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Sankey Diagram: Analysis, Definition, and Examples

sankey diagram

A Sankey diagram is categorized among the most advanced data visualization tools that have the ability to uncover in-depth insights regardless of the complexity of your data. This chart type is mainly used to depict the flow of data from different points within an organization. It can also be used to conduct a lifetime assessment depending on the ultimate goal of your visualization. 

In most cases, a Sankey diagram illustrates things such as energy, waste, and material flow. If you’re dealing with data that needs intensive visualization to uncover insights, the Sankey diagram is the most applicable option that can enable you to get the job done. However, this does not cover everything you need about a Sankey chart. This charting tool has an extensive load of information that you need to know. 

This blog post covers detailed information that you need to know when dealing with a Sankey chart. Read more! 

What is a Sankey Diagram? 

A Sankey diagram is a type of data visualization tool that is used to illustrate the flow of data products from one point to another. The chart can visualize anything that has the ability to flow between different points. In simple terms, a Sankey chart is specifically designed to elaborate the flow of data between two unique points within a given organization. 

The type of entities linked together within the chart is known as nodes. On the flip side, the interactions across the Sankey chart are known as links. This chat works well when you want to showcase an interaction between many-to-many data mapping between two different zones. It can as well display different pathways that pass through different stages. 

On most occasions, the chat comes with different custom colors that make it stand out from the rest of the visualization tools. The colors are specifically assigned to various nodes and other types of connections within the entire chart. 

You can assign different color schemes to the nodes and links depending on the nature of your color choices. The colors are meant to elaborate more on the data movement throughout the chart. 

They are also used to attract the reader’s attention and make the chart easily readable without the need for hiring technical personnel to make the interpretation. Note that the entity in which the data transfer is made is known as the node. The node from which the flow originated is referred to as the origin node. On the other hand, the point at which the flow terminates is known as the aim base station. 

Example of a Sankey Diagram

Even though creating a Sankey diagram excel may seem complex, there are tools specifically designed to help you compose the chart. This means that you don’t necessarily have to waste a better part of your day doing the complicated task and end up with errors that will affect the final output. The Sankey diagram maker does not require coding skills in order to create the chart. 

All you need is accurate data with a clear agenda about the visualization goal you intend to achieve. A Sankey chart is an excellent tool for promoting collaboration and communication within the job environment, ensuring that all departments are working uniformly towards achieving a particular goal. Given that the tool gives your employees time to work constantly, it becomes easier for you to achieve your desired goals in business. 

Below are some examples of the real-life application of a Sankey diagram. 

Food Distribution Network

With a Sankey diagram, you can easily point out losses within a food distribution network without having to dig deep into your data. On the chart, losses are mainly presented in the form of arrows spreading to the bottom and indicated with percentages across all the stages. Regardless of the fact that the chat is mainly made from the available data, we only deal with proportions at this point. 

In this scenario, it becomes easier for you to detect the effectiveness of the good production and distribution network. As a result, it enables you to count your losses or profits without having to struggle with lots of things. 

The Rate of Energy Consumption in a Passenger Vehicle

A Sankey chart can be used to showcase the consumption rate of energy in a passenger vehicle. The chart can display the total amount of energy used for movements. This type of energy is regarded as wasted because it gets lost in the form of heat. Also, you can use this approach to calculate the number of extra passengers in the vehicle. 

This kind of data is presented in the form of percentages or numerical numbers. The arrows within the chart are coded with colors to make it easier to analyze the data and make findings. The nodes have different sizes, which are determined by the total amount of flow. 

Benefits of Using a Sankey Diagram 

The most important thing about using a Sankey diagram is that it’s the most ideal option when it comes to illustrating the energy balance or the flow of resources between different points. Contrary to a bar or pie chart, a Sankey diagram is more advanced and offers incredible data visualization capabilities compared to other tools available in the market. 

The Sankey diagram is designed I’d way that it has the ability to highlight all the biggest and most influential entries across your data. It also has the power to display more complicated and multidimensional processes, such as the things to do with money allocation, in a more clear and more precise manner that you can easily understand. 

This is the best approach that you can use when you want to display the movement of different data resources among other critical data elements. With a Sankey diagram, you can easily recognize data discrepancies, such as when you want to measure communication mistakes and other key elements that are likely to affect the accuracy of your data. 

Bottom Line 

The Sankey chart is the most ideal type of data visualization that can be used to visualize different data elements such as materials, energy fluxes, power, and volume, among other moving elements. The vectors presented in these data components are always proportional to the flow of the data quantity. The chart is supported with different color flows that aids in marking the difference between different data components glowing in different directions. 

The chart has everything necessary to communicate all the key messages and facts within your data. When you want to create a Sankey diagram, we strongly advocate that you use the Sankey diagram maker to get the job done.

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