How to Create a Dashboard

How to create a dashboard in Excel with this step-by-step guide. From planning your dashboard to building the data source and adding advanced features, we’ll show you everything you need to know to create an informative and visually appealing dashboard in Excel. Improve your data analysis skills and enhance your decision-making process with this guide on dashboard excel.

A dashboard is a visual representation of data that provides a quick and easy way to analyze and monitor performance. Excel is a powerful tool for creating dashboards because it allows you to import and manipulate data, create charts and other visual elements, and add interactivity. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a dashboard in Excel, step by step.

How to Create a Dashboard

Section 1: Planning Your Dashboard

How to create a dashboard in Excel: Before you start creating your dashboard, it’s important to define its purpose and identify the data you need to include. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Define the purpose of your dashboard: What do you want to achieve with your dashboard? Do you want to track sales performance, monitor inventory levels, or analyze customer data? Defining the purpose of your dashboard will help you determine what data to include and how to present it.
  2. Identify the data you need to include: What data sources do you need to import into Excel? Do you need to clean and format the data before you can use it? Do you need to create calculated fields or formulas? Make a list of the data you need and any additional steps required to prepare it.
  3. Decide on the layout and design of your dashboard: What visual elements do you want to include in your dashboard? Do you want to use charts, tables, or graphs? How will you arrange the elements on the page? Think about the best way to present the data so that it’s easy to understand and visually appealing.

Section 2: Creating the Data Source

Once you’ve planned your dashboard, it’s time to create the data source that will feed the dashboard. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Import or link to data sources: Depending on the data sources you need to use, you can either import them into Excel or link to them. To import data, you can use the “Get Data” function in Excel or copy and paste data from other sources. To link to data sources, you can use the “Data” tab in Excel and choose “From Other Sources”.
  2. Clean and format the data: Depending on the quality of the data you’ve imported, you may need to clean and format it before you can use it in your dashboard. This might involve removing duplicates, correcting errors, or reformatting dates and numbers.
  3. Create calculated fields: If you need to perform calculations on your data, you can create calculated fields using Excel’s formula functions. This might involve calculating percentages, averages, or totals.

Section 3: Building the Dashboard

Now that you’ve created the data source, it’s time to build the dashboard. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Create a new worksheet for the dashboard: Start by creating a new worksheet in Excel that will serve as the canvas for your dashboard. You can name the worksheet something like “Dashboard” or “Summary”.
  2. Insert charts and other visual elements: Once you’ve created the worksheet, you can start adding charts and other visual elements. To do this, use the “Insert” tab in Excel and choose the type of chart or graph you want to use. You can also add tables, images, and other visual elements as needed.
  3. Add slicers, filters, and other interactivity: To make your dashboard more interactive, you can add slicers, filters, and other controls that allow you to filter and sort the data. To do this, use the “Insert” tab in Excel and choose the type of control you want to use.
  4. Format and arrange the elements: Once you’ve added all the visual elements and interactivity, it’s time to format and arrange them on the dashboard. This might involve changing the colours, fonts, and sizes of the elements, or adjusting the position and size of each element to optimize the layout. You can also add titles and labels to make it clear what each element represents.

Section 4: Adding Advanced Features

Excel offers a variety of advanced features that can take your dashboard to the next level. Here are some examples:

  1. Conditional formatting: This feature allows you to highlight key data based on certain conditions. For example, you can use conditional formatting to highlight cells with values that fall above or below a certain threshold.
  2. Dynamic charts and tables: Excel allows you to create charts and tables that update automatically based on changes to the underlying data. This can save time and ensure that your dashboard is always up to date.
  3. Macros and other customizations: For more advanced users, Excel offers the ability to create macros and other customizations that can automate repetitive tasks or add new functionality to the dashboard.


Creating a dashboard in Excel can seem daunting at first, but by following these steps, you can create a dashboard that is both informative and visually appealing. Remember to plan your dashboard carefully, create a clean and accurate data source, choose the right visual elements, and add interactivity where necessary. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to create a dashboard that provides valuable insights and helps you make informed decisions.

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