What Type of Data Does Sankey Diagram Use?


Angela Bailey

What Type of Data Does Sankey Diagram Use?

A Sankey diagram is a type of visualization that represents the flow of data or information. It is commonly used to depict the movement between different stages, categories, or entities. To create an effective Sankey diagram, you need to have a specific type of data that can be categorized and quantified.

Data Structure

The data required for a Sankey diagram consists of two main components: nodes and links. Nodes represent the different categories or stages, while links represent the flow or connection between these nodes. Each link has a source node and a Target node.

Node Data

  • Categorical Data: The nodes in a Sankey diagram are typically represented by labels or names. These labels can be any categorical data, such as product names, geographical locations, time periods, or demographic groups.
  • Quantitative Data: In addition to categorical data, each node can also have a quantitative value associated with it. For example, if you are visualizing the flow of sales between different products, each node could represent a specific product category and its size could represent the total sales volume for that category.

Link Data

  • Source and Target Nodes: Each link in a Sankey diagram connects two nodes – a source node and a Target node. The source node represents the starting point or origin of the flow, while the Target node represents the endpoint or destination.
  • Flow Quantity: The links also have values associated with them to indicate the quantity or magnitude of the flow from the source to the Target. This value can be numerical data such as sales figures, population sizes, or any other measurable quantity.

Data Examples

Here are a few examples of the types of data that can be visualized using a Sankey diagram:

  • Energy Flow: A Sankey diagram can show the flow of energy between different sources, such as solar, wind, and fossil fuels, and how it is consumed by various sectors like residential, industrial, and transportation.
  • Migration Patterns: By using data on migration flows between countries or regions, a Sankey diagram can illustrate the movement of people and the destinations they choose.
  • Website User Behavior: A Sankey diagram can visualize the user journey on a website by showing how visitors navigate through different pages or sections.

In conclusion, a Sankey diagram requires specific data that includes categorical information for nodes and numerical values for links. By properly structuring your data, you can create an engaging visualization that effectively communicates the flow of information or resources. Remember to plan your categories and quantities carefully to ensure your Sankey diagram accurately represents your data.

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