What is Excel Dashboard Software
Excel dashboard software can refer to one of two types of solutions. The first is the use of excel, a spreadsheet application, for the purposes of creating and publishing company dashboards and scorecards as a means of tracking company performance. Excel dashboard software can also be used to refer to business intelligence software that can use Excel spreadsheets as a data source for dashboards and scorecards. In this latter form of excel dashboard software the key focus is on not only giving users the ability to use excel data as a source, but also in providing accurate information to the larger organization.
The Challenge of Excel Dashboard Software
The challenge of excel dashboard software has traditionally been one of data type. At its core excel formats its data files in a comma separated format. This form of data file storage, while very similar to an enterprise database does not lend itself for easy application in dashboard applications. As the need for excel dashboard software has grown, especially in smaller organizations, companies have had to provide applications to deal with the problem.
Benefits of Excel Dashboard Software
The single biggest benefit of excel dashboard software is that it allows the creation of charts and dashboards that are based on data that is in the hands of business users. While companies go through great lengths to ensure data consistency and accuracy in an organization, it's often true that business users trust their own "spreadsheets" the most. This unique situation has pushed the adoption of excel dashboard software as a means of giving users the ability to take trusted data and share it with the organization at large.
Drawbacks of Excel Dashboard Software
While excel dashboard software has seen a great deal of interest and adoption over the past few years there are significant challenges with excel dashboard software. Chief among them is the fact that data in an excel dashboard software has a much higher likelihood of being bad, out of date or improperly formatted for the excel dashboard software platform. For this reason any excel dashboard software implementation must provide controls for IT to restrict the usage and the deployment of excel dashboard software throughout the organization.
Working with Excel Dashboard Software
When working with excel dashboard software it's important to ensure that the data in the spreadsheets to be published is accurate, clean and formatted in a way that is compatible with the excel dashboard software being used. It's very common for excel dashboard software based charts to be filled with poor data and for excel dashboard software based charts to end up being eliminated as the data behind them is no longer updated. For these reasons the key feature of any excel dashboard software must be the accurate control of access.