5 of my favorite Excel dashboard examples

It’s easier than you think to build powerful dashboards in Excel

Josh Cottrell-Schloemer
3 min readMay 31, 2022
These examples are from the Excel Dashboard Toolkit ↗. You can free examples each month by joining the newsletter ↗.

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.

An example of a blue dashboard built in Excel using a light colored theme
Credit: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/

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.

A futuristic example of an Excel dashboard that is designed to look like a spaceship control center
Credit: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/

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.

An infographic built in Excel that shows what time of year to forage for different fruits, vegetables and mushrooms
Credit: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/

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

A bright blue dashboard example with a dark background
Credit: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/

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.

A big image that shows many different dashboard components

5. This is the full dashboard toolkit. It’s a collection of my best template tools along with all the historic templates that have been sent to members of my newsletter.

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”



Josh Cottrell-Schloemer

Building data-focused products. Startups acquired=1. Hobby = making Google Data Studio & Excel beautiful.