Waterfall Chart — also known as Flying Bricks Chart or Bridge Chart — is most suitable for exploring the cumulative effect of positive (or negative) values added sequentially, one by one. Each succeeding point in Waterfall Charts is rigidly connected with the preceding one through displaying the change of the corresponding value.
The Waterfall Chart type is generally used to understand the influence of several positive and negative factors on the initial value. Points are utilized to display the process of the initial value change and can be in one of the three states: increase, decrease, or total (subtotal).
The first and last columns in a Waterfall Chart usually represent totals. The intermediate ones stand for the changes (deltas), either positive or negative, and end up with the final total value. Waterfall Charts can also have a more complex structure, e.g. featuring multiple columns with total values, data points crossing the X axis, etc.
Although a Waterfall Chart should be single-series, it may include multiple series as well. In that case, the series are stacked and connectors between charts drawn across sums per each category.
The most popular field of application of Waterfall Charts is visualization of financial statements or changes in performance data.
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