The Journal of Accountancy had a good article last month on building Excel-based dashboards. It got the creative juices flowing for me, and I am thinking about integrating some dashboards into my daily work. Modern BI tools like SAS and Business Objects can be used to automate feeds to predesigned Excel dashboards which can then be accessed by anyone over a shared network drive. The hardest (and most important) step is determining the appropriate metrics.
Dashboard reports created in Microsoft Excel are powerful, flexible and easy to design. In much the same way that an automobile dashboard graphically displays numerous measures of performance from the gas level to oil pressure, a computer dashboard presents critical data in a variety of visual formats. From this organized visual display, optimal business decisions can be made quickly and efficiently.