Excel chart for performance indicator

PTo present a performance indicator, the chart types are not interchangeable. Each type of graphic representation is intended to present a very specific type of data to convey equally specific information. Let’s see which Excel charts to choose depending on the nature of the KPI performance indicators to be presented?

Choose the most suitable chart for each indicator

Lhe choice of graphic presentation of information is anything but trivial. If aesthetics is essential for visual comfort, this cannot be the purpose of an ergonomic approach.

The presentation of an indicator, whether it is the type of graph, the display mode or the colors chosen, will be in all priority dependent on the nature of the information offered and the meaning conveyed by it. A curve is not interchangeable with a bargraph. To each KPI indicator, depending on its nature and its use, its graph.

How to present performance indicators

Dashboard definition
A dashboard is actually a generator of meaning. In practice, it is a user interface located at the intersection of a problem and a set of data. Its fundamental role is to transform the said data into meaningful information for the user in charge of solving the problem.

In short, the dashboard must speak. It is his role. And since a drawing is better than a long speech, graphic representations will generally be preferred to lists of insipid data from which the long-awaited substantive marrow is very difficult to extract.

That said, even if aesthetics is a primary criterion, the designer will not lose sight of the importance of the richness of the meaning conveyed. In other words, not all representations are interchangeable.
Depending on the nature of the data to be used, the meaning given and the habits and needs of the user, only one type of graph may stick for the situation.

You won’t waste your time either by giving a few moments to the Sparklines by Edward Tufte. Sparklines are diagrams that fit into a text: “Intense, simple, word-sized graphics”
They are available for Excel (since the 2010 release) and fit in a single cell of your favorite spreadsheet. See below

Practical sheets: Choose the right graph for your KPIs

  • Ergonomics and design
    An effective dashboard is a personal decision-making aid. The composition of the dashboard is of crucial importance.
    The dashboard is not just a display of indicators. An effective dashboard is a “transmitter of meaning”. But for that still it is necessary to succeed the ergonomics of the dashboard.
  • How to choose the right chart in Excel?
    Present the indicators on the workstation. There was a time not so long ago when the title of “dashboard” was given to lists of totally abstruse figures, even for the most seasoned accountant…
  • How to make a graph with Excel?
    There is nothing simpler than making a graph with Excel once the data has been chosen and selected.
  • How to use the histogram?
    How to use the histogram? What is it used for ?
    The histogram is a graph particularly suitable for following the evolution of values ​​or families of values ​​over time, according to a chronological scale.
  • How to use curve and area diagrams?
    The curve graph allows you to follow the evolution over time of a value, or several values ​​for comparison purposes.
  • How to use the sector diagram?
    How to use pie charts? What is it used for ?
    The sector, pie chart or pie chart is particularly suitable when one wishes to compare the proportionalities of the components of a whole.
  • How to use radar polar charts?
    The polar graph, especially in its radar declination, is particularly relevant for visualizing an entity with multiple characteristics.
  • What are sparklines?
    Mini-charts of the sparklines type have been available since the 2010 release of Microsoft ® Office.

    How to use mini sparkline charts to summarize information?

Make your own dashboard with Excel ®

Dashboard with ExcelDashboard essentials
Complete method and practice with Excel

Author: Alain Fernández
Publisher: Eyrolles
5th Editing

5 steps, 15 tools and 15 practical sheets to design and create your management dashboard with Microsoft Excel.

Read the detailed sheet »»»


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To discover…

Quality system and ISO 9001 standardsQuality system and ISO 9001 standards
To build a Quality Management System (QMS) according to the good practices in force, the international organization for standardization (ISO) has published a set of standards referenced 9000, 9001 and 9004. This family of very specific standards frames the realization of the QMS. Let us see below the specificities of each generation of this standardization in order to better understand the evolutions of the Quality Management Systems deployed in companies. The history is indeed instructive.

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