How to Make a Tableau Waterfall Chart

Basic Waterfall Chart in Tableau

Waterfall charts are the most widely used visualization chart across businesses as they help in displaying the cumulative effect of sequential positive and negative values.

Also, the major difference between Waterfall charts and other normal Bar/Gantt/Running total charts is that they illustrate how much each dimension member with a positive/negative value adds/detracts to a running total respectively. Learn Tableau for Data Science A to Z


This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a waterfall chart in Tableau. To demonstrate that I am going to use Sample-Superstore data.


1.  Connect to Sample-Superstore dataset: Open the Tableau Desktop and select the “Sample-Superstore” dataset

Connect to a data source

2. Go to Sheet1:

3. Drag the “Order Date” dimension to “Columns” shelf and “Profit” measure to “Rows” shelf

Add a time dimension to create a line chart before creating a waterfall chart.

4. Right click on “YEAR(Order Date)” and select “Quarter” option

Change the date to quarter to create a waterfall chart chunked structure.

5. Again, right click on “Order Date” and select “Discrete” option

6. Now, the next step is to “Add a Running Sum of Total Table Calculation” to “Profit” measure. To do this, right-click on the Profit, select “Add Table Calculation”, and add the following table calculation:

Use a a table calculation to create a waterfall chart which needs a running sum

7. In “Marks Card’ change the chart type from “Line” to “Gantt Bar”

8. Now, create a calculated field named “-Profit” as shown:

Create a calculated field to create a waterfall chart

9. Drag the new calculated measure “- Profit” to the “Size” tab on the ‘Marks Card” and the waterfall charts are completed

changing the size of the gantt chart will create the waterfall effect in the chart.

10. This waterfall chart represents the how much Profit is increasing or decreasing with respect to one quarter to the next. For example, using the below chart, the user can draw an insight that in “2015-Q4” the profit was the highest as compared to all the other year’s quarter.

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