Day: 29 April 2021

How To Create An Excel Dashboard For Better Business Insights

excel-dashboards-and-charts

Discover how to create an Excel dashboard, using graphs and charts, and power up key business insights that can help to make data-driven decisions.

A dashboard can be a great way to pull together key pieces of information, helping you see the bigger picture and understand how your business is performing.

Excel dashboards are easy to create, customise and share, giving you data-driven insights to help you make smarter decisions.

If you want to view all of your key information in one place in a visually impactful and easy-to-understand format, Excel Dashboards are the way to go.

Excel Dashboard Applications

The range of potential applications and uses for Excel Dashboards, charts and graphics is enormous, and the entire system is designed to work seamlessly with your new or existing spreadsheets, automating updates and changes to the data portrayed within your constructed charts and graphs themselves.

How To Create An Excel Dashboard

As a reporting tool, Excel Dashboards are an excellent way to improve your data’s readability and visual impact, enabling you to view all of your key information in one place and compare it against set criteria or other information.

Additionally, because of the innate flexibility of Excel as a software package, you can design and display your Excel Dashboard and associated graphs and charts in virtually any way you want.

What Is An Excel Dashboard?

An Excel Dashboard is a reporting tool that consolidates and displays key business data in one place. It gives you an at-a-glance view of how your business is doing at any given time, showing how various aspects or elements are performing against set criteria.

Excel Dashboards often feature interactive charts and graphs that link back to the data in your spreadsheets, automatically updating when new information is added. This ensures you always have access to the most up-to-date information when making decisions.

example excel dashboard

7 Easy Steps To Creating An Excel Dashboard

To create an Excel Dashboard you will need to:

1. Select the data that you want to use in your dashboard.

2. Format and organise the data in such a way that it can be effectively used for reporting.

3. Create charts and graphs to represent the data in a visually appealing way.

4. Design the layout of your dashboard and how you want it to look.

5. Customize how the data is represented in the charts and graphs.

6. Link the dashboard elements to the data in your spreadsheets.

7. Share and distribute your dashboard when it is finished.

The Excel Experts can help you plan and execute a range of Excel Dashboards, tailored to your business needs. Contact us today for professional Excel advice and support.

Designing Dashboards

Maybe you require a specific design for your dashboard, or you want to display a selection of key metrics in a simple format. Whatever it is that you need, the Excel Experts can help tailor a dashboard that meets your business needs.

We work with you to plan how the data should be visualised, and how you want to display it. Our team of Excel Experts are highly trained and experienced in creating dashboards that make sense out of data, enabling you to make smart, informed decisions.

Some sample layouts and dashboards may include :

Heat maps

Heat maps can show how different factors are performing against each other.

Comparative charts and graphs

Allowing you to compare how different elements are performing such as how your website visitors are coming from different sources.

Gauge charts

Highlight how closely a metric is to reaching its target. This is great for tracking your progress towards a specific goal.

Live data feeds

Ensuring you always have access to the most up-to-date information, live feeds can be embedded in your dashboard to update when new data is added.

Scorecards

Quickly view how you are performing against set criteria such as how you are tracking against your goals for the month or how many leads you have acquired.

Designing Excel Dashboards

Using Dashboard Templates

If you don’t have the time or resources to design a custom dashboard, then a template might be the best option for you.

There are a variety of pre-made dashboard templates available, allowing you to quickly and easily create a dashboard that meets your needs.

Popular dashboard templates include :

• KPI dashboard template

• Sales dashboard template

• Financial dashboard template

• Marketing dashboard template

Excel dashboards not only give you an at-a-glance view of how your business is performing, but they also enable you to quickly identify trends and opportunities.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into some of these common dashboards.

Key Performance Indicators or KPI Dashboards

  • Excel Dashboards can be created and automated to deliver a specific type of business data directly to the appropriate audience.
  • Key Performance Indicator Dashboards or KPI Dashboards provide an excellent example of some of the potential applications of Excel Dashboards for displaying data and charts.
  • The Dashboard or interface itself can be fine-tuned to provide a highly intuitive, interactive user experience, saving clicks, time and money.

Once you begin to use Excel Dashboards and understand their potential applications – including how they can be used to produce the kind of metrics your users expect – there are three major elements to dashboards that you need to learn to understand and work with:

  • How to import or transfer data into your Dashboard.
  • How to manage the data within the Dashboard, such as linking it to Dashboard applications, like graphs, charts and tables from within your excel workbook.
  • How to create a design and format for your Dashboard report that reflects what you want to achieve and expresses it coherently.

The Excel Experts can help you make the most of Excel Dashboards, automate your user systems, set up a new Dashboard report, or train you and your team on the full range of applications for Excel Dashboards and how to use them.

Excel Dashboards for KPIs

The Excel Forecast Dashboard

Excel Dashboards are capable of generating highly complex forms of data interpolation and extrapolated forecasts based on the data that you are using.

You can read more about Excel Modelling Simulations, which are closely related fields.

Excel Dashboards are very flexible, but in order to get the best out of them and ensure that they perform as you expect them to, there is more to it than simply pasting some data into a table and adding a few graphs or charts.

Dashboards also need to be updated and maintained, and in order to control the cost and manpower hours involved in performing such tasks, you need to impose a structure and framework for your data.

Directly connecting the data source to the originating spreadsheet is generally the best and simplest way to achieve this, which may involve integrating your Excel Dashboard with another database, spreadsheet or application.

Excel Dashboards for forecasting data

Creating Interactive Charts Using Excel Dashboards

Excel Dashboards can be used to create interactive charts with user-friendly front-ends for data tables and database management.

This is an integral element of effective, streamlined data reporting and analysis and can help you to make short work of updating and fine-tuning recurring reports.

Automating updates for the charts, tables and graphs created out of your spreadsheet data allows you to save time and money with dashboards, enabling you to create dynamic charts with ranges that update themselves automatically in real-time whenever you add, change or remove data within the range.

Pie Charts & Line Charts

Excel charts are one of the most powerful tools for presenting data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format.

Pie charts and line charts are two of the most popular types of visualisations used in Microsoft Excel Dashboards and they can be easily created using data from spreadsheets.

For example, a pie chart can be used to compare data and highlight how different parts of the total add up and how much each part contributes to the whole.

A line chart can be used to show how a certain metric has changed over time, allowing users to see how data points evolve over time.

Whatever method you use to present your data, dashboards can be used to represent a wide range of data in an engaging and accessible way, enabling users to easily understand how the data interacts and how it changes over time.

Excel Dashboards using charts and graphs

Pivot Tables & Data Filtering

Pivot tables and data filtering are two excellent tools for managing large amounts of data in Excel.

Using pivot tables, you can easily group and summarise data in order to quickly find the answers that you need.

Data filtering is also a great tool for sorting through data quickly. It enables you to filter out the information that is not important and to view only the data that is relevant.

Both pivot tables and data filtering can be used to help you create more effective Excel Dashboards for your business!

example excel pivot chart

What Is A Web Analytics Dashboard?

Some clients prefer to utilise the power of web analytics dashboards to interpret their data.

A web analytics dashboard is a powerful tool for understanding how your website performs, how visitors interact with it and how they engage with the content.

With a web analytics dashboard, you can track how visitors interact with your website through data such as how much time they spend on each page, how many pages they visit and how often they return to the site.

This powerful tool can help you to make well-informed decisions about how to improve the overall performance of your website and how to optimise it for increased user engagement and conversions.

Using Complex Data

Whatever set of data you have, Excel Dashboards can help you to structure and manage it effectively.

With complex data sets, dashboards enable you to process multiple sets of data in one go and to quickly identify correlations, patterns and trends in your data.

You can also use Excel Dashboards to help you aggregate data from multiple sources and to create customised reports that make the most of your data.

Excel Dashboards are an invaluable tool for helping you to make sense of large and complex data sets. With these powerful tools, you can quickly identify patterns in your data and gain valuable insights into how it is behaving.

Excel Dashboards using complex data

Final Thoughts: How To Create An Excel Dashboard

Creating an effective Excel Dashboard doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily create a dashboard that will help you to manage, analyse and interpret your data in an efficient and effective manner.

With the right tools, Excel Dashboards can be a powerful way to gain insights from your data and make the most of it. So don’t wait – get started today!

And if you feel like you require help with any aspect of this blog post, whether that’s setting up dashboards in Excel or how to interpret the data, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team is here to help!

FAQs

Are Excel Dashboards free to use?

Yes! Excel Dashboards are free to use and you don’t need any extra software to create them. Just log in to your Office 365 account, open up Excel and you can get started right away.

Do I need to be a data expert to use Excel Dashboards?

No, Excel Dashboards are designed to be user friendly and easy to use, even for beginners. With the help of pivot tables, data filtering and web analytics dashboards, you can quickly gain valuable insights from your data without needing to be an expert.

Can I integrate Excel Dashboards with other software?

Yes! Excel Dashboards can be integrated with a variety of other software and applications, such as Power BI and Tableau. This enables you to create interactive and visually appealing dashboards that can be easily shared with team members and other stakeholders.

What are the 3 layers of Excel dashboards?

The 3 layers of Excel Dashboards are the data layer, dashboard layer, and visual layer. The data layer contains raw data while the dashboard layer is where you create the dashboard layout. The visual layer consists of charts, graphs and other visuals that will be used to display the data in a meaningful way.

How Excel Simulation & Modelling Speeds Up Data Analysis

Modelling-and-simulating-in-Excel

There is no better way of ‘getting under the skin’ on a problem than to simulate and model it! 

Excel is an excellent platform for both, and we at  The Excel Experts recommend Excel for your next modelling or simulation project.  Especially when paired with a Monte Carlo simulation, an Excel spreadsheet can be a simple, and powerful tool for creating just such a  model.

As humans, we are not always very good at assessing risks, or the odds of certain events occurring. 

A model will calculate the impact of the decisions we make (and the uncertainties in the inputs), to assess the outcomes that we care about, such as profit and loss, ROI or environmental impact for instance.

As such, simulations are often used to help companies assess the ‘likelihood of outcomes’ from taking a particular course of action or decision. 

By traversing all possible decision paths, a simulation can give valuable insights into which course of action should be taken.

Excel simulation and modelling

Advantages Of Excel Simulation & Modelling

Harness Excels mathematical abilities with minimal effort

Save development time. Use VBA and libraries such as NAG to expand on their abilities when necessary. Excel provides a powerful, feature-rich environment for creating complex mathematical models with very little effort.

Specialist Excel Simulation Knowledge

At The Excel Experts, we have specialised expertise in modelling physical, biological and business systems such as financial planning, stock control and process optimisation. Excel’s flexible structure allows us to rapidly develop Excel simulation models with greater accuracy than generic tools or bespoke programming languages.

Data Visualisation

Excel simulations are able to generate high-quality graphical representations of data for better understanding and analysis. Excel also allows the user to animate and manipulate the data for more detailed visualisation.

Analyse Data Fast!

Use Excel Pivot tables, Data Models, Formulas and Functions. Then use Excel Macros to push your productivity to the next level.

Display your results

Then display and present your new results, in a stunning dashboard report.

Connect to data sources with ease

Excel is almost without parallel when it comes to connecting to data sources. If it can’t connect ‘out of the box’ it is usually an easy matter to write a data loader for your data.

Looking to harness the power of Excel simulations or modelling? Get in touch with The Excel Experts today and let us help you get the most out of Excel.

We provide Excel simulation solutions tailored to your needs.

Contact us today.


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    Front End Forms & Questionnaires

    excel-forms-and-questionaires

    With Front-End Forms & Questionnaires, Excel does not just tick all the right but also provides the boxes to be ticked at the right time, in the right place and under the right conditions. At The Excel Experts we have considerable experience in building Form-based systems.

    Visual Interpretation in Front End Forms

    Front-End Forms & Questionnaires are user-friendly methods for reading and writing data and information. These include forms for ordering, marketing, managing contact lists, creating contracts and numerous other applications including questionnaires.

    This where Excel stops being open to the user. Worksheet and workbook protection restrict what the user can do to what is needed and that alone. This is added to with Data Validation and Conditional Formatting so that there is no accidental input.

    The overview of the system is one that ensures that all the data either entered or provided to be chosen is always consistent and accurate as required by the task in hand. In turn, ensuring the output is exactly as required.

    The current approach is not to use VBA’s antiquated Userform but to design fully customized forms on the Excel worksheet itself. This allows greater flexibility with two types of form controls available to the developer, including ActiveX.

    Basic form controls are text boxes, list boxes, dropdown boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes and the like. However advanced controls can be from the likes of tab strips to another application window e.g. a web browser embedded into the Front-End form & questionnaire.

    Visual Interpretation in Front End Forms

    The excel environment can be controlled to show only that which is need.

    Excel comes with an extensive Shapes Collection in addition to all fonts, font symbols in all sizes. All of which can be custom formatted with a variety of fill and borders. While the use of shapes as symbols can aid in guiding the user, all shapes can be made ‘clickable’ and run their assigned macros.

    Also, shapes can act as layers and containers for text, pictures and other shapes enabling complex form construction. This, in turn, enables the other main benefit of using the worksheet as a form and that is the ability to exactly match the clients branding.

    A good Front-End form & questionnaire should impart confidence to the user. It has become standard for us to work with a visual brief supplied by the client’s designers. Leaving it to us to copy an exact visual image using all that Excel offers and then add the required functionality.

    The Mechanics behind the Front End Form

    The mechanics behind the form can filter and calculate the data, before displaying only that required by the user at the exact point of application. Adapting both look and functionality to the exact requirements of the task in hand at each stage of the process.

    Excel enables the developer to build in the skills and knowledge required better and quicker than any other platform.

    The arguments applicable to the data is referred to as the ‘Logic Tree’, and this determines the input/output restrictions for each step. At each stage, Excel creates the appropriate form format for the data required for each of the following steps to be entered.

    The whole point of bespoke front-end forms & questionnaires is to delegate the task in hand with minimal user training. Where the whole process is designed to eliminate any possible error by the user and deliver exactly what is required.

    Location

    At one extreme, an Excel form can be designed to work globally across an organization’s physical location including those of its clients where necessary. At the other, an Excel form can be designed to just operate in a single location on a single off-line computer

    With Excel’s ability to act as a ‘universal connecter’, the form can draw its data from, and write its data to, any other data source. See API Connections and SharePoint Services

    Security Implementation In Front End Forms

    Most projects that we have worked on include some form of restricted access and data security requirements. Yet again, Excel is equipped to meet the client’s exact requirements regarding this better and with greater efficiency.

    Recent Application of Front End Excel Form

    We have noticed a recent trend with organisations that operate large databases. That is to use Excel’s connectivity to design bespoke front-end forms to work with their databases. In our opinion, it is the industry finally growing up and recognizing that Excel‘s versatility offers better value.

    For the same reasons, we have been asked to provide Excel-based questionnaires that impart knowledge and understanding. The endpoint is that the user can make the right informed choice without the need to talk with an expert. This obviously produces a saving that can be passed on to the client.

    On a general note, where clients previously looked at Web Portals and Web Browser solutions the industry is beginning to realise that Excel is a web browser for data. The difference is the speed at which applications (all form-based) can be built and delivered to the client.

    Need Help With Excel Forms?