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This article is about Looker Studio. For Looker documentation, visit https://cloud.google.com/looker/docs/intro.

Waterfall chart reference

How to configure waterfall charts.

Waterfall charts help you visualize how a sequence of positive and negative values adds up to a total. These charts are often used for financial data to show how various profits and losses make up a total. Waterfall charts can also be used more generally to illustrate how different categories contribute to a total, especially if the data contains positive and negative values.

In this article:

Waterfall charts in Looker Studio

Waterfall charts are helpful for tracking and displaying progress of metrics over time and for understanding what drives the change. For example, you can use a waterfall chart to display the progress of a product launch or to display different tasks that need to be completed along with their current status

Waterfall chart example

The following waterfall chart displays revenue gains and losses by year, with a Total column that shows the sum of all the values.

A waterfall chart displays filled columns for positive revenue gains and unfilled columns for negative revenue gains by year from 2013 to 2018, and a total column at the end.

You can hover your cursor over the columns in a waterfall chart to access a tooltip that displays more details.

Requirements

A waterfall chart requires the following elements:

  • One dimension
  • One metric

Configure the chart

Add a new chart or select an existing chart. Then, on the right, use the Properties panel to configure the chart's Setup and Style tab properties.

Set up the chart data

The options in the Setup tab determine how the chart's data is organized and displayed.

Data source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying dataset. 

  • To change the chart's data source, click the current data source name.
  • To view or edit the data source, click Edit. (You must have at least view permission to see this icon.)
  • Click +BLEND DATA to see data from multiple data sources in the same chart. Learn more about data blending.

Date range dimension

Optionally, select a date type dimension in the Date Range Dimension option. The date range dimension governs the timeframe of the selected components, the current page, or the report as a whole.

If you specify a Date Range Dimension, the Default date range configuration section will automatically appear on the Setup tab.

Dimension 

Dimensions are data categories. Dimension values (the data contained by the dimension) are names, descriptions, or other characteristics of a category.

Waterfall charts require one dimension.
 

Drill down

Select the Drill down switch to turn on drilling for the chart, and select a drill down field from the Default drill down level drop-down menu.

Metric

Metrics measure the things contained in dimensions and provide the numeric scale and data series for the chart.

Metrics are aggregations that come from the underlying data set, or that are the result of implicitly or explicitly applying an aggregation function, such as COUNT(), SUM(), or AVG(). The metric itself has no defined set of values, so you can’t group by it as you can with a dimension.

Learn more about aggregation.

Optional metrics

You can add optional metrics by selecting the Optional metrics switch and selecting metrics from the Add metric field selector. You can also drag and drop metrics from the fields list on the Data panel to the Optional metrics selector.

Metric sliders

Turn on the Metric sliders switch to add a metric slider to your waterfall chart.

Sort

Select a field that will sort your waterfall chart results. The default sort order will be by the first dimension, unless otherwise specified.

Select either the Ascending or Descending option as desired.

Totals

The Totals option lets you display totals or subtotals of values in your waterfall chart. You can specify the timeframe by which to total or subtotal the values from the Total calculation drop-down menu.

The options include the following:

  • None — Select this option if you don't want to display total calculation bars in your waterfall chart.
  • At End — Select this option to display a sum of all the values in your waterfall chart.
  • Annually — Select this option to display subtotals for every year.
  • Quarterly — Select this option to display a subtotal of values for every quarter.
  • Monthly — Select this option to display a subtotal of values for every month.

Custom aggregation

The Custom aggregation is an optional configuration and lets you specify a value as the starting baseline of the waterfall chart. Enter a value into the text field to specify a custom aggregation.

You can also select the Use values for baseline and totals checkbox to apply the baseline to the totals that appear in your chart.

Default date range

The Default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart.

Default date range options

Auto Uses the default date range, which is determined by the chart's data source.
Custom Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.
Date compare type Displays comparison data for the selected time period.

Learn more about working with dates and time.

Filters

Optionally, select Add a filter to choose a field that will narrow the results of your waterfall chart. Visit the Create, edit, and manage filters documentation page for more information about applying a filter to a chart or a report.

Google Analytics segment

This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source.

A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Looker Studio charts to help ensure that your Looker Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data. Learn more about Analytics segments in Looker Studio.

Chart interactions

The Cross-filtering option in the Chart interactions section lets you interact with one chart and apply that interaction as a filter to other charts in the report. When cross-filtering is turned on for a chart, you can filter the report by interacting with that chart in two ways:

  • Clicking one or more dimension values in the chart
  • Dragging, or "brushing," your mouse across a time series, a line chart, or an area chart
Cross-filtering is automatically turned on for waterfall charts.

Style the chart

The options in the Style tab control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.

Waterfall

The options in the Waterfall section of the Style tab let you control the axis orientation and number of bars that appear in your waterfall chart.

The options include the following:

  • Vertical — Select the Vertical icon to display the Y-axis values vertically on the Y-axis. This option is selected by default.
  • Horizontal — Select the Horizontal icon to display the Y-axis values horizontally on the X-axis.
  • Bars — Optionally, input a value to limit the number of bars that are displayed in addition to the totals and subtotals that appear on the chart.

Rising bar styling

The options in the Rising Bar Styling section of the Style tab let you control the appearance of positive value rising bars that appear in your waterfall chart.

The options include the following:

  • Color for Positive Values — Select the Color for Positive Values icon to select a fill color for displaying positive value bars.
  • Stroke Color for Positive Values — Select the Stroke Color for Positive Values icon to select an outline color for positive value bars.
  • Stroke Weight for Positive Values — Select a value from the Stroke Weight for Positive Values drop-down menu to customize the thickness of positive value bar outlines. The higher the number selected, the thicker that bar outlines will appear.

Falling bar styling

The options in the Falling Bar Styling section of the Style tab let you control the appearance of negative value falling bars that appear in your waterfall chart.

The options include the following:

  • Color for Negative Values — Select the Color for Negative Values icon to select a fill color for displaying negative value bars.
  • Stroke Color for Negative Values — Select the Stroke Color for Negative Values icon to select an outline color for negative value bars.
  • Stroke Weight for Negative Values — Select a value from the Stroke Weight for Negative Values drop-down menu to customize the thickness of negative value bar outlines. The higher the number selected, the thicker that bar outlines will appear.

Positive totals bar styling

The options in the Positive Totals Bar Styling section of the Style tab let you control the appearance of positive value total bars that appear in your waterfall chart.

The options include the following:

  • Color for Positive Totals — Select the Color for Positive Totals icon to select a fill color for displaying positive total bars.
  • Stroke Color for Positive Totals — Select the Stroke Color for Positive Totals icon to select an outline color for positive total bars.
  • Stroke Weight for Positive Totals — Select a value from the Stroke Weight for Positive Totals drop-down menu to customize the thickness of positive total bar outlines. The higher the number selected, the thicker that bar outlines will appear.

Negative totals bar styling

The options in the Negative Totals Bar Styling section of the Style tab let you control the appearance of negative value total bars that appear in your waterfall chart.

The options include the following:

  • Color for Negative Totals — Select the Color for Negative Totals icon to select a fill color for displaying negative total bars.
  • Stroke Color for Negative Totals — Select the Stroke Color for Negative Totals icon to select an outline color for negative total bars.
  • Stroke Weight for Negative Totals — Select a value from the Stroke Weight for Negative Totals drop-down menu to customize the thickness of negative total bar outlines. The higher the number selected, the thicker that bar outlines will appear.

Axes

The Show axes checkbox is automatically selected. Deselect the Show axes checkbox to hide all the waterfall chart axis labels and values.

Y-axis

These options control how the chart's Y-axis is displayed.

Y-axis options include the following:

  • Show axis title — The Show axis title checkbox is automatically selected. Deselect the Show axis title checkbox to hide the Y-axis title.
  • Axis Min — Select or input a value in the Axis Min field to specify a minimum value for the Y-axis.
  • Axis Max — Select or input a value in the Axis Max field to specify a maximum value for the Y-axis.
  • Custom Tick Interval — Select or input a value in the Custom Tick Interval field to change the granularity of the Y-axis values displayed on the chart. The higher the number selected, the more granular the values.
  • Log scale — Select the Log scale checkbox to display Y-axis values on a log scale.

X-axis

The Show axis title checkbox is automatically selected. Deselect the Show axis title checkbox to hide the X-axis title.

Grid

The options in the Grid section of the Style tab let you control the appearance of the waterfall chart grid.

Grid options include the following:

  • Axis color — Select the Axis color icon to choose a color for displaying X and Y axis values and titles.
  • Grid color — Select the Grid color icon to choose a color for displaying grid lines in the chart.
  • Font family — Select the Font family drop-down menu to choose a font for displaying chart values and labels.
  • Axis font size — Select the Axis font size drop-down menu to choose a size in pixels for displaying chart values and labels.

Background and border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container.

Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. Border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Adds a shadow to the chart's lower and right borders.

Chart Header

The chart header lets viewers perform various actions on the chart such as exporting the data or sorting the chart. The following chart header options are available:

Show on hover (default) Three vertical dots appear when you mouse over the chart header. Click these dots to access the header options.
Always show The header options always appear.
Do not show The header options never appear. Note that report viewers can always access the options by right-clicking the chart.
Color Sets the color of the chart header options.

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