(If you use Excel 2007 or beyond, see How to Quickly Create & Update Professional Dashboard Reports in Excel 2007 & Beyond.)
Do most of your Excel reports look somewhat like these gray
Excel users in more than half the countries in the world use Excel
templates like these to create reports for their clients,
co-workers, managers, or investors.
You can do the same, using any version of Excel on either a
PC or a Mac.
These reports look like they came from the pages of a business magazine, or from the business graphics department of a high-priced consulting firm. Unless you tell your managers, they probably won't guess that you created the reports in Excel.
I created these reports with one primary thought in mind: As
Excel users, our purpose is to communicate business
information clearly and quickly; our purpose is not to
impress our audience with pretty pictures.
Well-designed Excel dashboard reports combine two important features; one is obvious, one is not.
The obvious feature is illustrated at the right: professional-quality report pages. This feature is important because the reports will delight your managers and other readers, as the testimonials in the right-most column illustrate.
Even so, the other feature probably is more important to Excel users, Dynamic Updating. Here's what this is all about:
If you want to update your reports quickly each period, your report workbooks should contain no data. Instead, they should contain only a few settings, along with formulas that return data from a simple database workbook.
Then, when it's time to update your reports, you take three steps:
Any number of reports can link to the same database workbook. This means that you update your database workbook once and then use it in any number of dynamically updated reports. This reporting strategy can...
From a personal standpoint, here's why dynamic-updating is more important to most Excel users than having popular reports: We Excel users never want to distribute popular reports that take a long to time create. That situation traps us in Worksheet Hell.
I designed these reports to avoid Worksheet Hell. The reports all link to two simple database workbooks. One workbook contains actual performance data, the other contains target data. (If you don't need target data, just enter zeros for your targets.)
In short, formulas are dynamic; data is static. Your reports should be dynamic if you want to update them quickly. And that's exactly how I designed IncSight DB.
Compare IncSight QnE and IncSight DBTwo sets of Excel dashboard templates are available, IncSight DB and IncSight QnE. This table compares them.
"You made me look like a superstar with this. Nice work."
National Mgr of Technical Support
COSCO Container Lines Americas
"I purchased the Dashbord Kit and I think it’s brilliant. It offers clear and precise advice for practical purposes."
Fläkt Woods Ltd.
"...one of the most useful tools in my Excel tool belt. I have built several dashboards that had a positive impact on my career. Thank you!"
Acuren North Slope Project Manager
"I bought the Plug N Play this morning and printed out my first scorecard this afternoon.
"The product works flawlessly! Thanks so much for developing this wonderful file.
"It makes my heart sing!"
Thank you for putting together a fabulous tool.
"Thank god I found this great tool on the web. Definitely a must have!"
Financial Planning Manager
LAN Airlines (Peru)
"Fabulous. Simply fabulous.
"Having built large systems with Excel, including significant VBA code, I was already very familiar with most of the topics. But it's your implementation of all of it combined that is truly stellar."
Fin'l Rptg Analyst
Earth Tech Canada
"All I can say is Wow! This is amazing! I have done dashboards before but never like these."
"The dashboard software I purchased from you is
awesome! Easy to use and the manual is easy to follow, nice work."
"I think it's brilliant! It is unique in unleashing some real power from Excel without programming."
Strategic Leadership Consulting Pty Ltd
"I purchased your product and have found it immensely valuable."
Dr. Paul Eykamp
Academic Strategic Planning and Analysis,
Univ. of Calif, Office of the President
"I recently acquired your Dashboard kit and find it loaded with useful tips. You have designed a very nice, very helpful tool."
Gannon Consulting, Inc.
"I love what you did with Excel. Please keep me informed if you come up with something new."