Marketing graph that you need to target your goals
Last November, my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Maui. One of the main activities we wanted to do was hiking near the waterfalls. We dreamed of swimming in the sparkling water at sunrise.
This is what you usually think of when you hear the word “waterfall”. However, today we are going to talk about a different type of waterfall-waterfall chart.
Waterfall Chart is a data formatting tool that helps you collect and track important data such as traffic targets and leadership generation. Yes, how to read one, and how to make it.
What is a waterfall chart?
A waterfall chart, also called a cascade chart or bridge chart, is a graph that shows you how the initial value is affected by the intermediate prices. Typically, climate charts are used to estimate data.
In marketing, the waterfall chart shows the number of leads, traffic sources, and blog views from time to time. More specifically, you can use a waterfall chart to show how your blog traffic has increased or decreased over the past year, giving you month-to-month values.
You can potentially use line charts, bar charts, and even bullet graphs to display this type of data. But the advantage of waterfall charts is that they show your advantages as they have disadvantages over time.
Why use a waterfall chart?
When you try to visualize the data, you should use the waterfall chart instead of other types of charts when you face both advantages and disadvantages. This is especially useful if you want to see how the next price is lost.
One of the reasons why waterfall charts are so effective in marketing is that they provide context to the data. Most statisticians tend to ignore situations that result in a decrease or increase in seasonal numbers.
For example, let’s say you create a waterfall chart of your Twitter followers over time. Instead of using a line graph that shows the total number of your users as well, the waterfall chart shows how much you’ve lost – and what effect it has on subsequent statistics.
At first glance, these charts may be difficult to read. Below, let’s take a look at how to read a waterfall chart.
How to read a waterfall chart
If you have never done so, reading the waterfall chart may seem foreign at first.
However, it is important to remember that you are reading it from left to right.
For example, say you track blog traffic from month to month. On the far left, you will have total traffic from last year. After that, you will include the losses and losses incurred throughout the month of the year. At the end of the chart, you will see total traffic for the year.
Sounds like it’s here:
Note where each value ends or where the previous value ended or started. In January, 5,000 visitors benefited, but in February and March, 2,000 lost. The cost of April traffic starts at 2,000 and goes up.
Basically, a waterfall chart is meant to tell you where you started and where you ended. In this example, you can see which months received the most traffic compared to the months that lost traffic. This can help you see seasonal adjustments while keeping the big picture in mind.
Now, you may be wondering, “This chart looks difficult to create. How can I create my own in Excel?” Below, we’ll take a look at the simple process of creating your own waterfall chart.
How to create a waterfall chart in Excel
- Create a table with the values you want to display in your waterfall chart.
- Highlight columns and rows containing your data.
- Go to Enter > [Waterfall chart symbol] > Waterfall.
- In the ribbon above, format your waterfall chart under ‘Chart Design’.
- Adjust the legend if necessary.
- Add more values as time goes on.
Not sure how to do it really? Below, we add a template and more instructions.
Bonus: You’ll also find instructions for creating waterfall charts in Google Sheets, in case your favorite spreadsheet software.
Waterfall Excel Template
1. Make a table with four columns.
Before you can create a waterfall chart, you’ll want to create a table of values that you want to present on your chart.
For example, are you tracking blog traffic numbers? Or maybe you’re seeing leads generated from a particular marketing campaign? Either way, you have to collect your data before you can create a waterfall chart.
All you have to do is open Excel or Google Sheets, and start entering your data manually. When you enter your data, make sure you distinguish between positive and negative values. To indicate a negative value, simply add a minus sign in front of the number.
For this template, we will track the blog traffic. Note: All numbers are arbitrary and do not reflect traffic on any blog.
Make four columns. The first two columns will have no headings. In cells A2 to A15, write start, then all 12 months, then end.
In cell C1, type “GAIN”, and in cell D1, type “LOSS”.
Keep your traffic numbers from there. How much traffic are you starting? Write it in cell B2 after START B. Then, for each month, write down how much you have gained or lost.
Add everything together, including negative values, and place them in cell B15 next to the end.
2. Highlight all your data, then insert your waterfall chart.
Now that you have your values, highlight the table you created. In Google Sheets, go to Enter → Chart → Waterfall chart.
This will create a waterfall chart and the chart editor will point to the right. When it comes to chart editors, make sure “Waterfall Chart” is selected under Chart Type.
In Excel, go to Enter → [Waterfall chart symbol] → Waterfall
Your chart will be automatically generated based on the values in our template.
3. Format your waterfall chart.
At this point, all the hard work is done. All you have to do is format your chart and make sure you like it.
In Google Sheets, click the three dots in the upper right corner of the chart and click Edit Chart. You will be taken to a chart editor. Here, you can choose the colors of your bars, adjust your logos, or add grid lines. Probably. The main thing you want to do here is adjust your symptoms.
In Excel, you will click on the chart, and then select “Chart Design” and “Format” on the top ribbon for the way you want the chart to look.
Creating a waterfall chart manually can be a hassle. Fortunately, you can also create waterfall charts using a dedicated dashboard tool. For example, HubSpot offers marketing dashboards and reporting software that you can use to create charts. How is it
How to create a chart in HubSpot?
1. Go to Analytics Tools.
After logging in to your portal, hover over the Reports tab and click on Analytics Tools.
2. Select what you want to track.
Next, choose what you want to track. You may want to analyze the blog traffic as we did in the example above. Or you might review analytics for a particular campaign.
Either way, you can choose what you want to track in analytics tools.
3. Select the type of chart.
Finally, you have to choose the style chart you want. Right now, you can choose between area charts, column charts, line charts, or combination charts. You’ll want to select “Columns”, which is close to the shape of a waterfall chart.
Now that you have a waterfall chart, it’s time to analyze it.
To repeat, here’s how to understand your waterfall chart:
- The waterfall chart shows a series of negative and positive values. Every value affects the value that follows.
- For example, if you lose 3 leads in a week, the next price will take that into account. If you get 5 leads, the waterfall chart will use the -3 value as the starting point, so your end point has the advantage of 2 leads.
- Each column is color coded to distinguish positive from negative values.
And here’s how to analyze.
Check the time with the biggest losses.
In what months or weeks did you see the most damage? It is important to look at and understand these statistics in order to get the most out of them. From there, you can troubleshoot these months or come up with new strategies.
Review time limits with the most benefits.
In contrast, look at the time frame in which the benefit is greatest. You will want to imitate what you have done during these months. Or the research trends that have propelled you through these times.
Review the net change over the entire time frame.
From beginning to end, how much difference did you see? Was it a positive or a negative difference? Are you seeing better results in your business?
Take a look at the pros and cons of implementing a new strategy from week to week.
After creating a new strategy, it will be helpful to use a waterfall chart to see how it affects you from week to week – whether you are seeing more positive or negative results.
Use the waterfall chart to better analyze your performance
To ensure that you are examining the full scope of your analysis, we recommend that you create a waterfall chart. It is a valuable data visualization tool that helps you understand your analytics in a systematic way. You no longer have to rely on ordinary line graphs – with a waterfall chart, you will understand your advantages and disadvantages over time at the maximum granular level.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2011 and has been updated for updates, accuracy and comprehensiveness.