Excel 12 (part of the upcoming Office 2007) will feature some very nice business intelligence tools including dashboarding functions. Check out this post describing the new “Data Bar” format http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2006/02/24/538875.aspx. The idea of a data bar is to have a background that is partially filled and is relative to the other values. As explained: “The Excel 2007 UI allows you to choose whatever colour you want for your data bars, but, by default, all the data bars you apply to a range have to be the same colour. Someone on our team recently showed me how to use a tiny bit of VBA to simulate having multiple colours of data bars on a range conditionally applied, so I thought I would pass along the trick.”
Default is one color:
The post describes how to get the much desired red/green/yellow effect:
So What or Who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of business dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.