Introduction

Excel dashboards are data displays and visualizations which are incredibly useful for quickly seeing trends, insights, and the overall status of a project or company. They are usually created in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, and combine multiple data sources and default chart types into a comprehensive image.

Dashboards are widely used to monitor the performance of a project, team, or company and can provide real-time visibility of performance, productivity and KPIs. The information displayed on dashboards is typically sourced from analytics and business intelligence systems, but can also come from manual inputs and a range of other sources.

Creating Excel dashboard reports might initially seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools it can be quick and easy. The goal of this blog post is to provide you the steps of creating quick and easy Excel dashboards: from data gathering to the presentation of an organized and stunning report.


Creating the Design of an Excel Dashboard Report

Designing an Excel dashboard report can be a daunting task, yet it doesn't have to be. By learning the key steps of creating a useful Excel dashboard report, businesses can create comprehensive reports that provide valuable insight into the data they are analyzing. This can help them make informed decisions quickly and easily.

Setting up the tables

The first step in creating a dashboard in Excel is to set up the underlying data in tables. Tables are an easy way to bring structure and organization to the data. They also provide a way to quickly and easily organize the information and summarize it in different ways. This will help to create an impactful visualization when the dashboard is complete.

Utilizing built-in functions and personalizing the report

Once the data tables are ready, the next step is to make use of the various built-in functions in Excel. These can be used to automate data calculations and can provide a great level of detail and accuracy. It is also possible to personalize the report in a variety of ways, such as inserting special formatting, company logos and colors, adding annotations, or changing the chart types used.

Styling and formatting of the report

Finally, the report should be styled and formatted to make it look professional. This includes using colors and special effects, like shadowing and 3-D effects to make the report look appealing and aesthetically pleasing. It is also important to use the correct font size and style to ensure the report is easy to read. There are many different ways to customize the report, so it is important to find the style that works best for the particular report.


3. Adding a Custom Graph or Chart

Creating a graph or chart in Excel can be a great way to display complex data in a way that is easier to understand and analyze. By customizing a graph or chart, you can make it more aesthetically pleasing and compelling for both yourself and for other viewers of the report.

a. Selecting the Appropriate Graph Type

The first step in creating a graph or chart is selecting the most appropriate type of graph for your data. Excel offers a large range of graph options, including bar charts, line charts, column charts, and pie charts. Many of the graph types offer further customization options, such as different chart types and graph designs.

b. Choosing the Best Data Display

In addition to choosing the right type of graph, it is important to consider how you are going to display the data in your graph or chart. Options such as clustering the data, using different colors for different data points, and adjusting the scale of the graph can all help to make the graph more visually appealing and easier to understand.

c. Making the Graph Visually Pleasing

The final step in creating a graph or chart is to make it visually appealing. In Excel, you can do this by changing the graph colors, adding a title and legends, and adding gridlines. You can also use features such as formatting the data labels, adding a footnote, and creating dynamic charts in order to make your graph or chart even more powerful and compelling.


Color Coding for Easier Data Interpretation

When creating a dashboard report in Excel, the strategic use of colour can help to better differentiate between important data points. This colour coding helps users to more quickly and easily interpret otherwise overwhelming data.

Strategic Use of Color

Color coding is extremely valuable when creating an Excel dashboard as it can make complex data easier to interpret. Colour can be used to draw attention to areas of importance, differentiate different data sets, or to highlight trends or other visuals. When implementing colour coding, colors should be chosen to represent different meanings and potential scenarios for any data set. Using colours to represent data can be a helpful tool to draw the reader's attention to important information.

Differentiating Between Important Data Points

Colour coding can be used to differentiate between different types of data, such as in financial reports. For example, an income statement may use shades of green to distinguish between different types of income, while shades of red could be used to distinguish different types of expenses. Similarly, colours can be used to differentiate between data points within the same data set, allowing users to quickly spot patterns or trends in the data.

Using colour coding to create an Excel dashboard can help users to more quickly and easily interpret data. By strategically using color, it is possible to draw attention to important information and differentiate between different data points. This helps users to more quickly and effectively interpret the data in the dashboard report.


Adding an Overview Section

Dashboards are an incredibly powerful way to quickly and easily understand your data. An overview section can help to summarize the most important information in a single glance.

Introduction to the Report

The overview section should provide a quick high-level introduction to the report. It should explain what the report is about and how it is organized. It should also include a brief summary of the data, such as how many days data is present, where the data is sourced, and how the results are being reported. This overview serves as an introduction to the report and should be used to quickly and efficiently convey the most important information.

Column Layouts

Columns are an important part of any data visualization. They provide a way to quickly compare information and identify patterns. In the overview section, it is important to give a brief description of the type of data being displayed in each column. This description should include a brief summary of what each column is showing, as well as any other relevant information such as units of measurement.

Estimated vs. Actual Results

Estimated results are often used to provide an initial look at a data set. It is important to differentiate between estimated and actual results in the overview section. This can be done by explaining the differences between the two and providing a brief summary of how each result is calculated. Additionally, this section should indicate if the estimated results are based on assumptions or if any adjustments were made to the data before the results were calculated.


Creating Filters for Drilling into Data

When dealing with large datasets, filters can be a great way to narrow down results and identify more useful insights. Excel makes it easy to create filters to allow for better data analysis and beautiful, informative dashboard reports. Here are some tips on how to use filters in your report.

Implementing Filter Menus

Filter menus allow you to quickly swap out values and perspectives within your report. To add a filter menu to your data in Excel, simply select the cells or columns you wish to filter and select the “Filter” button in the Data tab. After this, you will be able to add drop-down menus to allow you to select more specific criteria for the data.

Choosing Filter Conditions

When deciding what criteria should be included in your filter menus, you can use several approaches. Two common techniques are single drop-down menus and multiple drop-down menus. Single drop-down menus allow users to select one value at a time, while multiple drop-down menus enable users to choose multiple parameters. Additionally, you could also use a “search text” field to further refine the data by condition or value.

Using filters can transform large, complicated datasets into attractive and informative dashboard reports. Leveraging filters in your reports can help display more meaningful insights, giving you a deeper understanding of the data.


Conclusion

Creating quick and easy Excel dashboard reports is a great way to visualize and analyze complex data. Dashboards are a great way to efficiently and effectively deliver insights from financial data, customer data, or any kind of data. This article has outlined the important steps for creating an Excel dashboard and the benefits that this can bring.

Recap of Important Steps to Creating an Excel Dashboard

The following are the steps that should be taken when creating an Excel dashboard:

  • Organize your data into neat columns, and create any necessary formulas.
  • Choose the chart or dashboard visualization that best fits your data.
  • Create and format your charts on a dashboard.
  • Adjust the style and colors of your visuals.
  • Make any necessary additions or edits to your dashboard.

Benefits of Excel Dashboards and Analytics

Creating an Excel dashboard provides a great way to quickly gain insights from data. Excel dashboards allow for quick analysis of data to help determine key trends and make decisions. They can also make complex data easier to understand and visualize, allowing for better communication and understanding of the data.

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