DashboardPlus-Excel based dashboard
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DashboardPlus-Excel based dashboard

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DashboardPlus (www.excel-PremiumUtilities.com) is an application that adds to Microsoft Excel® the ability to create professional executive dashboards featuring gauges and charts, making it an ...

DashboardPlus (www.excel-PremiumUtilities.com) is an application that adds to Microsoft Excel® the ability to create professional executive dashboards featuring gauges and charts, making it an affordable and a very flexible tool for generating appealing dashboards linDashboardPlus is an application that adds to Microsoft® Excel® the ability to create professional executive dashboards, making it an affordable and a very flexible tool for generating appealing dashboards linked dynamically to Excel values

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DashboardPlus-Excel based dashboard DashboardPlus-Excel based dashboard Document Transcript

  • DashboardPlusExcel based executive dashboard creator Version 2.0 User guide 1
  • ContentsOverview .......................................................................................................................................... 3How does DashboardPlus work? ...................................................................................................... 5The dashboard console and menu..................................................................................................10The Dial Gauge component ............................................................................................................14The Angle gauge component ..........................................................................................................17The Knob Selector component .......................................................................................................18The Chart Box component ..............................................................................................................20The Table Box component ..............................................................................................................21The indicator component ...............................................................................................................22The selector box..............................................................................................................................25The Slider component.....................................................................................................................27The Text Box component ................................................................................................................30FAQs ...............................................................................................................................................31KPIS ................................................................................................................................................33KPI standardization .........................................................................................................................35Export to HTML ...............................................................................................................................36DashboardPlus-ReadOnly free utility..............................................................................................37 2
  • OverviewWhat is a managerial Dashboard?The term is borrowed from the car industry and has quite the same meaning here. A managerialdashboard (sometimes called Executive dashboard) is a graphical and concise display that shouldenable a manager at his "cockpit" to grasp at a glance the status of different indicators in theorganization and provides alerts to poor or unexpected behaviorIn management the term Dashboard is often overused to describe any presentation of values incharts or tables, a format that could certainly convey useful information but lacks the ability todeliver very concisely what a busy manager is looking for without going too deep into thedetails: a simple traffic light style display of the current state of the businessA true managerial Dashboard uses a very specific type of charts called gauges, that display onevalue only (usually a KPI- Key Performance Indicator) and its status in relation to predefinedthreshold values. The most known dashboard gauge is the Circle Gauge that displays the valueaccording to colored sections with some meanings. A dashboard created with DashboardPluswill look something like:-These gauges may (or may not) be combined with regular charts and tables on a panel to createa dynamic managerial dashboard that updates itself as the values in Excel changeWhy arent true dashboards more prevalent?Many systems offer true dashboard capabilities, but they are usually part of BI (BusinessIntelligence), complex and expensive applications, that only enterprises could affordExcel is without any doubt the most popular and affordable "BI" solution, but it basically lacksthe components and the structures that could make it a widespread tool for implementing truedashboard solutions that do not require specialized systems 3
  • Some attempts have been made to "force" the native charting tools of Excel to emulate truedashboard gauges, but so far the quality and ease of use are quite limitedDashboardPlusDashboardPlus is an application that tries to fill the gap by adding to Excel true dashboardcapabilitiesWhat DashboardPlus actually does, is to provide Excel with a totally new breed of true visualdashboard gauges (ActiveX) that may be linked to any cell and a "Console" on which to dropthese components together with other regular Excel charts and tables for easily designing andcreating a concise and appealing display of the "state of the business". Like for Excel charts, anychange in the linked cells updates instantly the relevant gaugesIt is important to keep in mind that it is a platform for displaying visual components connectedto Excel cells and does not possess by itself data processing capabilities. But together with ofExcel to which it is totally integrated, it becomes a serious application in the BI fieldAs far as we know, DashboardPlus is the only available solution that completely integrates truedashboard capabilities within Excel, transforming it into an efficient and effective dashboardapplicationDashboardPlus is "engineered" with the end users needs in mind and it is characterized by itssimplicity and ease of useAs the gauges can be dynamically linked to any cells values and as Excel connectswith most external data sources, it is easy to understand that DashboardPlus may bethe basis for rapidly implementing flexible and dynamic dashboard solutions of any level ofcomplexity and sophistication, limited just by Excels features and ...your creativityThe dashboards may be easily and automatically exported to Html format, making themimmediately available for Web displayAside from the gauge components displaying KPI values and status, DashboardPlus also offers acompletely customizable slider component that can interactively show how values in the gauges(or in Excel charts or tables) change as result of changing some related value (for example,profitability as function of interest rate)DashboardPlus has a unique feature, not found in other systems, which can standardize any KPIinto a standard score on the 1-10 scale, thus enabling the comparison between indicators withdifferent units of measure 4
  • How does DashboardPlus work?1. Install DashboardPlusOnce installed, DashboardPlus creates Dashboard4xl-Master file.xls (in the C:/Program filesdirectory or C:/Program files (X86) ), a regular Excel file "engineered" for enabling thecreation of consoles on which can be dropped the different components. You should openthat file directly from the directory or from the DashboardPlus group in the Windows StartmenuIt is recommended to explore the dashboard example created within Dashboard4xl-Samplefile2. Open Dashboard4xl-Master file.xlsWhen you open Dashboard4xl-Master file.xls, a form will popup enabling to view or design adashboard. Up to 5 dashboards may be created in the same Excel file. Dashboard4xl-Masterfile.xls can be duplicated (with a different name) for creating an unlimited number ofdashboards. Only such files support dashboards creation!!! 5
  • You may always load that form from the DashboardPlus toolbar within the Excel Add-ins tab(the toolbar is displayed if only the active workbook supports dashboards)3. Load one the dashboardsA console on which the components will be located appears with a default background thatmay be customized by double clicking on any empty area of the consoleThe dashboard console as shown below possesses its own menu for inserting thecomponents and performing other operations such as changing the background or saving asa picture 6
  • 3. Start inserting componentsAfter inserting a component (a dial gauge for example), you drag it to its desired location onthe dashboard (by pressing F7 or from the Tools menu, the dashboard switches to aDrag/Resize enabled mode. Pressing again F7 disables Drag/Resize) 7
  • 4. Link and format the componentNow, by Double clicking on the component, a form (Circle gauge Configuration) from whichthe gauge is configured and linked to the cell in the active workbook, will be displayedEvery aspect of the component can be customized. A filled dashboard may look somethinglike thatWhen data in the Excel sheets change, the dashboard will update accordingly 8
  • 5. Save the dashboard?Actually you dont save the dashboard itself but the Excel file on which it is displayed. Whenyou close the dashboard, information pertaining to it, is recorded in the Excel file (in hiddensheets). When you reopen the file, the dashboard will look exactly as when you have closedit, assuming the file was properly savedDashboardPlus offers 5 sorts of special dashboards components: the Dial Gauge, the AngleGauge, the Shape Indicator, the Slider and the Knob selector. These components can becombined with regular Excel charts and objects on the same dashboard. With the graphicalstunning capabilities of Excel2007 and Excel2010, the possibilities are endless. You mayeasily add backgrounds, pictures, text labels and even a clip to the dashboardOne of DashboardPlus components is a slider used for changing dynamically the value of acell. If this cell is also a linked cell of one of the other dashboard components, moving theslider will result in an interactive visual change in the componentsAlmost every aspect of the components can be customized through forms that popup whendouble clicking on the componentDashboardPlus has been "engineered" with the end users needs in mind and it ischaracterized by its ease of use 9
  • The dashboard console and menuThe dashboard panelThe dashboard panel is the "console" on which the different components are dropped anddisplayed. The dashboard includes 2 main menu (see below) items for performing all therequired operationsThe panel above is the default new created dashboardThe dashboard can be resized by simply stretching its edges in any direction.All the other elements are customized by double clicking on any empty area of the panel 11
  • Tips:1. You may customize the Dashboard name that appears at left top of the console. Thecustomized name will appear on the relevant button in dashboard form loader2. You can also set a background with any image by creating an image box and stretching itto fill the panel. Images should be in high resolution in order to fill neatly the console. A fewhigh resolutions background pictures as shown below, are supplied with the software andmay be found in the Program Files/DashboardPlus directory 11
  • The dashboard menuInset componentsNew components will be inserted around the top left corner of the panelDouble click on the component to open its formatting formIf a new component has not been double clicked, it will not be "remembered" when thedashboard is closed and reopenedTools (you access also this menu by right clicking on any empty part of the dashboard)Drag/Resize: ON/OFF changes the dashboard mode for enabling the moving and resizing ofthe different components 12
  • Refresh: updates the charts and Excel ranges on the dashboards. These 2 componentsformatting are not refreshed automatically when the dashboard is displayed and a cell onwhich they are based has changedDashboard transparency: makes the dashboard half transparent in the editing modeBackground: customizes the panel color/gradient and the dashboard caption (equivalent todouble clicking on an empty area of the dashboard)Export to BMP/HTML: the resulting files will be located in C:/ or in "c:UsersPublic" inWindows 7Reset dashboard: clears totally the dashboard. The operation is not reversible! 13
  • The Dial Gauge componentThe Dial Gauge is one of the most popular dashboard componentsNew created components are preformatted with 3 color sections on the ring as shownabove. It could be adapted to include up to 5 colored sections of any length and colorThe needle in the gauge shows the value of the KPI on the scale defined for that metric. Thevalue comes from a linked cell in the dashboard Excel fileBy double clicking on the gauge, a form with 3 different tabs will pop upThe Dial value is dynamically updated whenever its linked value changes 14
  • 1. Values and captions2. Gauge formatTip: Use the same color for the frame and the ring in order to get smoother colors for thesection values 15
  • Needle style configuration3. Gauge sections 16
  • The Angle gauge componentThe Angle Gauge is very similar to the Dial Gauge and differs from it mostly by its visualappearance. The component may be modified to adapt to one of 3 different different styles.New created components are preformatted with 3 colored sections on the ring as shownabove. They could be customized for up to 5 colored sections of any length and colorThe needle in the gauge shows the value of the KPI. The value comes from the componentlinked cell in the dashboard Excel fileBy double clicking on the gauge, a form with 3 different tabs will pop up. Each tab serves forcustomizing a different aspect, exactly as in the Dial Gauge componentThe Gauge value is dynamically updated whenever the linked Excel value changesNotes:When the shape style is modified, you may need to resize the component in order to getadequate proportionsThe needle style in the Angle gauge cant be modifiedOnly the Half Circle shape includes a small window that displays the gauge value 17
  • The Knob Selector componentThe Knob Selector component is a graphical gauge intended to select one value from a list ofvalues of a parameter, thus enabling the dashboard to update itself according to a change ina parameter to which it is linkedWhen you select a value, the excel linked cell is updated accordinglyIf for example the Knob selector refers to a list of countries, selecting a certain countryamong the list should update all the dashboard components linked in some way to thatcountryThe Knob Selector performs the same task as the List Selector with the advantage of being ofa graphical natureIn order to enable the operation Create in Excel a drop down cell (validation data list) that takes it value from a range of cells anywhere in the workbook 18
  • Link that that cell ($G$8) value to the Selector componentLink the gauges/charts/tables to cells that take their values from formulathat depends on the Selector linked cell value ($G$8) , so that any change in($G$8) will affect them 19
  • The Chart Box componentThe Chart Box component inserts on the dashboard a chart directly from ExcelWhen you double click on a Chart Box just created, a form for picking the proper chart willbe displayed. The drop down box displays automatically all the charts in the Excel file. Justpick the proper chart and the Chart Box will displayed automatically exactly as it looks inExcel, meaning that all Excel formatting "wealth" is availableNotes: Only embedded charts in regular worksheets are identified by the dashboard Unlike other components, the chart box cannot be resized by stretching its edges but by the moving "Size Factor" slider followed by the Apply button Charts values are updated automatically when a linked cell in Excel changes its value. To update the chart formatting (colors, type...), just click on "Refresh" in the dashboard "Tools" menu. The chart will update values and formatting when the dashboard is reopened 21
  • The Table Box componentThe Table Box component displays a table (Excel range) directly from the Excel file sheetWhen you double click on a Table Box just created on the panel, a form for selecting therange to display will be displayed. The table will be displayed exactly as it looks in Excel,meaning that all Excel formatting "wealth" is availableNotes: Tables are not updated automatically as do the other components when the dashboard is "live" and a cell value is changed. To update the table, just click on "Refresh" in the dashboard "Tools" menu. The table will update itself when the dashboard is reopened Unlike other components, the Table box on the dashboard cannot be resized by stretching its edges. You have to use the "Size Factor" slider followed by the Apply button 21
  • The indicator componentThe Shape Indicator is used to indicate an ON/OFF situation symbolized by a color and/or bya visual shape. Three circular shapes in a row may for example well emulate a traffic light, anUp arrow (ON) and a down arrow (OFF) may serve for indicating a reverse trend... ON OFF ON OFFThe shape indicator is linked to a cell value in Excel: "0" value of the cell will switch theindicator to the OFF color/shape while any other value will reverse it to the ON stateBy double clicking on the indicator, a form for customizing it will pop-up 22
  • Indicator internal size The indicator itself is embedded in a rectangular frame that can be resized with the slider at the bottom of the form. This slider will resize the shape itself and not the frameCell address Set the linked cell address which value determines the shape state (ON/OFF). "0" value (Zero) puts the shape in OFF mode. Any other value turns the shape to ONShape border styleShape style 9 shapes styles are available"ON" color button 23
  • The shape interior color in the ON state"OFF" color button The shape interior color in the OFF state (Zero value for linked cell)OFF Shape style The Shape style when the shape is in OFF state (Zero value). The ON style is determined in bullet 5 radio buttons 24
  • The selector boxThe Selector component is intended for picking a value from a list of values, thus enablingthe dashboard to update itself according to a change in a parameter to which it is linkedIf for example the selector component refers to a list of countries, selecting a certain countryamong the list should update all the dashboard components to represent their values forthat specific countryThe List Selector performs the same task as the Knob Selector and is to be preferred whenthe labels are too long to fit properly in the Knob SelectorIn order to enable the operation Create in Excel a drop down cell (validation data list) that takes it values from a range of cells anywhere in the workbook 25
  • Link that that cell ($G$8) value to the Selector componentLink the gauges/charts/tables to cells that take their values from formulathat depends on the Selector linked cell value ($G$8) , so that any change in($G$8) will affect themSelect a value from the Selector component list of values by clicking thecombination of Shift+Enter keys. All the dashboard components values willupdate accordingly to the Selector value picked 26
  • The Slider componentContrarily to the other components that are of a "passive" nature, as they receivetheir values from the linked cells, the Slider is an "active" component in the sensethat it changes the value of the linked cell.The slider is very useful for dealing with "What-if" scenarios. The slider may forexample help to show how the profitability changes as function of the interest raterepresented by the sliderNote that the slider may be used to show variation in the dashboard components as well asin regular Excel charts or tables 27
  • Marker style The marker could adapt to 15 different shapesLinked cell address Set the linked cell address which value is determined by the slider Marker positionPrecision The number of decimalsGap width 28
  • Set the gap between the slider range and the left/right borders of the frameScale visible The slider scale can be hidden or displayedPct(%) The scale can represent percentages instead of absolute valuesOrientation The slider by default is horizontal. It can be changed to vertical display 29
  • The Text Box componentThe Text Box component is a mean for displaying pieces of text on the dashboard. It mayserve for titles and various headers for the different componentsA Text Box may contains static text or dynamic text from a linked cell, so that it is liveupdated whenever the linked value changesAll the Text Box parameters (size, font, color, background...) are customizable 31
  • FAQsQ: What DashboardPlus can do for me?A: DashboardPlus is an Excel add-in intended to add true dashboard capabilities to Excel. Itenables the user to create appealing and dynamic managerial dashboards completelyintegrated within ExcelQ: Why do I need dashboard components if I have already all the Excel charts?A: Unfortunately Excel does not offer true dashboard components intended for giving tomanagers at a glance, the state of the business. Excel charts are intended for displaying andanalyzing multidimensional data. DashboardPlus offers components called Gauges, fordisplaying one value in a very special manner that tells "all the story". In addition, it offersthe consoles for dropping and displaying the componentsQ: What components are available?A: Apart the classical dashboard gauges, you may add charts, tables, text boxes, images,drop down lists and even...clip movies. Charts and tables are embedded directly from Excelsheets so that all the Excel features are applicableQ: Why should I choose DashboardPlus and not another similar product?A: Simply because as far as we know, there is not a similar product completely integratedwithin Excel...at such a priceQ: How many dashboards can I build?A: Unlimited numbers, as the workbook dashboard-master file can be copied with differentnamesQ: Do I need to know VBA or macros?A: Not at all!Q: From where get the components their value?A: Each component is attached to a linked cell value. Changing the value will dynamicallychange the component value display. The linked cell value could be a formula that gets itsdata from any part of the Excel fileQ: Do I have to customize the components each time the Excel file is opened?A: Not at all! All the settings are saved with the file and automatically applied uponreopening itQ: Can I send a dashboard Excel file to a colleague?A: Yes, but he has to install the Read-only, in order to see it properly 31
  • Q: How do I customize the components?A: By double clicking on each component on the console, a form will popup. The formenables customizing any featureQ: Could I build dashboards which include Excel charts or tables?A: Absolutely! DashboardPlus is completely integrated within Excel so that all the Excelfeatures are available. You can even add a clip movieQ: Can DashboardPlus be used for building complex dashboardsA: We sincerely think that DashboardPlus may be used for complex dashboards...providing avery good mastery of Excel and even VBA (the programming language attached to Excel)Q: Is there a limit to the number of components that could be created in a single dashboard?A: Yes! But practically you should not get to that limitQ: How many colored sections can the dial gauge include?A: Up to 5 fully customized sectionsQ: Can the dashboard be automatically updated by external data?A: Yes, as Excel may easily import data from any external source. Some macro may requiredQ: Can the dashboards be copied to the clipboard or saved to an image file?A: Of course!Q: Can the dashboards be published on the web?A: The dashboards may be saved to HTML easily publishable files. There is a possibility toautomate the refreshing process so that the web site will remain continuously updated 32
  • KPISKey Performance Indicators, also known as KPIs are quantifiable measurements that help anorganization define and measure progress toward organizational goals Other names used in the literature:- KPI – Key Process Indicator KCI – Key Control Indicator KRI – Key Risk Indicator KSI- Key Success IndicatorsOnce an organization has analyzed its mission, identified all its stakeholders, and defined itsgoals, it needs a way to measure progress toward those goals. Key Performance Indicatorsare those measurements. They can be set at all the levels of the organization and for anytopicModern managerial theories encourage organizations to manage a system of KPI’s acrossthe company .The Balanced Scorecard is maybe the most noticeable oneAs a rule of thumb, a BU (Businesses Unit) should strive for 10-15 KPIsA KPI is a mathematical formula whose output is a single number which should faithfullyreflect the“ state” of the measured topic .Employees’ turnover ,)%( Percentage of customercalls answered in the first minute, Customer satisfaction average score, Time to market, # ofbugs per 1000 lines of code…are examples of KPI’sBesides their functional aspects, KPI’s and the process for defining them have been shownto be a very effective tool for helping an organization to focus on its most importantobjectives and to communicate them to managers and employeesAs experts in KPIs design, the authors of this software have also found that the process ofdefining a KPI for a topic is a great way for well understanding the topic and thus havecoined the slogan "If you and to truly understand, try to measure..."The design of KPI’s for a topic includes the following stepsAgreeing on the topic to be measuredBrain storming about what it is considered as success/performance/failure for that topicIdentifying a set of possible valid KPI’s which could faithfully reflect the topicDeciding about the few feasible KPI’s to retainDetailed design of each KPI (formula, source of inputs, frequency of calculation….)Deciding about the KPI owner (the person responsible to ensure that the KPI is calculated ateach defined period)First run “production” of the KPI’s and establishment of baselines, benchmarks, alarm 33
  • zones….Design of the way to visualize the KPI’s and who should see the on a current basisWe like to draw an analogy between organizational KPIs and the most known human healthKPI such as its body temperature. KPIs are indeed a kind of temperature gauges intended tomeasure some aspects of the bodys "performance"Defining and designing good KPIs is of tremendous importance as they are often themeaningful factors for supporting strategic managerial decisions. It is why it is critical todeserve enough time and resources for the design process and ensure that each KPI fulfillthe following criteria:Valid Reliable-Producible and maintainable-Communicable-"Benchmarkable"There is usually some confusion between the term KPI which is basically a neutralmathematical formula and some other terms as OBJECTIVES (the direction we wish themeasured topic to take) and TARGETS (the value of the KPI we aspire to see in the future) 34
  • KPI standardizationKPI’s may be of any nature so that they can have different units of measure such as %, $,Defects/units...An interesting and unique feature of DashboardPlus is the ability to transform any KPI into astandardized value between 1-10, making all the KPIs identically scaled, thus comparablebetween different KPIsThe standardization is performed by transforming the original values by way of linearinterpolation. Both the KPI values and the colored sections values are standardizedThe standardization requires determining the nature of the KPI:- LTB- Larger The Better (%Profitability, Avg. Customer satisfaction, # of loyal employees...) STB- Smaller Te Better (#Defects/unit, %defecting customers, Average Time to answer...) NTB- Nominal The Best, meaning that the target is a range of valuesLTB is the default value for the KPI natureFor STB KPIs, the original sections colors are inversed as the standard value is always of LTBnatureStandardization of NTB KPIs is not supported by DashboardPlusStandardization is applicable for both the Dial and the Angle gauges componentStandardization will take place after "Apply" button is pressed 35
  • Export to HTMLAs the application has the ability to export them as HTML files, dashboards created byDashboardPlus can be published on the WEB. Moreover the export function can beautomated so that a continuously updated view of the dashboards is available for publishingActivation of the automating export and refresh is achieved by pressing "Automate HTML" inthe DashboardPlus toolbar in Excel:-At the time interval selected, each selected dashboard will be loaded and exported to itsHTML fileThe resulting HTML files (one for each selected dashboard) will be saved in the C:/ directorytogether with a BMP image of the specific dashboard. The files will be refreshedcontinuously until you stop the processIn Windows7 64 bits, the files will be saved in "C:UsersPublic" 36
  • DashboardPlus-ReadOnly free utilityDashboardPlus-ReadOnly utility enables your colleagues to load DashboardPlus Excel filesand look at the dashboards you have createdDashboards could not be edited in that mode, but any change in the relevant Excel sheetswill be reflected onto the dashboards in that file unless the sheet or file are protectedYou may download the free utility here 37