Do you use (or make) Excel Dashboards? Tell us about yourself to win a free training kit

Posted on December 16th, 2010 in Charts and Graphs - 54 comments

(You can win my latest Excel Dashboard Training kit free, read this post to find out how.)

Excel Dashboards Poll

Over at Jorge‘s ExcelCharts blog, he started a very good discussion on Excel Dashboards: Who needs them anyway?.

Jorge has very good experience designing, working on and teaching about dashboards. So he uses all that skill to gaze in to a crystal ball, to understand who needs excel dashboards and why.

According to him, key features of dashboard users / makers are,

  • You are inquisitive & analytical. You want your business to be ahead of others and you know that answers to several lingering questions can be found in data.
  • You are oppressed with insight-less BI / DW systems that take 6 months create new reports and 1 year to show meaning. You are angry because your competitor is acting nimble and using data better.
  • You find solace in Excel and its simple approach to analysis and discovery. You are forced to learn macros, advanced visualization skills so that you can make powerful dashboards and models.
  • You are sensible enough to know that data analysis, visualization & communication skills are what you need to stay competitive in labor market.

While Jorge‘s points are all valid, they also paste a dull picture of Excel based Business Intelligence world. To me the world looks much more awesome. May be because I haven’t got the experience.

What Comes to mind when I think of dashboard users /makers

When I think of someone using Excel / Tableau / R / Access / or some other tool to communicate a story to change the world (world = their department or team or company or school or home), this is what comes to my mind.

  • You are inquisitive. You question assumptions, data models and trends. You know that data cannot lie.
  • You are analytical. You see some data, and you know what conclusions can be drawn, what hypothesis can be tested and what assumptions can be broken.
  • You are realistic. While Tufte and Few might scream from the top of their homes about good data visualization, you know what is possible given your reality. You know that almost everyone hates big changes. So you bring change, one chart at a time.
  • You know that selling your story is as important as having it.You know that your dashboards, analysis needs to be wrapped and presented in a great way to get them across.
  • You are responsible. You know that it is not your job to make that new report / chart / dashboard. You know IT is paid millions to do it. But you will still do it because you care and feel responsible.
  • You are fun. You know that at the end of day sulking will not get you anywhere. So you also relax and take everything with awesome attitude.

But it should not really matter what Jorge or I think of who you are.

So here is a big question.

If you make or use dashboards, please tell us who you are.

Describe your role, responsibility, why you use dashboards, what challenges you are facing and what awesome things you have achieved.

What you get in return

Bonus Material:

Written by Chandoo
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54 Responses to “Do you use (or make) Excel Dashboards? Tell us about yourself to win a free training kit”

  1. godzilla says:

    I think we are also the best at what we do! And we are helpful with our skills. I don’t make it through a day without showing someone how to do something in either Excel or Access.

    We are also critical, concise and have an eye for design.

    My worst nightmare is releasing a report and then realising the data is incorrect.

    What is most important is i love what i do!

    Im responible for all the reporting/analysis/databases for a large insurance company. My daily challanges are batteling with vicious data that hate me, but i love taming the data, moulding it in to something that is beautiful.

    My biggest achievement is the total redesign of an entire reporting suite. Reducing a whole day task in to minutes.

    Thanks Chandoo!

  2. Jorge Camoes says:

    Chandoo, thanks for taking the discussion further, and you have very good points. I wouldn't say I have "a dull picture of Excel based Business Intelligence world". If you love data analysis and data visualization, it can't be dull.

    It's not always easy to sell your ideas, but once you have the chance to present them you can hardly fail, because most people are smart, and understand the logic and actually embraces them. They just needed a better model. Read comment by reader Dan R in my post to see what I mean.

    Now, you can't just show a couple of cool dashboards and expect to change the whole corporation culture, data visualization - wise. Inertia is a powerful force, and bad chart defaults don't help.

  3. Chandoo says:

    @Jorge: I agree with what you say. I know how hard fighting inertia is. I battle with that bugger every waking moment and sometimes in dreams 🙂

    @Godzilla... You raise several good points. Congratulations on successfully pulling off the reporting suite redesign. It is a massive job to visualize such change and actually implement it.

  4. Martin says:

    Chandoo,

    I also work in insurance (reinsurance, actually), and within my responsibilities, one is to help senior mgmt to take better decisions, by helping them creating reports using data from several systems, all of them somehow connected.

    A great deal of this is due to the fact that I was for almost 10 yrs the IT Manager, being the only one that understands computers at the office, and well, the only one in IT. I love what I do, I am an analytical person, and I love Excel, so it was just a matter of time that I naturally developed some reports that helped users, not only mgmt, to understand the info.
    And clearly, I agree with Godzilla when he says we love it. !!!!

  5. Cyril Z. says:

    I work as Technical Project Manager, and I use (in fact I created them) dashboards every day to report to management.

    I started by created the Gantt Project Dashboard I give your audience (do you remember ?) which helps me knowing the status of my projects. These dashboard is gently spreading around me today.

    Now we experiment with a more synthetic one, reporting globel health of projects (budget, defects, milestones, quality, risks)

    This makes me happy, because you teach me a lot, and people around me are quite pleased (ans also afraid) with my skills.

    Regards

    Cyril.

  6. Greg B. says:

    Hello.
    My official title is "software specialist", which sounds like I can float on air. But really, I'm more of a DBA for my company - similar to godzilla. I also support the business system we run on here. They call me "software specialist" because there's nobody in this company of 300+ people that knows any better. That is a good and bad thing - I have complete control of how I do things, but I have nobody to rely on for advice/guidance. I've become totally reliant on people like you, whose mission is to educate, to further my knowledge.

    My biggest challenge is quite simple - the speedometer and the pie chart mindset that is so amazingly prevalent. And I'll admit that I was one of them. I got Excelcius for this company to do what mgmt wanted - the speedometer and stop light pie dashboards. But something just wasn't sitting right with me on it, so I hopped onto the internet and stumbled onto Few and Tufte and the work Fabrice has done to incorporate all these theories into excel and went from there. I've since expanded onto your website and others that share their knowledge of excel. I've learned more in the past 2 years than I had in the 10 years previous to this job.

    Mgmt was very reluctant to let go of the familiarity of the pie chart and speedometer until I showed them I could combine all the info they were getting on 10 pieces of paper into 1 piece of paper with no loss of information. You could tell they liked the change, but didn't want to let go of their security blankets.

    Now, the COO calls me "the guru".

  7. Tom says:

    I am a performance analyst within a medium sized local government. Our organization has embraced performance measurement and analysis and my responsibility is coordinating the selection of performance measures, ensuring accurate reporting of said measures, and synthesizing the data into information via various reports and a dashboard that I've created from scratch. I have discovered a genuine passion for Excel (which is disturbing to most people) and I find that I'm never fully satisfied with any of my creations. I'm always tinkering with my projects to improve their presentation and efficiency. I view myself as a bit of an artist (to design visually appealing projects), a scientist (to both craft complex Excel workbooks, and as an analyst/consumer of the information), and a jack-of-all-trades (in order to understand the implications of the data for several diverse departments in our government). The only time I experience "flow" (other than when I'm playing video games) is when I'm working in Excel creating something new.

    Sincerely,
    Tom

    P.S. Chandoo - I 100% agree with your point about "selling your story." A little flashiness can go a long way!

  8. [...] There are great comments below, so why don't you join the conversation? And check out Chandoo’s post [...]

  9. Venus says:

    I don't use dashboards for anything, ever. Maybe I need to delve into dashboards to understand their value.

    @ Tom, I agree. People look at me in a funny way when I talk about Excel.

  10. RLC says:

    I work for a small firm that uses Excel in the most limited of ways, though they don't think so!

    I embarked on an Excel/Analysis self-education that has taken me from Jorge's work, through Few, Tufte, and so many others (this post would be unweildly if I named them all)...not the least of which is you Chandoo! I have taken numerous graphic design courses (I nearly have a degree in it) to make my reports more visually pleasing and to draw the viewer through my story in the way I intend. I have learned and am learning constantly new programming languages and new programs. My quest for this knowledge shall never end.

    Suffice it to say I now craft work that is the envy of my co-workers. It is dynamic, programmatic and requested. I owe this to my inquisitive nature, my desire to add visual appeal as well as value, and to the amazing people like you Chandoo that tirelessly maintain blogs and sites that teach and inspire us to new heights and greater vision.

  11. Monique B says:

    CHANDOO !!! Have you been looking over my shoulder? You must have been peeking when you wrote your description of Excel dashboard users/makers !!
    I am a staff accountant for a small/med size grain trading company and data analysis is what I live for when I am at work. When dealing with commodities and fluctuating prices not just month to month but hour to hour, pennies can make a big difference. My challenge is to capture those trends and communicate them to merchandisers in a way that they can see - at a glance what is happening and of course, time is everything. This, like other industries, is a "good ole' boys" network and change is not only slow but also painful. I have also found that it is more effective to spoon-feed them my charts and dashboards but they are beginning to catch on. No - it is not my job to do this. I do it because I also have that peculiar passion for Excel... There is no feeling like taking a job that takes 2 days and turning it into a job that only takes 30 minutes !
    My biggest fear is that someone here will catch on to how much fun I am having and turn it into a job.

  12. R2 says:

    I'm a PhD student, with an accountant bachelor's degree and a master in finance degree as well, and some interesting business background as consultant for small and medium business in Mexico (... all kind of business, you have no idea... I've some awesome stories but I'll leave that for another time hehe).

    In the past, as well now in my research, I use dashboards as an excellent tool to approach to a lot of data and obtain meaningful information for myself as well as for my clients/advisors. That is because everybody have a different insight of the business or case in hands; but with a quality dashboard they have a good idea of the general picture, and they have detail information they desire too! all in one-package.

    Another point is that top managers don't have time to analyze all the data (or they don't want... or they don't know how...) so in my experience they want indicators of what is good, and what is wrong, or how their company is acting compared on how it should be; and the dashboard is the perfect tool to do this.

    Believe me, you helped me become even more awesome! thanks

  13. Joe says:

    Role: Financial Analyst

    Responsiblity: I create a lot of financial reports for my company for different divisions. I also analyze any relevelant financial data that comes along during the course of the day. In addition, I handle all of our fixed asset information.

    Why Dashboards: Currently I am trying to come up with a design for a dashboard for our monthly reports. We have several excel files that go out to many different departments and managers. While the data we have used is nice, not everyone looks at numbers the same way. Most people need to see a visiual in order to make a relevant decision. I taking MBA classes and my statistics professor (who had us do a lot of work in excel) stressed the importance of telling a story with the data. If you cannot properly present your data if you have reached a conclusion that can save the company money it will not be implemented because it is hard to find the point of all the numbers. I have turned to dashboards to present a proper story with mountains of data so we can move forward with the best financial decision possible.

    Challenges: My biggest challenge is coming up with a dashboard that I can use on a regular basis which includes a proper mix of bar, line, speedometer, themoter charts to properly convey the story to our divisions. Once I have the design down the data will be able to tell its story.

    Successes: I haven't completed my dashboard yet, as I am trying to find the best designs. However, my graphs have recieved great reviews. Also on an excel related note I have managed to automate data so when running the same reports each month you do not have to change anything.

    Personality Traits: Type A

  14. mexicanjosh says:

    I am working as a Business Analyst. I have been trying to teach myself Dashboards and constantly checking Chandoo.org. Unfortunately, I am nothing more than an amature "Dashboarder". I would love to learn more. I use Dashboards for market intelligence analysis, basically benchmarking prices, I will be trying to develop a dashboard for KPIs.

  15. chrisham says:

    For the last 12 years I have been working as a Purchasing Professional, and I have been very thickly involved with different ERP Programs and Databases. Data Analysis is one key area that I have been actively contributing in my Business Function, and I am constantly developing different (Excel based) Dashboards for measuring the teams KPI's.

  16. My role now in the company is to automate manufacturing process
    i also do some freelance automation with Excel and
    basic programming.

    before that, mi role was as a process engineer
    I started to monitor production lines and then discover dashboards inside business intelligence when i was getting the master degree.

    so i start to implement dashboards little by little in our organization because my challenge is to deploy application with high management persons used to read paper and lot of data in form of tables instead of graphics and get acceptance.

    My goal is to change all key reporting of the company in dashboards
    that have drill down and drill up capabilities.

    My awesome thing happened to me using dashboard is to be asked to implement it in other areas and get full dedicated time in order to achieve it.

  17. Sushil Bansal says:

    The saying, trying to find needle in a haystack has now been replaced by finding 'actionable intelligence' in the 'Petabytes of data'. We are constantly gathering data in our personal and professional lives. The trick is to separate the useful from the useless.

    That's where dashboards help me and other decision makers in my organization.
    I will characterize a well-designed dashboard to a 'flashlight' in the hands of a person trying to find his way in a darkened alley.

    As an analyst, I try to use the latest and the greatest tools, yes, I will admit even Excel.
    While the elitists amongst us, may pooh-pooh the utility of Excel, but it is surely a powerful tool in my arsenal.

    In the business environment, highest on my list of concerns is data accuracy. Users will complain and even accuse you of presenting wrong analytics, but most of the times, it is bad raw data which is sometimes difficult to investigate. On several other occasions, I have noticed that missing data in a timed series has caused problems but that is comparatively easy to handle.

    And, yes, the proverbial situation of users not knowing what they want in dashboards is not uncommon. However, I am convinced, if the data is available, then in the hands of good analyst, it can be presented in a million ways which the users had not even thought of.

    In today's society where everyone demands 'instant gratification' a well-designed dashboard can go a long way in taming the information beast.

    Now, let's get back to work to see what we can do with Excel today!
    Chandoo, thanks for being the 'Energizer Bunny' for our flashlights!

  18. I’m a project manager in the telecommunication area, and as a PM, I’m constantly making decisions in order to have my project in the planned path of costs, time and scope.

    One of the best ways I've found the last year to have as much information as possible in only one place, is making a summary of one sheet with the support of Excel.

    Before I discovered those Excel’s sites in the blogosphere, like chandoo.org, I used to work with a lot of excel and word files, paper sheets and so on to have the information I need on a day to day basis; so when I need to take an step ahead or show the management the progress of some work of the project it was not easy.

    After making my first dashboard (1 page summary with the progress of the Installation and Commissioning of around 2500 UHF links) I lost some time at the beginning to create it, but it really worth because after that, it was only necessary to fill in the data in the worksheet to have all the status by sites, by regions, by dates, etc; and the management was happy having all the info in one page :-). Besides this, I have learned a lot of things on Excel, including formulas, tips, macros, etc.

    I’ve continued to create dashboards in order to simplify my life and having the information in the palm of the hand, for me, and for the project team, and for the management.

    I’m currently working on a new project and, for sure, after defining what we will deliver to our customer, I will need to create another Dashboard, so it would be very interesting to have a better background and know-how from the “Dashboards’ Gurus” like chandoo to make awesome summaries.

    Honestly, I’ve already thought on buying the last training kit from Chandoo, but maybe I’m waiting Santa ;-).

    I’d like to finish this long post with to quotes I like too much:

    “The information is power” and “Good charts tell stories”.

    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year 2011.

    Daniel Rodríguez.

  19. Milind Vaidya says:

    This is a great site. Very useful and practical for Project Managers like me.

  20. Alejandro says:

    I'm an Accountant but I'm specialize in just reporting (something like infographics) at my job, and one of the tools that I help with was dashboards, using querys that could graphically give us info about every transaction for 17 branches across the country, every one of them side-by-side for comparison. Combining P&L info and LIVE information. But everything in the simplest graphic interfaces.

  21. I am a Sr. Market Research Associate with a US based organization and quite new the concept of dashboard. I remember joining the mailing list of chandoo.org couple of weeks back and since then I am busy doing so R&D and converting my team reports into dashboards. I got success with few of them but most of them were basic dashboards explaining av. time to any request in a given day, total open request in a day, sources of request and who worked on every request.

    I am not new to excel but for sure dashboard is a new thing to me.

    P.S Chandoo: Who else than an amateur needs the Training Kit free? 🙂

  22. Terry says:

    Hi,
    Firstly thanks for the great resources on your site. I am constantly amazed by what people can do with excel when they combine ingenuity with Excel's power and flexibility.
    I am an accountant, employed by a local government. I have spent a lot of time building and using financial models. I am concerned at the complexity of some of the models I see. I fear most of them are full of errors, and the best are often not well understood by users. I am interested in building in some simple dashboards to make some of the critical relationships and the effects of changing assumptions more visible.

  23. Francis Chin says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Thanks for the opportunity to share with everyone about my perspective of using Excel Dashboard to solve real commercial challenges.

    If you still remember me, I was the one who came here and learn so much from chandoo.org to create the Travel Dashboard, that wow my audience.

    I am a consultant - specializing in helping my clients to optimize their business - in this case, one of my client is an online travel agent.

    Their need:
    1. A simple, versatile and flexible system to massage to visualize information from various sources.
    2. To get a feeling of where the business is going just by looking at the KPI
    3. Able to drill down further to see the root cause of KPI that is showing "red"
    4. Decide on actionable items

    Benefits
    1. Clarity
    2. Focus 80% of the time analyzing and decision making instead of arguing on the accuracy of the data collected.

    Challenges of using the Excel dashboard
    1. Because our clients rely on real time information, the best we can do at this stage is that we capture data on weekly basis and look at information for the past. Staff need to export information from google adwords, analytics and our reservation system and paste into Excel as raw data. So this part is still manual.

    2. In the event they needs new KPI, new charts..etc., they won't know how to do it, only me.
    This is because, they are not savvy enough to understand the complexity of setting it all.

    But overall, they are happy with Dashboard and really making full use of it to manage their business.

    🙂

  24. Hi Chandoo

    I want to say thanks so much for the resources you've shared - awesome mate, really helpful.

    This week I finished my first "rough" looking Dashboard to let my customers know how their server storage state is.

    Each maintenance I record their storage levels and I have been using it to keep track of storage space for me to let me know when it is time to upgrade their systems and to let me know something about the data generation patterns for scoping new servers in the future - you know you create x GB data per day, you want it to run for y years before upgrade so you need z GB of storage to cope with a 15 percent margin of error to allow the defrags to continue to run.

    Simple really but I needed something to bring a sense of urgency to proceedings recently and so built a front end to assist me with a couple of simple chanrts showing how much drive space was left and so on.

    Then this week i build another one that tracks my interenet usage as I am on an uncapped plan and want to make sure that I am not blowing through the cap (and paying 15cents per MB for overage. It even calculates that for you.

    Again thanks for the resources and I'll keep powering on and trying new things that will help me keep my hand in with excel, my favourite program I may add. Been using it since DOS days (1990-91).

    Andrew Martin
    Ballarat VIC AU

  25. anand deodhar says:

    would like to know how to use dashbord in daily reporting purpose

  26. Ashof says:

    Hey Chandoo,

    I'm a Data Analyst, MIS Manager in Indofil Industries Ltd. I came across your blog a month ago and this is my first reply to you. First of all.. Thank you very much!! You have helped me immensely in my work.
    My work here is to make Dashboards for all kinds of data representation.
    Initially i used to work in ICICI Prudential as a MIS Manager. Used to mostly work with Excel, Access and Desktop Intelligence. In this new company i'm using only Excel. These days i've started representing data in charts. The top management is very much impressed with it.
    When i look at large amount of data the first thing that comes to my head is to simplify it by reducing it to a pivot table and analyzing it.

  27. Arnab says:

    Hi,
    I am the inovation manager with a leading telecom company in India,
    My main role includes innovating new things,anlyzing current trends,taking proper decisions which benefits the company.
    My roles includes doing different kinds of dashboards in trends.
    Would like see dashboards in following areas
    1)Combination of Area and line chart
    2)charts with combination of different "control tools"

  28. Vijay S. K. says:

    Hello Sir,

    Myself working as AM in one growing Broking Firm. After long time spending in market with my competitor, even internally, i have to move ahed and to make organisation realise the values of advanced excel where we can present dashboard insted of chossing any software for the same.

    In my day to day work we have to keep track of claims which is actually tracking by my team member. And i have to prepare monthly and quarterly reports. Now i want same be present with some attractive dashboard which is something intresting to show the values in macro level. Dashboard can present large data in compact scale.

    So, i really think that i can make best use of this tutorial.
    Hope to hear somting from you very soon.
    And finally i would like to say thanks for gving us such a opportunity.

    Best Regards,
    Vijay S. K.

  29. Ram Kapoor says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I would like to thank you for the help you extend to the excel users.

    I have been working with a multinational financial firm as an HR analyst. My job is to help the Sr. Management in descision making with my Dashboards and reports, analysing trends to understand the outcomes of the implemented HR descisions and policies.

    Again, would like to thanks alot; as, I have learnt alot from your website (still learning), that how to visualize your data better and story telling part.

    Thanks alot,
    Ram Kapoor

  30. KB says:

    I'm a Portfolio Analyst with an insurance firm and have often used Excel but only just discovered the potential for dashboarding. I'm currently combining a number of visualisations of our exposures in various markets.

    Without any prior experience, I'm in at the deep end trying to build a dashboard for Sharepoint which has been quite difficult to learn to use. Struggling through the process on my own has been an adventure and so far my dashboard is a very basic collection of tables and charts. I'd love some training to improve the design and functionality which I'm sure would be appreciated by my users too.

  31. Radu says:

    Hello all,

    Chandoo, it amazes me everyday to find there are more and more people like me out there, people who find data analysis and reporting not dull, but as the only way to take the company to a whole new level of doing business.
    As for me, my official role is Customer Services analyst for a large mobile telecommunications company in my country. In fact, it's my job to create and implement reports for the senior management, as well as for third parties such as auditing firms. For the last 3 years+, I've redesigned almost all the reports that we send out: performance reports (for both the activity and the employees), market analysis, customer demographics analysis, benchmarks, forecasts and so on. I've also designed and implemented a few dashboards that the management not only loves, but is using on a daily basis. Why? Because no manager has the time to look for trends, performance drivers etc. within huge databases that the IT so graciously calls "reporting tools". So it's our job, as the people who analyze the data, to figure out those trends, drivers etc. and present them in an interesting and visually appealing way for them.
    Also, I was able to help my colleagues in understanding Excel in a series of in-house training sessions that we have created for them, which was very successful.
    But my greatest success this far was to be able to synthesize the entire department's activity in a 9 sheet report in Excel, in which I have combined the actual data with charts, tweetboards, visual evolution indicators, and for which I have received great reviews. I was inspired to create this by reading literally every post on your blog, and so I would like you to receive the "title" that my colleagues have given me: "the Master of Excel" 🙂

    Many thanks to you, Chandoo, and to all of you!
    Radu

  32. Lynn says:

    I work in the Environmental depatment of a utility, and have created some dashboards, but they are pretty low-tech. Could use some new tools to spiffy things up.

  33. Don Hartung says:

    I would in the IT strategy area and make and use executive dashboards. They are basic today but am looking to make them much more advanced. Looking forward to the stuff!

  34. Ethan Garcia says:

    I am a six sigma black belt and a corporate HR Director. I extensively use dashboards to manage processes within my organization. Although I feel my dashboards are very nice, they do not match the level of sophistication that I see on this website. Looking forward to using these.

  35. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this post Chandoo! You and Jorge have spoken our words! Thank-you also for all your tricks and tips over the years - you've made me look like a magician at times.

    When I started working in government Child Protection the monthly reporting system took 3 weeks to produce and the data was already 2 weeks old by the time it was available in 20+ .csv extracts from the data warehouse. It took almost an hour just to download the data. I created a dashboard reporting system that imported these .csv's into ACCESS, cleaned and transformed the data and then exported it to 5 (service reporting areas, eg. youth, in-care, intake, family). In those 5 workbooks I had about 25 tabs with pivot tables. After the data was imported I would refresh all the pivot tables and then open the report workbooks I had created. In these workbooks I had my dashboards which linked to the pivot table data workbooks. I then only had to refresh my dashboard reports, check for discrepancies, copy the reports and break the links. These dashboard reports were then uploaded to SharePoint. This monthly reporting took less than 3 or 4 hours to complete - depending on any problems with the data. I had to build this mostly on my own time as I had to continue with the old cumbersome reporting, but it was worth the effort. I documented the process so that the next analyst could easily pick it up if I got hit by a bus.

    I started using dashboards because I realized that the staff weren't using any of the reports that were taking so long to build. These were not data people - in fact they seemed fearful when someone gave them a 'wall of numbers' report - they'd get that deer-in-headlights look. Mostly I was dealing with nurses and social workers and they just didn't have the time to sift through the numbers to find their problems or solutions. They needed another level of analysis, which is dashboarding - telling and showing them the story. They were thrilled and eventually I was even able to get them to understand standard deviations. Data became fun and they were able to use the information to make (or not) changes.

    The biggest challenge came when a BIG vendor got the BI contract and IT was sub-contracted. Data access became unforgivable. Reports never came.

  36. Ram says:

    Hi Chandoo, I work for a multinational IT Distribution firm as the Finance head. I am always fascinated with Dash Boards and my ealier interaction with Dash Boards was with Crystal Xcelcius. I biult a sensitivity model for budgets when I worked in Australia & the same was appreciated well by the Senior Management both in Australia & Hk. But, I am really amazed at your dash boards in Excel and hope to use them soon in my business reporting.

  37. Ram says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    My first interaction with Dash Boards came when I did some dash boards with Crystal Excelcius. I did some sensitivity dash board for the budget which was widely appreciated by the senior management in my co., in Australia & Hk.
    Hoever, I am really astounded by your dash boards in Excel. I hope to use them in my current role as a CFO for IT Distrbution Group based in Dubai and having presence in the Europe & India.
    Well done keep up the great work!!

  38. Réal says:

    Hi! Business Analyst for a major telecommunication company, my job is in a contact/call center. Create reports that show customer satisfaction, cases/interaction types the agents use, agent reports and many more.

    Good knowledge of Excel, I really love the dashboard designs and looking to create my own dynamic ones.

    Awesome site!

  39. Jared says:

    I am a finance analyst at a large, multi-national, industrial conglomerate. I have been building dashboards in Excel for several years but I am always looking for new and better ways to reveal the information locked in the data. I have been trying to focus on cleaning up my reporting by simplifying the look and feel while more effectively using color to present meaning.

    I really appreciate all of the great information that Chandoo makes available on the site. Thanks!

  40. Patrick M. says:

    I'm an analyst at an energy trading (power), trading a financial hedging instrument in wholesale power markets. The job of our group is to take prices generated for every hour of every day for thousands of "nodes", analyze price movements and correlations, then execute trading strategies based on thousands of data points. Organizing data in dashboards is extremely beneficial for making accurate, well-researched trade recommendations, and they help manage the information overload we suffer from on a constant basis.

  41. Chris M says:

    I supervise a group of people and we are constantly looking for new ways to track/analyze our outputs. I am striving to create personal dashboards for each of my team members to use so they can track/view their own productivity and see how they are meeting their goals without intense number crunching on my behalf each and every month. Dashboards are the answer, I just have to learn how to make them!

  42. Mathias says:

    I am a Program Coordinator at a school in a university. One of my responsibilities is to monitor the performance of students (grade-wise) from semester to semester. Some information that need to be evaluated periodically are number of students with certain GPA ranges, the average, highest, lowest grades for each subjects, the performance of the lecturer based on student surveys. This information is best to be presented in a dashboard so that the head of school can have a clear idea about the students, a big picture which is also detailed enough. The main challenge is to fit the all the different data into a single page without making it too cluttered.

  43. Tanja Groth says:

    Hi Chandoo - thanks so much for your blog, I recommend it to everyone who shows even the slightest bit of interest!
    I work as head of marketing/industrial phd student at a new cleantech, and I use dashboards for everything from project management to business cases and market analyses. I've gotten amazing feedback from everyone I have to present anything to, and I look forward to becoming even better!

    There really is no better way to clearly illustrate what to do and why! I'm even planning on using the dynamic dashboard from excel 2010 that you recently blogged about in my phd!

    So thanks again - and merry xmas!

  44. Dalmiro Lagos says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    My name is Dalmiro I'm 20 and I'm from Peru and this is my first time here, following a post from Avinash I could find your web-page, what made me really happy because It's difficult to get someone who share all this valuable information for free.

    I work in a textil company at ecommerce sales (I studied International Business) that why I'm working in the cloud with Facebook and MercadoLibre (similar to eBay) for now.

    Data is what I get after every successful sale because I give to my customer all the information that they could need to make a easy purchase. Then I get some extra information from them and keep it in my excel book. In that way I create differents cases and reports where my principal objective is customer satisfaction.

    What excel can give you is incalculable, so I say thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with us.

    Greetings from Peru!

    Dalmiro

  45. Alanna says:

    I recently created my first SEO dashboard to analyze the performance of our new corporate site. I thought my Excel skills were pretty good, until I started getting into the data. Now I realize that I'm a total noob in need of some major training. I learned a ton by reading great sites, like this one, but I feel like I just opened Pandora's box. The one thing I'm really interested in is best practices for data visualization.

  46. Drew says:

    I am a Supply Chain Specialist in a die cast aluminum plant. I use excel for almost everything I do on a daily basis. I am fairly new to computers as I decided about 6 years ago to learn how to use one in order to change careers. It was not until I started at this company about 4 years ago that I started using Excel. At first I had no idea of how it worked, but I kept trying different things and learning as I went along. I kept hearing some of the brass talking about "dashboards". Never knowing what they were talking about, I did some researching. That's how I found Chandoo. Ever since, I'm like the king of Excel at the plant. I make all the different forms that we use, I track usage on fast moving items, and even made a somewhat primitive form of a dashboard to track loaner tools. Besides using it for my work, I run my household budget, set up a workout schedule, home-school my daughter and run a fantasy football league, all in excel. Now, I'm teaching myself how to use Access to further my dashboard for tools. I think I'm doing pretty good for no formal education in excel and just following Chandoo s advice and tips.

  47. Ninad says:

    Post a comment, 20% off - now that's an offer.

    I prepare dashboards for my department, but must admit that they are pretty static and am trying to get them to be dynamic (read as trying to learn the Offset and Index commands). My idea of dashboard is that it should potray your KPIs as at a particular period, but most importantly should contain Lead and Lag indicators.

    The main challenge in sourcing data and then to source it on a periodic basis. Also, if indicators are not in the "green zone", there'll be some excuses rather than what needs to be done to set things right. People often look at you some policeman who wants to give the management only the bad performance.

    The main challenge is to get people to use dashboards and them not being just a mail shot each month. The less cluttered the better, important being to get the important parameters out there "in the open"

  48. Vincent Loo says:

    I am looking for bullet charts dashboards. Do you cover ir in your course?

  49. Chandoo says:

    @Vincent: Bullet charts are not covered in this course. You can learn how to construct them in Excel School - http://chandoo.org/wp/excel-school/

  50. imran khan says:

    dear chandoo,

    my self imran khan , working in one of semi govt company in dubai called empost ,i am handling company receivables dept.

    our business is courier base , so in my daily activity i have to make a lot of reports in excel , if i know how to make dashboard report then i am the key person in a company to provide such a data in one sheeet.

    please help me out to know more abount how to make dash board reports ?

  51. Santhosh Kumar says:

    Hey Chandoo,

    I'm a regular reader of Chandoo.org and have incorporated many of your tips & tricks in my work with brilliant results. Thank You.

    I work in the ITES industry in Bangalore and industry as a whole survives on excel given the dynamics of the industry and the lack of "better" cost effective reporting tools. Not to mention additional licensing, training and more importantly scalable tools for analyzing data. Step in Excel. Almost everyone has used it in the industry at whatever level - from Cricket team lists to financial data modelling.

    I discovered the power of excel at a very early stage in my career (as a call center agent) and have not looked back since. I've moved ahead in my career in leaps and bounds with a lot of aid from excel. I've got a few oohs and aahs from people who receive my reports and understand the real meaning behind those mountain of numbers we generate.

    I started learning excel with F1 and when I discovered the internet and blogs like yours and countless others and the magic you create with excel, it has been humbling and has increased my thirst to master this tool. I haven't stopped learning since. I intend to give back to this community sometime in the future and your blog has been a principal motivator. Thanks again 🙂

    I'm currently work in operations & resourcing and some of the primary responsibilities include forecasting and reporting attrition, studying the tenure of staff in my Organization and deriving intelligence based on their tenure to aid support activities to help strengthen knowledge and curb churn. I use excel and have automated quite a few tasks with that. I love your dashboards and PM templates and have been learning to integrate it in a universal dashboard for my Organization. A long way to go.

    Eagerly waiting your modules on VBA.

    Once again, thank you.
    Santhosh.

  52. I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am glad to find this website through google. "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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