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4-Step Dashboard Automation Process (Excerpt #3 from Creating and Automating Dashboards eStudy)

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As evaluators, we frequently face the challenge of accurately and efficiently producing large numbers of near-identical reports and dashboards.

In January 2013, Ann K. Emery and Agata Jose-Ivanina led a 3-hour webinar for the American Evaluation Association about automating dashboards with Word and Excel.

This excerpt provides an overview of our 4-step dashboard automation process.

Published in: Technology

4-Step Dashboard Automation Process (Excerpt #3 from Creating and Automating Dashboards eStudy)

  1. 1. Creating and Automating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel by Ann K. Emery & Agata Jose-Ivanina eStudy for the American Evaluation Association January 2013 Excerpt 3: Automation Process
  2. 2. Introducing our Automation Process
  3. 3. Speed Automation Process Multiples Accuracy
  4. 4. Speed Faster than copying and pasting
  5. 5. Multiples Great for producing matching dashboards
  6. 6. Accuracy Avoid transposing numbers 94% 49%
  7. 7. Accuracy Avoid pressing keys twice 8% 88%
  8. 8. Accuracy Avoid putting data in wrong section School 1 Math Scores Reading Scores 20% 80%
  9. 9. Accuracy Avoid putting data in wrong dashboard School 1 School 2 20% 80%
  10. 10. Live demo!
  11. 11. 4 Steps 1 2 3 4 Design a model Add bookmarks Organize the data Run the code
  12. 12. Step 1 Design a Model
  13. 13. Step 1 1 Step Make a model Start with a Blank Page Fill in the Model with Fake Data
  14. 14. Step 1 Create separate “Dashboards” folder
  15. 15. Step 1 Name the file “Step1Model”
  16. 16. Step 1 Now you’ve got a new file in your Dashboards folder
  17. 17. Step 2 Add Bookmarks
  18. 18. Step 2a Circle every piece of information that needs to change
  19. 19. Step 2b Make bookmarks visible by clicking on the Office Button
  20. 20. Step 2b Click on “Word Options”
  21. 21. Step 2b Click on “Advanced”
  22. 22. Step 2b Scroll down to “Show document content” section
  23. 23. Step 2b Click on “Show Bookmarks”
  24. 24. Step 2b Click on “OK”
  25. 25. Step 2c Insert bookmarks! Highlight or select the data point
  26. 26. Step 2c Click on “Insert” and “Bookmark”
  27. 27. Step 2c A new pop-up window appears
  28. 28. Step 2c Give the bookmark a name and press “Add”
  29. 29. Step 2c It worked! You inserted your first bookmark!
  30. 30. Step 2c It worked! You inserted your first bookmark!
  31. 31. Step 2c Now you need to bookmark each chart…
  32. 32. Step 2c Delete each chart
  33. 33. Step 2c All that’s left is your cursor
  34. 34. Step 2c Click on “Insert” and “Bookmark”
  35. 35. Step 2c A new pop-up window appears
  36. 36. Step 2c Name your bookmark “chart_x” and press “Add”
  37. 37. Step 2c It worked! You bookmarked the first chart!
  38. 38. Step 2c Press the spacebar
  39. 39. Step 2c Press the spacebar
  40. 40. Step 2c Click on “Insert” and “Bookmark”
  41. 41. Step 2c A new pop-up window appears
  42. 42. Step 2c Name your bookmark “chart_x” and press “Add”
  43. 43. Step 2c It worked! You bookmarked the second chart!
  44. 44. Step 2d Keep track of your bookmarks
  45. 45. Step 2d Keep track of your bookmarks
  46. 46. Step 2e “Save as” a template (.dotx file)
  47. 47. Step 2e Name the file “Step2Template”
  48. 48. Step 2e The default file type is “Word Document”
  49. 49. Step 2e Save as a “Word Template”
  50. 50. Step 2e Now you have 2 files in your Dashboards folder
  51. 51. Step 3 Organize the Data
  52. 52. Step 3a Setup Sheet
  53. 53. Step 3a Column in Dashboard Data Sheet
  54. 54. Step 3a Number from 1 to …
  55. 55. Step 3a Bookmark Name
  56. 56. Step 3a Type bookmark names from Step 2
  57. 57. Step 3a Short Description of Bookmark
  58. 58. Step 3a Add a few details about your bookmark
  59. 59. Step 3b Data Sheet
  60. 60. Step 3b Data Sheet
  61. 61. Step 3a Setup Sheet
  62. 62. Step 3c Charts Sheet
  63. 63. Step 3d Code Info Sheet
  64. 64. Step 3d Within your “Dashboards” folder, create a new folder named “Step4CompletedReports”
  65. 65. Step 3d Enable Macros
  66. 66. Step 3d Type the name of your template (“Step2Template.dotx”)
  67. 67. Step 3d Type the name of your folder (“Step4CompletedReports”)
  68. 68. Step 4 Run the Code
  69. 69. Step 4 Click on “View” and “View Macros”
  70. 70. Step 4 The Visual Basic window opens
  71. 71. Step 4 VBA Code
  72. 72. Step 4 Click on “Create Reports”
  73. 73. Step 4 Relax while your dashboards magically appear!
  74. 74. Thank you! Ann K. Emery @annkemery Agata Jose-Ivanina @agataji

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