The waterfall chart, also known as the Mario chart, is a simple data visualization comprised of a series of floating bars that look like a waterfall (or floating bricks for Nintendo’s Mario to jump on). The waterfall chart is an effective way to show the impact of a series of sequential drivers on a specific measurement.
In the example below, we use the waterfall chart to understand Microsoft’s income statement from revenue to net income for 3 months ending September 30, 2014 (source Microsoft earnings release). Throughout the waterfall we use “total bars” to provide an intermediary summation (e.g. gross margin, operating margin). We have also manually edited the labels to only show units for the total bars.
The waterfall chart is a standard Aploris offering on our Mac and PC compatible data visualization software. When editing the chart, simply drag the connectors between bars to adjust the flow of the waterfall.