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Waterfall Chart

  • 8 min to read

A Waterfall chart (also called Bridge Chart, Cascade Chart or Flying Bricks Chart) displays a sequence of bars that indicate positive or negative changes. You can plot Waterfall charts based on relative or absolute data values, and add two types of summary bars. The Total bar summarizes all values and is on the right side of the chart's diagram. Subtotals can be defined between two adjacent points (bars) to display intermediate values.

Waterfall Chart

Chart Type Characteristics

The table below lists the main waterfall chart characteristics:

Feature Value
Series view type WaterfallSeriesView
Diagram type 2D XYDiagram
Number of arguments per series point 1
Number of values per series point 1

The following image shows the waterfall chart elements:

Create a Waterfall Chart

The following example demonstrates how to create a WebChartControl with a series of the WaterfallSeriesView type:

public partial class WebForm1 : System.Web.UI.Page {
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
        WebChartControl WebChartControl1 = new WebChartControl();
        WebChartControl1.Width = 1000;
        WebChartControl1.Height = 600;
        Series series = new Series("Carbon Balance", ViewType.Waterfall);
        series.FilterCriteria = new BinaryOperator("Factor", "Imbalance", BinaryOperatorType.Equal);
        series.SetDataMembers("Year", "Contribution");
        WebChartControl1.Series.Add(series);
        WebChartControl1.DataSource = LoadDataTableFromXml("carbon.xml", "CarbonContribution");
        WebChartControl1.DataBind();
        this.form1.Controls.Add(WebChartControl1);
    }
    public static DataTable LoadDataTableFromXml(string fileName, string tableName) {
        DataSet xmlDataSet = new DataSet();
        using (Stream xmlStream = File.OpenRead(HttpContext.Current.Server.MapPath("~/App_Data/" + fileName))) {
            xmlDataSet.ReadXml(xmlStream);
            xmlStream.Close();
        }
        return xmlDataSet.Tables[tableName];
    }
}

The data structure looks as follows:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<ArrayOfCarbonContribution xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
                           xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
  <xs:schema xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
    <xs:element name="CarbonContribution">
      <xs:complexType>
        <xs:sequence>
          <xs:element name="Year" type="xs:int"/>
          <xs:element name="Factor" type="xs:string"/>
          <xs:element name="Contribution" type="xs:double"/>
        </xs:sequence>
      </xs:complexType>
    </xs:element>
  </xs:schema>
  <CarbonContribution>
    <Year>1990</Year>
    <Factor>Imbalance</Factor>
    <Contribution>0.69</Contribution>
  </CarbonContribution>
  <!--...--> 
</ArrayOfCarbonContribution>  

Refer to Providing Data for more information about how to populate a chart with data.

Process Relative and Absolute Data Values

If the WaterfallSeriesView.ValueOptions property is set to a WaterfallRelativeValueOptions object, the control processes data source values as increments/decrements. You can create and assign a WaterfallAbsoluteValueOptions object to treat data as absolute values.

The following charts visualize the same data but use different value options:

Relative Value Options Absolute Value Options

The following table demonstrates data source values:

Argument Value
November 20
December 10
January -5
February 10
March -10

Plot a Waterfall Based on Relative Values

Set the WaterfallSeriesView.ValueOptions property to a WaterfallRelativeValueOptions object if the chart data source stores increments/decrements. You can also display a start bar with the initial value before the measurement starts. The chart plots a start bar at zero if the start bar value is not specified.

private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    // This example uses the series added in the previous section.
    series.ArgumentScaleType = ScaleType.Qualitative;
    WaterfallSeriesView view = series.View as WaterfallSeriesView;
    if (view != null) {
        WaterfallRelativeValueOptions valueOptions = new WaterfallRelativeValueOptions();
        valueOptions.StartBarLabel = "1989";
        valueOptions.StartBarValue = 2766D;
        valueOptions.ShowTotal = true;
        view.ValueOptions = valueOptions;
    }
}

Related API members

Plot a Waterfall Based on Absolute Values

Set the WaterfallSeriesView.ValueOptions property to a WaterfallAbsoluteValueOptions object if the chart data source stores a set of absolute values. In this case, the chart automatically calculates differences and plot them as waterfall bars.

private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    // This example uses the series added in the previous section.
    WaterfallSeriesView view = series.View as WaterfallSeriesView;
    if (view != null) {
        WaterfallAbsoluteValueOptions valueOptions = new WaterfallAbsoluteValueOptions();
        valueOptions.ShowTotal = true;
        view.ValueOptions = valueOptions;
    }
}

Related API members

Add Total and Subtotals

The Waterfall Chart can display a total bar and multiple subtotals.

Note

You can only show the total bar and add subtotals to a series with qualitative arguments.

private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    series.ArgumentScaleType = ScaleType.Qualitative;
    WaterfallSeriesView view = series.View as WaterfallSeriesView;
    if (view != null) {
        WaterfallRelativeValueOptions valueOptions = view.ValueOptions as WaterfallRelativeValueOptions;
        if (valueOptions != null) {
            valueOptions.ShowTotal = true;
            valueOptions.TotalLabel = "2018";
            valueOptions.Subtotals.Add(new Subtotal { PointIndex = 16, Label = "February 16, 2005" });
        }
    }
}

Related API Members:

Customize Waterfall Appearance

You can change the color of rising bars, falling bars, the total, subtotals, connectors, and the start bar. The Chart Control also allows you to customize the line style of connectors.

private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    WaterfallSeriesView view = series.View as WaterfallSeriesView;
    if (view != null) {
        view.RisingBarColor = Color.FromArgb(218, 88, 89);
        view.FallingBarColor = Color.FromArgb(146, 206, 181);
        view.SubtotalBarColor = Color.Gray;
        view.TotalBarColor = Color.DarkGray;
        view.StartBarColor = Color.LightGray;
        view.ConnectorColor = Color.Black;
        view.ConnectorStyle.Thickness = 1;
    }
}

Related API Members:

Format the Crosshair Label and Series Labels

You can format waterfall-related text in the crosshair label and series labels. To do this, use the SeriesBase.CrosshairLabelPattern and SeriesLabelBase.TextPattern properties. The Chart Control provides a {VABS} placeholder that displays an absolute point value. The {V} placeholder shows value changes for rising and falling bars, and the absolute value for the Total bar.

series.CrosshairLabelPattern = "Value: {VABS:f1}" + Environment.NewLine + "Change: {V}";
series.LabelsVisibility = DevExpress.Utils.DefaultBoolean.True;
series.Label.TextPattern = "{V}";

Specify Series Label Position

To specify waterfall series label position, use the WaterfallSeriesLabel.Position property. The DevExpress.XtraCharts.WaterfallSeriesLabelPosition enumeration lists the available values.

series.LabelsVisibility = DevExpress.Utils.DefaultBoolean.True;
((WaterfallSeriesLabel)series.Label).Position = WaterfallSeriesLabelPosition.InsideEnd;

Create a Chart with Multiple Waterfall Series

You can create a waterfall chart with multiple series. In this case, the chart displays points of different series as stacked bars:

To create such a chart, use a series template to generate series or add multiple series.

private void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    WebChartControl1.DataSource = LoadDataTableFromXml("../../Data/carbon.xml", "CarbonContribution");
    WebChartControl1.SeriesTemplate.ArgumentDataMember = "Year";
    WebChartControl1.SeriesTemplate.ValueDataMembers.AddRange(new string[] { "Contribution" });
    WebChartControl1.SeriesTemplate.SeriesDataMember = "Factor";
    WebChartControl1.SeriesTemplate.ArgumentScaleType = ScaleType.Qualitative;
    WebChartControl1.SeriesTemplate.View = new WaterfallSeriesView();
    WebChartControl1.DataBind();
}
Note

The following properties are synchronized in all waterfall series in the Chart Control. If you change these properties' values for any waterfall series, the Chart Control applies the same value to all other waterfall series.

When you set a property before a Series is added to a chart's collection, an ArgumentException is thrown.