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How to create a dashboard in Excel
Home → Dashboards → How to create a dashboard in Excel

Excel dashboards and executive reports are powerful, fairly easy to design and a great way to improve your Excel and data visualization skills. Because of its flexibility, you can virtually design any dashboard in Excel exactly the way you, or the users, imagined. And, best of all, you may want to implement it yourself or consider it a prototype and ask IT to implement it. Once you know what will the Excel dashboard be used for and what kind of metrics users expect, there are three major areas that you must address when creating it:
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how to bring data into your spreadsheets; how to manage the data and link it to the dashboard objects, like charts and tables; how to design the dashboard report.

Let’s take a look at each of them.

How to bring data into your Excel dashboard
Yes, Excel is a very flexible tool, but to create an Excel dashboard you can’t just paste some data and add a few charts, can you? You must maintain and update it and, if you want to decrease the cost associated with those tasks, you must impose some structure to your data.

Usually, the data should not be entered directly into the spreadsheet. You may copy /paste the data, but the best option is to connect the spreadsheet to the data source. There is a standard way to communicate with external databases called ODBC. You can use it to connect your dashboard to a table in Access or Oracle, for example). Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to establish a connection between Excel and Access (this is one of the modules in my dashboard tutorials): (click the button on the bottom right to maximize the video) Once you have that connection established, every time the data changes at the source it also changes in the spreadsheet, after refreshing. Keep in mind that a good practice is to minimize the amount of data you bring into your spreadsheet. If you don’t need it, don’t use it. Calculations should be performed at the source, if possible. Data can be imported using two basic structures: a flat file and a pivot table. As a rule of thumb, I would say that a pivot table tends to create larger files but the calculations will be faster. The flat file will be smaller but, if you need complex formulas to select the data, performance will suffer (you must test this in your own project). The example below shows the growth of Walmart (this is a bonus file available in themembers area). The user can select a year and a radius. Then the total population (at county level) is calculated for each catchment area. Population characteristics like sex and age structure is also available. Obviously the dataset is very large. It’s not “big data”, but 11 million records are not easily managed in Excel. I had to use pivot tables, tables and crosstabs in Access. New to Excel 2010, you can synchronize pivot tables that share the same data source with slicers, And I used them in this file. Excel tables are also great, because they greatly reduce calculation time if you have lots of formulas.

INDEX) or math formulas (SUM. but you get the idea. You can decrease this by using pivot tables. SUMIF.(click to see a larger animation) How to manage the data and link it to the dashboard objects If you use pivot tables you can extract the data using the GETPIVOTDATA function. like database formulas (DSUM. Fewer formulas mean a safer. DGET). more reliable. there is a vast array of formulas you can use. lookup (VLOOKUP. of course. MATCH. Actually. you shouldn’t use formulas at all. That’s impossible. That’s one of the reasons I choose them by default. Having many formulas and calculations is dangerous to your dashboard integrity. easier to maintain dashboard. Named Ranges . If you use a flat file. SUMPRODUCT).

I am sure this is a familiar example: “=Sales-Expenses” is better than “=$G$4-$H$5”. but they also play a key role in data management for Excel dashboards. I’ll tell you: yes. change products. because it will be easier to create those static reports (you can automate them). Some managers prefer a static dashboard (perhaps just a sheet of paper. . but even then you should implement interaction. Dashboards that the user can’t interact with don’t make much sense to me. change sales territories. or a PDF file). you are not a programmer (I am not) but you should consider using some macros to speed up some repetitive tasks.Do I have to tell you that you should document your work? OK. Example: let’s say that the next update adds a new column to your table. Named ranges not only help you making your formulas cleaner and easier to read. the extra column is immediately available. All my dashboards have controls to change markets. This means less and more reliable work. Macros OK. Dynamic Charts I am a truly believer in dynamic charts. If you are creating interactive charts you will probably need dynamic ranges. like greeting the users and selecting the right profile when they open the dashboard (you may want to read the discussion around the use of VBA in Excel dashboards). some cool things that you can add to your dashboards can only be done using macros. Also. Withdynamic named ranges. whatever. You can do it using the OFFSET() function. But you can simplify that boring task by using named ranges. If you don’t use named ranges you’ll have to change every single formula and add that extra column manually. What is important is thatthe user must be able to interact with the dashboard and build his/her knowledge by exploring the available data. In the video above you can see an example. you should.

starting in cell 5: Sub Macro1() For i = 5 To 505 Range("A" & i). If you’ve never recorded a macro.Often all you need to do is to record a macro. Use a variable (i) instead of row number. in the active cell. here is a very basic example: Sub Macro1() ActiveCell. Instead of the active cell. most of the time:    Define what cells should be selected.FormulaR1C1 = "=ROW()*5" Next i End Sub This is all you have to do. let’s tell Excel where we want the formula. Add a loop. using Range instead of ActiveCell: Sub Macro1() Range("A5").FormulaR1C1 = "=ROW()*5" End Sub Now we need to enter the formula 500 times. make simple changes to make sure the macro points to the right cell. .FormulaR1C1 = "=ROW()*5" End Sub So. enter the formula “=ROW()*5″. using the RANGE function. add a FOR NEXT or a FOR EACH loop.

and a similar output. but each one uses a different set of techniques: . Excel 2003 chart defaults are ugly and you should avoid them like the plague (and make sure you select the acceptable formats). Tomothy Zapawa’ Excel Advanced Report Development (2003 or 2007). Don’t try to use Excel to mimic them. but how do you identify the user? Well. connect to external data sources. Suppose you want your dashboard to display a specific market when a user opens the file. How to design the dashboard report If you like the kind of charts that you find in marketing-oriented tools like Crystal Xcelsius let me tell you this: they don’t work. The basic premise is this: a chart is used to discover actionable patterns in the data. Michael Alexander’s Excel 2007 Dashboards and Reports for Dummies and Jon Peltier’s blog. create a hierarchy of focus and context data (make relevant data stand out. They use the same data set. but they still need some work. This is not a matter of opinion only: I tried (and failed) to replicate my Demographic Dashboard (see below) using Xcelsius and detailed the process in a series of posts (1. Resources The reference in dashboard design if of course Stephen Few’s book. There is a first wow! and then their uselessness starts creeping in. using color carefully) and add at least a basic form of interaction (let users select the series. You may still be using Excel 2003. That’s what I wanted to prove with my video tutorials. so I know why these tools are useless for serious work. focused design.It’s not always this simple. you could try these macros. More than One Way to Skin a Cat While you should have a clearly defined framework (allow interaction. effective chart formats) the way you implement is pretty much up to you. 3. etc). backgrounds. for example). and you should do your best to show those patterns. 2. 5). Excel 2007 and 2010 are much better. so I will not elaborate much on this. and tips to improve your Excel dashboard. This means that you should remove everything that has no added value (3D effects. Throughout this blog you’ll findmany charting tips. You have a table assigning markets to users. 4. Information Dashboard Design. Other recommended reading are John Walkenbach’ Excel Bible (2003or 2007) and Excel Charts (2003 or 2007). and probably there is the right macro waiting for you. but you don’t have to be a programmer to take advantage of Excel macros. Search the web and you’ll find it.

 The VBA version uses pivot tables to get the data and a few recorded macros to synchronize them and process user input. This is why an Excel dashboard is a great business tool and also a great learning project that goes beyond Excel and helps you to improve your lifelong skills. more than 4 hours of step-by-step video tutorials covering dynamic ranges. advanced pivot table techniques. lifetime access. The Lookup version uses a spreadsheet database (basically a table that you paste into a sheet) and lookup functions (VLOOKUP. you must interact with users and managers. make charts. but feel free to test multiple paths. Personally I don’t feel very comfortable with spreadsheet databases (more maintenance. more error prune. a large number of formulas will degrade performance. slower) but it is a good starting point to learn advanced Excel techniques (and sometimes is it your only option).  After some discussion on the merits of using VBA (Excel Dashboards: Do You Need VBA?) I decided to make a VBA-free Excel dashboard. You have to use a wide range of skills. 24 modules. It mainly uses pivot tables and the powerful GETPIVOTDATA function. MATCH. use advanced formulas and functions… It’s a complex and usually very enjoyable task for an information worker. advanced Excel functions and more. My Excel dashboard tutorials will guide you from a blank sheet to a fully functional dashboard and you’ll be able to apply the techniques to your own projects in no time. Here is an overview:    2 tutorials.  Try them now! . An Excel Dashboard is the Perfect Excel Learning Tool Think about it: when you make a dashboard you need to know more about your organization. In general. analyse data. Start making one today! Shameless plug: try my step-by-step video tutorials. connect the dashboard to the formal information structure (if possible). while VBA improves it (but may be off-limits for you). It is a well balanced version: it is slower than the previous version but since it doesn’t use VBA some users don’t have to leave their comfort zone. interactive charts. and that can only improve your position in the workplace. The context will help you to decide the best way to skin your cat. OFFSET) to get the data for the dashboard report.

5. How to create a thematic map in Excel 3. Excel dashboard competition 2. Pay securely with Paypal even if you don’t have a Paypal account. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! 2. no questions asked. full money-back guarantee. Lifetime access. 2007 / Dashboards. MICHAEL GAFFNEY 5:43 pm on September 18. JON PELTIER 12:40 pm on October 22. 2007 This is great.(Two dashboard courses only $97. The Excel Demographic Dashboard in StarOffice/OpenOffice? Not yet.) Share with:         More You may also be interested in: 1. Performance vs flexibility in Excel: Demographic Dashboard Lookup Edition 4. 2007 “by the end of the trial period I must have a working Crystal Xcelsius version of…” . Fighting IT? Prototype an Executive Dashboard in Excel On September 16. 30-day. Featured / 49 Comments 49 Comments 1.00.

I hope you don’t find my charts too advanced for you… No matter what we say. create 2D pie charts in Excel and put flying clip art in their presentations. explain the differences. people will keep using Xcelsius and similar tools for eye-catching hum… things. 4. Since everyone uses Excel. ADMIN 5:37 pm on October 22. JOHN 10:02 pm on November 29. You can see examples for world population on http://www. Jorge is showing how to design an information-dense but practical and usable one-screen data display. does use Flash for interactivity. a site we like and we have supported. make people understand the trade-offs and let them Xcelsius is good for dashboards and cockpits and other glitzy texture-rich but information-neutral decorations. 3. it makes sense to use something like my dashboard as a benchmark and try to replicate it with other tools. like XCelsius.geohive. 2007 If you like this stuff then hopefully you might also like the stuff we do athttp://www. The only strategy that could really work regarding visualization is to show the options. SEGUN . 2007 Thanks Jon.If you *need* an Xcelsius version of your – based on many of the same visualisation principles championed by people like Stephen Few but. 5. By explaining and discussing each step you end up either proving yourself wrong (if you don’t like Xcelsius) or undermining it from inside because you expose its weaknesses in several standard tasks.instantatlas. then stop reading this blog. Jorge This is a good start-up example of what a dashboard can really be.

you can just copy one of the pivot tables to the new workbook and use it the way you want. DALE 8:43 pm on March 2. Another option is to copy the data from the Access query and past it into the new sheet. Reports and Guided Analytics” . 2008 Dee: I am not sure if I understand your question. I think I. so they will not fit into the 65 thousand rows you have available in Excel (try the crosstab query with years in columns). 2008 The main problem with Excel dashboarding is keeping them updated as new data arrived.sisense. 8. DEE KARVOIS 4:52 pm on January 20. 2007 You are a solution provider 6.000 records in that query. If you mean exporting the data from the Demographic Dashboard to a new “Dashboards. Dale http://www. Can it be done? Is it difficult? thahk you 7.8:19 pm on December 6. Hope this alreadt spent 40% of my professional life redefining ranges for charts and dashboards in Excel. 2008 Is there anyway to export the dashboard data into an excel spreadsheet? we receive a dashboard created in excel but we want to export it into a spreadsheet. Please note that there are more than 200. ADMIN 6:17 pm on January 20.

DASHBOARD GEEK 5:57 am on March 28. I’m working on something where I’m pulling from data submitted by companies. SAM G 7:11 pm on April 7. and then pull the data from the pivot. ADMIN 10:43 pm on March 2. it can be a problem. Is there anyway to reference a column of data so that no matter what column it ends up in. This works on your tables. 2008 Thank you dale I tried the Prism product in your comment and i have to say im impressed. The ranges use absolute references. Another option is to make sure that range width or height doesn’t change (for example. than that column in the pivot table disappears. and the named range is now pulling a different metric. 10. 2008 Jorge – Great work on this. I purchased the training and it has been very helpful to me in setting some things up. I’ve got a question for you – in your training you use offset named ranges to retrieve pivot table data. I use a macro to change the company name in the page field in the pivot table.9. The problem is that if we don’t have data on a company for a particular metric. by showing only the last 24 months). 2008 Dale Yes. created all my excel dashboards (100) in a few hours! Do you know how much it cost? Eian 11. but if the structure doesn’t change much you can manage updates with dynamic ranges. since changing a country doesn’t change which columns show in the pivot tables. excel will still grab the right data? The only .

I usually solve that problem by selecting the field and turn on the “Show items with no data” option. 13. 2008 Hey.workaround I’ve thought of for this is to make one sheet for each column of data. The product is still in beta so they don’t charge for it yet. http://sparklines-excel. But since reading it – I must recommend people looking at this. MADHAVAN SUKUMARAN 4:09 pm on June . ADMIN 9:52 pm on April 7. This way the table structure is kept and you can easily handle the missing data.blogspot. Sam 12. 2008 Thanks Sam. 15. ANTHONY 9:17 am on October 18. Thanks. Thanks for sharing the same. 2008 DashboardGeek (nice name). 2008 Excellant piece of information. I picked up this link in from the article about 14 misconceptions of charts. a single authoring license goes for about 100 US Dollars a year. 14. but I contacted their support and they said the generally. DALE 10:29 am on April 30. Would love any suggestions you have.

] 18. [Update: This is no longer available. with goo HTML experience but little experience in actual coding technologies. DAN 4:46 am on November 5. Joe . you just have to leave your email on the right side bar and they will be sent to you. I’m a very basic developer. This will give me how many business are in there are and the population as well as Business growth. thanks 19. Thank you. 2008 I’d really like to get a copy of the three versions you have listed here. 2008 This is great. Thanks alot. I want a bashboard so that I can retrieve data from that persons geographical area. I also want to create a basic customer service data base as well. Glenn 17. 16. I get leads that come from our distributor site. who are interested in buyng one of our distributorships. ADMIN 2:17 am on October 30. I’m interested in creating more effect reports for my job.I downloaded and started to use it just last week and published a highly informative dashboard in hours. to retrieve thier data I have entered into excell. JOSEPH FLOWERS 8:47 pm on November 29. 2008 Glenn. 2008 As always great post. just what I’ve been looking for. GLENN 2:02 am on October 30. complete with spark lines and bullet charts.

20. I don’t really have a good answer regarding the best way to deal with scope creep. The demographic dashboard is an excellent learning tool for people like me who are looking to learn the “integration” bit by example. I try to create very specific information products that answer very specific business needs. b) How long did it take you to finish the demographics dashboard. I would say that a project like the demographic dashboard does not require more than a month to implement (and a few more days/weeks for testing). I would try to do find VBA-free approaches and use code when there is no other choice. ADMIN 12:46 am on December 10. So thank you. your example is extremely clean and non-convoluted. For example. 2008 @ Rachana: thanks for your great feedback. leaving everything else outside. but the other versions show that you can get similar results without code. I accidentally discovered your site and I am super impressed. I am looking forward to learning a lot from your site and tutorials. 2008 Hi Jorge. from concept to completion. I am a data analyst at ecommerce company and am looking to streamline and and automate reports for executives. . 21. I have two questions for you: a) In your everyday work how do you deal with scope creep from business users after implementing a very tedious dashboard or solution. I usually run a macro to detect the user id and filter the data for that specific profile. RACHANA MUKHERJEE 10:32 pm on December 8. I usually don’t need more than some user feedback regarding the use of the tool. I wanted to show how to synchronize several pivot tables using simple VBA. That’s something you can’t do without code. And. I am trying to expand my understanding of excel and building up my repetoire so to speak and I realize that pivot tables and VBA are key.

ADMIN . PETER VERCO 5:31 pm on March 12. I also use pivot tables.. 2009 Hi Jorge I am trying to build dashborads for revenue analysis (product wise). provided you are prepared to link the parameters to cells outside the table. 24. CHRIS CAPEL 11:37 am on February 18. and of course. and have found the GETPIVOTDATA function provides dynamic data. but it is more 23. I frequently use live data from databases via odbc and tuned via MS query to deliver targeted and summarised business information for live reporting. I have never needed to use named ranges. employee performance.Can I use the same demographic dashborad for same or would it have to built in a different manner. Thanks Jorge. 2009 The challenge is not so much in the Excel techniques (well. POOJA DHINGRA 7:03 pm on April 13. only a little in the creativity and empathy of the dashboard designer. then using a selection box or boxes on the dashboard to return the selected data via the GETPIVOTDATA function. Because most business information is highly structured.22. 2009 Jorge – An excellent presentation. Pl advice.. Pooja 25. for your brilliant solutions! ). budget analysis etc. I can usually provide a screen full of charts from just one pivot table. show items with no data.

Where from your website can I learn how to create dashboard other than specified above. 2009 . I’ve been creating employee performance dashboards for several years and they typically use very different sources but don’t need frequent updates (monthly or quarterly basis). but you can use similar techniques. After you get your data into Excel you can use the usual Excel formulas to create your dashboard. Can you help in buliding good dashboards for revenue/gross margin analysis. 2009 Pooja: I am not familiar with Navision. Pooja 27. how to go from there to the chart data sources and how to create the interactive user interface. 2009 Ta. You can use the demographic dashboard to see how these techniques can be used to work together. In the first case. Your dashboards will surely be very different.10:10 pm on April 13. ADMIN 11:03 pm on April 17. and not by the data itself. The Demographic Dashboard uses the Access ODBC. and in the second case I connect a pivot table to the Oracle database.I use Navision as my database. but if you search for something like “Navision ODBC Excel” you’ll find a tutorial on how to link Excel to your Navision tables. while sales would need a single data source but may need daily updates. For example. 28. I usually use spreadsheet tables. T 2:59 am on August 3. but the process should be similar. POOJA DHINGRA 5:33 pm on April 14. so I can’t help you with the specifics. 2009 @Pooja: I believe that an Excel dashboard is defined by the way it handles the data. The three demographic dashboards exemplify how to get the data (connecting to an external data source or creating a spreadsheet table).. 26.

30. 2009 on http://www.” Where is this location? I. I have searched for a long time for a good quality tutorial that covers all the essential functions for creating reports and reporting tools. I wish I had this years ago. BILL GATES 10:52 am on January 14. You have a great understanding of how to communicate and teach complex information easily and clearly. too.hichert. 2009 “you just have to leave your email on the right side bar and they will be sent to you. Your dashboard ROCKS!! Just finished the dashboard tutorial and cant wait to get into creating my own for our data. 2010 . EDDIE 7:00 pm on December 30. T 29. ULRICH SEIDL 5:17 pm on November 26. Thanks! 31. would love to get these templates to learn from. This is the most amazing tool for learning advanced Excel I have come across and is also a shining example of Excel best practices. Thank you find selctions of well-done dashboards and not-so-well-done….com/de/software/exceldiagramme/55 you can find a lot of examples (downloadable) of excel-charts which could be used in dashboard on http://www.Hi Jorge.hichert.

If yes. Would we able to replicate this dashboard after going thru your tutorial? How long is the tutorial? 2. Does the price include with and without VBA? 33. 2: The tutorial is for the VBA dashboard only. This way the table structure is kept and you can easily handle the missing data. 2010 Sir. I believe I did read that the files for the non VBA and the non pivot tables would also be supplied in the same package. I usually solve that problem by selecting the field and turn on the “Show items with no data” option.Thanks Sam. JORGE 2:00 pm on April 22. 32. This is an amazingly unbelievable dashboard. MANOJ KAPASHI 6:40 pm on April 22. 2010 Thanks for your reply. 1. JOHN KYLE . Yes. you will. 34. MANOJ KAPASHI 1:32 pm on April 22. 1. Is that correct? 2. 1. Am I right? 35. then I presume that these files will contain the source data and all the formulae to enable us to study the construction of the dashboards on our own since the tutorial is not available. the non-VBA tutorials are coming soon. 2010 Manoj: Thanks.

VARUN KUMAR 2:03 am on March 26. Even though we all use Excel every day. Thanks Jorge. 2010 Very Informative…!! Its a good start for my first Production Planning Dashboard. VARUN KUMAR 2:03 am on March 26. it’s easy to forget how powerful it really is for analyzing and reporting information. 2010 Jorge – Thanks for the great post. I like it as a learner VBA Programmer. 39.LOOKING FOR BEST WEB HOSTING 11:05 am on September 7. etc.. I was thinking that I have so much knowledge in MS excel but after reading your blog i learned new things and I realized that we need to update us everytime.6:33 pm on June 14. Thanks for sharing valuable information. NITGREEN . 38. this will surely help me to build my first Dashboard at my new job. Thanks Jorge. 2010 This is very well organized dash board tutorial. 36. NILESH 10:27 am on July 15. Dashboards in Excel are really great – they are more flexible than flash or ajax based dashboards because users can – with the familiarity of Excel – extend the report to a “what if” tool by experimenting with new values. 2011 . 2011 Its very beneficial for anyone who need to learn about dashboard and excel.!! 37.

but you first have to open the dashboard in excel and then you can get rid of it. 2011 Great Blog. HERU 7:04 am on November 8. Jorge. One question. 2011 excellent!!! Leave a Reply Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website . 40.It is very beneficial for anyone who need to learn about dashboard and excel. Thanks Jorge. but is it also possible to do something so that you don’t have the menu each time you open it? thanks!!! 41. KOTI 9:37 am on November 8. Do you know if and how it is possible to get rid of the excel menu in an excel dashboard? I know there is this function that helps doing it. 2011 good job 42. I was thinking that I have so much knowledge in MS excel but after reading your blog i learned new things and I realized that we need to update us everytime. IRIS 9:55 am on October 31.

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.64 Envisioning Information Edward R.. 2002) $34. 2005) $26. but you already know.May 1990) $35...00 Excel Advanced Report Development Timothy Zapawa (Paperback .. When it comes to data visualization. Recent Comments .  Bars and lines: méfiez-vous des morceaux choisis So.Graphics and Graphic Information-Proc… Jacques Bertin (Paperback .47 Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological … Stephen M.. this data visualization thing is new to you..19 12345> Privacy Latest Posts  I’ll assume that you are not paid for your artistic skills.Jul 29. Tufte (Hardcover .Aug 13. You’re a.96 Excel Charts John Walkenbach (Paperback . Aesthetics be damned  Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure Most users love Excel. non-users hate it. 2… $18.Aug 1982) $95. Kosslyn (Paperback .Nov 5.

     Excel graphs: Henry Ford style « The Data Monkey on 14 Misconceptions About Charts and Graphs Jorge Camoes on 01 Connecting to External Data Sources [VBA] Margaret Evans on 01 Connecting to External Data Sources [VBA] Life of Pie | make a powerful point onExcel charts: pie charts Chris R on Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure What’s on Your Mind? Your Name (required) Your Email (required) Subject Your Message 3+2=? Send © 2011 VizWise | Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS) Back to Top .

.The Excel Charts Blog Effective Charts and Dashboards for Excel users Search..               Home Blog Courses» Examples Dashboards Theory» Practices» Chart Types» About Creating a VBA-free Excel dashboard Home → Dashboards → Creating a VBAfree Excel dashboard Do you need VBA to create an Excel dashboard? Our recent discussion clearly shows .

This dashboard uses the same data set (population by sex. But why? Why don’t you just use a chart? It is simpler. safer and doesn’t require VBA. It’s amazing the things you can do with scatter plots. so I had to improvise. But how can you achieve the same results without VBA? Just simplify. I already published a screencast on how to create a population pyramid. I know. really. This is a regular area chart. and I had to know if I could create a VBA-free Demographic Dashboard. 4% uses recorded macros from time to time and 1% actually edits the recorded macros to add some sort of functionality (well. Simple stuff. Let me give you some examples. The real world always depresses me… The poll on the right seems to tell a better story. simplify. That’s a the simple story behind the VBA-free Demographic Dashboard. simplify. I’m sorry… The first version of my Demographic Dashboard uses some macros to synchronize pivot tables and to add some functionality to the user interface. but you guys are le crème de la crème. Take a look at this object: I could place the background image on the sheet and use a few lines of code to correctly place the small triangle. age and country for the period 19962050) and the final result is similar (that was the idea). I’ve discovered that 55% doesn’t know what VBA is. I wanted to recreate a popular chart format in magazines: lines to encode the current data and areas for the reference data. The final solution uses a simple scatter plot. it doesn’t look like one. this happens to be me…). but this technique is missing. Yes. I was unable to come up with an elegant solution using the standard available formats in Excel. Dashboard objects Some times we use VBA out of laziness. 40% knows but doesn’t want to use it. b) you should avoid VBA like the plague because the average user don’t understand it and it can cause a serious problem if the programmer leaves the organization. In an informal survey among friends and colleagues (all of them Excel users).two lines of thought: a) you should use it because there are things you just can’t do without VBA and if you have access to a powerful tool you should put it to work. But there is a divide. but I use the camera tool to rotate the image to achieve this effect. so I can’t use you as a representative sample. . That was my first idea.

No need for the camera tool. partially because I like to stick to things that everyone can do with a standard Excel installation (and you’ll usually need an add-in to create sparklines) and because there is so much to say about them that I wanted to write a complete series. What you see on the left are not exactly sparklines.Please note that you shouldn’t use this technique if you are planning to print your dashboard because of a well known bug in Excel (but there is also a workaround). It is amazing how it shows the aging process that currently affects every country in the world. In the previous version of the dashboard I used lines in a scatter plot to display current and reference data. it is just a string that is automatically changed whenever you change your data (in this . for example. I usually delete grid lines. so the user can see the region in context. but not in this case… I don’t have a single post discussing sparklines. Lately I’ve been playing a little with links to external sources and I decided to add these two. it also shows the remaining countries. but here they are almost invisible and they actually seem to help. Download the dashboard and compare these lines with the top ten countries in Europe. and I don’t seem to find the time to do that. But you should definitively consider using them when planning a dashboard. I kind of like these lines jumping out of their “natural borders” (the row limits and the table itself). just a small line chart where each line is aligned with the country name. Sometimes I forget that scatter plots are square by definition. The first one opens a Google Map with the active country and the second one opens the CIA Factbook for the same country. As an European I find it really scary… In this version. the active country is shown in the context of the active region and. specially if you can animate it to see how the passage of time changes the dependencies. unlike the previous version. You don’t need to hard-code the links. I really like this chart.

You can also put the data into your worksheet. A simple macro can easily select a new value when a different region is selected. When you select a region. Performance vs flexibility in Excel: Demographic Dashboard Lookup Edition 3. There is something that you can’t do without VBA. The Excel Demographic Dashboard in StarOffice/OpenOffice? Not yet. Fighting IT? Prototype an Executive Dashboard in Excel 4. and when the country is not found in that region the background changes to warn the user. 10 tips to improve your Excel dashboard On April . like I did when I created my Excel thematic map. the list of countries automatically reflects that change. Excel dashboard competition 2. Share with:         More You may also be interested in: 1. Since I can’t change the default country. JOEL HORNBERGER 3:30 pm on April 11. 5. but the current country is not changed. 2008 Interested in the dashboard file. you may be comparing Angola with countries in Europe (Angola is in Africa). So. 2008 / Dashboards / 21 Comments 21 Comments 1. the name of the country). I added a conditional formatting for that cell.

and wanted to see how to go about a multi-funtional document for a varied group of customers. ADMIN 10:31 pm on February 4. 2008 Thanks for the info 5. 2008 looking to learn about creating dashboards in excel 4. TONY J 10:04 pm on February 4. LISA HILL 2:59 am on April 16. GORDON CAMERON 9:42 pm on April 16. 2008 Joel. 2009 Tony: Thanks for the feedback. 3.2. just fill in the form and a link will be sent automatically. I’ll try to answer. Thanks 6. Am already familiar with pivot – access database setup. 2009 . 7. JOHN 2:43 pm on August 17. ADMIN 8:25 pm on April 11. I may have a couple of Qs as I get into my own design. 2009 An excellent file that has given me a handful of new ideas.

2009 I think what you’ve done is truly awesome! Is it possible to get a copy of the file for VBA free dashboard please? It’ll help me learn Thanks a ton and have a good day! 9. SUMIT LAL 8:30 am on October 5. It will help me with new reporting system I am building. specially the GETPIVOTDATA() function. 8.The file was truly awesome. but why are your line graphs not really sparklines? I know Office 2010 will have a new sparkline tool. . Everything else is updated using formulas. just to make sure every user replicate it with an out-of-the-box installation. 2009 I’d like to see a macro example on how to query SQL and update the dashboard 10. JJ 5:18 am on December 2. You must manually hit “refresh” to refresh the pivot table. 2010 Nice work on the dashboard. 11. 2009 JJ: The VBA-free version excludes the use of macros. 2010 The dashboard was made using Excel 2003 and I wanted to avoid add-ins. JORGE CAMOES 9:21 am on December 2. TYPEGEEK 1:10 am on January 6. but isn’t a sparkline just a small line chart? 12. JORGE 6:05 am on January 6.

CRISTIAN OJEDA 6:56 pm on May 14. 2010 Cristian: a VBA-free tutorial will be available soon. STEVE VOS 10:42 pm on December 11. I’ve never tried setting one up in that way. 2010 Hi Jorge.13. ZAK 7:16 pm on November 25. Zak 16. Interesting stuff. I am using excel for few year and has recently develop interest in excel dashboard. 15. JORGE CAMOES 7:00 pm on May 14. 2010 . Regards and thank you for sharing your knowledge. How to download your examples and is there any suggestion to learn core concept of developing them. 2010 I’d love to look at your dashboard. JASON HUI 3:00 am on December 21. 2010 How obtain file example VBA-free Excel dashboard? Thanks 14. 17.

MICHAEL RUTSTEIN 5:42 pm on January 17. Looking forward to learn more on this. 2011 Looking to figure out how to create my own dashboards. A tutorial with a trial period will be available soon. 21. Would you be able to send me a link to it? 20. Nice work on the VBA excel free dashboard. Mike R 19. 18. keep up the good job. and please. 2011 Hi. .Hi Jorge. I thankfully have recently found you and that your classes/tutorials make my life a lot smoother!! I´d lke to say thank you. Ed: Thanks for your interest. 2011 Is there a way to try software free. JOAO AMADO 7:42 am on May 30. I am in my way to finish a huge report to the company I work for – an enormous fixed phone company down here in Brazil. then migrate to $47 sign up fee? Thanks. ED RUBIO 4:19 pm on January 27. let me know if you´re writing other stuff. cheers for your website. 2011 Michael. JORGE CAMOES 4:24 pm on January 27. I see there is a sample tutorial.

You are not currently logged in. You are a part of this. because I´m so attached to details when it comes to work – and your excel tips are just wonderful. this excel program I built is pretty much a managing software that will probably infuence big decisions. Leave a Reply Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website Submit Comment Notify me of followup comments via e-mail Notify me of new posts by email.More than just a report. Username: Password: Remember Me Login » Register » Lost your Password? How To Make Excel Dashboards .

. Second Editi… Colin Ware (Hardcover .Sep 19.Topics Recommended Reading Other recommend reading Show Me the Numbers: Designing Table… Stephen Few (Hardcover . Aesthetics be damned .18 Excel Advanced Report Development Timothy Zapawa (Paperback .64 Information Visualization.84 Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Pres… Garr Reynolds (Paperback .Sep 1. You’re a.Jul 29.Apr 21.Mar 4. 2004) $16. 2008) $14. 2005) $26. 2008) $19..Jan 4.32 Excel 2007 Dashboards & Reports For … Michael Alexander (Paperback .07 12345> Privacy Latest Posts  I’ll assume that you are not paid for your artistic skills.99 Excel 2003 Bible John Walkenbach (Paperback . 2004) $9. 2003) $21.

.. non-users hate it.. but you already know. Most users love Excel.. this data visualization thing is new to you. Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure  Bars and lines: méfiez-vous des morceaux choisis So. When it comes to data visualization.. Recent Comments      Excel graphs: Henry Ford style « The Data Monkey on 14 Misconceptions About Charts and Graphs Jorge Camoes on 01 Connecting to External Data Sources [VBA] Margaret Evans on 01 Connecting to External Data Sources [VBA] Life of Pie | make a powerful point onExcel charts: pie charts Chris R on Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure What’s on Your Mind? Your Name (required) Your Email (required) Subject Your Message 3+2=? Send © 2011 VizWise | Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS) Back to Top .

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