Here is another form of diagrams, that can not be built in Excel. Generally, in most cases, you can live without it, but there are times when it can be invaluable.
Imagine: you want to compare 20 different cars on a number of factors: acceleration to 60 mph, horsepower, swept volume, buyers evaluation, and etc. All these criteria have different scales and units: seconds, horsepower, subjective evaluation from 1 to 5, liters … In such cases, there are two standard solutions:
As a helpful solution, here is parallel coordinates where all scales are normalized:
Example above illustrates social-demographic analysis. In contrast to Excel, where we can fit only 3 axis (one on X and two on Y), there are no restrictions.
If there are less than 5-7 axis, they can be composed to make up a circle; similar meaning axis can be placed closer to each other. The example below is taken from www.Hiveplot.com — where you can find many interesting things. Its author Martin Krzywinski describes the possibility of using these diagrams in science (particularly in description of human genome). He calls these graphs — Hive graphs, and considers them applicable only for large data sets.
Previously, we published a post devoted to these diagrams. But it does not make it less interesting. These diagrams are irreplaceable when visualization of a flow, its direction, and its width is critical. And when such diagrams stay in mind, they are getting used more and more.
Here are more details on how to use these diagrams. There aren’t many instrument for its construction — Excel, Many Eyes and Tableu aren’t one of them. Manual construction is quite complicated — the width is hard to adjust by hand.
We found a great resource —E-Sankey. Easy-to-build instructions are on its website ; define the beginning and the end, then set a width with a number, and manipulate it. You can also choose a color and other options to it. For the sake of an experiment, we used its free version — it seems to work fine.
The example composed by developers of E-Sankey diagram — traffic load diagram, is posted below. In my opinion, there is no better way for visualization of such data.
We used these Sankey diagrams for our project. Our task was to compose a presentation on consumption and effective savings of Samara Region’s resources. In this presentation, we needed to show amounts of generated energy, its transportation process, its consumption by different groups and its looses on these stages. In my opinion, Sankey is the right choice for such tasks.