Cascade/Waterfall Chart for Eight Trillion Dollar Trends

Cascade Chart -Tracking Eight Trillion Dollar Trends

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:

Eight Trillion Dollar Trends Cascade Chart

Estimated contribution of the Great Eight macro trends to increase
real (run rate) global GDP between 2010 and 2020 (forecast)

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.