Introduction

An Excel dashboard is a powerful tool for data analysis and business intelligence. It allows you to quickly and accurately visualize data, giving you an overview of the numbers at a glance. With the right customization, you can make the most of the dashboard and access the information you need quickly. In this article, we'll discuss how to customize an Excel dashboard for maximum performance.

Definition of Excel Dashboard

An Excel dashboard is a collection of charts and tables organized on a single page. It gives you a quick overview of your key data points and allows you to easily compare and analyze different sets of data. A dashboard can also include visualizations of your data, such as an interactive map or graph. By customizing an Excel dashboard, you can make it easier to see the data you need.

Overview of Customization

Customizing an Excel dashboard requires you to choose the right data points, format the data correctly, and create the most effective visualizations. To start, you should identify the data points that you need to measure and analyze. Once you have the data points, you can input them into the spreadsheet. Next, you should format your data correctly, such as adding labels to columns and rows. Finally, you should create visualizations for your data points. You can add pie charts, line graphs, or other forms of data visualizations to make your data easier to understand. With the right customization, you can make the most of your Excel dashboard.


Download Excel Template

Using an existing Excel template can make creating an Excel dashboard much simpler and quicker. To get started with your project, you should take the following steps:

Visit Excel Templates

Microsoft offers a great selection of Excel templates on their website. Whether you need a quick and easy solution for tracking sales or you’re looking for a more complex financial dashboard, you can find a template to suit your needs. You can browse a wide range of templates on the Microsoft site, or you can search for a specific template.

Choose a Template

Once you’ve found a suitable template, you’ll need to decide if it is the right choice for your project. Consider the look and feel of the template and how closely it matches your desired outcome. Also take a look at the customization options available to ensure that you can make the template suit your business’s needs.

Download Template

Once you’ve decided on the right template, you can easily download it for free. All you need to do is click the “Download” button and follow the prompts to install the template. The template will open in Excel, allowing you to start customizing it for your own use.


Customize Template

Customizing your Excel Dashboard is simple and straightforward. Here are the steps to follow:

Enter Data

Before you even begin customizing, you'll need to enter the data on which your dashboard will be based. Entering data should always be the first step you take. Make sure to enter the data using the right format and that each entry is included. This will give you the right base to build the dashboard when it comes to customizing.

Change Design

Once the data is included, you can make changes to the design of your dashboard. Start with basic design elements such as the background and sizing of the cells, then move on to more advanced items such as tables, text boxes, and more. Don't forget to adjust the column width and row height for better usability.

Pick Colors & Fonts

Choosing the right colors is an important part of customizing an Excel dashboard. Picking the wrong colors can make the dashboard appear overcrowded and unpleasant. Choose complementary colors and fonts, based on their ability to visually emphasize the charts and other elements. Additionally, altering the transparency levels of the different components within the dashboard should help tie everything together.


Add Charts or Graphs

Dashboards help to visualize multiple metrics and data points to a set of stakeholders at a glance. To make the dashboard more informative and visually appealing, you can include charts and graphs in the dashboard to help summarize data. Create user-friendly dashboards by adding charts or graphs to present data.

Use Chart Wizard

A Chart Wizard is a great way to add and customize a graph or chart in a dashboard. The Chart Wizard is an accessory tool that guides users through the process of creating a chart. It enables users to easily create charts such as line and bar charts, column charts, 3D charts, scatter plots, and so on. Through the Chart Wizard, users can choose both the type of chart they want and design it.

Choose Chart Type

Once the Chart Wizard is launched, users can choose the type of chart they want to add to their dashboard. Examples of charts users can choose from would include a line chart, a pie chart, a column chart, a scatter chart, and a histogram. The Chart Wizard offers an array of customization options to enable users to personalize the type of chart they choose.

Add Graph Elements

Users can add graph elements such as axes, labels, lines, and shapes to their chart. Axes are the horizontal and vertical lines that form the boundaries of the graph. Labels are the descriptions used along the axes that make the chart easier to read and interpret. Lines and shapes help to further demonstrate the meaning behind the data points. Finally, users can customize the graph's color, design, and style using the Chart Wizard.


Insert Data or Graphs Into Dashboard

To insert data or graphs into your dashboard for a customized look and feel, you will need to access the Charts or Graphs tab on Excel. This tab provides options for creating custom graphs or tables for your dashboard.

Select Charts or Graphs Tab

First, you need to select the Charts or Graphs tab from the left-hand side of the Excel page. Once you have selected the tab, browse through the different chart and graph types. Select the option that best fits your needs.

Drag & Drop into Dashboard

Once you have selected your chart or graph, you can then simply drag and drop it into the dashboard section of your Excel page. You can then adjust the size, add annotations, and change the color scheme to better fit in with the theme of your dashboard.


Format Dashboard

Creating a visually appealing Excel dashboard is no easy task. But it is key for presenting data and displaying meaningful information to users and stakeholders. Here are some useful tips on how you can customize and format your dashboard to make it look and feel professional and attract the user’s attention.

Set Dimensions

The first step in making your dashboard shine is to establish the overall dimensions. To do this, measure the dashboard area and set the appropriate cell height and width for the dashboard, plus the width of the borders. This is relatively simple and can really help create a sense of proportion and structure, making the dashboard appear clear and organized.

Add Borders & Cell Fill Color

Borders and cell fill colors are a great way to add an aesthetic touch to your dashboard. Drawing borders around relevant data sets or different sections of the dashboard can help users identify and isolate important information. You can also add cell fill colors to different headings, headers or titles to make it stand out and draw the user’s attention.

Format Text & Bars

Text formatting is just as important as cell format for your dashboard. If a column of data uses numbers, use bold text to differentiate them from text-based columns. You can also go one step further and use color-coding to highlight critical data points, like the NPV (Net Present Value) for sales figures. Additionally, you can adjust bar and line graphs for visual clarity and to show trends in more detail.

Adjust Layout

This is the final step to liven up you dashboard. Change the position of the titles, headings and charts to create a visually appealing flow. Additionally, you can group relevant information together; this will make it easier for the user to navigate and consume the content. Pay attention to the order of the information and ensure to display important data as quickly as possible.


Conclusion

Creating and customizing an Excel dashboard is an effective way to visualize data, monitor performance, and identify key insights. From setting up the dashboard layout and orgazing worksheets to customizing visuals and adding formulas, it's important to understand the basics of developing an Excel dashboard. Below are the essential steps to creating an Excel dashboard and a summary of the different dashboard customizations available.

Steps to Creating an Excel Dashboard

  • Set up the Dashboard Layout and Organize Worksheets
  • Customize Visuals in the Dashboard
  • Add Formulas to the Dashboard
  • Review the Dashboard and Make Adjustments

Summary of Dashboard Customizations

  • Customize visuals using shapes, colors, and other effects.
  • Use formulas such as IF, AVERAGE, and SUMIF to aggregate and calculate data
  • Organize worksheets by nested tabs, header rows, and dynamic ranges
  • Create interactive experiences by linking worksheets with drop-down boxes, combo boxes, and scroll bars.

With a few simple steps, any user can customizing an Excel dashboard to fit the needs of their organization and make their data more accessible.

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