Dashboards are daily staple for some of us who need to report status to our bosses, present them in weekly meetings or generally CC half the world with what is up on our end.
There are several ways in which you can spice up the dashboard, one of the simple things to do is, to replace the standard Red, Green & Amber with Smileys 🙁 😐 🙂 Just follow these 3 simple steps add smileys to your dashboard.
First create a dashboard as usual
Of course, this is what you do everyday, so move on to next one
Add a column to display smiley symbols
The standard spreadsheet fonts like Arial, Verdana or Comic Sans (ahem) do not have smiley symbols as characters. You need to change the font to “Wingdings” (just select the cells, hit ctrl+shit+f to change the font), in this font, the characters JKL stand for
:) :| :(respectively.
Thus, in order to show smileys in the new column you can write a simple if formula like
=IF(target < sales,"J",IF(target > sales,"L","K"))
Finally, add conditional formatting to change the smiley color
Select the smiley cells, and launch conditional formatting dialog to specify conditions to change the color of cell contents. For eg. red when sales < target, blue when sales > target and gray otherwise as shown below:
So go ahead, wow someone with a smiley dashboard.
12 Responses to “Dashboarding Fun – Display Smileys in your excel dashboards”
Display smileys? Yeah, you don't want anyone thinking your dashboard is serious or anything.
Hmm.. I guess smileys have traveled alot to become mainstream, these days I see them pretty much everywhere, agree that all those wink, sleep, dance, rofls may be silly, but the basic smile, sad are so common that often I had to backspace them in much more formal mails, documents. 🙂
I use these all the time! A simple graphic makes it very easy to compare performance figures in large lists.
In response to Jon's comment, regular arrow placeholders work well for dashboards intended for a more conservative audience; see http://chandoo.org/wp/2006/09/05/3-steps-to-create-cool-dashboards-in-excel/
I'm with Jon on this one. It doesn't seem too professional to have smileys on a business dashboard. I would prefer the arrows.
thank you for sharing
There a spelling mistake in the 3rd line of the "Add a column to display smiley symbols" section above "Ctrl+Shi.."
Only took 16 months to pickup
[...] How to Display Symbols in Excel [...]
Thanks for the useful information
[...] Dashboarding Fun – Display Smileys in your excel dashboards |Add a column to display smiley symbols … Display smileys? Yeah, you don’t want anyone thinking your dashboard is serious or anything. … I guess smileys have traveled alot to become mainstream, these days I see them pretty much everywhere, agree that all those wink, sleep, dance, rofls may be silly, but the basic smile, [...]
I have a spreadsheet similar to the one above where it shows arrows depending on the previous cell number. However, what I really want to do is every time new quarter (4 x quarters) results are added for the year I would like to show the arrow (up, down, same) from what the previous Quarter was but struggling on what to put in the formula. Current formula is for only 2 cells but I now want to add a further 2 cells so I have a total of 4 cells?
Any suggestions for how to include F & G but I only want to know if the progress from the previous cell?
ñ = Arrow Up
ó = Stays the same
ò = Arrow Down
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