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Design Principles of Excel Dashboards & Reports

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Get yourself into a dashboard state of mine with these best practices for Excel dashboards and reports.

Content from Excel Dashboards & Reports For Dummies by Michael Alexander. Learn more: http://bit.ly/FDExcelDashboards
and
SalesForce.com For Dummies by Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufma. Learn more: http://bit.ly/ForDummiesSF

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Design Principles of Excel Dashboards & Reports

  1. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  2. WithapologiestoBillyJoel,inExcel,thedifferencesbetween buildingadashboardandcreatingstandardtable-driven analysesareasgreatasthedifferencesbetweenCalifornia andNewYork. Shallwecounttheways? BUTFIRST,beforewecount,somedenitions… GetYourselfintoaDashboardStateofMind BestPracticesforExcelDashboards&Reports DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  3. DeningDashboardsandReports Itisn’tdifficulttousereport anddashboardinterchangeably. Infact,thelinebetweenreports anddashboardsfrequentlygets muddied.Itiscommontosee reportsinaccuratelyreferredto asas“dashboards”justbecause theyincludeafewcharts. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  4. Reports •Adocumentthatcontainsdatausedforreading orviewing. •Assimpleasadatatableorascomplexasa subtotaledviewwithinteractivedrilldowns,similar toExcel’sSubtotalorpivottablefunctionality. ••Oftenallowfortheenduserstoapplytheirown judgmentandanalysistothedata. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  5. ExampleofaReport ThisreportshowstheNationalParkovernightvisitorstatistics byperiod;notethatitisn’tsteeringthereaderinanypredened judgmentoranalysis.Itsimplypresentstheaggregateddata. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  6. AndWhat’saDashboard? Avisualinterfacethatprovidesat-a-glanceviewsintokey measuresrelevanttoaparticularobjectiveorbusinessprocess. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  7. Dashboardshave3MAINATTRIBUTES They... 1Typicallygraphicalinnature,providingvisualizations thathelpfocusattentiononkeytrends,comparisons, andexceptions 2Oftendisplayonlydatathatarerelevanttothegoalof thedashboard 3Containpredenedconclusionsthatrelievetheenduser ffromperforminghisownanalysis(giventhatdashboards aredesignedwithaspecicpurposeorgoal) DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  8. Here’sabestpracticesexample ofadashboard. Seethedifference?Good!You’reeasingintoaDashboardState ofMind.Now,PREPAREFORGREATNESS! DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  9. Simplify! Howmanytimeshassomeonetoldyouthatyourreportslook“busy”? StephenFew’smantra:“Simplify,Simplify,Simplify” DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  10. BeAnti-Clutter Don’tturnyourdashboardintoadatarepository! Admitit.Youincludeasmuch informationontoareportaspossible, primarilytoavoidbeingaskedfor additionalinformation.Wealldoit. ButinthedashboaButinthedashboardstateofmind, youhaveto ghttheurgetoforce everypieceofdataavailableonto yourdashboards. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  11. Avoidusingcolorsorbackground llstopartition yourdashboards. De-emphasizeborders,backgrounds,andother elementsthatdenedashboardareas. Avoidapplyingfancyeffectssuchasgradients, pattern lls,shadows,glows,softedges, andotherandotherformatting. Don’ttrytoenhanceyourdashboardswithclipart orpictures. KeepitClean Avoidthefancyformatting DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  12. LeanonLayout Uselayoutandplacementtodrawfocus Insteadofusingbrightcolorsor exaggeratedsizingdifferences, leveragelocationandplacement todrawfocustothemostimportant componentsonyourdashboard. AAFASCINATINGANDTRUEFACT: Studiesshowthatuserspay particularattentiontothe upper-leftandmiddle-left ofadocument. DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  13. Alwaysusecommastomakenumberseasiertoread. SHOWTHIS:2,345NOTTHAT:2345 Onlyusedecimalplacesifthatlevelofprecisionisrequired;there’s rarelyabenetforshowingthedecimalplacesinadollaramount. SHOWTHIS:$123NOTTHAT:$123.45 Likewiseinpercentages,useonlytheminimumnumber ofdecimalofdecimals. SHOWTHIS:43%NOTTHAT:43.21% Formatverylargenumberstothethousandsormillionsplace. SHOWTHIS:17MNOTTHAT:16,906,714 FormatNumbersEffectively ShowThis,NotThat DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  14. Onlyusethedollarsymbolwhenyouneedtoclarifythat you’rereferringtomonetaryvalues.Ifyouhaveachart ortablethatcontainsallrevenuevalues,andthere’sa labelclearlystatingthis,youcansaveroomandpixels byleavingoutthedollarsymbol. FormatNumbersEffectively ShowThis,NotThat DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  15. Alwaysincludeatimestamponyourreportingmechanisms. Alwaysincludesometextindicatingwhenthedatafor themeasureswasretrieved. Usedescriptivetitlesforeachcomponentonyourdashboard. TightenTitles DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  16. Lightlycoloredlabelsgiveyouruserstheinformation theyneedwithoutdistractingthemfromtheinformation displayed. Idealcolorsforlabelsarecolorscommonlyfoundinnature: softgrays,browns,blues,andgreens. Itmayseemcounterintuitive,but:de-emphasizelabelsbyformatting themtohueslighterthantheonesusedforyourdata. LabelEffectively DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports
  17. LearnMore Pickupacopytoday www.wiley.com/buy/9781118842249www.wiley.com/buy/9781118842249 DesignPrinciplesofExcelDashboards&Reports

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