This is part of the SAP Lumira Discovery blog series.
A waterfall chart is a form of data visualization that helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values. The waterfall chart is also known as a flying bricks chart or Mario chart due to the apparent suspension of columns (bricks) in mid-air. Often in finance, it will be referred to as a bridge.
In SAP Lumira Discovery, there have been a couple of enhancements to the waterfall chart like,
- Increasing and decreasing color customization
- Option to connect the bars with line
- Support for total and sub-totals
- More chart properties for customization
This enables extended scenarios for data discovery with this visualization.
Now let’s consider the scenario in which you need to plot your company’s profit and loss statement on a chart. You would show various sources of revenue and expenses add them up and deduct all your costs to arrive at the total profit (or loss).
Below is a simple Net Income statement that is used to build the waterfall chart,
The starting budgeted net income is $2,000. The profit and loss revenue items in the table above with the positive additions to net income being the positive values and the negative additions (the loss) to net income being the negative values.
The steps to construct the chart are given below:
- In a story, select the Insert Chart icon.
- Select a waterfall chart type from the lists in Column & Bar(Bar Chart is the default chart type, where you can choose waterfall chart type.)
- Select a measure and drag it to an axis on the Chart Canvas
- Select a dimension and drag it to the Chart Canvas
- A chart must have at least one measure. When you add a dimension to the chart, its values are calculated based on the chart’s measures
After applying the latest enhancements, we can now build this visualization to display overall results, color code them and enhance other features using customized chart properties.