All things Dashboards

10 reasons why you should take Excel dashboards seriously

This post on how to make Excel dashboards was one of the first I published here, and it still is one of the most popular posts. But I actually prefer broader data visualization discussions than Excel tips & tricks. Excel dashboards, although something that interests me, was never a priority. Until now. I just launched an ebook on Effective Excel Dashboard design (warning: in [...]

By | February 24th, 2017|Dashboards, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Excel dashboard: Using Excel for catchment area analysis

I'm sure you're familiar with the Walmart growth map. A basic visualization looks like this:  Obviously this has a lot of potential for a more design-oriented approach, and there are many examples online. Here is the map created by Nathan Yau at FlowingData: I wanted to play with the data too, but from an Excel user perspective there isn't much [...]

By | June 20th, 2013|16 Chart types: dashboards, Dashboards|2 Comments

Consistent dashboard design: write a simple sentence

You know that you should avoid the Crystal Xcelsius dashboard style, but now what? Where do you place your charts, kpi, tables? Here is a trick that you can use: write a sentence or a paragraph that summarizes the core message. For example "Our sales are growing in an expanding market, and we are gaining market share, specially in these [...]

By | November 29th, 2010|16 Chart types: dashboards, Dashboards|1 Comment

How Do You Sell an Excel Dashboard?

Dmitry asks: I face an issue that has nothing to do with Excel itself: human resistance. I showed a dashboard to my manager and he answered to me that my dashboard is too difficult for him and for top management and insisted to use simple XL-tables with lots of data. I'm a bit confused, why such innovative approach is not [...]

Fighting IT? Prototype an Executive Dashboard in Excel

I am a moderately advanced Excel user. This means "a dangerous person" for the IT department, but I like this daily fight, and Excel dashboards are among my preferred weapons. Let's see how they can be used. Excel is the best tool for executive dashboard prototyping, because of its flexibility and development costs. Creating a fully functional prototype is not hard [...]

By | December 10th, 2008|16 Chart types: dashboards, Dashboards|15 Comments

Performance vs flexibility in Excel: Demographic Dashboard Lookup Edition

I am sure Albert Einstein was thinking of Excel dashboards when he said "everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler". Let me tell you why. Demographic Dashboard: The VBA edition I published some time ago a first version of my Demographic Dashboard to show how an average Excel user could design a dashboard. This version is [...]

By | April 25th, 2008|16 Chart types: dashboards, Dashboards|2 Comments

Car dashboards: a broken metaphor for executive dashboards

Some metaphors are really stupid. Convincing people that running a company is like driving a car and you need a similar dashboard is one of them. If you are naive enough to buy it, most dashboard vendors will happily fill up your precious screen real estate with irrelevant gauges and and speedometers designed to look "cool". Futuristic aesthetics sells very [...]

By | April 21st, 2008|03 Beyond perception, Dashboards|Comments Off on Car dashboards: a broken metaphor for executive dashboards

Excel dashboard competition

Bonavista Systems announced today an Excel Dashboard Competition. Participants stand a chance to win an iPhone, a workshop hosted by Stephen Few and a copy of Few's "Information Dashboard Design". Unlike other competitions, there is no data set. You just have to use Excel and MicroCharts, their sparkline generator. You don't need to buy MicroCharts to enter the competition, just [...]

By | April 11th, 2008|16 Chart types: dashboards, Dashboards|4 Comments