In the past couple of years, our team has been exploring approaches to display flows from one group to another. We researched many options, but decided that Sankey diagrams may be the best approach for what our goals were. They were visually appealing, easy to use and provided concise information using complex data.
The first example traces the relationship between academic areas in Arts & Sciences and careers for graduated alumni. The width of the lines shows proportionally to the flow quantity. All careers and academic areas are listed alphabetically. Each color on the left hand side represents an academic area. Each color on the right hand side represents a career path. The dashboard is interactive and allows users to choose any academic area on the left hand side and trace it to the different careers on the right hand side (Example 2). The headcounts in each major and career path can be seen when users mouse over a specific category. Users can also choose a career path on the right hand side and examine its relationships to different academic areas (Example 3). What the data showed us did not surprise us. While graduates from certain majors tend to choose certain careers, the solid education received by Bucknell students allows them to pursue any career regardless of their major.
Dashboard Example 1. Sankey Diagram between Academic Areas and Career Path
Dashboard Example 2. Sankey Diagram Academic Area to Career Paths
Dashboard Example 3. Sankey Diagram Career Path to Academic Areas