How to Create a Waterfall Chart

Table of Contents

What is a Waterfall Chart

Waterfall charts are special Waterfall Range Charts, used in accounting for financial reports.

Positive money entries are represented by rising range columns, with the up color. While negative entries represent spending and appear as falling columns, with the down color. Each column starts from the end point of the previous column, or the X base axis for the first bar.

Gray Intermediate Total columns to zero are drawn for zero entries. A final Grand Total column may be also added at the end with a last zero entry. These special zero amount entries ($0) are ignored by the other bars, in the sense they do not force them to continue from zero. Remark that the current sum may go beyond zero at any moment.

Steps to Create a Waterfall Chart

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Chart query builder.
  2. Set a numeric data column as Progress ChartsWaterfall chart.
  3. Add an optional Label.
  4. Switch rows with columns for horizontal bars instead.
  5. Add other Waterfall data columns, for multiple Waterfall charts.

Waterfall Chart Demo Query

Look for the ready-to-use Waterfall Chart generated query under the Queries > Demo Queries > Charts > Range Charts folder. Click on the “add demo queries” command link, if not there.

Waterfall Chart

Multiple Waterfall Chart Demo Query

You may select more than one data column as Waterfall, but this will automatically create multiple separate Waterfall charts, as it is not possible to mix multiple such chart types into one single diagram.

Multiple Waterfall Charts
Look for the ready-to-use Multiple Waterfall Chart generated query under the Queries > Demo Queries > Charts > Multiple Charts folder.

Customize your Waterfall Chart

  1. Show thin lollipop bars with markers.
  2. Make it multi-color, to show each column with a different color.
  3. Show horizontal data labels.
  4. Hide some columns using the legend items.
  5. You may also switch rows with columns, to display horizontal bars instead.

Custom Waterfall Chart


  • Creating Waterfall Charts in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and straightforward: set one numeric data column as Waterfall, with an optional Label.
  • Entries with zero value will appear as Intermediate Total grey columns to the X axis..
  • One final entry with zero will appear as a last Grand Total gray column to the X axis.
  • Switch rows with columns, to display horizontal bars instead.
  • Add more Waterfall data columns, for separate multiple Waterfall charts.