Create an Excel Waterfall chart to show how positive and negative amounts have affected the total amount, based on a starting value. Video and step-by-step written instructions
You can use an Excel Waterfall chart to show the cumulative effect of positive and negative amounts, based on a starting value. For example, show the monthly net cash flow amounts in a waterfall chart, and quickly see which months had positive and negative results.
Excel 2013 and earlier don't have a Waterfall chart type, but you can follow the instructions below, to create one.
NOTE: If you frequently make waterfall charts, or other complex charts, get the Excel Chart Utility, to save time.
Watch this short video, to see how to create a waterfall chart from your data. Written instructions are below the video.
To create your own waterfall chart, the first step is to set up your data. In the screen shot below:
The next step is to enter the formulas that will be used in the chart. In the screenshot above, values are typed in the yellow cells, and other coloured cells contain formulas. The formulas are listed below the screenshot.
B2: =" "
D4: = - MIN(G4,0)
Copy the formulas in B4, D4 and E4 down to row 15
To create the waterfall chart:
To follow along with the video and written instructions, download the sample waterfall chart file. The file is zipped, and in xlsx format. The file does not contain any macros.
If you don't have the time or patience to arrange your data and create your own Excel Waterfall chart, Excel charting guru, Jon Peltier, offers a time-saving Excel Chart Utility, which includes a Waterfall chart builder, along with 7 other custom chart types.
Just select your data, click the Waterfall Chart command on the Ribbon, set a few options, and click OK, and your waterfall chart is ready. A few columns with formulas are added in your workbook, to provide the data for the waterfall chart.
The Waterfall Chart builder even works if the total values are negative, as you can see in the example below.
It's a good investment, and the Peltier Tech Excel chart add-in will quickly pay for itself, because you won't have to waste your time fiddling with data arrangements and chart settings.
In addition to the 8 custom charts, there are useful charting tools.
There is also a data tool, and there are a few general tools, to make your Excel work easier.
You can see how well the Excel Waterfall Chart builder works, in this short video.
Note: These are affiliate links, and I'll earn a small commission if you purchase the chart utility through these links.
Last updated: June 5, 2016 1:37 PM