Dashboard Spy Update: Several readers have recommended the Charley Kyd eBook on using Microsoft Excel for Business Dashboards. I have started reading it myself and it is excellent. There are also many excel dashboard templates available as well. Use this link: http://tinyurl.com/exceldashboard
The best way to get started in using Microsoft Excel for business dashboards is to grab an existing excel dashboard, take it apart and try it out on your own data. Here is a post that shows such a spreadsheet dashboard with a link to the xls file.
I see that many of you Dashboard Spies out there are very interested in the tried and true excel spreadsheet approach to dashboards. Thanks to a download from javaplanetinc.com, there is this excel dashboard xls file for you to play with. Here are 2 screenshots. The first shows the graphic presentation of the data. There are 2 larger sections across the top of the screen. On the left is a pie chart showing salary by department and on the right side, we have a simple listing of outstanding balances. Below this section we have 4 smaller portlets (sales by region, budget by project, current output by plant, and sales by business unit). To show you that this is straight excel, I’ve taken a screenshot of the second sheet in the workbook. Try this with your own data and see what you come up with. Remember to send us your dashboard screenshots so that we can all learn how executive dashboards apply to your business.
Homework: Don’t ignore excel as a dashboard tool. It’s graphing ability is powerful and the number of users is unmatched. If you need a refresher on the tool, see these books on excel.
Reading Assignment: Continuing on our study of the Malik book on implementing dashboards, please read this passage and think about how your company would go about choosing a dashboard vendor:
There were four key criteria and feature requirements during the vendorselection process:
1. Web based for ease of access, administration, upgrades, security, andso on
2. Industry standard to ensure that experienced resources could be hired
3. Recognized and well-respected leader in the online analytical process-ing field
4. Company that spends a better than average percentage of revenues onR&D to ensure that applications remain competitive
So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.