Do You Want Your Reports to WOW! Your Managers?Dashboard Reporting With ExcelWill Show You HowGood Excel dashboard reports provide more information in less reading time than any other type of report. Now, you can create your own Excel dashboards.
byCharley Kyd, MBAMicrosoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports
Tens of thousands of Excel users in at least 160 countries are using my dashboard reports to improve business insight and WOW! their managers. Here's why...Good Excel dashboards can savehoursof time...when you update your reports, and when your managers and other VIPs read them.Excel dashboards can present data from any number of sources in one report. Even in one chart.They're created and maintained by users, who understand what the information means, not by programmers, who usually don't.They're a spreadsheet solution, not a macro solution.They can adapt quickly -- often, in minutes -- to managers' changing information needs.They can trap errors that normal reports typically ignore.And, because you already own Excel, your dashboard software costs nothing extra...it's free!Unfortunately, few people know how to createuseableExcel dashboards. But because this is such an important topic, I want to provide you with everything you need to produce your own dashboard reports. That's why I created the Excel Dashboard Kit.The kit includes my e-book,Dashboard Reporting With Excel, and more than 20 Excel workbooks. You'll learn more about the book and the kit below.An Overview of the E-BookI used tohatespreadsheet reporting.As a manager, I hated to receive those long Excel reports. I hated to slog through those stacks of paper, each page with long columns of tiny numbers.Somewhere...somewhere in all those numbers were key trends and exceptions that I needed to recognize as serious problems and opportunities. I hated the thought that I was missing so much treasure hidden in so much clutter.As a spreadsheet user, I hated to prepare those reports. I hated to spend long hours, month after month, turning the crank, producing reports that people often ignored.
(One time, I accidentally printed three copies of the same page in the same report. No one noticed.)Then I found a solution an old copy of theHarvard Business Review.The article was written in 1979 by George Blake, the VP Finance of one of the largest companies in Mexico. It explained how his company was using many small graphs on one page to report management performance.(His small charts were much like themini-chartsI show below.)In seconds, his managers could recognize critical trends. They could compare one measure of performance to another. They could ignore the expected and concentrate on the surprises. They were freed from those many pages of long columns of tiny numbers.Large Companies
"With your help and the information in your eBook, Im creating a dashboard report the likes of which my company has never seen."Im sure Ill get lots of questions andthis will give me a ton of visibilityin the organization."Scott Papay, Six Sigma Black Belt, Trane Residential
I fell in love with dashboards!Back then, I was working on my first book,Financial Modeling Using Lotus 1-2-3. Because we couldn't create small charts in 1-2-3, I added a chapter that showed how to create "mini-graphs" using text characters in spreadsheets. This solution was primitive, but popular.Then Microsoft introduced Excel, and I fell in love all over again. With Excel, I could deliver professional-quality management reports.Finally, in 2004 -- after nearly fifteen years of development -- I decided to show Excel users the amazing results we could get from dashboard reporting with Excel. I had to tell Excel users about the reporting power they already have at their fingertips!The version for Classic Excel (2003 and before) is 150 pages long; the version for New Excel (2007 and after) is 200 pages.These books explain two key topics:1. They explain how to create Excel dashboard reports that provide readers with more information, more quickly, than with any other form of reporting I know of.2. They explain how to make your dashboards and other reports quick and easy to update by linking them to a spreadsheet database.Both topics are mandatory. You never, NEVER want to create an Excel dashboard report that you can't update quickly.At last count,enthusiastic Excel usersinat least 165 countries have purchased my Excel dashboard books and templates.My Excel Dashboard BookSmall Companies
"You're my hero! This is incredibly slick."I'm an independent consultant, andthis should WOW a lot of clients."Mark Johnson, Principal, Vector Group Services
Here's a description of each chapter:1. The Advantages of Dashboard Reporting With Excel.This short introductory chapter tells much about what you already know if you spend much time on this site: Excel can produce great dashboard reports.I call them "magazine-quality" reports. I also introduce the Management-Reporting Pyramid, which is the best way I've found to describe the level of detail that managers need in their reports.2. How to Create Mini-Charts for Dashboard Reporting.The chart on the left is a typical Excel chart that's been reduced to a small size. The chart on the right is amini-chart, which is a key ingredient of Excel dashboard reporting.The step-by-step instructions in this chapter show you how to easily convert your charts from small, unreadable ones into mini-charts that your managers can read easily.3. Charting Techniques for Dashboard Reporting.There's more to dashboard reporting than merely creating small charts. This chapter discusses a variety of other techniques to enhance charting for dashboard reporting. I compare gauges, which Excel doesnt support, to far better display methods that Excel does support.4. Create Figures that Use Both Charts and Worksheets.Much of dashboard reporting uses spreadsheet cells to complement charts. This chapter describes typical techniques. The chapter also explains how to force charts to work together. Inthe dark-red figure on the right below,for example, each column of charts uses the same Y-axis values. This allows readers to compare each companys performance within each column of the report.5. How to Use Excels Camera Tool.Most users ignore Excel's Camera Tool, but it's crucial for adding tables to Excel dashboard reports. This chapter describes a variety of reporting techniques that only Excel's Camera Tool can achieve.For example, in dashboards we often need to display tables that use row or column spacing that doesn't line up with with the worksheet that displays the tables. And we occasionally need to rotate a table for various reasons.In this extreme example, the boundaries of the two tables don't line up with the underlying worksheet; and both tables have been rotated 90 degrees. However, both tables still are dynamic. That is, their values still change as the data changes.This chapter explains many reasons to use the Camera Tool, and how to use it easily.6. How to Funnel Data into Dashboard Reports.At first glance, dashboard reporting is all about ways to create a great-looking report page. But the real challenge for Excel users is this: How do we update Excel easily so that dashboards dont quickly send us to Spreadsheet Hell? This chapter explains the key ways to flow data into your dashboards easily, including PivotTables, Excel-friendly OLAP, and the INDEX-MATCH functionality.
7. How to Use Spreadsheet Databases for Dashboard Reporting.In my experience, most spreadsheet databases are badly managed. As a consequence, they often cause more trouble than they're worth. This chapter explains a simple way to set up spreadsheet databases for reliable spreadsheet reporting.8. How to Build Dashboard Reports in Excel.This is the key chapter in the book. It explains the steps necessary to create this Excel dashboard report. Here, the charts are all mini-charts (chapter 2) and the tables rely on the Camera Tool (chapter 6).More importantly, this chapter explains how, each period,you easily can update your dashboards in seconds!9. Magazine-Quality Dashboard Designs.As a general rule, Excel users aren't known for their artistic skills. This can be a problem when we're trying to create professional-quality dashboard reports.So what can we do if we don't have the skills to create good-looking designs? We steal them, of course! Before Bloomberg boughtBusiness Week, BW published great charts and tables. But these days,The Wall Street Journalis my favorite source of examples. This chapter provides a variety of charts and tables that illustrate my "thieving" techniques. For each illustration I briefly describe how to create versions of those figures using Excel.International Users
"I purchased the Dashbord Kit and I thinkit's brilliant.It offers clear and precise advice for practical purposes."Sami Jrvensivu, Business Controller, Flkt Woods Ltd. Finland
Information-rich Excel dashboards offer the most effective way I know to explain business performance. Excel users typically can modify these reports in a few minutes, if the data is available.This means that managers finally can have the information they need, when they need it, in a format that they can understand easily. Finally, Excel users can use Excel to clearly communicate business information.As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world who has figured out how to (1) create great-looking Excel dashboards, and (2) update them easily. AndDashboard Reporting With Excelis the only book that shows you the important techniques.Here's What You Get...The E-Book Kit my dashboard e-book along with more than 20 workbooks, including:The working dashboard reportthat the book shows you how to create.Four Excel database workbookswith sample data for your dashboard report.The PivotTable workbook,with examples of how to use GETPIVOTDATA in worksheet formulas to return specific values from a PivotTable.The traffic-light workbook, that you can experiment with to fully understand how it works.The Camera-tool workbook, with examples of how you can use this valuable tool.Six chart-figure workbooksthat show Excel versions of figures from business magazines.Get the Excel Dashboard Kit Now!Learn how to createprofessional dashboard pages, with mini-charts, tables, and great colors, so you can give your managers, clients, and co-workers information that's easy to understand quickly.Learn how to createtime-saving report workbookswith formulas linked to Excel data worksheets, so you can update your data in minutes and your dashboard reports in seconds.