The Dashboard Spy

September 26, 2006

Happy Face Excel Dashboard – using conditional graphics to show KPI status

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:36 am

Enterprise Dashboard Spy reader update: With your great interest and contributions of your own dashboards, The Dashboard Spy collection of executive dashboard screenshots has grown to over 800 examples of all sorts of BI dashboards! This unique enterprise dashboard reference can now be found at a new URL: And for your convenience, the posts on the various dashboard screenshots are collected together on the enterprise dashboard sitemap. The move to the new url allows exciting new functionality such as videos on enterprise dashboard related information.

On the lighter side of enterprise dashboard design, we look at this nifty excel dashboard example using graphics to show status or state. From the excellent excel resource site, comes this great xls file download of a happy face excel dashboard. The idea is that this sample shows how an excel graphic changes in response to the entry of a different cell value. I grabbed 2 screenshots below. The first value is 95 which gives me the bright happy smile. The second worksheet shows a much lower value and hence we get the frowny face. Maybe something gimicky to lighten the day the next time you deliver an excel spreadsheet to your users? Finally KPIs that smile or frown at you!

Happy Face Excel Dashboard Graphic

Sad face excel dashboard graphic

Homework: If you need to catch up on some excel charting basics, start with Excel Charts for Dummies.

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 enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) 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 of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books on business dashboards.


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