5 of my favorite Excel dashboard examples
Let’s get right into it! Here are a few of my favorite dashboard examples. They are all built in Excel and use the standard features (no plug-ins or custom coding).
The secret to creating these types of dashboards is learning to use the ‘shape’ tools in Excel and learning to use the style settings for charts/metrics. It’s MUCH easier than you might think.
1. Let’s start with a classic dashboard style. This design is fairly generic template that you could use for anything from marketing data to sales KPIs. I’ve found that most larger enterprise clients like a light theme instead of a dark theme and that they typically like blue and green color palettes.
2. Here’s one that’s a little less practical but a great example of Excel’s design capabilities. This template was designed to show off how Excel’s built in shape features can be styled to create interesting effects.
3. Excel doesn’t just have to be used to display tables of data and endless bar charts. This example uses Excel to design an infographic that explains what time of year that edible plants and mushrooms are growing in the Pacific Northwest
4. This is one of my first attempts to push the limits of Excel’s dashboard capabilities and it focuses on all the visual effects you can use to make dashboards that are way more visually engaging. This one uses rectangles layered on top of each other for each section and then uses Excel’s gradient feature to create the color effects.
I’ve been building dashboards for almost a decade for brands like Google, Lego, Gatorade, Microsoft and Philips. This toolkit was designed to distill some of the lessons I learned and to show people that you can build beautiful dashboards using nothing but Excel.
It’s designed using a simple learning principle — one of the most effective ways to learn visual design concepts is to deconstruct someone else’s sample files. This toolkit includes multiple .xlsx files that you can download and then pull apart to see how each component works. It also includes some guidance, lessons and tips to help you get started.
After you download the Excel files you can sign up for the newsletter and I’ll send you free follow-up templates and add-ons for free.
Oh btw, did you know you can insert 3D models of dinosaurs into Excel? Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘3D Models’ and search for “dinosaur”