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Despite having their roots in the late 1990's, waterfall charts are beginning to see a resurgence post 2015, yet despite this, Tableau cannot natively create a waterfall.

In this article, I shall walk you through building both the simplest waterfall chart, right through to the engineeredĀ chart of measures type.

Table of Contents

The Simple Waterfall

Remember when we used to want to know how a single measure breaks-down across the attributes of a dimension?

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The thing is though, what if you don'tĀ want to see the output of a single measure across the dimnesionsdimensions? A bar chart will probably suffice here.

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The basic architecture of Tableau (and indeed most visualisaton visualisation tools), is to hang a value from a partition, or rather, to show how a value is broken-down across a group of attributes as is the case of most of your charts; removing the the dimension(s), removes the chart framework, and with it, the tools' ability to build a chart.
In the case of Tableau, this lack of a framework, has Tableau placing each aggregated mark value atop each other; the result: A mess!

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By building an engineered waterfall framework

The Engineered Waterfall

Note

Before reading further, please ensure you have read my article on densificationĀ Lets Talk: Densification (to ensure you are using the most efficient method), even if you are already comfortable with the concept.

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For ease, the build is demonstrated in the video below, and I do recommend you download the complete workbook to understand how to build the fully-flexible waterfall too.


Video Tutorial: Building the Semi-Flexible Engineered Waterfall

Follow-along with this step-by-step tutorial to build the semi-flexible waterfall

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