This is part of my series on Advanced Tableau Visualizations.
What is a Sankey diagram? As always, Wikipedia has the answers.
The History of Sankey diagrams actually dates back to this diagram from Charles Joseph Minard illustrating Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812. And it was named after Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey for his 1898 article about the energy efficiency of the steam engine. Sankey is given credit for creating the world’s first energy flow diagram – now known as the Sankey diagram.
What they are for:
- Display volumetric data over time
- Visualize process flows
- Supply chain visualization
- Said in a different way “Sankey Diagrams are attention grabbing flowcharts that help in quick visualisation of the distribution and losses of material and energy in a process”
RESOURCES & TUTORIALS
Let’s first build the dataset. For this purpose, we will use the superstore Dataset that we will blend with the polygonic dataset (we will make it polygonic !). The result file is attached. We removed all the data from it that is not required and added the ” Link ” column in the superstore data table.
Sankey charts in Tableau usually involve a fair amount of data manipulation, this method uses data densification to avoid that.
The catalyst for this post comes from my recent attendance of a Tableau user group where the presenter demonstrated a dashboard that featured a packed bubble chart. I spent a lot of time shaking my head – not because this was a very poor visualization choice – but because the presenter was in a position of authority and there were people in attendance that were new to Tableau and to data visualization.
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