Interactive Dashboards using Excel with PowerPoint
Business Intelligence is crucial in today’s business world and dashboards are the most frequently used method of providing that information as they’re easy to interpret, concise and often represent important areas visually making dry subjects more visually pleasing and often easier to understand.
So what exactly is a dashboard? The article below uses a definition from Stephen Few, “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives which fits entirely on a single computer screen so it can be monitored at a glance.”
SharePoint and Excel are the most frequently used Microsoft mediums for creating dashboards (see the Microsoft Help Article: Introduction to Business Intelligence Features). Though frequently overlooked, PowerPoint combined with Excel offers an easy solution for creating elegant and functional dashboards. Additionally, PowerPoint offers an interactivity feature not available in other applications.
When creating any dashboard, the first rule of thumb should be that the data is the star. Cluttering the screen with unnecessary components will distract from the information displayed, so a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach is best. You’ll want to strike a balance between making your dashboard attractive enough to hold your audience’s interest, but not so stylized that it obscures the information displayed. A best practice is to avoid 3D charts and if information can be displayed more clearly in a table than a chart it should be in a table. Excel has a wonderful conditional formatting feature that allows you to have both: a graphical display within a table.
Read the following article found on Microsoft’s Office Support site to understand some more basic principles to consider when designing or developing a Dashboard. Creating an Interactive dashboard using Excel with PowerPoint will give a whole new aspect to your reporting and helping to create engagement and better understanding of your data analysis