Tip #11: Building spreadsheet dashboards 101

Tip #11: Building spreadsheet dashboards 101

If skimming is the new reading, then dashboards are the new data set. People want to zero in on small slices of information, rather than pouring over a vast set of data. Provide key insights using a carefully crafted dashboard for your spreadsheet.

Here are a few questions you can ask to get started:

What questions do you have about the data?

A dashboard is built mainly to serve one purpose: to make it easy for people to find the information they need. Let's say you have the Q2 sales records. These records contain the dates of transactions, sale values, items sold, and sales rep details.

Here are some key questions you might have about the data:
  1. Which rep has sold the most?
  2. Which items have been sold the most?
  3. Which month did we sell the most?
  4. Which items did each of these reps sell the most?

Keep your list of questions concise, and aim to create a dashboard that answers them effectively. 

Is the dashboard interactive?

Make your dashboards exhaustive, yet concise, by making them interactive. Why? Because when an entire team views a spreadsheet, not everybody will be looking for the same insights from the data set. When you have too much information displayed on a dashboard, users will need to scroll up and down. Dashboards work best when users can view the entire dashboard without having to scroll at optimal zoom and view. 

You can use a combination of checkboxes, picklists, If functions, filters, and Lookup functions to make your dashboards interactive. You can even maintain slices of the original data set in a hidden sheet to make it easy to retrieve them for your dashboard.

Are there visual representations of your data?

Make sure your dashboard is visually engaging. Add contextual charts, place sparklines next to your data, and color code your dashboards based on various conditions. Use the format painter to maintain a consistent design across your dashboard. Combined with interactivity, this makes your information stand out and ensures your dashboards are self-explanatory. Choosing the right chart type, properly formatting cells, and carefully arranging your data aren't simply aesthetic choices—they make your dashboard easier to understand.

Spreadsheets can be versatile. Zoho Sheet is feature rich, and can greatly enhance your spreadsheet and dashboard-creation experience. We hope you enjoy creating your interactive dashboards, and hope you'll share your favorite tips with us in the comments. Get hands on experience on the example spreadsheet dashboard used above.

Related links:

Creating interactive spreadsheets - https://zurl.co/HKP4
Format painting - https://zurl.co/Iqsc Data validation - https://zurl.co/aC55 Charts and visualization - https://zurl.co/vc9G

            Zoho Marketing Automation
                      • Sticky Posts

                      • Tip #7: Four things you didn't know you can do with Conditional Formatting

                        Conditional formatting helps you highlight and visualize data in your spreadsheet based on provided rules. Zoho Sheet offers three types of conditional formatting: Classic, Color Scales, and Icon Sets. If you're already familiar with how Conditional Formatting works, here are some bonus tips for Classic formats: Customize rules with formulas Zoho Sheet allows you to create personalized rules based on formulas. For example, in a task list you can use customized formulas to highlight tasks which are
                      • Tip #15: Stop guessing and start estimating with Zoho Sheet's Goal Seek

                        Goal Seek is an ideal spreadsheet tool for devising estimates, as it helps you retrieve your desired output value when the input values are not known. In other words, Goal Seek does back-solving to find input values once you've provided an output value.
                      • Tip #10: 3 helpful ways to use data validation in your spreadsheet

                        Data validation in spreadsheets makes data entry processes more efficient, while helping reduce inconsistencies and errors in your data sets. In this article, we'll look at three ways you can use data validations to create useful dropdown lists in your
                      • Tip #8: Using RAND and RANDBETWEEN functions to generate random data sets

                        Have you ever spent hours working on a sample data record for a demonstration? We're here to show you how to do it in less time. If you want to generate a sample data set for a demonstration, or just to learn how a pivot table works, using the RAND and
                      • Tip #3: Save your time by replicating formats

                        Formatting helps to create more visually appealing spreadsheets while keeping data organized. Selectively applying formatting options to your work, such as applying fonts, currency formats, or colors, can be time-consuming and repetitive. Replicating formatting guidelines for your work can help remove the burden of applying these menial tasks, which improve overall productivity in your workflow.  Let's say you are collaborating on a spreadsheet with your team and you have to create a combined report.

                      Zoho Pagesense Resources

                        Zoho SalesIQ Resources

                              Zoho TeamInbox Resources

                                Zoho DataPrep Resources

                                  Zoho CRM Plus Resources

                                    Zoho Books Resources

                                      Zoho Subscriptions Resources

                                        Zoho Desk Resources

                                          Zoho Projects Resources

                                            Zoho Sprints Resources

                                              Qntrl Resources

                                                Zoho Creator Resources

                                                  Zoho WorkDrive Resources

                                                    Zoho Campaigns Resources

                                                      Zoho CRM Resources

                                                            Design. Discuss. Deliver.

                                                            Create visually engaging stories with Zoho Show.

                                                            Get Started Now