This is a Guest Post by Robert on Visualization Techniques for KPI Dashboards using Excel.
This 6 Part Tutorial on Management Dashboards Teaches YOU:
Creating a Scrollable List View in Dashboard
Add Ability to Sort on Any KPI to the Dashboard
Highlight KPIs Based on Percentile
Add Microcharts to KPI Dashboards
Compare 2 KPIs in the Dashboards Using Form Controls
Show the Distribution of a KPI using Box Plots
As you all know dashboards provide “Information at a glance” with often the power to “deep dive to analyze”. Most dashboards succeed in providing information. But the exceptional ones succeed in “at a glance” part of it while maintaining the deep diving capabilities. In this and next post we will discuss 2 powerful visualizations that can be added to your dashboards to provide better insights at a glance. If you are not familiar with excel based dashboards we recommend reading the dashboards using excel.
Part 3 of the series already displays parts of the relationships within the 5 KPI data sets by highlighting the 10% best and 10% poorest performers of the 4 KPI that are not selected as the sort criteria. But what if we want to have a closer look on how the KPI are related to each other? We need another analytical feature that enables the user to compare the complete data sets at a glance in a graphical visualization.
An XY scatter chart is the best way to analyze and visualize the relationship and correlation between two sets of quantitative data.
An XY scatter chart, however, is 2-dimensional and therefore limited to compare only two data sets.
Since we have 5 different KPI, we would need 10 different charts to display all possible combinations of KPI pairs on our dashboard. This would need too much real estate on the dashboard and it would probably be too complex and unclear for the users of the dashboard.
Again we need an interactive, flexible way to display the data in one single chart and let the user decide which 2 KPI to display (see above). Additionally we want to highlight the data points that are displayed on the dashboard table and of course we want to do this without VBA.
Download Excel Dashboard Visualization Techniques [part 1] workbook and read on how this is implemented.
- Create an input list form control with the names of the 5 KPI (calculation!E10:E14)
- Define two cells to store the results of the combo boxes to select the displayed KPI (calculation!E16:E17)
- Insert two combo boxes (from the forms control toolbar) on the dashboard and link the input lists and the cell links accordingly.
- Add 4 extra columns (calculation!AS:AT and calculation!AV:AW) and create OFFSET formulas to fill these new cell ranges with the values of the selected KPI (i.e. using the values in calculation!E16:E17, see 2.).
- Create an XY scatter chart with two data series (data source: the 4 new cell ranges, see 4.). Format the first series as circles without fill colors and the second series as circles with a grey fill color, add a legend to the chart and bring the chart to the dashboard.
- Reposition the chart on the dashboard (remember this trick: keeping the ALT-key pressed during resizing and repositioning makes the chart auto-fit to the cell grid underneath) and position the combo boxes.
- If you want to, you could easily add a trend line to the chart and display the equation and/or the R-squared value for deeper analysis of the correlation between the two KPIs.
That’s it. Play around with the new analytical feature: change the selected two KPIs, change the sort criteria, toggle the sort order or scroll up and down the dashboard table and watch the changes on the XY scatter chart.
What’s next? – Last Part of the KPI Dashboards using Excel
Make sure you have downloaded the Excel Dashboard Visualization Techniques [part 1] workbook
Go to next post: Part 6: Show the Distribution of a KPI using Box Plots
Also, Checkout our Excel Dashboards Page for more examples and resources.
Chandoo’s note: Thanks Robert for another excellent post.
Please leave your comments, questions and love here, Robert is a regular reader of this blog he will be happy to respond to you as early as possible.