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ihilgefort Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Waterfall Chart Tutorial

Hello everyone,

 

this is related to the Waterfall Chart Tutorial posted here:

 

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-tutorial-waterfall-charts/

 

Just want to make sure I am seeing this "right".

 

At Step 5 the Waterfall chart is created with month JAN as a negative starting point and month FEB just a very small positive value, so month MAR is still starting from a negative value.

 

At step 6 and 7 we add the breakdown by Territory but when looking at the Waterfall chart above step 8 - my opinion - the values are incorrect.

 

So month JAN starts with the negative value, but the breakdown values - even though negative - are going up - and now month FEB is close to the zero line and month MAR is starting with a positive values.

 

Is this just me or is this wrong ?

 

Thanks

Ingo Hilgefort

 

 

6 REPLIES 6
ihilgefort Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Waterfall demo

Hello everyone,

 

this is related to the Waterfall Chart Tutorial posted here:

 

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-tutorial-waterfall-charts/

 

Just want to make sure I am seeing this "right".

 

At Step 5 the Waterfall chart is created with month JAN as a negative starting point and month FEB just a very small positive value, so month MAR is still starting from a negative value.

 

At step 6 and 7 we add the breakdown by Territory but when looking at the Waterfall chart above step 8 - my opinion - the values are incorrect.

 

So month JAN starts with the negative value, but the breakdown values - even though negative - are going up - and now month FEB is close to the zero line and month MAR is starting with a positive values.

 

Is this just me or is this wrong ?

 

Thanks

Ingo Hilgefort

 

 

v-ljerr-msft Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Waterfall Chart Tutorial

Hi @ihilgefort,

A waterfall chart shows a running total as values are added or subtracted. It's useful for understanding how an initial value (for example, net income) is affected by a series of positive and negative changes.


In my opinion, both charts(with or without breakdowns) make sense to me., as a waterfall chart just shows a running total as values are added or subtracted(in this case, the values are Total Sales Variances). See underline data below. Smiley Happy

r2.PNGr5.PNG

 

Regards

ihilgefort Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Waterfall Chart Tutorial

Hello @v-ljerr-msft

 

Thanks for your response and I understand what a waterfall chart does, which I still think that it is slighly incorrect.

 

let me explain the scenario:

 

the complete scenario is here:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-tutorial-waterfall-charts/?cdn=dis...

 

At step 5 we have this waterfall chart:

power-bi-waterfall-sorted.png

 

You can see that JAN has a negative value and that FEB starts at around 0.4M negative and then MAR has a large positive values that goes up to 0.5 M positive.

 

In Step 6 and 7 we then add the Territory Breakdown and - my opinion - what the waterfall chart should be doing is to break down the "parent" into the values.

 

but look at what it does:

 

power-bi-waterfall-axis_2.png

 

  • JAN has a negative value, but instead of treating the territory values as break down explaining the column for JAN, the territory items go UP and now FEB is not starting at around -0.4M anymore, but instead FEB is close to the ZERO line - so that is a totally different message because the consumer of the chart will now assume that FEB started close to the ZERO line and not at -0.4M.
  • in MAR it does the same thing and to come back to your response that a Waterfall shows the cumulative sum - take a look now because MAR has "moved" to a different start value now suddenly MAR goes up to close 1M as value, whereas before it was as cumulative sum close to 0.4M

 

so I hope that explains it and I still think that the Waterfall chart is doing the breakdown incorrect.

 

What it should be doing is:

 

  • for JAN the breakdown should start at the TOP of JAN (not the bottom) and explain the column of JAN and end at the same cumulative value as in the chart before, giving FEB the same start value. JAN as negative values, so the issue here is that the individual values are treated as positive values going up when they should be treated as down values because they are negative

 

Thanks

Ingo Hilgefort, Visual BI

ihilgefort Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Waterfall Chart Tutorial

HI,

 

how can this be raised with Microsoft ?

 

the current "breakdown" option in the Waterfall chart is misleading as the values change for the parents.

 

Ingo

v-ljerr-msft Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Waterfall Chart Tutorial

Hi @ihilgefort,

 

In this scenario, I would suggest you add it as an idea on Power BI Ideas forum. If there are enough votes, the Product Team will evaluate and take good consideration about it. Smiley Happy

 

Regards

cuiping Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Waterfall Chart Tutorial

So does Power BI team give the solution on how to remove the total column? or hide ?