Almost everybody has the most popular spreadsheet tool Microsoft Excel on their PC, and can quickly visualize data as line graphs or pie charts. However, Excel does not offer any good possibility to create flow diagrams or Sankey diagrams based on the data.
Sankey diagrams go beyond simple bar charts or pie charts: in addition to the actual values they can convey additional information, such as e.g. an order and a direction of flow quantities. Hence, material flows and energy flows can be visualized in a much more attractive way than it is possible with other (conventional) diagram types.
Another advantage is the visualization of branches, feedbacks and loops (recirculation) that are essential in energy flow charts, circular economy visualizations and material flow analysis.
Charts in Microsoft Excel
In this example we can see energy in a wood gasification process.
The bar charts and pie chart illustrate all inputs and outputs at each process stage in detail. However, they don't reveal any information on the structure or sequence of the process steps, or about any feedbacks in the system, such as heat recovery.
The Live Link to Microsoft Excel
With the software e!Sankey 4 pro you can quickly and easily draw Sankey diagrams, and link the value of an arrow (flows) or a text box to data in Excel tables. By this, your diagrams will always be up-to-date, and changes in your data will change the Sankey diagram immediately.
The advantages of the Sankey diagram in comparison to bar or pie charts is evident: they produce a more holistic view of the system.
Furthermore, if you use the calculation features in Excel with the Live Links you can determine other flow values in your chart.
Advantages of the Live Link
The e!Sankey Live Links have a number of advantages:
- A new level of data visualization: Sankey diagrams
- Update flow quantities automatically
- Avoid transfer errors
- Calculate flow values in Microsoft Excel (using formulas or even VBA)
- Keeping data in Excel to create additional bar charts.
- Export and save images of the Sankey diagrams as graphics files to add them to your Excel worksheet.
Test e!Sankey 4 pro now for free!
Sign up here for a free trial version of the software e!Sankey 4 pro and produce your own powerful visualization linked to your data in an Excel workbook.
e!Sankey Live Link Video Tutorial
Part I: how to set up a Sankey diagram using the live link
This video tutorial from our YouTube channel shows how to use the tool e!Sankey to build a Sankey diagram and link it to an Excel table.
We have chosen a sample diagram visualizing the energy balance of a company with energy consumption data over several years.
Instead of entering values manually you just copy & paste them from your Excel worksheet.
Part II: using formulas
In the second part of our e!Sankey live link tutorial you can learn how to use Excel features/formulas to achieve an even more advanced diagram.
Exemplarily we have used the INDIRECT formula in order to select and display energy consumptions of several years from different excel worksheets.
We have collected more valuable tips and advice concerning the use of Excel within a comprehensive pdf file which can be found at our download page.
"Using the tool e!Sankey pro with Live Link I can create my annual energy flow chart with a few clicks."
Automation & Integration
If you want to go the next step to a full automation, then the e!Sankey Software Development Kit (SDK) is the right solution.