Sankey Diagram

Sankey Diagram in Excel provides detailed, multi-level flows of values between categories to tell a data-driven story using visualization.

Before deep diving into data visualization, it is worth knowing: What is a Sankey diagram, and how to use it? It provides detailed, multi-level flows of values and changes between main stages.

Good to know that this type of visualization is not available in Excel by default. You can build the flow diagram using VBA, .NET, or other programming languages. If you want to learn more about chart templates, we recommend our definitive guide.

How to create a Sankey diagram in Excel?

To create a dynamic flow diagram, use the steps below:

  1. Install the UDT for Excel chart add-in
  2. Select the data you want to visualize
  3. Click on the Sankey diagram icon
  4. The chart will be inserted automatically

Create a data structure and build the chart

If you want to create a Sankey diagram in Excel, use the following structure. The selected range should contain a minimum of three rows, and the last column should contain positive numbers. You can find some useful examples in the following video:

Analyze the Sankey diagram

After clicking the icon, the add-in generates the flow diagram in real time and shows the connections between stages.

You can click on the main blocks like this. In the example, you selected the Paypal payment gateway and got a breakdown asap.

To reset the layout, click on the diagram background.

You can take a closer look at the example; we prepared a data set to demonstrate the power of the Sankey diagram.


Istvan Vozar

Istvan is the co-founder of Visual Analytics. He helps people reach the top in Excel.