How to create a management dashboard in Excel?
How to create a management dashboard in Excel? – Dashboards are the same as KPIs, metrics, and other data points collected in one visual and central location. They give you a high-level view of work, help you make quick decisions, and ultimately keep all team members up to date. The visual nature of the dashboard simplifies complex data and lets you know at a glance what the current situation or performance is.
The dashboard consists of tables, charts, and numbers. They can be used for almost any purpose and in any industry. For example, you can create a project dashboard, financial dashboard, marketing dashboard, and more.
Things to consider before building a dashboard
Before you start building a dashboard, first take a moment to think about why you need the dashboard, what its purpose is, where the data comes from, and the features you need or don’t have.
You can also create a prototype of the Excel dashboard on a piece of paper. Draw boxes for each data type to get the type of layout and create quick drawings from the types of charts you want to add. This prototype helps everyone agree and allows you to get stakeholder approval before you start spending time and money on the actual dashboard.
Questions to ask yourself
Why are you creating this dashboard? Do you want to prove or disprove a hypothesis? Is this dashboard created for a specific task, such as displaying the status of a project, or to achieve a broader goal, such as measuring business performance? Knowing why the dashboard was built helps guide design and data.
Do you need to track specific KPIs? Your dashboard should only highlight data that has added value. Make sure you understand the key performance metrics (KPIs) and build the dashboard around those metrics. Nothing outside the main KPI is required.
Who needs to see the dashboard? Is this dashboard designed for a co-worker, manager, stakeholder, outsourcer, or senior manager? How do these people prefer to receive information? How much time do they have to look at this dashboard? Think about who you make the dashboard for and have their preferences in mind.
Where does the data come from? Do you need to enter the data manually into the dashboard or do you use an integrator or connector to sync and update the data? What other tools do you use to collect data?
How up-to-date should the dashboard be? Can you update the dashboard weekly or monthly, or should updated information always be displayed now? Depending on what you choose, the way your dashboard is built will change.
How to design a management dashboard in Excel
Dashboard Elements: What do you want to put in your dashboard? You can choose from Static Tables, Pivot Tables, Dynamic Charts, Excel measuring tools, or non-chart objects such as buttons. Do you want to add a lot of small charts or have several large charts? Identifying the elements you want to add to the dashboard will help you, group, similar data together and give you an idea of the outline.
Dashboard Background Color: How much color do you want to use in the dashboard? Do you want to add background color to create dashboard elements? Do you want to color-code similar charts?
Dashboard UI Enhancement: How important is the ease of use? Do you want to spend your time improving the dashboard UI? You can add hierarchies or drop-down lists for easy navigation, label each chart with objects automatically, and….
Use PowerPoint and Excel
You can also create an interactive dashboard with PowerPoint. Adding interaction to an Excel dashboard can be challenging and usually requires a macro (or VBA), the programming language used in Excel. However, if you add the charts and dashboard components you created in Excel to PowerPoint, you can easily add an interactive element to it.
For example, you can create five pie charts that show exactly the same data over 5 years. If you add a pie chart to each PowerPoint slide, you can move between these slides. In this case, the chart appears to be moving.
Using PowerPoint and Excel together makes it easy to share the dashboard. You can save the dashboard as a PowerPoint Show and email it to colleagues.
How to build a management dashboard in Excel
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a dashboard in Excel:
1- How to enter data into Excel
Before creating a dashboard in Excel, you must enter the data into Excel. You can copy and paste the data. But the best way is to use ODBC (or live data connector). ODBC can connect your applications to Excel and transfer real-time data from the application to Excel. By updating the data in the program, the Excel dashboard is also updated to reflect the latest information. This is a good option if you track and store data elsewhere and prefer to build a dashboard in Excel. Data can be entered in two different ways: in a regular sheet or in a Pivot Table.
2. Set up the Excel dashboard file
Once you have added your data, you need to structure it. Open a new Excel Workbook and create two to three sheets (two to three sheets). You can have one page for the dashboard and one page for the raw data (so you can hide the raw data). This keeps the Excel workbook organized. In this example, we will have two sheets.
3. Create a table with raw data
1. On the Raw Data page, enter or copy and paste your data. Make sure the information is in the form of a table. This means that each item or data point exists in a cell.
2. In this example, we have columns for Project Name, Timeline, Number of Team Members, Budget, Risks, Open Tasks, and Add Pending Actions.
3- If needed, you can use a formula to automatically add all values in a column. We will do this for budget pillars, risks, open tasks, and pending actions. Click on an empty cell at the bottom of the column and type SUM =. After the parentheses open, click the first cell in the column and drag the mouse to the bottom of the cell. Then, add a parenthesis close to your formula. If necessary. Repeat this.
4. Analyze the data to create a management dashboard in Excel
Before building a dashboard, take a moment to look at your data and determine what you want to highlight. Do you need to display all the information? What kind of story are you trying to convey? Do I need to add or remove data?
Once you are sure of the purpose of the dashboard, think about the various tools you can use. Options are:
- Excel formulas such as SUMIF, OFFSET, COUNT, VLOOKUP, GETPIVOTDATA, and others
- Pivot tables
- Excel tables
- Data Validation
- Named Ranges
- Conditional Formatting
- the chart
- Excel Dashboard Tools
Don’t worry, you do not need to know how to use each of these Excel tools. With basic knowledge of charts and Pivot Tables, you can create a beautiful dashboard with Excel.
What not to do with Excel charts and dashboards
Annoying and bright colors: Do not add a rainbow palette in the hope that your dashboard will look “fun”. These bright colors distract from important information. Instead, use neutral colors and add stronger colors just to highlight the highlights.
Decentralization: Crowded arrangement and decentralization usually go hand in hand. Make sure all your charts support the same goal or hypothesis and eliminate extras. Data must tell a story.