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Excel charting tips for when you’re in a rush

Creating advanced charts in Excel can take a bit of time, as there are so many things to change.  Recently, I had to prepare a financial presentation quickly, like really quickly.  I knew exactly which charts were required (I had been given very clear instructions) and I knew how to do them (which is always Read More

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Creating custom Map Charts using shapes and VBA

Whenever I see promotional images for expensive BI Dashboard software, they always show the same thing – a map with countries or regions highlighted in different colors.  It sends the subtle message that maps are the pinnacle of Business Intelligence (whether they are or not is a different matter altogether).  Until Excel 2016, these Map Read More

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5 rules for a dashboard color palette

In this post, I would like to consider the use of colors in a dashboard (or, for that matter any analysis tool which uses colors to highlight areas of interest).  Everybody believes they have good taste, even though everybody has different tastes.  When choosing colors for a dashboard the key consideration is not your taste Read More

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Highlight specific bars in a bar chart

Sometimes in a chart we want to highlight certain bars so the reader can quickly see the important information.  An example would be to highlight our company when it is compared with its competitors (see the chart below). In this chart, it is very easy to see how Fox Books compares to its competitors.  There Read More

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Creating a top 10 using formulas

Creating a Top 10 is quite common when reporting information, especially on dashboards.  It is easiest when working with sorted data, we just select the Top 10 items from the list.  It is also relatively easy when using Auto Filter, Tables and Pivot Tables, as it is a default filter setting within these Excel features. Read More

Book review - Excel Dashboards And Reports for Dummies

Review – Excel Dashboards and Reports for Dummies

As mentioned in a previous post, a friend of mine had purchased Excel Dashboards and Reports for Dummies by Michael Alexander.  As I flicked through there were several really good tips which I spotted.  So, I decided to read it for myself, to see how many more tips and tricks I could pick up. Michael Read More

Fastest way to create Bullet Charts Thumb

The fastest way to create Bullet Charts

My first experience of Bullet Charts came from reading Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few in 2007.  This was the year I started to get serious with dashboards. Initially, to create Bullet Charts I used the 3 stacked bar/column charts approach.  Later, I moved to using the two-axis stacked column where possible, but in general, Read More

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Dashboards – model building fundamentals

Get the fundamental model building principles right and designing your dashboard becomes much easier. Dashboards are made up of cells and objects, all of which have different purposes.  Some of those cells contain raw data taken from other systems, some cells are purely for presentation and other cells are for calculations used in charts and Read More