A financial dashboard is an easy-to-understand graphical display that helps businesses organize and interpret financial data. Dashboards allow users to analyze and monitor financial performance from a single, centralized source. Using Excel to create financial dashboards can be a simple, yet effective tool for any business.

Definition of Financial Dashboards

Financial dashboards generally include graphs, charts, and tables which can help business owners track financial performance and better understand the figures. Financial dashboards can include metrics such as current budget, income, and expenses. Additionally, businesses can add metrics that are important to their business such as total sales, products in stock, and total customers.

Benefits of Using Excel for Such a Project

  • Excel is user-friendly, allowing data to be quickly inputted and organized
  • Formulas and functions in Excel can help make complex calculations easier
  • Excel can quickly compare different measures of financial performance
  • Excel dashboards systems can be automated, saving the user even more time

Key Takeaways

  • Excel is user-friendly and makes data organizing easier
  • Financial dashboards can show essential metrics such as budget, income and expenses
  • Use formulas and functions to make complex calculations easier
  • Quickly compare different performance measures with Excel
  • Create automated systems to save even more time

Exploring Excel for Data Storage and Visualizations

Excel is a powerful data analysis and business intelligence tool, often used to store financial data, build data visualizations such as charts and graphs, and business intelligence dashboards. A financial dashboard could be used to track progress against goals, identify and visualize key performance indicators, and a wide variety of insights to make decisions.

Establishing Source of Financial Data

Before a financial dashboard can be built, the source of data must be identified. Data can come from existing internal reports, such as an income statement, balance sheet, or cash flow statement. It can also be collected from external sources such as market research, industry reports, or competitors’ financial statements.

Once the source of data is identified, it can be aggregated and organized in an Excel sheet. This is where the financial dashboard begins.

Creating Structured Data Tables

Once the source of data is identified, Excel sheets should be organized and structured in a meaningful way. This starts by creating columns such as year, month, account, and category. Then, individual lines should be created to store the financial data. Each line should be account-specific and categorized as either an expense or revenue.

Once categorized and structured, the data can be uploaded into Microsoft Excel. This can be accomplished manually or with the help of automated scripts or plugins.

Generating Different Types of Graphs

Once the data is stored in Excel, data visualizations such as graphs and charts can be built. Excel’s charts are highly customizable and allow for filtering, segmenting, and labeling of individual points of data. There are a variety of chart types available such as bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots.

To gain additional insights, looking beyond simple visualizations, data can be transformed and more complex analyses conducted. With Excel, you can use PivotTables to group and analyze data across dimensions, Power Pivot to model complex relationships between data points, and Power Query to manipulate large amounts of data.

Leveraging Macros & Other Advanced Features

Excel macros are a powerful tool to streamline tedious tasks and complex processes related to financial dashboards. Automation of data and reports is a useful feature that helps keep track of financial data and can be beneficial in a variety of contexts. Excel macros and other advanced features also have the ability to protect financial information and user accounts and offer a way to track and manage data.

Introduction to Excel Macros

An Excel macro is a set of stored commands and functions. These commands allow for users to automate their actions within the spreadsheet system and repeat tasks with a single click without having to individually enter and format each command. Excel macros can automate processes like data collection, calculations, functions, and formatting. Using macros to automate processes can save time and money and streamline long tasks.

Automation of Data & Reports

Taking advantage of Excel macro capabilities to automate data and reports is of great help for business owners who want to keep track of all the financial information related to their business, without taking too much of their time. Automated reports can help to quickly identify trends and make more accurate data-driven decisions of the business. Furthermore, automation permits faster analysis of data and can help identify areas where more resources are needed.

Protection and Tracking

Excel macros and other features can help protect financial information from unauthorized access. It can also be used to track accounts and ensure the accuracy of the data. Furthermore, these features can alert users when changes are made to accounts and help inform them of the changes.

  • Macros and other advanced features can automate a variety of tasks to save time and money.
  • Automation of data and reports enables faster analysis and more accurate decision making.
  • Protection and tracking helps keep financial information safe and accounts accurate.

Accessible Customization & Connections

When it comes to building financial dashboards in Excel, accessibility, customization, and connections with online sources and APIs are essential. This section will guide you through these necessary components as you create a functional and informative financial dashboard.

Customizable Templates & Colors

Excel makes it easy to customize financial dashboards for the unique needs of each business. From modifying the fonts and colors of existing templates to starting from scratch and creating a template that perfectly fits your needs, you can customize a financial dashboard to perfectly reflect your organization and its financial data.

Utilizing advanced features such as graphics, drop-down menus, and command buttons can increase the user-friendly design of your financial dashboard. There are many possibilities for custom-built dashboards, making the overall use and aesthetics of your dashboard entirely up to you.

Connections to Online Sources & APIs

Connecting to online sources and APIs allows businesses to quickly and easily access their financial data in real-time. By connecting to online sources, your financial dashboard can be continuously updated with the most recent data, providing timely and accurate financial data to decision-makers and stakeholders.

Excel provides APIs to integrate with popular online sources such as Google Drive and Google Sheets. This integration allows you to access a database of historical records and incorporate that data into your financial dashboard. If you’re looking for real-time data, you can also access APIs for popular financial software such as QuickBooks and Xero.

Combining Data from Multiple Sources

If your business requires data from multiple sources, you can combine datasets using Excel’s built-in data import and export features. This feature allows you to quickly and easily merge data from multiple sources into one cohesive dataset, which can then be visualized in your financial dashboard.

Data imported from multiple sources can include sales reports, customer data, and financial performance data, amongst others. By incorporating data from multiple sources into a single, comprehensive financial dashboard, you can get more in-depth insights into your business’s financial performance.

Working with Different Types of Financial Data

When creating a financial dashboard in Excel, it is important to consider the many different types of financial data that may need to be displayed. Below are three examples of data types that you may encounter and need to include in your dashboard.

Bank Activity

Bank activity data includes items such as the balance of your bank account, the amount of incoming deposits, and the amount of outgoing payments. This data can be used to show the overall financial health of your business, as well as allow you to quickly monitor how much money is coming in and going out of your business.

Investments & Assets

If your business is investing or holding any assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investments, this data needs to be included in your financial dashboards. This data can show the overall performance of your investments, as well as the total value of your assets.

Tax Reports

Tax reports are an important part of managing the finances of your business. Most businesses need to file taxes each year and submit supporting reports. This data should be included on your financial dashboard, as it can be instrumental in ensuring that you are submitting accurate tax returns.

By incorporating these different types of financial data into your financial dashboard, you can gain a more comprehensive view of your business’s finances. This can help you on your journey to making more informed decisions and better managing your finances.

Advanced Data Analysis to Create Actionable Insights

Financial dashboards are powerful tools for presenting key financial metrics in an organized and easy-to-understand manner. But, in addition to just presenting data, it’s also important to analyze and interpret that data in order to gain meaningful insights and derive actionable strategies. This can be done through several advanced data analysis techniques.

Analyzing Trends & Correlations

Analyzing trends involves tracking the evolution of a key performance indicator (KPI) over time. This provides valuable information about the behavior of the metric, helping to identify trends and changes in performance. It also helps to identify correlations, i.e. the relationship between two or more KPIs. By discovering KPIs that are related, organizations can get a comprehensive understanding of their financial performance.

Hypothetical Scenarios

Excel dashboards can also be used to create hypothetical scenarios. Business leaders can create various scenarios and analyze the impact of the changes on the KPI. This helps in understanding the sensitivity of the KPIs, allowing for better understanding of the financial performance of the company and making informed decisions with greater confidence.

Building Forecasts

Forecasting is another advanced data analysis technique that can be used to make financial projections. This involves estimating the future trends of a KPI, which helps to make informed decisions and plan ahead. The Excel dashboard can be used to build forecasts by analyzing the past trends and extrapolating the data to estimate the future evolution of the KPIs.


Creating financial dashboards in Excel can be a powerful tool for creating visuals of your financial data in order to more effectively analyze and understand it. In this blog post, we discussed how to build financial dashboards from scratch in Excel, step-by-step. We discussed how to create various charts and graphs, how to connect to external data sources, and also how to customize the dashboard to meet your specific needs.

Recap of Building Financial Dashboards

We've discussed the following topics related to building financial dashboards in Excel:

  • Creating charts and graphs
  • Connecting to external data sources
  • Customizing the dashboard

Summary of Key Benefits & Features

The key benefits of financial dashboards in Excel include:

  • Easy to use and customize
  • Data can be connected to external sources
  • Various charts and graphs can be created quickly and easily
  • Real-time visuals of your financial data

Excel financial dashboards can be an invaluable tool for quickly and easily analyzing your financial data. With the step-by-step instructions in this blog post, anyone can create their own financial dashboard in Excel.

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