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Tips For Reporting Using Microsoft Excel

By October 11, 2017 No Comments

Sage Intelligence allows you to connect to any databases and render it in Excel. You can also connect to Excel as a data source. See: https://www.sageintelligence.com/tips-and-tricks/2017/10/using-microsoft-excel-data-source-sage-intelligence/

Excel is a useful and hugely intuitive tool for creating reports and visualizing data, and some of these tips and tricks will help you create effective Excel reports:

  • Design meaningful Dashboard Reports catering to your audience’s requirements and goals following Dashboard design best practice. Dashboards are great for visualization of the key features of large data sets. Knowing what your users expect is key – and dashboards are a way to highlight those aspects of the data that are most relevant to your audience.
  • Create an interactive dashboard and dynamic data models which will serve as the back-end of your dashboard using advanced functions and formula.
    • Users should be able to interact with the data in the dashboard to explore and make sense of it in a personalized way. This gives the user a clearer picture and sense of control over the data.
    • You can create dynamic ranges using the OFFSET () function. Using Named Ranges can reduce a lot of extra effort and make your data easier to understand: “=Customer Transactions” instead of “=$A$1-$B$4” can make your spreadsheet more user-friendly and give you a stronger dashboard.
    • Visuals in the Dashboard can be useful but make sure to keep it relevant and usable – visuals should not come in the way of the efficiency of the dashboard
  • Create Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts to summarize your data instead of creating formulas all over your spreadsheet to keep the complexity of your spreadsheet at a minimal.
  • Use Pivot Tables to handle the data on your dashboard and use sheets liberally – create as many sheets as you’d like in a single file so you can visualize each level of your data individually and cohesively – take advantage of Excel’s visualization capabilities and do not crowd your data and calculations into a single page!
  • Explore alternative visualization techniques like sparklines and conditional formatting for at-a-glance analysis
  • Creating advanced and custom charts can be useful but sometimes going over-the-top with charts can take away some of the simplicity and easy usability of the spreadsheet. Often tables are the most effective visualization tool for datasets.

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