If you ever wanted to transform your vanilla data into something sleek and eye catching, Microsoft Excel is the place you want to be. By following the steps in this short guide, you’ll be able to create a dashboard for your stakeholders like this cool one below.
First, you’ll want to download Microsoft Excel. Any version will do, the one used in this guide was 2019. Once Excel has been installed and opened add the following data anywhere below row 24.
Also, if you’d like to remove those unsightly gridlines, select the ‘View’ link at the top of the spreadsheet and deselect the ‘gridlines’ option.
To keep things short, we’ll only be going over the bar graph portion of the dashboard.
Once you’ve entered the data, right-click the cell in the upper left hand corner of the dataset. While keeping your mouse button depressed, drag the cursor to the last cell in the dataset. Now that you have your entire dataset highlighted, head over to the ribbon at the top of the spreadsheet and select ‘Insert’.
Hover over to the ‘Charts’ area and select ‘Bar Graph’ icon and select ‘2d Column’. Once selected, you’ll be presented with your bar graph! If you’re happy with the default color scheme, then you’re all finish. But if you’d like to customize it a bit, read on.
Each part of the graph is broken down into separate areas to allow from some very granular styling. For simplicity’s sake, they are broken down area by area in the list below:
- Background – Double click anywhere on the chart’s background and the ‘Format Chart Area’ menu will appear on the right of the screen. Select the ‘Home’ link on the ribbon at the top of the page and select the background color and font color you would like in the ‘Font’ section.
- Bars – Double click the bars and head over the ‘Font’ section and select the color you would like by clicking the ‘paint bucket’ icon.
- Chart title – Double click the chart title area and follow the same steps as above.
And that’s it! Take a look at video below and if you’re up to it, try to create the Pie Chart and Sales Pipeline.