Sankey Diagram in Tableau
Unfortunately, it is very hard to use this widely used visualization type in Tableau. There is definitely no drag-and-drop or “Show me” way to add Sankeys to your dashboards. To create a Sankey in Tableau:
- Manipulate data, resulting in a dataset that is specifically designed for this visualization type. This results in almost double the number of records in the dataset;
- Dozens of calculations, several parameters and a bunch of extra sheets are needed to finalize the visualizations.
A harsh and difficult process that discourages enthousiastic Tableau users to embed Sankey Diagrams in dashboards. Normally, speed and ease of use are key elements in working with Tableau. In this case creating a Sankey is a non-flexible, hard to understand solution which lacks transparency. You need a lot of experience, knowledge and resources to do the job properly on every single Sankey visualization.
As of Tableau version 2018.2 this changes dramatically by allowing Dashboard Extensions to use the Tableau Extensions API. Dashboard Extensions are objects that allow new functionality in dashboards through the integration of external apps form the Tableau-interface.