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Dashboard Design - Previously Recorded eStudy 81

Why wait until the end of the year to write a lengthy report when you can share data early and often with dashboards? During this three-hour workshop, we’ll cover data visualization design principles (30-minute review); page layouts (15 minutes); dashboard design (15 minutes); and dashboard creation (two hours). First, we’ll review the best-bang-for-your-buck data visualization design principles. This workshop is geared towards evaluators who have already been thinking about data visualization. You’ve probably heard of techniques like direct labeling so we won’t spend much time here.

Second, once you’ve designed one great graph, it’s time to combine multiple graphs together for your report, slideshow, or handout. The key page layout techniques include designing within a grid system; sketching layouts on paper; ensuring that there is adequate white space between chunks of content; and establishing a visual hierarchy within individual graphs and for the publication as a whole. You’ll view my real-life examples so that you can see how grids, white space, and visual hierarchies are applied in each setting.

Third, you’ll learn the major dashboard types: comparing categories; comparing categories over time; tracking progress towards goals; tracking progress towards goals over time; a series of matching dashboards; or a combination of any of these types. I’ll share my nine sample dashboards with you and you’ll vote on which two or three styles you’d like to create from scratch in Excel.

We’ll be designing static dashboards within Excel. These dashboards will live inside of Excel and get shared with stakeholders as PDFs through email or as printed handouts during meetings. I no longer teach anyone how to create interactive dashboards in Excel because they simply don’t get used as often as static dashboards. Life’s short and I’m only going to teach you about visualizations that make a difference.

View a sample dashboard at