Dashboard creation and development is a process of collecting and displaying data in an organized and visually appealing way. It allows users to quickly assess and identify useful information, making it ideal for decision-making or analyst purposes. With basic Excel techniques, it is possible to create interactive and informative dashboards.

This blog post will provide an overview of basic Excel techniques for creating powerful dashboards. We will cover topics such as creating tables, formatting worksheets, creating charts, and more. Additionally, we will provide helpful tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your spreadsheet.

Using Data Tables

Data tables play a large role in Excel dashboards. Using data tables allows individuals to streamline complex data relations and create visually effective data dashboards. It is important to understand the definition and elements of data tables in Excel and the benefits of utilizing them when creating a dashboard.

Definition of Data Tables

Data tables are individual sheets within a Microsoft Excel file. They are distinct from spreadsheets and are a tool used by advanced Excel users to handle complex and relational data. Data tables can connect directly to a database, allowing users to more easily format and present the data for a dashboard. Each of these tables operate as a distinct database.

Examples of Data Tables in Excel

Common examples of data tables in Excel are:

  • Financial tables
  • Manufacturing table tables
  • Warehouse inventory tables
  • Customer information tables

Benefits of Utilizing Data Tables

Data tables offer various benefits compared to traditional spreadsheets when creating a dashboard. Some of these benefits include:

  • Data tables are easily organized and presented
  • The tables can link to other tables, creating a dynamic relationship between them
  • It allows the user to quickly modify data, as it can reference a larger dataset
  • A variety of formulas can be used to facilitate additional data analysis

Implementing Formulas

Formulas are mathematical equations that can perform calculations, return information, and manipulate data in various ways on a spreadsheet. They allow you to work quickly and efficiently with data and automate processes. It is a powerful tool for creating dashboards.

Definition of Formulas and Their Functions

Formulas are composed of a combination of mathematical operators (e.g. +, -, /, *) and cell references that, when entered, produce a specific result. They can also be used to automate tasks, such as summing up data or performing calculations (e.g. AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, etc.). These functions can be used to create interactive knowledge bases, dashboards, and other visuals.

Common Types of Formulas Used in Excel

Some of the most commonly used formulas in Microsoft Excel include:

  • SUM: Sums up a range of cells
  • AVERAGE: Calculates the average of a set of values
  • MAX: Returns the maximum value in a range of cells
  • MIN: Returns the minimum value in a range of cells
  • IF: Tests a condition, and then returns a specified value if the condition is true, and another value if the condition is false
  • LOOKUP: Searches for a specified value in a range of cells, and then returns a corresponding result
  • COUNT: Counts the number of cells containing numbers
  • VLOOKUP: Searches for a specified value in the leftmost column of a range of cells, and then returns a corresponding result

Tips for Using Formulas with Excel

When working with formulas in Excel, there are some important tips to remember:

  • Always double-check your formulas for accuracy and consistency
  • Be mindful of the order of operations when combining different formulas
  • Use absolute and relative cell references
  • Ensure that formulas are referring to the correct data
  • Use functions to automate calculations where possible
  • Consider working with macros if you have complex formulas

Beautifying Presentation

Using Excel to create a dashboard is one of the simplest and most efficient data analysis tools. One of the most important steps in creating an effective dashboard is making it look good. Knowing how to use basic formatting tools can help turn an ordinary spreadsheet into an eye-pleasing dashboard.

How to use formatting tools to make your work attractive

The first step to beautifying a dashboard is understanding the different formatting tools available. Excel has a wide range of formatting tools, from font and color selections to border and alignment options. Knowing which ones to use can help you customize your dashboard and make it look professional.

One such formatting tool that is commonly used in Excel is cell merging. Merging cells allows you to combine multiple cells into one larger cell, which can be helpful for making titles or providing extra room for data. You can also adjust the font and font size to create larger titles or headers, or to make the text look more visually appealing.

Adjusting font, font size, and color to create an appealing layout

When it comes to creating an attractive dashboard, the font and font size you use can make a big difference. While there is no right or wrong font to use, using a bold font will help you create a more visually pleasing dashboard. You can also use different font sizes to emphasize certain titles or data.

In addition to font, color can also be used to create an eye-catching dashboard. Using a contrasting color palette can help make your dashboard stand out, while still remaining professional. You can also use color to highlight certain elements of your dashboard and provide emphasis on particular pieces of data.

Adding charts, graphs, and shapes to reflect data visually

Using charts and graphs is one of the best ways to visually convey data and make it more understandable. Excel includes a variety of chart types that can be used to display data in a meaningful way. You can also use shapes such as arrows and icons to add additional context to your dashboard.

Creating a dashboard in Excel doesn't have to be daunting task. With the right formatting tools, you can easily turn an ordinary spreadsheet into an attractive and easy-to-understand dashboard. Understanding how to use font, font size, color, charts, and shapes can help you create an effective and visually appealing dashboard in Excel.

Creating Basic Dashboard

Creating a dashboard with Excel doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with the wide range of features available to users. Excel dashboards are incredibly useful for visualizing data, making it easier for users to draw insights from the information presented. Here are some basic techniques for creating and developing Excel dashboards.

Using Data Tables and Formulas to Make Basic Displays

The first step in creating an Excel dashboard is to organize the data into tables. This can easily be done by sorting the data into headers and subheaders, and then placing them into specific cells in a sheet. Once the data is organized, Excel’s formatting and formula functions can be used to create data tables and visuals. Formulas can be used to sum the values of cells, average them, or find their maximum or minimum value. This information can then be charted using a variety of charting tools. For example, a pie chart or bar chart can be used to easily visualize the differences between categories.

Creating Purposeful Tables and Charts to Convey Data

It is important to create tables and charts that accurately represent the data and help users find the information they are looking for. Dashboard design typically includes a combination of tables, charts, and visuals. Placing the data into a table is only the first step. Tables should be organized and easy to read so that users can quickly find what they are looking for. Charts should be accurate, structured, and clearly labelled. Color coding can also be used to differentiate between different categories of data.

Making Data Interpretation Easier with Basic Dashboards

Once the data tables and visuals are in place, it is important to make sure the dashboard is as informative and easy to read as possible. The dashboard should be organized in a way that makes it easy to follow the flow of data. Additionally, users should be able to filter the data to focus on the most relevant information. For example, the dashboard could have filters that allow users to sort the data by date range, or different categories. Filters make it simpler to find patterns or trends in the data.

Enhancing Dashboard Functionality

Dashboards are the go-to choice for those looking to quickly and efficiently analyze, visualize and present data in an attractive and interactive way. Excel offers numerous features and tools which can be used to enhance dashboard functionality and make the data come alive.

Utilizing additional features to add value to your dashboard

Excel's ultimate goal is to present data visually and draw meaningful insights. In an effort of better dashboard optimization, users can explore various tools and features like charts, sorting and filtering as well as formatting capabilities.

  • Charts – Integrate attractive graphical representations of the data, such as column and bar charts
  • Sorting and filtering – Organize the data for easier view and visualization help
  • Formatting capabilities – Make the dashboard more visually appealing by customizing user interface

Building an interactive dashboard to make data dynamic

The interactive nature of a dashboard allows users to explore the data in multiple ways, in order to uncover hidden relationships and interesting insights. To make the data dynamic, Excel allows users to create interactive components such as drop-down menus, data slicers and buttons which can be used to trigger events.

  • Drop-down menus – Filter the data to show relevant sums, averages or count
  • Data slicers – Act as quick filters to change multiple pivot tables or charts
  • Buttons – Trigger macros that run calculations on the data

Including visuals like gauges and sparklines to reflect data quickly

Gauges and sparklines are incredibly useful to provide a quick summary of the data and glean insights from it on the dashboard itself. Excel offers an array of charts in professional and clear formats, which enable users to capture the key insights and conclusions.

  • Gauges – Used to represent progress towards a goal or illustrate a particular measurement
  • Sparklines – Used to show the trends in data quickly with small charts in individual cells


In conclusion, dashboard creation and development using Microsoft Excel is not as difficult as it may seem to the untrained eye. We have discussed a few basic Excel techniques that can be incredibly useful when setting up a dashboard in Excel, such as the ability to set up data tables, create formulas for manipulating data, and utilizing other graphical tools such as charts and PivotTables. We also learned how to make dashboards more visually appealing and user-friendly by making use of various design elements.

Summary of the Blog Post

In this blog post, we have examined a few basic techniques using which you can create effective and insightful dashboards using Microsoft Excel. We went through the steps to setup data tables, use formulas, and make use of various graphical elements, as well as tips on how to make your dashboard visually appealing and user-friendly.

Tips for Creating a Great Dashboard

  • Keep your dashboard simple and logical. Try to limit user choice and complexity, as it can otherwise lead to confusion.
  • Display the most important information and analytics prominently.
  • Make sure to optimize the dashboard for the user's device. A mobile-friendly dashboard is a must for any business.
  • Don't forget about the aesthetic elements such as color and font size. These are important for making your dashboard visually appealing and easy to interpret.

How Knowing These Techniques Can Help Create Successful Dashboards

By learning and understanding the basic Excel techniques for dashboard creation and development discussed in this blog post, you can create awesome dashboards that offer real value to the users. Dashboards created using Excel can provide businesses with valuable insights and data which they can use to make more informed decisions, which can then help them increase their success and maximize the potential of their venture.

Expert-built dashboard templates

100+ Dashboard templates