6 steps on how to create a KPI dashboard in Excel
For a long time, corporate information had to be analyzed through calculation done on paper or using a calculator at best. This process used to take a long time and could generate confusing information.
With the emergence of electronic spreadsheets, the situation has changed. Today, with the help of Google Sheets or Excel, skilled professionals can better organize all their data.
Learning how to create a KPI dashboard in Excel is among priorities for many managers that seek for quick ways to control and monitor their business processes.
After all, efficient analysis of all the management information can contribute to improved results.
Even with thorough and practical solutions – such as a management software – spreadsheets can still be handy. However, it is necessary to be careful with them in order to avoid making mistakes.
See in our blog: 4 Key Performance indicators examples for company
The importance of KPIs
Before we learn how to create a KPI dashboard on Excel, we must emphasize how important this tool is for your business.
The more information you have about your company, the easier it is to make better decisions, right? The aim of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is to facilitate the interpretation of data. For this reason, we can summarize the importance of KPI as the following:
- Having accurate information about a company’s different areas;
- Helping to make better decisions for managing a business;
- Agility in understanding relevant information;
- Updated data according to an organization’s operation.
How to create a KPI dashboard in Excel?
One way to make the most out of the positive aspects we mentioned is to use digital spreadsheets.
To do that, you just have to know how to create KPI dashboards in Excel. The tool is accessible and commonly used in the corporate world – especially for those who master its features.
In order to help you with this task, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how to create KPI dashboards in Excel:
1. Plan your dashboard
The first step in our guide on how to create a KPI dashboard in Excel is to plan the data you wish to work with. There are several important KPIs, but you cannot work with all of them at the same time, right?
So, plan your data considering these factors:
- Which KPI do you want to analyze?
- Which data are necessary to calculate this KPI?
- Which people will use the dashboard?
- What is the primary information you want to obtain from the dashboard?
- How do you want to organize this information?
Usually, when you create a KPI dashboard in Excel, you must define the KPIs that aggregate more value to your company’s solution along the processes chain.
2. Organize information needed to calculate the KPI
Now that you have defined the goal of your dashboard, it is time to get your hands dirty. You cannot create a KPI dashboard in Excel without a proper organization of information.
The first step is to organize all the data needed to calculate a KPI.
Let’s say you want to calculate a financial KPI, like a profitability indicator. To do that, you will need to organize two columns of data: monthly income and monthly profit for the analyzed period.
KPI will be calculated based on this information. Ideally, the numbers should be extracted from another spreadsheet that is created based on a company’s results. That way, your KPI dashboard is always lean and updated, without an excess of formula or information.
3 Utilize formulae to calculate data
It is the use of Excel’s formulae that makes it possible to calculate KPI so easily. Although many managers consider equations very complicated, the truth is that you only need to use simple formulae to achieve your goal.
In this example of how to create a KPI dashboard in Excel, we are going back to the profitability indicator. In order to calculate it, you just divide the profit for the period by the income. If information is organized in two parallel columns, the formula will be: “=A2/B2,” and you can apply it in the same way to all the dashboard.
4. Organize information to facilitate analysis
After calculating the KPI, you can simplify the analysis. If you have profit data for every month, you can do a chart to compare the evolution throughout the year. Therefore, you can identify periods of highs and lows and analyze your business seasonality.
Use tools to create graphics in Excel to have a good visualization of your KPIs.
5. Run some tests to make sure it is working properly
You know now how to create a KPI dashboard in Excel. However, it is always important to keep an eye on the dashboard overall functioning.
It takes only one wrong formula to make your whole analysis inaccurate. Excel is a great tool to deal with data, but it has several limitations when compared to a management software.
6. Seek to integrate information from various KPIs
As you calculate all the KPIs that are relevant for your company, you may start to create equations to integrate them – such as comparing a profitability indicator with a sales indicator to find a correlation.
Risks of dashboards for managing performance
It is essential to highlight that there are other options to make these analyses even easier. Even simple dashboards have some limitations.
Check out some risks of dashboards for managing your company’s performance. They are even more evident when compared to a management software such as STRATWs ONE by Siteware:
- Mistakes in the formula may compromise all the analysis;
- Lack of security in storing information in a dashboard;
- Difficulty to deal with complex data that demand several spreadsheets and formulae;
- Adverse impacts on competitiveness due to delay in decision making
Siteware has developed a robust and easy to use software for managing performance. Using it, you can make all information more transparent, monitor all the KPIs you need, and promote continuous improvement in your business.
Revolutionize your company’s management with STRATWs ONE: