In Company news, Data analysis, Feature Focus

Our ultimate aim is to provide our clients with the most powerful, sophisticated and accessible analytics tools available. In this new ‘Feature Focus’ series, we will be publishing regular content highlighting the function and value of specific features available through the deltaDNA platform.

To kick things off, we’ve chosen one of our favorite additions to our query visualization tools – Sankey charts.

What is a Sankey chart?

A Sankey chart is a specific type of diagram that clearly illustrates both the direction and quantity of data flow through a network or process involving multiple steps. Within the deltaDNA platform, we use Sankey charts to visualize query data and observe trends in player journeys. These journeys can comprise anything from single sessions to entire lifecycles. Our version of the Sankey chart uses an alluvial format to put emphasis on ‘flow’ rather than simple individual paths that do not interact with each other.

Player Flow in deltaDNA Demo Game

The diagram above illustrates the flow of players in our demo game from Install through to Day 7. As you can see from the width of each bar, the total number of players on Day 7 was much smaller than on Day 1. The Sankey chart demonstrates the total number of unique paths from Install to Day 7 (5,040) and the popularity of each individual flow step. We can clearly see that the most likely flow step for any player, on any given day, is to play again on the next consecutive day. With Sankey charts, the emphasis is therefore not limited to the end result – the focus is flow. It’s about the journey and the destination.

Why are Sankey charts useful?

The more sophisticated your understanding of data flow, the better you can predict and affect it. Funnels are a great way to pinpoint where players drop out of a particular process, but Sankey charts allow analysts to dig down deeper and understand metaprocesses, painting a much richer picture.

The chart below shows how players move between different ‘machines’ in another of our showcase games, DeltaSlot.

Player Movement in DeltaSlot

Visualizing player data as we have above, we can quickly ascertain how players tend to progress through different game areas and work out where engagement needs to be improved. Directing players more effectively to different game areas is an extremely powerful way to extend their lifecycles and improve retention.

The chart below demonstrates another level of sophistication that greatly improves our understanding of how monetization fits in with DeltaSlot’s core game loop. The conversion of players (from non-spenders to spenders) is often analyzed in the context of sessions played or time since install. However, the Sankey chart shows which specific game areas are most and least conducive to conversion – at all stages of the player lifecycle.

Player Journey to First Spend in DeltaSlot

Knowing that players are most likely to complete their first purchase after having engaged with Queen of the FTUE, and least likely to convert from Dream Deposit, we can quickly work out what players enjoy and what prompts them to spend. These insights are crucial to optimization.

Talk to us about Sankey charts – or any other aspect of deltaDNA analytics –  via the contact below.

Sankey charts were added to the deltaDNA platform’s data visualization tools as part of Platform Release 31 in January 2019.



If you have any questions, about the contents of this piece or anything else, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll connect you to the relevant person.


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