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Cracking down the complexity of your budget flows is not easy, especially if you do not have an excellent tool to help you get the job done. This is where data visualization comes into practice to enable you to simplify all the complex data elements to come with a simple data format that you can easily read and understand.

However, data visualization is a general section that takes part in analyzing and processing data to generate insights that can be used in the future. A Sankey diagram is a data visualization tool specifically established to help monitor data flow moving from one point to the next.

The operating nature of the Sankey chart makes it a better choice when you are visualizing your budget flows. However, many people are unfamiliar with this tool and do not understand how it works when analyzing data flows. Do you know how to visualize your budget flows using a Sankey chart? Do not hesitate because this article has your back fully covered!

What is a Sankey Diagram?

A Sankey chart is a data visualization tool designed to depict the flow of data variables from one entity to the other. The entity where data originates and flows to is known as the node. In addition, the point where the data originates from is known as the source. The point where the flow ends is called the target node.

The source and the target nodes are primarily represented in rectangles that come with a series of labels to make them easy to read and interpret. The individual flow within the system is mainly characterized by a straight or a curved path, popularly known as the link.

When analyzing the nature of the link, you need to understand that its width is directly proportional to the quantity of the flow passing through the system. In most cases, the Sankey chart is used when depicting the flow of energy, cost, money, and many more crucial data elements.

The chart was invented by Matthew Sankey, an Irishman who first published it in a publication that mainly focused on the energy efficiency of a steam engine. According to researchers, drawing a Sankey chart using the manual method is difficult and time-consuming. Thanks to technology which has made the process simple when creating the chart.

Data Formats that Can Be Visualized with the Sankey Chart

A Sankey chart is an excellent choice that you can pick when you want to visualize complex data variables. The tool is mainly designed with incredible features that make it a fantastic choice whenever you think about understanding more about your budget flows. Remember that budget flows are part of the complex data elements.

The chart can help identify the hidden patterns and trends found within your budget flows to help determine the best way possible for all the basic needs to be covered. The interesting aspect is that the chart allows you to evaluate data from different perspectives, enhancing your ability to read through the lines.

When you get an opportunity to analyze your budget flows from different corners, you enjoy the added advantage of understanding the areas that need more adjustment and gain clear insights into whether your given budget is enough or not. The Sankey diagram operates by evaluating data in different streams to be able to uncover detailed information.

When data is analyzed in different streams, it creates a visual aspect that makes it easier when outline the touchpoints generated from the data. In addition, it makes it easier to depict the flow of data within a given system since all the crucial elements are brought to the limelight summarizing the entire data process.

While analyzing your budget flow, you may reach a point and find it challenging to identify the main cause of the problem. This means that you need to go an extra mile in processing data to uncover all the possible hidden insights to be in a better position to depict what needs to be done for the well-being of the business.

When analyzing your budge flow, it’s essential to ensure that all points have been covered to the latter. This will give you clear insights depending on the nature of the budget and enable you to analyze critical areas that need further concentration to streamline all the essential activities within a business setting.

When Not to Use a Sankey Diagram

It’s no secret that a Sankey diagram is a good choice when you want to visualize your flow budget; however, there are instances when you don’t need to use it. Given that the primary role of the chart is to determine the flow of data between different points, you don’t need to skew up the chart with other irrelevant information that will stain the picture of the final output.

When analyzing your budget flow, you need to begin collecting only the accurate, relevant data to enhance the accuracy of the feedback you get at the end of the process. Do not include anything else that is not relevant to the kind of data you are visualizing. Remember that the chart deals strictly with the exact data that you feed into the system.

In addition, making changes to the data values once the Sankey chart has been created can be challenging. Remember that you don’t need to give yourself more work to make complex edits once you are done. The only way to avoid such instances is to ensure that the data values you use are accurate to avoid inconveniences.

The data you input into the system is mainly absorbed and used when creating a visual representation of the data. In some circumstances, this aspect is acceptable, while on other occasions, it’s not. The main problem is that there will always be an outlier within your data. This means that the data does not perfectly suit into the respective category it has been placed.

You need to ensure that you perfectly understand the nature of the data you are dealing with. This will likely save much of your time and effort since you will take the shortest time possible to visualize flows and generate a reliable data output.


Visualizing your budget flow is an activity that needs lots of concentration and advanced data analytics to gather insights that can enable you to make a reliable decision. A Sankey chart is the best choice when analyzing data insights to interpret your budget flows clearly. Provided that you have all the data figures, you can easily analyze the information and get more information about your budget flow.

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