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Do You Want Your Reports to WOW! Your Managers? Dashboard Reporting With Excel Will Show You How

Good Excel dashboard reports provide more information in less reading time than any other type of report. Now, you can create your own Excel dashboards.

by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

Savings AlertTens of thousands of Excel users in at least 160 countries are using my dashboard reports to improve business insight and WOW! their managers. Here's why...

 Good Excel dashboards can save hours of time...when you update your reports, and when your managers and other VIPs read them.

 Excel dashboards can present data from any number of sources in one report. Even in one chart.

 They're created and maintained by users, who understand what the information means, not by programmers, who usually don't.

 They're a spreadsheet solution, not a macro solution.

 They can adapt quickly -- often, in minutes -- to managers' changing information needs.

 They can trap errors that normal reports typically ignore.

 And, because you already own Excel, your dashboard software costs nothing's free!

Unfortunately, few people know how to create useable Excel dashboards. But because this is such an important topic, I want to provide you with everything you need to produce your own dashboard reports. That's why I created the Excel Dashboard Kit.

The kit includes my e-book, Dashboard Reporting With Excel, and more than 20 Excel workbooks. You'll learn more about the book and the kit below.

An Overview of the E-Book

I used to hate spreadsheet reporting.

As a manager, I hated to receive those long Excel reports. I hated to slog through those stacks of paper, each page with long columns of tiny numbers.

Somewhere...somewhere in all those numbers were key trends and exceptions that I needed to recognize as serious problems and opportunities. I hated the thought that I was missing so much treasure hidden in so much clutter.

As a spreadsheet user, I hated to prepare those reports. I hated to spend long hours, month after month, turning the crank, producing reports that people often ignored.

(One time, I accidentally printed three copies of the same page in the same report. No one noticed.)

Then I found a solution an old copy of the Harvard Business Review.

The article was written in 1979 by George Blake, the VP Finance of one of the largest companies in Mexico. It explained how his company was using many small graphs on one page to report management performance.

(His small charts were much like the mini-charts I show below.)

In seconds, his managers could recognize critical trends. They could compare one measure of performance to another. They could ignore the expected and concentrate on the surprises. They were freed from those many pages of long columns of tiny numbers.

Large Companies
"With your help and the information in your eBook, Iím creating a dashboard report the likes of which my company has never seen.

"Iím sure Iíll get lots of questions and this will give me a ton of visibility in the organization."

I fell in love with dashboards!

Back then, I was working on my first book, Financial Modeling Using Lotus 1-2-3. Because we couldn't create small charts in 1-2-3, I added a chapter that showed how to create "mini-graphs" using text characters in spreadsheets. This solution was primitive, but popular.

Then Microsoft introduced Excel, and I fell in love all over again. With Excel, I could deliver professional-quality management reports.

Finally, in 2004 -- after nearly fifteen years of development -- I decided to show Excel users the amazing results we could get from dashboard reporting with Excel. I had to tell Excel users about the reporting power they already have at their fingertips!

The version for Classic Excel (2003 and before) is 150 pages long; the version for New Excel (2007 and after) is 200 pages.

These books explain two key topics:

  1. They explain how to create Excel dashboard reports that provide readers with more information, more quickly, than with any other form of reporting I know of.

  2. They explain how to make your dashboards and other reports quick and easy to update by linking them to a spreadsheet database.

Both topics are mandatory. You never, NEVER want to create an Excel dashboard report that you can't update quickly.

At last count, enthusiastic Excel users in at least 165 countries have purchased my Excel dashboard books and templates. 

My Excel Dashboard Book

Small Companies

"You're my hero! This is incredibly slick.

"I'm an independent consultant, and this should WOW a lot of clients."

Here's a description of each chapter:

1. The Advantages of Dashboard Reporting With Excel. This short introductory chapter tells much about what you already know if you spend much time on this site: Excel can produce great dashboard reports.

I call them "magazine-quality" reports. I also introduce the Management-Reporting Pyramid, which is the best way I've found to describe the level of detail that managers need in their reports.

Mini-chart for Excel dashboards2. How to Create Mini-Charts for Dashboard Reporting. The chart on the left is a typical Excel chart that's been reduced to a small size. The chart on the right is a mini-chart, which is a key ingredient of Excel dashboard reporting.

The step-by-step instructions in this chapter show you how to easily convert your charts from small, unreadable ones into mini-charts that your managers can read easily.

3. Charting Techniques for Dashboard Reporting. There's more to dashboard reporting than merely creating small charts. This chapter discusses a variety of other techniques to enhance charting for dashboard reporting. I compare gauges, which Excel doesnít support, to far better display methods that Excel does support.

4. Create Figures that Use Both Charts and Worksheets. Much of dashboard reporting uses spreadsheet cells to complement charts. This chapter describes typical techniques. The chapter also explains how to force charts to work together. In the dark-red figure on the right below, for example, each column of charts uses the same Y-axis values. This allows readers to compare each companyís performance within each column of the report.

Excel camera tool5. How to Use Excelís Camera Tool. Most users ignore Excel's Camera Tool, but it's crucial for adding tables to Excel dashboard reports. This chapter describes a variety of reporting techniques that only Excel's Camera Tool can achieve.

For example, in dashboards we often need to display tables that use row or column spacing that doesn't line up with with the worksheet that displays the tables. And we occasionally need to rotate a table for various reasons.

In this extreme example, the boundaries of the two tables don't line up with the underlying worksheet; and both tables have been rotated 90 degrees. However, both tables still are dynamic. That is, their values still change as the data changes.

This chapter explains many reasons to use the Camera Tool, and how to use it easily.

6. How to Funnel Data into Dashboard Reports. At first glance, dashboard reporting is all about ways to create a great-looking report page. But the real challenge for Excel users is this: How do we update Excel easily so that dashboards donít quickly send us to Spreadsheet Hell? This chapter explains the key ways to flow data into your dashboards easily, including PivotTables, Excel-friendly OLAP, and the INDEX-MATCH functionality.

7. How to Use Spreadsheet Databases for Dashboard Reporting. In my experience, most spreadsheet databases are badly managed. As a consequence, they often cause more trouble than they're worth. This chapter explains a simple way to set up spreadsheet databases for reliable spreadsheet reporting.

8. How to Build Dashboard Reports in Excel. This is the key chapter in the book. It explains the steps necessary to create this Excel dashboard report. Here, the charts are all mini-charts (chapter 2) and the tables rely on the Camera Tool (chapter 6).


More importantly, this chapter explains how, each period, you easily can update your dashboards in seconds!

9. Magazine-Quality Dashboard Designs. As a general rule, Excel users aren't known for their artistic skills. This can be a problem when we're trying to create professional-quality dashboard reports.

So what can we do if we don't have the skills to create good-looking designs? We steal them, of course! Before Bloomberg bought Business Week, BW published great charts and tables. But these days, The Wall Street Journal is my favorite source of examples. This chapter provides a variety of charts and tables that illustrate my "thieving" techniques. For each illustration I briefly describe how to create versions of those figures using Excel.

International Users
"I purchased the Dashbord Kit and I think it's brilliant. It offers clear and precise advice for practical purposes."
Information-rich Excel dashboards offer the most effective way I know to explain business performance. Excel users typically can modify these reports in a few minutes, if the data is available.

This means that managers finally can have the information they need, when they need it, in a format that they can understand easily. Finally, Excel users can use Excel to clearly communicate business information.

As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world who has figured out how to (1) create great-looking Excel dashboards, and (2) update them easily. And Dashboard Reporting With Excel is the only book that shows you the important techniques.

Here's What You Get...

The E-Book Kit my dashboard e-book along with more than 20 workbooks, including:

The working dashboard report that the book shows you how to create.

Four Excel database workbooks with sample data for your dashboard report.

The PivotTable workbook, with examples of how to use GETPIVOTDATA in worksheet formulas to return specific values from a PivotTable.

The traffic-light workbook, that you can experiment with to fully understand how it works.

The Camera-tool workbook, with examples of how you can use this valuable tool.

Six chart-figure workbooks that show Excel versions of figures from business magazines.

Get the Excel Dashboard Kit Now!

Learn how to create professional dashboard pages, with mini-charts, tables, and great colors, so you can give your managers, clients, and co-workers information that's easy to understand quickly.

Learn how to create time-saving report workbooks with formulas linked to Excel data worksheets, so you can update your data in minutes and your dashboard reports in seconds.

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Order Details

Excel Versions:

Versions available for Excel 2003 and for Excel 2007 and after, Windows or Mac


Instant download of zipped Excel and PDF files. If you ever need another download, you can get it at any time.


One full year, unconditional.


All prices are in US Dollar currency.


Two copies: One for work plus one for home.

Will Your Company Reimburse You?

If you need a receipt so your company can reimburse you, no problem. You'll receive an emailed receipt within minutes of purchase. If its format doesn't meet your needs, I'll work to get you what you need.

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Only $39.00

New Excel

Classic Excel
Sample Excel Dashboard Reports
The following examples will give you an idea of what's possible to do. I created them entirely in Excel, with no macros. They use techniques I explain in my book.
DB2 Excel dashboard   DB2 Excel dashboard
This is Report 5 from IncSight DB2. It uses mini-charts and two tables, both described in the book.   Forbes magazine used to print a table like this in each issue. This report uses seven tables and a chart, as discussed in the book.

DB2 Excel dashboard
DB2 Excel dashboard
For years, Business Week published a report that looked exactly like this Excel version.   Because I didn't like the colors Business Week used, I created this modified version.

DB2 Excel dashboard
DB2 Excel dashboard
Each column of charts uses identical Y-axis values. The book shows the technique.   Even black-and-white Excel dashboard reports look great.
Just a Few of Many Testimonials

"Your e book is FANTASTIC!!! The techniques informed by you really break everything down to simple easy to understand steps, besides enhancing my knowledge of Excel (never heard of the camera tool before).

With just an initial reading (and cannibalizing from your dashboard!), I created a dummy dashboard in 2 days "

Manoj Kapashi
Cost Analyst
Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation

"First, thank you so much for your Excel dashboard books, work files, and articles. Iíve been working with spreadsheets since Visicalc on an Apple IIe. Your resources have opened up a completely new level of usage that I had never thought of.

"Within the small commercial fishing company, located in Seattle just north of you, I plan to use six or seven standardized dashboards for financial and operational metric reporting. Your Excel dashboards have made this possible as a formalized BI platform is overkill and too expensive for the companyís needs.

"About a month ago, I used what I learned in your Dashboard Reporting with Excel to produce a one page printed report summarizing a potential business acquisition. Our companyís President, CEO and Board members were blown away by the format and summarized information.

"Thank you, Charley, and if I can ever take you out to lunch it would be my pleasure, "

Ron Barrett
Ocean Peace, Inc.

"We love your e-book and have deployed a good number of dashboard using it !!! Our Clients think we are gods..."

John Clark
Business Intelligence Director

"I learned more from your Excel dashboards ebook in 1 day than I learned in months at investment banking and management consulting."

Adam Altman

"I must say that together with you book, your Dashboards are fantastic.

"I spent a day getting familiar with their inner logic in order to make them work with our existing Excel report that used scorecs scattered across several worksheets.

"And I am very, very happy with the result. This is going to have a great impact on our internal reporting.

"You have one more very happy customer here... in Cambodia!"

Michel Dauguet
DFDL Mekong

"With the help of your e-book, I was able to design automated scorecards that weíve been using for 2 years now."

Marc Labrie
Senior Business Analyst
Mabe Canada

"I bought your e-book, "Dashboard Reporting With Excel" last year Ė a fantastic purchase!"

Kevin Hodge
Key Account Mgr
General Mills

"Your book is fantastic! Have learned more from that book than I have in 20 years of using spreadsheets."

Albert J Rossman
Senior Manager, Financial Integration
Abbott Laboratories

"What a great book!

"Now I can apply my newfound charting skills to quickly create dashboards on how my trust line of business is performing."

Darryl Meyers
Senior VP
Wells Fargo Private Client Services

"A godsend! I wish I had purchased your ebook a lot sooner."

Peter Cassinelli
SCA Systems Ltd.

"The book is a joy! Your writing is simple, elegant, and clear. So mahalo nui loa, as we say in Hawai`i Ė thank you for your very great effort."

Toddy Hagans
Data Specialist
Hamakua Health Ctr

"I purchased your book and it has been an awesome tool. I was made aware of your resources while I was earning my MBA. I'm so glad I saved that link because this material is helping me complete this high profile task."

Warren Walker
Copy & Print Services Midwest Manager
Duke Energy

"All I can say is fabulous! It's unbelievable what I have been missing for years.

"The Camera functionality alone makes the small cost of your book and files worth every penny and more.

"Excellent, many thanks."

John Rixon
Assoc Business Manager
Kraft Foods Inc

"Your book was of immense help to me. I produce dashboards on a regular basis in my life as a CFO and generally have reduced time in spreadsheet hell."

Shaun Spalding
(Moscow, Russia)

"The dashboard e-book is absolutely awesome!

"I didnít realize Excel could do what I wanted it do!

"Iíve started setting up our dashboards to update the look of our annual report."

Heidi L. Rockwood
Admin Assistant to the VP
University of Illinois

"I purchased your book this morning! Love it!"

Dallan Lax
Streamline Business Solutions, LLC

"Bought the book and the files. So far, wow-wee!"

Alex Ortolano
Marketing Product Manager
"I wanted to let you know that the product has been extremely helpful in implementing a new dashboard tool for our department. I've been an Excel user for over 7 years and the info in your manual has enlighten me many times over."

Chuong Ma
Product Analyst
Triad Financial
"The book has been great, & has given me a lot of ideas about how I could use dashboards to present a mix of financial and statistical data"

Mark Lees
Engineering Manager
"I am just writing to tell you about how helpful your book has been...

"I am sending you the advance I have achieved so far. The report is incomplete because all the information for it is still being generated. But I wanted to share it with you...

"Your book is well written and very clear on every explanation."

Luis Iturriaga
Quality Systems Consultant
IngenierŪa, Calidad y Competitividad

"The book is fabulous!"

Clarence Daniel
Knowledge Manager
Green Mountain Energy Co.