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Written by Jacky Chou

How To Create A Dashboard In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Getting started with creating a dashboard in Excel involves organizing data properly while determining the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the dashboard design. A clear understanding of the purpose of the dashboard will help in this process.
  • Excel provides efficient tools for creating data visualization, such as building the pivot table for KPIs, designing charts, and adding interactive controls like slicers and buttons. Utilize them to create an effective and visually pleasing dashboard.
  • Customizing the dashboard with formatting charts, inserting images and icons, and applying conditional formatting can make a difference in how well the dashboard is received by its intended audience. Also, to share and update the dashboard, it is essential to protect sensitive data, save and export the dashboard, and update the data and refresh the dashboard regularly.

Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data you have to analyze? You can easily create a dashboard in Excel to help you stay organized and present your insights. With this guide, you’ll be able to quickly develop a dashboard that will help you get the most out of your data.

Getting Started

Are you ready to make a dashboard in Excel? This guide on “Getting Started” is here to help! It introduces you to dashboard-building in Excel, and shows how to organize data and determine key performance indicators (KPIs). Get a grasp on the basics and start creating your own dashboard today!

Getting Started-How to Create a Dashboard in Excel,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Introduction to Dashboard in Excel

Dashboard Creation in Excel – a comprehensive guide to enable data-driven decision-making. Transform boring spreadsheets into visually interactive dashboards that are easy-to-understand in just a few steps.

To start, set the objectives, understand the data source, and plan out the structure. Then, create an outline of the layout using graphs, charts, and tables. Lastly, add icons and colors to enhance visual appeal.

A dashboard dynamically summarizes key metrics and displays critical information in real-time. It helps businesses streamline operations, track progress against goals and objectives, as well as identify areas of improvement.

Microsoft Excel is widely used across industries for its versatility and low learning curve. In fact, according to TechJury (2020), “Excel Expertise is the most required hard skill” in 65% of job postings.

They say a messy desk is a sign of genius, but when it comes to dashboard design, it’s all about organization.

Organizing Data for Dashboard Design

Optimizing Information for Dashboard Design

To optimize data presentation on a dashboard, it is crucial to organize and structure content effectively. Here are some tips on organizing content for better dashboard creation:

  1. Using an HTML Table
    One technique to organize data is creating an HTML table. It helps sort data in a visually appealing manner and helps in tracking progress over time. Some pointers to note while creating tables are setting appropriate column widths, using border colors that distinguish between rows, and providing a label or title to the table.
  2. Additional Tips
    Among other techniques used in organizing data for dashboard design include sorting information visually using charts or diagrams, providing an intuitive navigation menu to move within the dashboard, avoiding too much information overload by presenting only relevant metrics, and being mindful of color schemes that work well together.

These suggestions ensure a clear and coherent way of representing data for effective visualization. By following these guidelines, creating engaging dashboards becomes much more effortless.

“Because if you’re not measuring your KPIs, you’re flying blind – and nobody wants a pilot who can’t see.”

Determining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

When establishing the primary factors affecting a business, one must determine which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to focus on. These KPIs are quantifiable metrics used to track individuals, teams, or entire entities’ performance and should be relevant to the organization’s goals.

Identifying KPIs involves analyzing the company’s objectives and considering crucial factors that impact its success. These can range from sales growth to customer satisfaction rates across various sectors of the company. Ultimately, KPI selection must be tailored to reflect an organization’s specific priorities.

It’s important to note that selecting too many KPIs can overwhelm analysts and decision-makers with data, leading to ineffective implementation strategies. Hence, businesses must concentrate on picking a select few high-priority indicators that will provide sufficient insight without overwhelming their resources.

A study by Cognos Analytics found that 55% of executives faced difficulties developing insights from large datasets in 2019; effectively identifying a few critical KPIs can help organizations avoid drowning in data and make informed business decisions.

Excel tools are like superpowers for creating dashboards – just make sure not to accidentally turn your spreadsheet into a supervillain.

Creating Dashboard with Excel Tools

Make a dashboard from Excel tools! Start with a pivot table for key performance indicators. Then, design charts to show data. Finally, add interactive controls like slicers and buttons. This section will help you with each of these steps. Create a user-friendly dashboard quickly and easily!

Creating Dashboard with Excel Tools-How to Create a Dashboard in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Jones

Building Pivot Table for KPIs

When it comes to analyzing and measuring performance, creating Pivot Tables for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a promising technique. A Pivot Table allows you to extract meaningful insights from large data sets and present them in an easily understandable format.

To demonstrate, let’s create a table using appropriate columns that showcase Building Pivot Tables for KPIs. We can include columns like KPI Name, Measure, Period, Target Value, Actual Value, and Variance. Using actual data will produce an insightful table that presents the numbers in a clean way.

It’s important to note that when building Pivot Tables for KPIs, attention should be paid to the granularity of the data. Overgeneralizing or oversimplifying data can lead to unhelpful insights or conclusions. It may be helpful to group similar measures into categories or subcategories to avoid redundancy.

To improve the presentation of your KPI dashboard even further, consider adding a chart or interactive visualizations. These elements can enhance the viewer’s understanding of the data and highlight areas for improvement. Remember to keep your visuals clear and concise.

Who said charts were boring? With these Excel tools, you’ll be able to turn numbers into a work of art.

Designing Charts to Visualize Data

Visualizing Data through Charts in an Excel Dashboard

To create an effective dashboard, designing charts plays a crucial role as it helps to convey complex data patterns in a visually engaging manner. With various chart types available, it’s imperative to select the appropriate one for representing specific data.

For example, presenting trends can be done with line or scatter charts, whereas stacked bar or column charts can help compare multiple sets of data. Creating tables that compare different chart types and their suitability for different scenarios can aid in selecting the right chart.

It’s vital to focus on design aspects such as color schemes, fonts, and labeling while creating charts. These elements should harmonize with the theme of the dashboard and be easy to read for viewers. Proper handling of scales and axes is critical to ensure no misinterpretations occur.

Pro Tip: Utilize Excel’s built-in chart templates that come with well-designed themes or create custom ones aligned with the dashboard aesthetic.

Time to add some pizzazz to that boring old dashboard – let’s get interactive with slicers and buttons!

Adding Interactive Controls (Slicers, Buttons)

Adding interactive elements to your Excel dashboard makes it more dynamic and functional. By adding features such as Slicers and Buttons, you can enhance user experience while providing easy access to important data.

Here’s a three-step guide to adding these interactive controls to your dashboard:

  1. Select the data range that you want to include in your Slicer or Button.
  2. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and select either the Slicer or Button option from the ‘Filter’ menu.
  3. Customize the control settings by selecting different options such as color, shape, and size.

To make your dashboard even more engaging, you can add images or shapes that complement your data. Consider using pictures or icons that are relevant to your information to make it more visually appealing.

Pro Tip: Use contrasting colors for your Slicers and Buttons so they stand out on the page and are easy for users to locate.

Adding a personal touch to your boring Excel Dashboard is like giving a personality to a robot- it suddenly becomes more interesting.

Customizing the Dashboard

Customize your dashboard! Learn to format charts and tables. Insert images and icons. Use conditional formatting. Get various ways to add value. Make your dashboard interactive!

Customizing the Dashboard-How to Create a Dashboard in Excel,

Image credits: by David Jones

Formatting Charts and Tables

To tailor the appearance of data and statistics, it is necessary to customize visual representations. Creating an arrangement that is easily digestible and clear to read is essential. One can modify the visual and rearrange them by changing color schemes, fonts, or layout structures.

A method for customizing dashboards with charts and tables can be helpful without knowing HTML code or specific programs. For instance, a table can be created by assigning variables within the coding languages such as <table>, <td>, <tr>. Using actual data will create a more comprehensive display while avoiding the mention of specific terms gives clarity to people who are not acquainted with such technologies.

In addition, positioning graphs appropriately enhances understandable data interpretation for readers. This may include using appropriately marked axis labels in graphs or including points of interest in each visualization presented. By skillfully placing graphics, one’s approach towards conveying information becomes more effective.

At her job interview in 2015, Rebecca was asked if she could visualize large data sets without being overwhelmed. She enthusiastically demonstrated her aptitudes on a dashboard known as Google Analytics throughout her phone screen sharing! Thankful for their suggestions, they employed Rebecca soon afterward.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then adding an image to your dashboard must be worth at least a hundred Excel functions.

Inserting Images and Icons

To enhance the visual appeal of your Dashboard, adding images and icons can do wonders. Adding these visual elements can give a professional and personalized look to your dashboard.

Here’s a 3-step guide to help you add images and icons to your dashboard:

  1. Choose an Image or Icon: Start by selecting an appropriate image or icon that aligns with your Dashboard’s theme and purpose. You can either use free available images from the stock image libraries or choose to upload custom images from your device.
  2. Insert the Image/Icon: Once you have selected an image/icon, follow these steps: Go to the “Insert” tab > Click on “Pictures” (for Images) or “Icons” (for Icons) > Upload the file from your device > Resize as per requirement > Place it on the dashboard where it suits best.
  3. Customize Display Options: After inserting the Image/Icon, customize it according to the requirements using options like color, borders, transparency effects, shadow effects, rotation effects, etc., under “Format” and “Design.”

To make your Dashboard even more visually appealing and informative, try to use different types of Graphs/charts along with Images/Icons aligned with their themes. Also, avoid using too many images/icons as it might clutter up space.

Let’s add some color to our life (and our dashboard) with conditional formatting.

Applying Conditional Formatting

When enhancing your Excel dashboard, an effective approach is to implement conditional formatting. This feature allows you to highlight information that meets specific conditions and helps in easily identifying trends and outliers.

To apply conditional formatting:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to format.
  2. Click the ‘Conditional Formatting’ button under the ‘Home’ tab.
  3. Select the rule type according to your needs and customize accordingly.

With these simple steps, you can efficiently display data in a visually appealing manner while also providing greater insight into your data.

Additionally, customization of colors for conditional formatting can easily convey specific messages such as negative or positive trends. These colors should be thoughtful and complementary to avoid confusing end-users.

A team of analysts was able to identify a significant dip in customer satisfaction scores after survey results were automatically analyzed via customized dashboards. This allowed for prompt communication with consumers in addressing their concerns and improving overall satisfaction rates.

Share your dashboard like a boss and let others watch in awe as you effortlessly update it, because who has time for manually entering data anyway?

Sharing and Updating Dashboard

To share and update your Excel dashboard with sensitive data, follow these steps:

  1. Save and export the dashboard.
  2. Update the data.
  3. Refresh the dashboard.

This section will guide you on how to share and update your dashboard in the best way, with the solutions to the mentioned sub-sections.

Sharing and Updating Dashboard-How to Create a Dashboard in Excel,

Image credits: by David Arnold

Protecting Sensitive Data

Sensitive Information Protection is of utmost importance in creating a dashboard in Excel. Confidential information can fall into the wrong hands if unprotected. One way to avoid this is by password-protecting the worksheet, thereby restricting unauthorized access.

To further protect data, you may use different protection measures such as locking cells and hiding formulas. To lock cells, select the group to be protected and navigate to Format Cells>Protection>Locked; next, go to Review > Protect Sheet. This hides any confidential formulae and restricts editing on protected sheets.

It’s important to note that these protective techniques do not guarantee complete safeguarding of sensitive information. Being aware of cybersecurity best practices can be a great assist, for instance being careful with passwords and regularly updating them.

In essence, protecting sensitive data on your dashboard requires various measures beyond password protection. Therefore it’s essential to follow proper cybersecurity protocols such as avoiding phishing scams and carefully managing account access levels to prevent vulnerabilities.

Don’t risk exposing sensitive information online because once revealed, hackers could exploit it for their gains!

Exporting your dashboard is like sending your kid off to college – you hope they’ll thrive and make you proud, but deep down you know they’re just going to party and procrastinate.

Saving and Exporting Dashboard

Regarding the operations of managing dashboards, creating a dashboard is never enough; one must also know how to ensure its safekeeping and sharing. This is where Saving and Exporting Dashboards come into play, by offering several storing options and exporting formats that guarantee their integrity.

Here’s a 3-Step Guide on how to Save and Export a Dashboard:

  1. To save your dashboard as an Excel workbook, click File > Save As. Choose the folder destination for it and select “Workbook” under “Save as type.”
  2. To export your dashboard, click File > Export > Change File Type > Excel Workbook or PDF file format. Select the appropriate options for each format, such as the layout or work area you want to export.
  3. After choosing all desired settings in the previous steps, click OK or Export. Your exported dashboard should now be available to use as intended.

It’s worth noting that dashboards can be saved on cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive for easy accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection.

Pro Tip: Always make a habit of saving different versions of your dashboards in case something goes wrong while making changes or updates to them.

Updating Data and Refreshing the Dashboard

Updating and Refreshing the Dashboard in Excel

To keep your Excel dashboard up-to-date, you need to update data and refresh the dashboard regularly. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Excel dashboard and click on the “Data” tab.
  2. Click “Refresh All” to refresh all data sources linked with the dashboard.
  3. To update specific data ranges, select them and click “Refresh”.
  4. You can also schedule automatic data updates by going to “Connections” in the “Data” tab and setting up a refresh schedule.
  5. Finally, remember to save changes after refreshing.

In addition, maintaining an accurate data source is essential for updating your dashboard effectively.

A study conducted by Harvard Business Review found that organizations using data-driven insights are more likely to make better decisions and achieve better business outcomes.

Five Facts About How to Create a Dashboard in Excel:

  • ✅ A dashboard in Excel summarizes and presents data in a visual way, making it easier to analyze and derive insights. (Source: Microsoft Excel Support)
  • ✅ Key components of a dashboard in Excel include charts, tables, and dynamic filters. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel provides several tools and features to create customized dashboards, such as slicers, pivot tables, and conditional formatting. (Source: Spreadsheeto)
  • ✅ To create an effective dashboard, it is important to define the purpose of the dashboard, identify the target audience, and choose the right metrics to track. (Source: Analytics Vidhya)
  • ✅ There are several online resources and tutorials available to learn how to create a dashboard in Excel, including Microsoft Office Training and YouTube tutorials. (Source: The Balance Small Business)

FAQs about How To Create A Dashboard In Excel

1. How to Create a Dashboard in Excel?

Creating a dashboard in Excel involves creating a set of charts, tables, and visuals that enable you to monitor trends and key performance indicators. The following steps will help you create a dashboard in Excel:

  1. Define the objective of your dashboard and identify the data you need to track.
  2. Organize your data and create a data source that can be used to generate visualizations.
  3. Insert charts (e.g., column, line, pie charts) and tables that correspond with your data.
  4. Format your visuals and apply filters and slicers to enhance your dashboard.
  5. Arrange your visuals on your Excel sheet and prepare your dashboard for presentation.

2. What are some best practices for creating an effective dashboard in Excel?

Creating an effective dashboard in Excel depends on how well you organize your data and the elements on your dashboard. The following are some best practices that can help you create an effective dashboard:

  1. Keep your dashboard simple, and focus on the most important metrics
  2. Use visualization techniques that are easy to understand (e.g., color coding, simple charts)
  3. Ensure that your data is updated regularly for accurate representation
  4. Avoid including unnecessary data or cluttering your dashboard with too many visuals or charts
  5. Label your visuals appropriately, and include context so that your viewers can understand what the metrics and charts represent

3. What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating a dashboard in Excel?

Creating a dashboard can be a challenging task, and it is easy to make mistakes. Some common mistakes to avoid when creating a dashboard in Excel include:

  1. Misrepresenting data or not labeling your charts or visuals appropriately
  2. Overloading your dashboard with too many elements, which makes it difficult for viewers to interpret
  3. Failing to use color coding or other visualization techniques to represent trends effectively
  4. Not formatting your data correctly or omitting important data points that could impact your analysis
  5. Ignoring best practices and creating a dashboard that does not align with your objectives or the intended audience

4. How do I use conditional formatting to highlight data in my Excel dashboard?

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool you can use to highlight specific data points or rows in your Excel dashboard. Follow these steps to use conditional formatting:

  1. Select the element you want to format and go to the Home tab in Excel.
  2. Click on Conditional Formatting to display the menu.
  3. Choose the type of formatting you want to use (e.g., highlight cells that contain specific text or values)
  4. Set the conditions for your formatting to be applied.
  5. Choose the formatting style to apply, such as background color or font color
  6. Click on OK to apply your formatting to the selected element

5. How do I create a pivot table in Excel and use it on my dashboard?

You can use PivotTable to summarize, analyze, explore, and display your data. To create a PivotTable on Excel and use it on your dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Select the data source you want to use for your PivotTable.
  2. Click on the Insert tab and click on PivotTable.
  3. Select the location of the report.
  4. Use the Field List pane to arrange your data and create the PivotTable.
  5. Format and filter your PivotTable to display the data the way you want.
  6. Insert your PivotTable on your dashboard and format it as needed

6. How do I protect my Excel dashboard from unwanted modification?

It is important to protect your Excel dashboard from unwanted modifications, particularly if it contains sensitive data. To protect your Excel dashboard from unwanted modification, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Review tab in Excel and click on Protect Sheet.
  2. Select the options you want to restrict such as formatting, editing cells, and sorting and filtering.
  3. Set a password to protect the sheet and click OK.
  4. Save the worksheet and ensure that your password is recorded in a safe place.

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