Here, I have tried to create a waterfall chart -48th challenge of Workout Wednesday. (Week 48: Profitability Bridge – Workout Wednesday ( If you go through the link, then you can see that creating the waterfall chart is not so difficult however the challenging part was to get the formatting lines up and below the bars.

  1. Open the sample superstore data on the Tableau with Sales on the rows and Subcategory on the Columns. Make a group (Other) for subcategories leaving these subcategories-Table, Chair, Machines, Storage and Phones.

2. Change the bar graph to Gantt chart from the Marks card option.

3. As you can see changing the graph to Gantt has squeezed the graph size. To fix it bring the Sales to Size mark card.

4. Apply Table calculations of Running Total to Sales on the column shelf after sorting the values in ascending order.

5. As we can see the chart does not look like a waterfall chart as the bar is not staring from the point where the previous bar is ending. To fix this put (-) sign before the sale values on the size,

6. Create Profit Ratio calculated field as shown in the pic below and put it over the Label on the marks card and change the values into %


7. Create another calculated field to change the colors of the bars and put this calculated field on the Color marks card. By double clicking the color palette on the right side, change the colors as shown in the challenge.

8. Now add another bar of Total Sales by choosing the option of Totals from the Analysis tab at the top


9. Add two reference lines now. First, show maximum sale values per pane and other maximum sales values per cell.

10. At this stage the chart would like this.

11. Next step is to add another calculated field and drag it to row shelf besides Sales field.


12. Remove all the measures and dimensions from the mark card of this particular calculated field. Later add reference line and change the color of the bars to white so that we can see the reference lines only.


13. Create the dual axis by clicking on the second calculated field on the row shelf, synchronize the axis, and remove the header.

14, Add subcategory field to the Label of calculated field Mark card and waterfall chart have a look like this at this stage,

15. Put Region field on the filter and select two regions as shown in the chart below.

16. Here we are done with waterfall chart along with reference lines.

The Data School
Author: The Data School