Dashboard in Excel: see how to use it in practice + free template for the Marketing area

Check out the advantages, step by step to create your Dashboards in Excel and access the free template for Marketing Metrics

Let’s say you are the Marketing leader of a midsize company. In this case, you need to make decisions that can also impact revenue, team performance and other important aspects. How do you make the best decisions? One thing we can guarantee: having a Dashboard in Excel will make your life much easier!

Many professionals need to make data-driven decisions: it’s the Data-Driven movement that grows every day. Now can you imagine having to go through thousands or even millions of lines of data to reach a conclusion? And when we look at metrics individually, we can hardly get insights, right?

That’s why we need to use Dashboards! Having complete dashboards, with an integrated view of the data you need to monitor, is a fundamental part of several business areas, ranging from the financial area to Marketing and Sales. Oh, and important detail: managers depend on a well-made Dashboard to do a good job.

Data analytics exist to make crucial decisions at a strategic level. The question is how do we represent this data in a way that helps our team or leadership come to the best decisions quickly?

To support you in this work, Blue World City have prepared this complete content showing how the Dashboard in Excel can be used and the steps you need to follow to start using it right now. Remembering that all the information works not only for Excel, which is a paid license tool but also for Google Spreadsheets.

Bonus: How about already having a dashboard ready to track your Marketing Metrics? Just access through the form below 😉

What is a Dashboard in Excel?

Before talking specifically about Dashboards in Excel, let’s answer the question you may still be asking yourself: What exactly is a Dashboard?

In practice, a dashboard provides a high-level overview of your metrics, whether related to a specific area or the business as a whole.

It is usually made up of a number of graphs, tables, and views that are pleasant to view and easy to interpret. The design and content of the Dashboards must always be available and updated with real-time data, which helps in the quick decision-making process.

Because of these characteristics, the spreadsheet format, whether in Excel or other tools such as Google Spreadsheets, is one of the favorites for the ease of creating Dashboards.

It is also important to highlight that Dashboards provide a series of advantages and are always useful to understand the direction you need to give to improve results or keep them at the ideal level.

3 advantages of having Dashboards on a daily basis

We can highlight 3 main advantages of having Dashboards in Excel:

1. Deliver a quick, global view to understanding the data

Dashboards deliver quick, at-a-glance views of reporting data, which is much more beneficial than looking at large volumes of data.

This type of visualization helps you make quick and urgent decisions because you can understand a lot of information at once, in a short amount of time.

2. Show progress of work against goals

They also help you track key performance indicators (KPIs) with ease. This makes it easier to visually understand your progress against what you need to deliver as a goal.

This helps keep all team members in tune with the progress they need to make, making it easy for leaders to target the actions needed to take, all in real-time.

3. Make a visual presentation of the data

Excel Dashboards include various elements such as charts, tables, figures, and other types of visualizations that help you present your data.

They can deliver this visual presentation for any type of data, for different markets and purposes. If you need to measure the results of any project, remember that Dashboards are the way to go.

Why Use Spreadsheets to Create Dashboards?

Still wondering why Excel is used to build dashboards? One of the key points is that spreadsheet creation tools such as Microsoft Excel offer many options for creating dashboards. Furthermore, it is one of the most used tools by organizations around the world.

An important detail is that many companies are not able to pay for Business Intelligence software, the famous BI, which have more expensive licenses. Therefore, Excel offers this advantage when creating Dashboards.

Of course, it is up to each company to take all the necessary precautions so that the data is updated correctly. When this does not happen, it is possible to find flaws that compromise the main analyses. A more recent case of Excel dashboard error happened with the UK healthcare system.

In October 2020, it was found that approximately 16,000 cases of people infected with Covid-19 were not reported in the country’s total sum. The cause of the error was a failure in using Excel, since some files with test results exceeded the limit size allowed by the tool, making it impossible to load the number of infected people in the central system.

Having tools connected to the database is the best option

Even with these facilities, it is necessary to make it clear that yes, the tools integrated with the data sources are even better options to accompany your Dashboards.

With Power BI for example, a tool that is also from Microsoft, your company gains much more freedom to create custom charts and compare metrics within a single view.

Better than that is having a solution with everything integrated, from the operational part to the analysis of results. A good example is the Marketing area, which can count on RD Station Marketing, the all-in-one Marketing Automation tool that is the leader in Latin America.

With it, your company can do better campaigns, nurture Leads, generate qualified business opportunities and achieve more results. The features range from Social Networks to Email Marketing, from Landing Pages to Pop-ups, and from Automation to Analysis of your results.

The big advantage is the complete Dashboard of your Marketing and Sales funnel: by defining steps and goals for each of the funnel phases, you can monitor your results on a daily basis, gathering data automatically, in real-time.

Role of Digital Marketing Dashboards

Several business areas can benefit from a Dashboard in Excel. But if there is one that we can highlight, it is the Digital Marketing area. Today, professionals in the field need to constantly look at the data and define what the next steps are.

This type of Dashboard can provide an overview of all your company’s campaigns, from the generation of Leads to the number of openings you got in the last Email Marketing sent.

Every Dashboard needs to be designed to quickly answer the question of how are we currently performing?

Therefore, check the role that each model of Dashboard in the area can play.

Digital Marketing Dashboard

A complete Digital Marketing Dashboard can be used to monitor activity performance across all channels. This type allows you to monitor your campaigns and other Digital Marketing efforts in real time, allowing you to make decisions about how to best allocate your budget.

It’s critical for professionals in the field to track metrics across many different channels. For this reason, the Dashboard concentrates the Lead generation data on each of them, showing in the view the progress of each one towards the goals.

Email Marketing Dashboard

An Email Marketing dashboard highlights key metrics that demonstrate your company’s ROI (Return on Investment) and campaign performance. By displaying real-time metrics, you can continually improve these campaigns.

Implementing more data-centric adjustments to your Email Marketing actions by tracking key campaign metrics can help you determine what’s really relevant to your target audience.

Dashboard for Ecommerce

This type of Dashboard provides a central view of the data that affect Marketing actions, budget and various decisions that an Ecommerce needs to make. What is presented in this Dashboard depends on what you want to track and do with the data.

In most cases, it should display the metrics and KPIs that marketers deal with directly and need to monitor, such as traffic sources, ROI, customer retention, items added to cart, and total sales.

Social Media Dashboard

Although the marketing work on Social Media is one of the most important nowadays, the Dashboard needs to represent the result that efforts in these channels bring to the goals of the area as a whole.

Therefore, the metrics and KPIs that are usually tracked, such as the number of interactions and the engagement volume, can come in the Dashboard accompanied by the Lead generation volume, for example.

Step-by-Step to Using a Digital Marketing Dashboard

After knowing all these possibilities, how about checking out a tutorial to now use your Dashboard in Excel to track Digital Marketing results?

Here you can access the Dashboard template for your Marketing actions and also an eBook that brings all the details about the correct metrics to measure your business success:

  • Access the Dashboard template now : [Spreadsheet + eBook] Marketing Metrics Monitoring

After accessing the spreadsheet, just check here how to use it.

1. Tracking Marketing and Sales Funnel Metrics

The first step in using the Data Dashboard is to fill it with information from your funnel, from the Visitors stage, through the Number of Leads, Opportunities to the number of Sales.

Also fill in what the goal is for each of these steps and also the conversion rates you need to achieve. If you have any doubts, just access the Sales Funnel Benchmarking to check the average that companies in the same segment that yours can achieve.

2. Metrics of Digital Marketing Channels

In addition to having the complete Dashboard, you can also track the metrics of each Digital Marketing channel.

3. Tracking Charts

Having a visual highlight, through graphics, is the best way to use the Dashboard in Excel. In the Graphs tab of the spreadsheet, you can better visualize the progress of the results (red line) in comparison with your goals (blue line) .

3 Steps for Creating a Dashboard in Excel

Did you like the Dashboard example for the Marketing area and now want to create other models of your own? For this it is important to follow 3 basic principles to get the result you expect.

Here we describe what they are and the steps to start creating an Excel Dashboard.

1. Brainstorm ideas and strategies about the main objective of the Dashboard

Before investing time to build Excel Dashboards, users should first have an idea about the types of data that need to appear in the Dashboard.

Make a definition based on the main purpose you want the Dashboard to serve. Do you want to track certain areas or the performance of a specific product produced by the company?

With that in place, it’s easier to gather the information and people who will be directly impacted by the results presented in the Dashboard and start making a Dashboard about the visual models you can adopt.

>> Read more: Dividing information to multiply results, by Eleonora Diniz

2. Identify the appropriate data source

Once you’ve decided on the purpose, the next step is to identify the source of the data that will be displayed in the Dashboard. Data is the basic element of any Dashboard and drives the other components that will be added to it.

Integrations may be required to fully automate the visualization of this data in real-time.

3. Appearance

The purpose of creating the Dashboard already determine, in most cases, its appearance and the visuals that will be presented. The Dashboard must have a striking appearance to make it easier to find a certain graphic.

Its appearance also depends on the audience that will follow the information:

  • What are your preferences?
  • Will it be a manager, an external customer or teammates?
  • How much time do they have to analyze the data?

This is the way to start the process of creating a new Dashboard. Remembering that you can follow these steps even if you decide to create using other tools.

Secure the best Dashboards for your Marketing team

Throughout the content, we saw that having a tool that integrates your operation, data and Dashboard is the best way to keep everything working automatically and correctly.

In the case of the Marketing area, we check the structure of the main RD Station Marketing Dashboard. But did you know that this is not all you can see when using this tool?

There are a number of complementary Dashboards that you can use to further analyze the results:

Email Marketing Dashboard

Each email campaign your team sends has a unique Dashboard to track key campaign metrics, from open rate to the number of clicks received on each of the links used in the email.

Landing Pages dashboard

As with Email Marketing campaigns, you can also have a specific view of the results generated in each of your Landing Pages.

With this view, it is much easier to identify which pages are with the best conversion rates. In addition, RD Station Marketing visually delivers the performance of each of the Digital Marketing channels.

This direction is essential to identify whether investments in a given channel are generating the expected results.

BI Marketing Dashboard

Yes, RD Station Marketing still has an integrated BI tool! With it you get flexibility and several possibilities to create your own custom reports.

You can still have an overview of campaigns, with the performance of marketing actions in converting your funnel.