Possible Waterfall charts in Xcelsius

In Xcelsius a waterfall chart is not default available in the versions up to SP4 (from SP4 onwards it is available), however with a little imagination you can create one from a stacked bar chart. Below I have published 4 examples.


Waterfall Example 1A

Excel source

Use the columns for the series (= coloring) and the rows for the labels (= columns in chart) by setting the data range to “Data in Columns”. On the appearance tab set the Marker Gap to 0 and the Marker Overlay to 100. Apply the series coloring accordingly.
Note: remember how Xcelsius builts up the chart; from bottom up to top. If you want your bottom bar color to be white, you have to start your series with the white color data.


Waterfall Example 1B

Excel source

Same example as 1A only the less colors, thus less series used.


Waterfall Example 2A

Excel source

You want to show how your profit and loss accounts are related by showing each individual account and use the colors red and green for the contribution amount (cost = red, revenue = green).
Again use the columns for the series (= coloring) and the rows for the labels (= columns in chart) by setting the data range to “Data in Columns”. On the appearance tab set the Marker Gap to 0 and the Marker Overlay to 100. Apply the series coloring accordingly.
Note: Again the order of the data columns determines the coloring in the chart. The white amount is calculated on the basis of the total of the previous column only in case of a cost account, that cost amount is subtracted from the total.


Waterfall Example 2B

Excel source

This is based on the same principle as the previous chart only it gets more interesting as the total amount gets below zero, thus we have to deal with negative totals with a positive contribution. This can be achieved by creating extra series as the order of the negative positioned bar colors is different than when using positive bars.
Note: The coloring change in the y-axe can be changed by formating in Excel, see this post.

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Femke Kooij is a dashboard and report designer, developer and educator specializing in SAP | BusinessObjects Dashboards (better known as Xcelsius) and Crystal Reports. She has also a lot of experience with other SAP | BusinessObjects toolings like, Web Intelligence (WebI), Information Design Tool (Universe Designer), BusinessObjects Data Services (BODS) and the overall server platform BusinessObjects Enterprise (Launchpad, CMC). She spends a lot of her time thinking about and sharing her knowledge of Xcelsius to others through her own blog. Lately she is exploring other visualization tools like Qlikview and Tableau. On the later she is also posting some experiences. Currently she is in the employment of Cognizant Technology Solutions. Her blog only contains her personal views, thoughts and opinions. It is not endorsed by Cognizant Technology Solutions nor does it constitute any official communication of Cognizant Technology Solutions.

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2 Comments to Possible Waterfall charts in Xcelsius

  1. sam says:

    Awesome work. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Pingback: Xcelsius 2008 SP4 | David Lai's Business Intelligence Blog