Bain and Company created a white paper last year with many excellent examples of business charts, including the below cascade chart–The Great Eight: Trillion-Dollar Growth Trends to 2020. The content of the paper also makes it worth a close look. I will highlight a few chart examples in this and upcoming blog posts that show how charts can drive home a key message. My first example is the cascade or waterfall chart below:
The cascade chart is a great way to show the relative sizes of the key components that make up a concept. In this case you can see the relative sizes of the eight trends that will add $27 trillion to global GDP by 2020. The authors also used shading to separate the trends into those affecting advanced and developing economies. It’s a simple chart and gives you plenty of room to describe each trend. You could display the same data in a single bar 100% stacked bar chart (see an earlier post) or a pie chart. If you want to drive home a point and space is not an issue, I would lean toward the cascade chart.