Skip to main content
You can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed. Join the conversation.

A explaination of Sankey charts and how you can best use them in Qlik.

In our previous entries in the coverage of Qlik’s available charts, we covered bar, line, and pie charts, some of the more widely known types. Today we’re going to delve a bit deeper and look at a lesser-known chart called a ‘Sankey chart’.

 A Sankey chart is a visualization used to depict a flow from one set of values to another. The charts are divided into two basic elements, the nodes, and the paths, sometimes these paths or flows are shown in the shape of arrows.



It might be easier to think of these charts like a river system. While there may be many or few different inlets to a river’s flow, they filter into different channels of water, and are distributed in different ways.

For the example above, we have the ‘Product Brand’ node that filters into the ‘Customer Level’ node. This visualizes the amount of products being bought by each customer level with the thicker lines representing more sales. From this section of our chart, we can see that ‘Gold’ level customers are buying the most products, while ‘Platinum’ level customers are buying the least. Moving further down the line of the chart, we can see how the purchases of these customer levels are distributed by year, from this chart we can see that 2021 holds the most, with 2020 in second and 2022 in third.  


So how would we use these charts?

We could use this chart to see the distribution of resources. We could see which resources are being sent to which regions, and by how much. We could then filter these results further to show which sections of these regions are using the most, or least amount.

When using a Sankey chart, it is important to remember two words: distribution and contribution. How are the amount of one data point being distributed to another data point, and how are these data points contributing to the other data points. Not only are we showing direction, we’re showing amount as well.

Thank you for giving this blog a look. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how Sankey charts are used. How can you use a Sankey chart in your own apps? How would they be useful to you or your company? Is there something I might have missed? Leave me a comment down below to further the discussion on Sankey charts!

1 Comment

Very well explained! Thank You 🙂