Operating in an environment that deals with complex data types may seem extremely stressful, especially if you are not backed up. Data visualization breaks down complex data values into simple and flexible elements that you can easily deal with without being worried. However, you need to have a good data visualization tool that can make the work simple.

A Sankey diagram is among the best techniques that you can use to visualize the hidden elements within your data sets. The use of a Sankey diagram was introduced back in 1898 by Mathew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey, who applied it in his publication discussing the energy efficiency of a steam engine.

Initially, a Sankey diagram was very complex to draw since you had to master a series of different aspects to be able to nail it. Currently, you can easily draw the diagram following the introduction of tools and technologies that makes the work easier.

## What is a Sankey Diagram?

A Sankey diagram is a flowing diagram that indicates the flow of things within a given scenario. The diagram can represent several entities, also known as nodes, presented using rectangle shapes or text. The links on the chart are represented using arrows or arcs. Note that the width is proportional to the size of the flow.

Note that the flow comes with varying heights depending on its quantity. Researchers have revealed that most traditional tools used to showcase the flow are likely to be misleading and confusing. This means that most of the traditional tools are not trustworthy in showcasing the flow of data from one point to the next.

Using a Sankey diagram enables data researchers to uncover insights from moving data within the shortest time possible. Also, the data finding presentation is easier since a Sankey diagram offers the essential touchpoints used in data presentation to ensure that readers can easily read and understand the presented data elements.

Once you have a good grip on reading and interpreting a Sankey diagram, you are in a better position to generate insights that you can use in decision-making.

## Components of a Sankey Diagram

A Sankey diagram is mainly made up of two significant components that aid in depicting the flow of data within a given circumstance. These are:

### Node

The node refers to the flow diagram within a Sankey chart, which appear like a bar in a bar chart. Once you have identified the node in a Sankey diagram, you should keep in mind that its height represents the value.

The link represents the connection between two nodes within the diagram. It is mainly used to indicate the flow of data. Note that this operates similarly to an alluvial diagram, although a Sankey diagram depicts changes over a particular time fare, contrary to how the alluvial diagram operates.

## The Type of Data Used by a Sankey Diagram

Many people seem to get worried about identifying the specific type of data that is mainly used by a Sankey diagram. This is a question that needs a lot of interpretation to eliminate the confusion among most data users. The reality is that a Sankey diagram is mainly used to identify weighted networks such as flows.

This procedure is more likely to happen with any type of data structure, provided that you have all the data at your disposal. The diagram’s nodes are then depicted either in two or more categories that represent various data stages. Once the data has been properly outlined, it becomes easier to analyze the data and generate essential insights.

## How to Read a Sankey Diagram?

When you look at the diagram closer, you will realize that the data is laid up in a sequence manner going from the left side to the right. In the beginning, you need to conduct a match between the search query and the given keyword. While visualizing data, note that the chart is bidirectional.

This means that you can interpret the chart from right to left or left to right, depending on your preference. Also, you need to understand that Google ads usually report impressions in the form of a percentage. For instance, if you are conducting marketing campaigns and realize that the impression share is 73.7%, you will automatically note that you missed 26.3% of the given opportunity.

Once you have come to this conclusion, you will realize that there is a need to improve your efforts next time in order to secure the remaining percentage and take your brand to the next level.

## Advantages of Using a Sankey Diagram

A Sankey diagram gives you the freedom of visualizing data using different models. Some of the main benefits of using a Sankey diagram include:

### Knowing Better About the Customer Journey

When running a business, it is essential to take some of your time to evaluate the journey taken by your customers before making a purchase. A Sankey diagram provides you with a clear picture of how customers transition from one level to the next. This places you in a better position to identify exactly where your traffic is coming from and the areas in which customers experience challenges.