Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 8. How to Build Dashboard
Reports in Excel
Prior chapters have discussed the various elements needed to
create a dashboard report: charting techniques, the Camera tool,
funneling data to your figures, and so on. Now it’s time to bring all
these elements together in an actual dashboard report.
The Structure of a Dashboard Workbook
Dashboard workbooks aren’t designed like standard workbooks.
Because they have unique requirements, they have a unique
structure. Before I explain how to create a dashboard report, I
should explain why it’s designed as it is.
The Importance of Scope
Standard Excel reports and dashboard reports differ in one
fundamental way: scope .
Standard reports tend to have a narrow scope. They deal with one
topic that’s reported on at least one page. Dashboard reports tend
to have a wide scope. They can deal with many different topics, all
of which are reported on one page.
This distinction affects the design of your report workbook in one
significant way: Dashboard reports of different topics are much
easier to create and maintain if every figure—every chart and every
table—is supported by its own worksheet in the report workbook.
Occasionally, however, dashboard reports can contain many
different figures about related topics. For example, dashboard
figures could show sales for each of many products, variances for
each of many accounts, spending for each of many departments,
and so on. Here, where the instances vary only by the product or
account numbers, the data could all be in the same worksheet.