A good dashboard must show important information at a glance and provide option to drill down for details.
Showing Top 10 (or bottom 10) lists in a dashboard is a good way to achieve this (see below).
Today we will learn an interesting technique to do this in Excel.
Lets assume you are the owner of ACME inc. and you want to show the performance of your products in a dashboard. But since you hate clutter (and love Coyote, your lone customer), you want to show the top 10 products by sales & orders and give an option to drill down if someone is interested.
Lets say your data looks like this:
Now, follow these simple steps.
- Select your data & insert a pivot table (tutorial here).
- Use product as the row label & sales as the value for pivot table.
- Now, sort the products by descending order of sales – See this:
- Comeback to dashboard and point to first 10 rows of the pivot report using cell references.
- Type view more in a cell beneath the top 10 and press CTRL+K (this opens the hyperlink dialog box).
- Just point to cell A1 in your pivot report worksheet. Click OK.
- Now, if you click on the view more link, you will jump to pivot report instantly. Pretty neat, eh?
- That is all. Go sell some Mouse Snare or Iron Bird Seed. Mr. Wile is at the counter.
Advantages of this technique:
Ardent readers of chandoo.org or dashboard practitioners usually rely on a sort & scroll technique similar to the one we discussed in KPI Dashboards post. But as you can see, using formulas & form controls is a tedious process. If you want to filter your source data based on a criteria (say top products by sales where refund rate is more than 3%) then your formulas will be awfully long and complicated.
This is where pivot tables shine. They are easy to setup. You can sort & filter pivot tables in multiple ways & then link the output to dashboard tables (or charts) with ease.
Download Example Dashboard with top 10 tables
Click here to download the example dashboard with top 10 tables. This is a demonstrative file, not a real dashboard. So take it with a pinch of salt (or TNT if you fancy).
Do you show Top 10 values in Dashboards?
I use them all the time. You can see top 10 values in many of the dashboards I constructed or recommend. (here is 1,2,3). I think they are a great way to capture attention and encourage analysis. You can get top 10 values using either pivot tables like above or use formulas like large & small. You can even set up dynamic charts to show top 10 values. or use Conditional formatting to highlight top 10 values. I just love them.
What about you? Do you show top / bottom values in your dashboards? What techniques and ideas you follow. Please share using comments.
More Excel Dashboard Techniques:
- Display Alerts in Dashboards to catch user attention
- Budget vs. Actual charts in Dashboards
- Use shapes in Dashboards to make them effective
- More Excel Dashboard tips, tricks, templates & tutorials
Get Dashboard Training from Chandoo.org
I have made an hour long video training explaining how to construct Excel Dashboards using a recent dashboard I made as an example. If you work on dashboards, this is a good program for you. Click here to learn more.