Excel Business Intelligence – Business analytics involves using data to make important strategy-level decisions. The question is, how do we present this information to our leadership team or decision makers in a way that helps them reach consensus quickly? This is where your analytical and dashboarding skills will shine.
Let’s say you are a sales manager in a large corporation. You need to make critical business decisions based on revenue, merchant performance and other key metrics. How would you do that? Would you be looping through thousands or maybe millions of rows of data or looking at dimensions individually?
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This can happen very randomly. Step Up – Dashboard! Creating powerful and impactful dashboards is a key part of the analyst role, and believe me, senior executives love a well-designed dashboard.
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Many of you are wondering – why Excel to create spreadsheets? Microsoft Excel provides many options for creating a spreadsheet and is also one of the universal tools for most organizations. Also, many small startups may not be able to afford very expensive business intelligence software. Therefore, MS Excel is preferred in creating a spreadsheet.
This is the fifth article in my Excel for Analysts series. To become a more effective analyst, I highly recommend reviewing the previous articles:
If you’re new to Excel and Business Analytics, I recommend checking out the following resources:
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The most useful (or at least mentioned) dashboard right now is the Covid-19 tracker. Now we understand the importance of panels. Let’s find out what dashboards actually are.
We can use this dashboard to understand the scenario for your country, state and city. This gives us the flexibility to choose between aggregate and daily data. The dashboard is updated daily and is a great example of how powerful a dashboard can be.
But before we get to the Excel dashboard, let’s answer the main question – what exactly is a dashboard?
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The dashboard provides a high-level overview of your business. It usually consists of a variety of graphs, charts and visualizations that are pleasing to the eye and easy to interpret. The design and content of the dashboards are pre-decided and always available at the click of a button, which facilitates a quick decision-making process. These boards are usually handy for troubleshooting.
For example, as a sales manager – let’s say you want to see your sales in the country. You see sales in one state make up 80% of your total business! Now you may want to drill down into city-level sales in your dashboard to do more analysis.
Now that we know what a dashboard is, let’s take a look at the different types of dashboards we can design in Excel!
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Recently, many businesses are closing their offline stores and opening sales on their websites. The post-COVID-19 era relies heavily on the online market. If you sell things online or even have a small business, then this Microsoft dashboard will help you make important decisions!
It keeps you in the loop by tracking your business metrics like sales and profits. This dashboard provides a very simple view of your business and yet is very powerful. If you are just starting your Excel dashboard journey, I would recommend starting with this dashboard template.
Whether you work for a large organization or a startup, the marketing team ensures that your product or service is sold. Marketers need to do a lot of research to understand their customers, their business, and the overall trend.
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Lead generation is a critical process for businesses around the world. A lead is anyone who shows interest in your product or service. This potential customer can express their intention in many ways, for example by placing your product in the cart (e-commerce), contacting you directly or through any other marketing channels. You can give the lead more information about your products and services so that he can potentially become your future customer.
Project management is a very complex task involving various stages and processes. Because it requires a lot of planning and evaluation, here’s another amazing project dashboard or business analytics tool to help you track your project:
The dashboard tracks your tasks, deadlines, and budgets, featuring multiple visualizations such as Gantt charts, overall task status, budget, and pending items. Helps streamline your project by keeping your project on schedule without going over budget.
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Operating income is the income obtained as a result of the company’s main business activities. This panel is a bit more advanced than the previous ones. It provides the company’s expenses and income from an operational point of view:
The dashboard offers an option to select the region above. The one-page dashboard provides detailed information about the company’s information. It also features one of my favorite sparkle line visuals. You should definitely try the features in this template in your own Excel dashboard.
This is a really interesting HR dashboard as it dates back to the pre-COVID-19 era. This one-page dashboard provides all the common key metrics you want to see and ask about your human resources department:
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You have the option to select the region and department from the drop-down menu on the dashboard. This dashboard has different color schemes and lots of interesting visuals that you should try for yourself!
As the world is currently in the midst of a pandemic, many companies prefer to work from home. What metrics do you think should be considered to create an HR dashboard in a post-pandemic world? Let me know in the comments!
In this article, we have covered five powerful Excel dashboards from different domains to help you become an effective analyst. I hope these templates will help you create amazing dashboards and save you a lot of time.
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If you enjoyed this article, let me know your favorite dashboard features that you think make the dashboard great.
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All cookies that are not particularly necessary for the website to function and are specifically used to collect users’ personal data through analytics, advertisements and other embedded content are called non-essential cookies. It is mandatory to obtain user consent before enabling these cookies on your website. A key tool for any successful business is the ability to intelligently research its market and customers. Without the ability to know who your potential customers are and what they really want, you cannot confidently make optimal business decisions. There’s no way to know if you’re making the right choice because you really don’t know who’s there and why they’re doing what they’re doing. Where BI = power.
You can go out and survey your customers to try to answer these questions, but once you get their answers, it can still be difficult to know what to do with that information. If you can’t analyze all the data you have, there’s not much reason to collect it in the first place. This is where “business intelligence” comes from.
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Business intelligence may sound like one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around so much in the corporate world, but it’s actually a very useful concept. An early IBM researcher described it as “The ability to grasp the interrelationship of presented facts in such a way as to direct them toward a desired goal.” In other words, it’s the ability to sift through a bunch of information and find important patterns, cues, and lessons to learn from that information so you can do something useful with it.
Some common examples of problems that a company or organization may encounter even though it thinks it knows a lot about the environment are:
In all of these examples, a company or organization may think it knows enough to solve the problems it faces. He may have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions) trying to find impossible solutions.
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