If you’re using analytics and data processing on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you use Excel daily to process data and present it in meaningful ways.

In this blog, I’ll walk you through, some of the basics of a dynamic dashboard why it’s a powerful way to present information, and how you can implement it.

Why Use Dynamic Dashboards

Presenting data in excel is easy, right? You have a large number of graphs and formats to display information in. Where dynamic dashboards can take you further is in easy comparison and speed of use. Being able to present charts which change based on what information the user wants to see is impressive, slick, and enables easier management decisions.

Five Basic Features of Dynamic Dashboards

  1. Dynamic Pie Charts
  2. Dynamic Line Charts
  3. Dropdown Selection
  4. Dynamic Commentary
  5. Visual Cues

1 – Dynamic Pie Charts

  • Pie charts are best used to convey proportional data. For example, the percentage of your traffic coming from mobile vs desktop, or from organic vs PPC.
  • When used dynamically, pie charts allow the user to easily switch between data and comparison types, to allow for an easy visual comparison.
  • Being able to use line charts dynamically enables your user to determine what strands of data they want to compare, and by what metric.
  • You can set a base line, average or KPI to appear in all versions of the chart, enabling easy visual comparison and judgements.

3 – Dropdown Selection

  • This is by far the easiest way for the user to select what data they want to see, and also makes behind the scenes configuration easier.
  • Dropdowns can be created using Data Validation options, or using Form Controls or ActiveX Controls.

4 – Dynamic Commentary

  • Once you have created a dynamic dashboard, you can include commentary which updates based on the type of chart and data selected.
  • This is easiest to do using a visual trick; putting a heavy border around a large enough selection of cells will give you an easily updated commentary area.

5 – Visual Cues

  • Once you have all the basic components of a dynamic dashboard, there are simple ways to make it look more professional.
  • Using shapes and colours to point users towards selection options, and to highlight key KPI checkpoints.

By following these tips, you can easily create a useful and exciting data presentation, with a high level of user customisation. Dynamic charts are a simple but effective way of showing different trends across a data set, and by using visual cues to encourage exploration and optimisation, your end user will be given a clear picture of their insights and KPIs.

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