum of these group will give net profit/loss statement.
All the metrics present in the chart forms a default group. We can add new metrics to this default group or remove metrics from this default group. When we add a new metric to the dossier or document, this new metric will be in the default group. We can create a new group from the metrics in the default group. Below is the screenshot of default group when the waterfall chart is given three metrics; Budget,Delta and Actual.
We can rename the default group or any other group. Place the cursor in the group name text input box and type the text you want as the group name.
Each group will have two options. 1. Add subTotal and 2. Deduct Value. Expand the ‘Group Settings’ tab to get these options.
We can create a bar for each group displaying the subtotal of that specific group. Enable the ‘Add Subtotal” check box.
Waterfall chart will do cumulative sum of the metrics/ metric groups in the chart. If we want to deduct any metric/metric group value from this cumulative sum, use ‘Deduct Value’ option in that specific group. For example, to generate the profit/loss statement we have deduct the expenses from revenues generated. In this scenario we have to set ‘Deduct Value’ for expenses related metric/metric group.
To create a new group of metrics please refer the below screenshots.
By default all the metrics in the chart will be in the default group. To add metrics to the new group drag and drop the metrics from the default group into the newly created group.
Each group will have its own ‘Group settings’ option and option to create a new group.
The steps to set a background image for all Vitara charts are explained in backgroundImage.
In 4.1. a version of Vitara charts, waterfall chart by default enables small multiple features when we apply an attribute in ‘Group by’ drop zone. To disable small multiple open property editor by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button. Below is the screenshot of the property editor.
Disable the checkbox ‘Enable Small Multiples’.
Small multiples is explained in smallMultiples.