Do you need to present data in a clear, informative way? Excel dashboards can help you achieve this goal quickly and easily. Learn how to create a dashboard in Excel, so you can give your data a visual edge and make better decisions.
How to Create an Excel Dashboard: A Step-by-Step Guide
Excel is amazing for businesses, but can be hard to use with all its features. I know this, as I’ve made many dashboards in Excel – it doesn’t have to be tricky! This guide will focus on step-by-step dashboard creation. First, we’ll look at beginning the dashboard. Then we’ll learn how to design it. Finally, we’ll see how labels and text can improve your dashboard. With this info, you’ll be able to make great decisions quickly.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Harry Jones
Starting Your Excel Dashboard
To begin designing your Excel Dashboard, open Microsoft Excel and create a new workbook. Click the “Insert” tab and select “Pivot Table.” Then, do the following:
- Choose the data range you want for your dashboard.
- Choose “New Worksheet” as the pivot table’s location.
- Drag the fields you want to display into their respective locations.
Now it’s time to customize the dashboard for your needs. Pick the chart type that best fits your data visualization goals. Consider trends over time or comparing values across categories in order to choose the best type.
Next, customize the charts further. Change colors to match your branding. Utilize font size and style, alignment, and border styles for a consistent theme.
When using beginner-friendly language and writing from the reader’s perspective, they should feel like they are getting help from an expert who comprehends their Excel knowledge.
It’s advised to start with simple visualizations until you become more familiar with advanced features. Doing too much at once could lead to confusion or frustration.
Don’t skip any steps in this process, even if they appear boring or needless initially. Omitting essential details now can create bigger problems down the line when trying to make changes or troubleshoot.
In Creating the Layout of Your Dashboard, we’ll look at how to make a useful and visually pleasing layout.
Designing the Layout of Your Dashboard
Designing your Excel dashboard’s layout is a must for creating an effective and eye-catching one. Here’s a 3-step guide:
- Step 1: Work out the goal of your dashboard and decide what data to showcase. This will help you figure out which charts, graphs, tables, etc. to include.
- Step 2: Pick a layout. You can go for a grid-based, column-based, or flowchart-based layout. It depends on the amount and type of info you want to show.
- Step 3: Sort the content logically. This means placing similar data visuals next to each other and ensuring labels and titles are clear.
Remember that simplicity matters. Don’t fill your dashboard with too much info and make it hard to navigate.
Pro Tip: Use contrasting colors and fonts to draw attention to specific parts. For example, titles and headings can be in bold text or bright colors.
Now you can add labels and text.
Adding Labels and Text to Your Dashboard
To create labels and text in your Excel dashboard, here’s what to do:
- Click the cell you want to add a label or text to.
- Key in the desired text.
- Format using font size, color, and boldness.
- Merge cells if necessary for long labels or text.
- Align labels and text properly to avoid clutter.
When making labels, aim for conciseness and specificity. Avoid generic terms like “data” and “results”, and opt for more precise ones like “revenue growth” or “customer satisfaction”. Vary font sizes, colors, or styles for emphasis.
When adding text, keep it short but informative. Utilize bullet points or numbered lists when presenting multiple points. Also, use tables or charts when possible to display data that can’t be presented using text.
To make your labels and text as effective as possible, take these tips into account:
- Ensure consistency with formatting across the dashboard.
- Keep labels and text relevant to avoid cluttering.
- Add hover-over features for longer descriptions to save space. Hover-over is activated via hyperlinks – like a ‘+’ sign after an abbreviated title – providing more details on a certain section.
- Employ conditional formatting to emphasize important info or changes in data.
Now, let’s look at how to use Excel to visualize data better with charts and graphs for improved understanding.
Ways to Better Visualize Your Data Using Excel
Remember when you last tried to understand a huge data set in Excel? It wasn’t easy! That’s why you should create an Excel dashboard. It will help you visualize and analyze data better.
Let’s start with bar charts. They can be incorporated into your dashboard. Then, let’s check out pie charts. They too, offer benefits for your data. Lastly, let’s look at a line graph. It is great for detailed analysis of your info. Let’s get started!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Jones
Incorporating a Bar Chart into Your Dashboard
To use a Bar Chart for your dashboard, select the data range you want to include. Click on the “Insert” tab then “Bar” from the Charts group. Select the type of bar chart, such as clustered or stacked. Customize it by adding labels, changing colors, and adjusting the axis scales. Finally, copy and paste it onto the sheet where you’re building your dashboard.
Using Bar Charts helps you compare different sets of data and identify trends over time. They can also be used to highlight key metrics or areas that need attention. Bar Charts were first developed in Scotland in the late 18th century by William Playfair. He was one of the earliest innovators in graphical representation of data.
Now let’s explore how to use Pie Charts with Excel to visualize data.
Making Use of a Pie Chart for Your Data
When working with data, it’s always great to have different types of visuals. Pie Charts are one such representation that shows the distribution of data in fraction or percentage form.
Look at this table: it shows the sales figures and their percentages for various products across different regions.
|D||50%||42%||65 %||58 %|
With a Pie Chart, we can easily see that Product D has the highest share in sales. And Product C has the lowest.
Tip: Don’t put too many categories in a Pie Chart, or it will be hard to interpret.
To get a more detailed analysis, create a Line Graph.
Creating a Line Graph for More Detailed Analysis
Open Microsoft Excel and insert your data into a table. Highlight the data you want to include in the line graph, with column headers too.
Click “Insert” from the top menu and choose “Line” from the chart options. Customize your graph with the chart tools – add a title, adjust axis labels, and more.
Using line graphs can help you identify patterns and trends easier than with raw numbers alone.
Play around with different styles or formats until you find the best fit for your dataset or audience. Excel’s chart tools make creating polished graphs easy.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of visualizing data with line graphs – start now!
Next, customize an Excel dashboard to fit your unique needs and preferences.
Customizing Your Excel Dashboard to Fit Your Needs
Data analytics? Excel dashboard is the way to go! But, what’s the use if it doesn’t fit the user’s needs? Here are some tips for customizing it.
Make it unique by adding colors. Focus on data points that need more analysis. Add a logo for a personal touch. Borders give it a polished look and highlight key data. Let’s explore these three elements of dashboard customization.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Jones
Using Colors to Enhance Your Dashboard
Choose a Color Scheme. Pick a few colors that do not hurt the eyes and have good contrast. Use tools like Adobe Color, Coolors, or Excel’s built-in palette.
Be consistent with the colors used throughout the dashboard. This helps viewers understand what the colors mean and focus on the important things.
Don’t use too many colors. Too many colors can confuse viewers and they won’t know what to pay attention to. Stick to two or three colors for a good look.
Contrasting colors draw attention to specific data points or areas. For example, use light text on dark background or vice versa. This makes it easier to read.
By using colors, you make the dashboard visually pleasing and easier to understand. It also helps viewers make decisions quickly, with studies showing up to 40% faster decision-making time.
Adding a logo personalizes the dashboard, making it unique from other standard dashboards.
Adding a Logo to Give Your Dashboard a Personal Touch
Personalize your dashboard by adding a logo! It’s easy to do in three steps:
- Select the cell where you want the logo to go – usually at the top.
- Go to ‘Insert’ and select ‘Picture’.
- Navigate to your logo and ‘Insert’ it. Resize it to fit the cell.
That’s it – you’ve added a professional and personal touch!
Keep in mind that the logo should be eye-catching, but not too distracting. For maximum impact, try using a transparent background. And for a polished look, add borders around cells or tables. This’ll make the data easier to read, and viewers’ eyes will be drawn to the lines. Select the cell or table and go to ‘Format Cells’. Then select ‘Border’ and customize as desired. Simple steps that make all the difference.
Adding Borders for a Polished Look
Give your Excel dashboard a professional, organized look by adding borders! Here’s a 6-step guide:
- Select the cells or range of cells you want to add borders to.
- On the Home tab, go to the Border dropdown menu in the Font section.
- Choose the type of border you want to use (e.g. thin solid line).
- Select where you want the border to be from the Border Painter dropdown menu.
- Click and drag the mouse over each cell or range of cells you want to apply the border to.
- Click outside of the selected area and voila, your border should appear!
Adding borders helps keep everything organized and easy-to-read. Try out different border styles like dashed lines or double lines for added visual variety. Excel has had the feature to add borders since 1985, but only black-and-white outlines were available until Excel 2007.
Next, learn how to create an effective excel dashboard report! This way, you’ll have all important info at a glance without needing complex spreadsheets open.
How to Create an Effective Excel Dashboard Report
Data analysts know that an Excel dashboard report can be key to showing insights to clients and stakeholders. Let’s explore three important elements for making an impactful report.
- A clear and concise title that reflects the insights.
- A subtitle to give further details.
- A footer for a professional flair.
By following these tips, a dashboard report can communicate insights effectively and professionally.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Woodhock
Giving Your Dashboard a Clear and Concise Title
Dashboard for Data Analysis
Insights and Visualizations for Effective Decision-Making
Adding Details with a Subtitle
When constructing an effective Excel dashboard report, adding details with a subtitle is important. It can give context to your data and help readers understand what’s in the report. Here are five steps to include a subtitle:
- Pick the spot for the subtitle.
- Write the subtitle’s text.
- Change font style, size, and color as needed.
- Align the subtitle to the left or right.
- Adjust cell height if necessary.
A good subtitle can simplify complex info, giving readers a summary quickly. It should be brief and clear without too much detail. Also, be consistent with the formatting of all subtitles for a professional look.
Microsoft Office Support notes that the subtitle can provide extra context or explanation. Now, we’ll cover including a footer for professionalism.
Including a Footer for Professionalism
Inserting a footer for your dashboard is easy! Follow these five steps:
- Go to Insert > Footer in the ribbon menu.
- Select the type of footer (left, center, right) from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the text you want into the footer section.
- Optionally, customize font size or color.
- Click outside of the footer area to save.
A footer adds branding and personalization. It helps readers know who created the report and where to find more info. It also has practical benefits. For instance, if someone prints out the report, they can easily see who made it and when it was last updated.
A colleague once created a great Excel dashboard report but forgot to add any identifying information. When we shared it with our supervisor, he didn’t know who made it since there was nothing in the doc.
That’s why it’s important to include a footer! In the next paragraph, we’ll cover sharing your Excel dashboard with others.
Sharing Your Excel Dashboard with Others
Sharing your Excel dashboard with others is a great way to show info in a clear way. There are several methods to share it. Exporting your dashboard to PDF can make it easy to share. You can also email it, with some tips for formatting and organization. Plus, publishing your dashboard online can help reach a bigger audience. So, you’ve created an awesome dashboard – let’s get those insights out there!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Woodhock
Exporting Your Dashboard to PDF for Easy Sharing
Exporting your Excel dashboard to PDF is a must! Here’s how in 3 simple steps:
- Step 1: Click File tab, choose ‘Export’.
- Step 2: Select ‘Create PDF/XPS Document’ from the list.
- Step 3: Choose save location and give the file a name. Then click ‘Publish’ to create your PDF dashboard.
The perks of sending your dashboard as a PDF? Easier to share, keep design & formatting without worry of device type changes, and practical for printing versions. Plus, no need for Excel – the recipient can open it using any PDF viewer!
Fun fact – Adobe invented the Portable Document Format (PDF) in 1991! Now, let’s learn how to email your dashboard. Quick and easy!
Sending Your Dashboard via Email
Sending your Excel dashboard via email is a convenient way to share it. No fancy software or tools needed, just follow these 3 easy steps!
- Save as PDF. Go to File > Save As, then select PDF from the dropdown list. This ensures that the formatting and layout of your dashboard remains intact.
- Compose a new email. Add any additional info or context about the dashboard in the body.
- Attach the PDF file. Click on the paperclip icon and select the saved PDF version. Make sure the file size isn’t too large as some email providers have size restrictions.
Hit send and you’re done! This makes it easy to share with colleagues, clients, or stakeholders who may not have access to other software. Plus, you can quickly receive feedback from others.
For example, when I needed to share a budget report with my team while working remotely due to COVID-19, I created a PDF version of my Excel dashboard and shared it via email. This allowed us all to stay up-to-date without delay or difficulty, despite being geographically dispersed.
Publishing Your Dashboard to the Web to Reach a Wider Audience.
To share your Excel dashboard with a larger audience, you can publish it on the web. Here are four easy steps:
- Step 1: Save your dashboard as a webpage. In the “File” tab, select “Save As.” Choose “Web Page” (*.htm; *.html). Click “Save” and choose a location.
- Step 2: Upload your webpage to a web server. You can use your own website or free cloud services like Google Drive or OneDrive.
- Step 3: Share the URL. Send the URL through email, social media, or instant messaging apps.
- Step 4: Add password protection (optional). Use an online service such as Password Protect PDF, Password Protect Video, or WinZip to restrict access.
Publishing dashboards on the web is a great way to reach more people. Businesses can share them through emails or social media accounts, or embed them on main websites.
For more advanced features, try dashboard software with effortless customization, no coding skills needed.
FAQs about How To Create A Dashboard In Excel
What is a Dashboard in Excel?
A Dashboard in Excel is a visual representation of data that provides a quick and easy way to analyze and present data in a more understandable manner.
How to Create a Dashboard in Excel?
To create a Dashboard in Excel, you need to follow these steps:
- Select the data you want to include in the Dashboard
- Create Pivot Tables for your data
- Add Charts and Graphs to your Pivot Table
- Create an Interactive Control for users
- Add Conditional Formatting to highlight important data
- Arrange the Dashboard for easy navigation
What are the Benefits of Creating a Dashboard in Excel?
There are several benefits to creating a Dashboard in Excel:
- Provides a visual representation of data that is easy to understand and analyze
- Helps identify important trends and patterns in your data
- Enables you to make informed business decisions quickly
- Improves overall productivity and efficiency by streamlining data analysis and reporting
- Can be customized to meet your specific needs and requirements
What types of Dashboard Charts can you create in Excel?
There are several types of Dashboard Charts you can create in Excel, including:
- Pie chart
- Bar chart
- Line chart
- Scatter chart
- Area chart
- Combo chart
Can you use Macros to create a Dashboard in Excel?
Yes, Macros can be used to automate certain tasks related to creating a Dashboard in Excel, such as formatting or data input. However, using Macros requires advanced knowledge of Excel and VBA programming, and can be time-consuming to set up initially.
Where can I find Dashboard Templates for Excel?
You can find Dashboard Templates for Excel in various sources, including:
- Microsoft Excel Online
- Excel Dashboard Templates from other websites
- Dashboard Software
- Data Visualization sites such as Tableau
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.