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5 Powerful Excel Dashboards for Analytics Professionals

Overview

  • Dashboards are ubiquitous in the industry. Every analyst should be well versed with how to create dashboards
  • Excel is an excellent tool for creating powerful dashboards and we’ll see 5 examples from different industries here

 

Introduction

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Business analytics involves using data to make crucial strategy-level decisions. The question is – how do we represent that data in a way that’ll help our leadership team or decision-makers come to a consensus quickly? This is your skills as an analyst and a dashboarding specialist will shine.

Let me take a simple example to illustrate this.

Let’s say you’re a Sales Manager in a large corporation. You need to make critical business decisions based on revenue, salesperson performance, and other key metrics. How would you do it? Would you be scrolling through thousands and possibly millions of rows of data or looking at metrics individually?

This can get very haphazard. Step up – Dashboards! Creating powerful and impactful dashboards is a key part of an analyst’s role and trust me, senior executives love a well-made dashboard.

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Many of you must be wondering – why Excel for building dashboards? Microsoft Excel provides a lot of options for making dashboards and it is also one of the universally accessible tools for the majority of organizations. Also, a lot of small startups may not be able to afford highly expensive business intelligence software. Therefore, MS Excel provides the edge in making dashboards.

In this article, we will be discussing five powerful Excel dashboard templates for different domains.

This is the fifth article in my Excel for Analysts series. I highly recommend going through the previous articles to become a more efficient analyst:

I encourage you to check out the below resources if you’re a beginner in Excel and Business Analytics:

 

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Dashboard?
  2. Excel Dashboard #1 – Online Sales Tracking
  3. Excel Dashboard #2 – Marketing Analytics
  4. Excel Dashboard #3 – Project Management
  5. Excel Dashboard #4 – Revenue Tracking
  6. Excel Dashboard #5 – HR Management

 

What is a Dashboard?

The most useful (or at least referred to) dashboard right now is the Covid-19 tracker. Now that we have understood the importance of dashboards. Let us understand what are actually dashboards.

We can use this dashboard to understand the scenario of your country, state, and city. It provides us with the flexibility to choose from cumulative and daily data.  The dashboard gets updated on a daily basis and is a great example of how powerful dashboards are.

But before we dive into Excel dashboards, let’s answer the key question – what exactly is a dashboard?

A Dashboard provides a high-level overview of your business. It usually comprises of various charts, tables, and visualizations that are pleasing to the eye and easy to interpret. The design and contents of the dashboards are pre-decided and are always available at the click of a button, which helps in the process of quick decision making. These dashboards are usually handy to perform drill-downs.

For example, as a sales manager – let’s say you want to view your country sales. You find that sales in one state account for 80% of your total business! Now you may want to analyze even further by going deeper into city-level sales in the dashboard.

Now that we have a handle on what dashboards are, let’s dive into the different types of dashboards we can design in Excel!

 

Excel Dashboard #1: Online Sales Tracking

In recent times, many businesses are closing their offline shops and opening up sales on their websites. The post COVID-19 era seems to rely a lot on the online marketplace. If you are selling things online or even if you have a small business, then this dashboard by Microsoft will help you make crucial decisions! 

It keeps you up to speed by tracking metrics of your business such as sales and profits. This dashboard provides a very simplistic view of your business and yet it is very powerful. If you are just beginning your journey in Excel dashboarding, I would recommend you start with this dashboard template.

 

Excel Dashboard #2: Marketing Analytics

Whether you work in a large organization or in a startup, the marketing team drives the sales of your product or service. Marketers need to perform a lot of research to understand their customers, the business, and the overall trend.

Let us see a simple and elegant dashboard that will cater to almost all marketing teams:

Lead generation is a crucial process for businesses all around the globe. A lead is any person who shows interest in your product or service. This lead can express its intent in many forms, such as putting your product in the cart (E-commerce), contacting you directly, or through any other marketing channels. You can provide more information about your products and services to the lead so that they can potentially become your future customer.

This dashboard helps you keep track of the basic marketing Key Performance Indications (KPIs).

 

Excel Dashboard #3: Project Management

Project management is a very complex job that includes various stages and processes. Since it requires a lot of planning and evaluation, here’s another amazing dashboard for project managers or business analysts that will help you keep track of your project:

The dashboard keeps tracks of your tasks, timelines, and budgets by incorporating multiple visualizations such as Gantt charts, overall task status, budget, and pending items. It helps you streamline your project, keeping your project on schedule without overdoing your budget.

 

Excel Dashboard #4: Operational Revenue

Operational Revenue is the revenue generated by the company’s primary business activities. This dashboard is a little advanced than the previous ones. It provides the Expense and revenue of the company from an operational perspective:

The dashboard offers the option to choose the region from the top. The one-page dashboard provides a drill-down for the company’s data. It also includes one of my favorite sparkline visualizations. You should definitely try out the features in this template in your own Excel dashboards.

 

Excel Dashboard #5: Human Resources

This is a really interesting Human resource management dashboard as it is from the pre COVID-19 era. This one-page dashboard essentially provides you with all the general key metrics one would like to see and enquire about the HR department:

In the dashboard, you have the option to choose the region and the department from the dropdown. This dashboard includes various color schemes and a lot of interesting visualizations that you must try out for yourself!

Since the world is in the midst of a pandemic right now, a lot of companies are opting for work from home culture. According to you, what should be the metrics that must be captured for making HR dashboards in the post-pandemic world? Let me know in the comments!

 

End Notes

In this article, we covered five powerful Excel dashboards from different domains to help you become an efficient analyst. I hope these templates will help you in building amazing dashboards and save you a lot of time.

If you liked this article, let me know your favorite dashboard features which you feel make a dashboard great.

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