Using a Sankey Diagram

 

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1. Overview

The sankey diagram displays information about the flow between data. This is a flow diagram where the width of a link is proportional to the magnitude of the flow.

2. Data preparation

The examples in this article use the Adventure Works database and a product hierarchy, similar to the sample custom user hierarchy created. 

Create a product hierarchy
Create a product hierarchy

3. Add a sankey diagram

While in the dashboard designer, use the Data Visualization option from the toolbar and select Sankey Diagram.

Select Sankey Diagram
Select Sankey Diagram

Drag the ProductID dimension from the [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail] table of the Adventure Works data connector to the Rows field.

Drag the Product hierarchy from the Explore panel on the ProductID dimension in the Data Analysis Panel.

Edit ProductID in the Data Analysis Panel. Set the Top Level to be different from the Level to include a range of levels from the hierarchy.

Set the Top Level to be different from the Level
Set the Top Level to be different from the Level

The diagram is displayed in a river-like arrangement based on the hierarchy assigned to ProductID.

River-like arrangement of sankey diagram
River-like arrangement of sankey diagram

3.1. Display custom flow

To display custom flow between nodes, the data must have source and target node pairs. By default, the hierarchies in Rows are added to the Source Name property. Adding an element to the Target Name property will display the custom flow.

Edit ProductID and set the Level to Product Category.

Select Visualization in the Data Analysis Panel.

Select Visualization in the Data Analysis Panel
Select Visualization in the Data Analysis Panel

Drag the OnlineOrderFlag dimension from the [Sales].[SalesOrderHeader] table of the Adventure Works data connector to the Target Name field.

Custom flow display
Custom flow display

Drag the UnitPrice measure from the [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail] table of the Adventure Works data connector to the Color field.

Add a measure to the Color field
Add a measure to the Color field

An Auto Color Rule is applied to the links in the diagram. You can modify the settings of the rule by clicking the brush icon next to the Color field, or going to the Look section of the Properties panel and selecting Auto Color Rule.

Drag the OrderQTY measure from the data connector to the Width field.

Add a measure to the Width field
Add a measure to the Width field

An Auto Size Rule is applied to the links in the diagram. You can modify the settings of the Stroke Width Rules in the same manner as modifying the color rule.

Note
Using a dimension in the color or width field would enable the use of discrete rules. Rather than automatically spread across a range, discrete rules enable you to modify the formatting for a single value.

5. Change node color

Since the data in the source/target pair is used to describe the links in the diagram, it is not possible to associate other measures or hierarchies to the nodes. In order to assign data to nodes, a second metric set has to be added to the visualization.

Note
When not using source/target pairs, all the settings can be configured on the same metric set. You will not be able to add a second metric set to the Data Analysis Panel.

Click Metric Set in the Data Analysis Panel, and then click Add New.

Add a new metric set
Add a new metric set

Drag the ProductID dimension from the [Sales].[SalesOrderDetail] table of the Adventure Works data connector to the Rows field. Drag the Product hierarchy over it. Edit ProductID and set the Top Level to be the same as in the previous metric set.

Click Visualization in the Data Analysis Panel. Drag the LineTotal measure from the data connector to the Color field. 

Add a measure to the Color field of the nodes
Add a measure to the Color field of the nodes

As with the links, an Auto Color Rule is applied to the nodes in the diagram.

6. Change labels and tooltips

Under the Text section of the Properties panel, you can customize the Label Text and Tooltip Text properties for both the links and the nodes.

These properties accept regular text, as well as keywords such as [Member] and [Level] for the hierarchy member and level caption respectively. For additional information about available keywords, refer to the Formatting Text article.

As a shortcut for applying the proper keyword, you can use the Visualization tab in the Data Analysis Panel.

For example, use the dropdown at the top of the Data Analysis Panel to switch back to the first metric set (the one specifying the color and width of the links). Drag the OrderQTY measure from the Width field to the Label field.

Add a measure to the Label field of the links
Add a measure to the Label field of the links

Click the brush image next to the Label field to open the relevant properties section. The keyword [OrderQty] has already been added to the Text field. 

Adjust the link labels
Adjust the link labels

7. See also

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