Category Archives for "Excel"

Create Excel Charts and Dashboards with Color Alerts for Actual and Target Values

Excel

Your Excel charts should alert you with color differences between actual and target values. Here’s a quick way to create an Excel chart that shows the color coded difference. In this example the Delta, or difference, is a column containing the calculation, Delta = Actual – Target The chart is created from the month labels […]

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Hiding Worksheet Data Used in Excel Charts and Dashboards

Excel

Recently an associate called me with an Excel 2010 problem. She was asked to create an elegant worksheet that pulled data in from an external database, did calculations, and then charted the results as well as creating a columnar report. Sounds pretty easy so far. The problem she ran into was that when she hid […]

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Show Excel Pie Chart Details with an Exploded Bar Chart

Excel

Show the details in a pie chart by exploding sections into a bar chart. To get the big picture of how a total is distributed, for examples total sales by country or unit volumes by region, most executives want to see a pie chart. This is one of the few things a pie chart might […]

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Telling the Story Behind Your Data – Awesome Videos with Hans Rosling

Excel

If you want to make an impact, you have to put a gripping story behind your data. You can have earth shattering data, incredible statistical analysis, and even beautiful charts and visuals, but if you can’t put a gripping story behind it your audience won’t remember and won’t act. If you want to see how […]

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Finding the Right Metrics for Your Excel Dashboard

Excel

I’ve noticed that dashboards often get started when a manager says something like, “We have to get a handle on these numbers. Let’s make an Excel dashboard so we can all see the trends and changes.” The question that follows is, “Should we track the same metrics?” To which someone else asks, “Well what metrics […]

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Experiment in Excel with Sample Census Data

Excel

Creating sample data files to experiment with in Excel is about as much fun as weeding the lawn. So to give you a little more time in your day here’s a link to an inflation adjusted census file used in dashboard examples in the book. If you want to change the data so it looks […]

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Creating Cascading Drop-Down Menus in Excel

Excel

What do you do when you want to give users the ability to select from 20 or more choices in an Excel drop-down or combo box? Even giving them more than 12 in a drop-down menu can get messy and it increases the chance of a data entry error. When you have long lists or […]

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Beware of Excel and Complex PDFs

Excel

Warnings on Using Adobe Acrobat I’ve only written 26 technical/business books and done performance consulting for 30+ years so you’d think I’d know better by now to do more extensive testing before writing about something. But in “Balanced Scorecards and Operational Dashboards with Microsoft Excel” I wrote about using Adobe Acrobat to use PDF files […]

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