You've seen Sankey diagrams before - if you're a fan of visual communications. (Minard. Napoleon. Tufte.) They're considered a "flow diagram" - the volume of flows is represented by volume (width) of connections, frequently color-coded for distinction.
Yeah, yeah, talk talk. Check this out. From a state publication on waste streams, no less!
Two cool points. The big point doesn't require explanation - namely, that this doesn't require explanation. You can read it. It makes sense. The smaller point - ask yourself, did you really read the text at the bottom, or did you glance over it and then flick back up to the visual? Yeah, thought so. Me too.
Written documents are wonderful, but (I'd argue) they're not the best tool for discussion of complex issues, particularly complex issues involving quantities and dynamic relationships. Imagine a committee arguing with the support of a dynamic Sankey diagram, visible to everyone. Better use of their collective smarts? Better outcomes?
Please, please call us with a Sankey-esque problem, even if you're not from Connecticut.
Sankey Linky: http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/waste_management_and_disposal/solid_waste/transforming_matls_mgmt/summit_1/handout_unlocking_the_value.pdf