How to Build an Excel Dashboard to Effectively Communicate Your Data

Excel dashboards are a great way to showcase your data, allowing you to present it in an easy-to-understand format. They help in visualizing the data by using charts, tables, and other graphical elements, providing an attractive display to convey a lot of information at once. In this article, we will explain how to build an Excel dashboard, covering everything from planning to sharing, step-by-step, so you can develop your own efficient and effective dashboard.


 Planning Your Excel Dashboard

When it comes to building an Excel dashboard, it’s critical to have a plan in place. Key steps to this plan include assessing data needs, defining intended outcomes, and establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Careful planning is important to ensure that your dashboard is designed to meet your business objectives.


 Data Preparation and Analysis

The next step in creating an Excel dashboard is preparing the data. You will need to import and clean data from external sources, get it ready for the pivot table, create the pivot table, and finally analyze the data using pivot charts. It’s essential to ensure that your data is accurate, up-to-date, and can support your business decisions.


 Building the Dashboard

When building your Excel dashboard, you can start by organizing the layout you want to use to effectively communicate your data. Also, selection of relevant dashboard elements like tables, charts, and other graphical elements will help in conveying the information. You will need to use your creativity and choose the elements that match your business needs.


 Customizing the Dashboard for Better User Experience

To create a better user experience, you will also need to add interactivity to the dashboard. This can be done using slicers, which allow users to filter the data by criteria of their choice. Additionally, you can add visual elements and other formatting options such as color-coding the dashboard to make it easier to read and understand.


 Sharing and Updating Your Dashboard

Once you have created your dashboard, it’s essential to share it with others. You can use Excel online to collaborate with other users by sharing the dashboard. It’s also essential to keep your data up-to-date as changes occur by incorporating updates into the dashboard. For better data privacy and security, you can also explore other analytics software.



Excel dashboards provide a great way to deliver information on key metrics to your team members, stakeholders, and clients. Good planning, data preparation, and analysis are essential to building an efficient dashboard, as well as customization, updating, and sharing the dashboard with stakeholders.


Q. What is the difference between a pivot table and a dashboard in Excel?

A pivot table is a tool for analyzing data, that allows users to summarize and group large amounts of data. A dashboard, on the other hand, presents key information from multiple data sources in an easy-to-understand format.

Q. Can Excel dashboards be automated?

Yes, Excel dashboards can be automated by using macros. Additionally, other analytics tools available in the market have more sophisticated automation features.

Q. How do I decide which KPIs to include in my Excel dashboard?

When deciding on KPIs, it’s essential to determine which metrics matter most to your business goals. You should also consider factors such as data availability and data reliability.

Q. Can I use Excel data analysis tools for complex data sets?

Excel data analysis tools are suitable for handling medium-sized datasets, though it might pose a challenge for more complex data sets. Using other analytics software, such as Tableau or PowerBI, may be required for more complex analysis.

Q. How do I ensure that my Excel dashboards are user-friendly?

To ensure user-friendliness, avoid overcrowding your dashboard with too much information, use hierarchical headings, and provide sufficient context for each visual element used in the dashboard.

Q. Can Excel dashboards handle real-time data updates?

Excel dashboards are capable of handling real-time data updates, but they can be challenging to implement. Other analytics software, such as PowerBI, may be more suitable for handling these types of updates.

Q. What are some of the best practices for sharing Excel dashboards with others?

When sharing Excel dashboards, try to keep it simple by avoiding complexity, maintain standards, and ensure that your data is accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, make sure to provide sufficient context and guidance on how to understand and work with the dashboard.

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