2 September 2020
In today’s uncertain times, you’re probably restricted to seeing waterfalls on your computer or mobile screen only. But we still think they’re fantastic. Especially when they’re in the form of a Waterfall chart!
When you’re analysing data, you often need to see what caused something to change over time. And, it’s helpful to visualise the initial value of the metric, what changed the value and the final value, such as tracking monthly subscriptions over a year. A Waterfall chart is a great choice for these scenarios.
In a Waterfall chart, the beginning and end values are shown as columns and the data points in between are displayed as free-floating blocks or steps. It’s a simple, visual layout that makes it easier to analyse complex data and illustrates how a value changes over time. Good news for guided analytics users is that they can gain insights at a glance, into what changed and when.
Some analytics solutions enable the user to display their Waterfall chart either vertically or horizontally. And the choice of layout usually depends on the type of data you want to display. A horizontal layout is helpful for showing data that doesn’t have a specific order, such as gender or country – drawing the audience’s attention quickly to the major factors affecting the total. Whereas a vertical layout is a better choice for showing ordered data, such as time.
Choose from a vertical or horizontal layout with Vizlib Waterfall for a more intuitive insights journey
A familiar tool for the finance team, this dataviz component is becoming more popular across other departments as well as industries, such as Healthcare, Manufacturing and Banking and Finance.
1. Get to the bottom line of your finance figures
Waterfall charts are common in finance for showing how practitioners arrive at a net value and also help in visualising:
✔ Income statements by region, month, or by P&L line
✔ Revenue or profit flow
✔ Evaluating enterprise profit
✔ Stock price fluctuations
✔ Return on investment
Vizlib Waterfall displaying what contributes to and detracts from revenue and profit flow
2. Keep a close eye on project budgets
Keeping a project on time and within budget can be tricky and there are many analytics tools that can help you keep everything on track. With a Waterfall chart, you could specifically visualise metrics such as:
✔ Project spend by phase
✔ Variance to budget
3. Drive more sales and brand interest
Guide your sales or marketing team to the right insights with Waterfall charts. Intuitive analytics solutions should make it easy for them to create these charts and visualise data on what works well and what doesn’t to generate more brand and customer interest. They could track and visualise:
✔ Customer or subscriber churn or growth by month
✔ Profits per product
✔ Contributions to totals chart by region
✔ Competitor analysis
✔ Campaign cash flow to prospect for new customers
Vizlib Waterfall makes it easy to track subscriber or customer churn
4. Root cause analysis across industries
BI managers use Waterfall charts to illustrate what caused something, where things went wrong or where it diverted from the plan. It’s a practical way to show the ups and downs to an exec team who want insights at a glance. Other industries using Waterfall charts include:
✔ Healthcare: to visualise patient days by nursing unit
✔ Retail: to visualise inventory balances over time
5. Manage stock and inventory at a glance
Analysing how stock and inventory levels change over time helps the production team maintain optimum levels for profitability. They could visualise what affects the levels easily with a metric such as:
✔ Inventory over time
Keeping an eye on inventory is simpler with Vizlib Waterfall
6. Visualise company growth for HR planning
The growth of an organisation’s head count is often a good indicator of the general health of the business. When HR managers can visualise how the number of employees changes over time, for instance, they can optimise the hiring process and cater to the business’ needs effectively. A practical HR Waterfall chart could show:
✔ Employee growth over time
Visualising employee growth at a glance for streamlined HR management
Vizlib Waterfall is a highly customisable Waterfall chart for Qlik Sense. You can choose from a vertical or horizontal layout to immediately see what’s pushing up or pulling down a metric and uncover the root cause of your business questions quickly and easily.
With Vizlib Waterfall, you can help all users confidently visualise how totals change over time, such as Inventory Balance over time or Customer Churn by month to support their data-driven decision making.
Vizlib’s feature-rich data visualisation products will help you get started on your data storytelling journey.
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