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(Excel Dashboards & Reports) By Alexander, Michael (Author) Paperback on (09 , 2010) (Anglais) Broché – 7 septembre 2010


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The go to resource for how to use Excel dashboards and reports to better conceptualize data Many Excel books do an adequate job of discussing the individual functions and tools that can be used to create an "Excel Report. " What they don't offer is the most effective ways to present and report data.



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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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159 internautes sur 162 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Should be titled "Excel Charts and Pivot Tables" 3 septembre 2010
Par Allan W. Goodall - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I picked up this book because I'm building a client dashboard for my company. I was looking for techniques specific to building dashboards in Excel. What I got was a lot of information on building charts and pivot tables.

I'm pulling data directly from a SQL Server database into an Excel workbook that is our client dashboard, so I'm not exactly a novice user. As advanced as I am at data extraction and automation, I could use some direction on properly setting up a dashboard in Excel. What are some ways of laying out data in a visually pleasing way? How many tabs of data is too many? What are some pleasing color schemes? I've run into "hiccups" while protecting the tab names, so are there better techniques for that? What's a good way to present a user with a "preferences" tab? Basically, I'm looking for as many tips and tricks as I can find for creating a dashboard in Excel.

Unfortunately, and in spite of the title, the book doesn't spend a lot of time talking about dashboard design.

There are books out there specializing in dashboards. I was hoping for something like that with Excel in mind. I didn't even mind it rehashing basic Excel knowledge if it showed it in a dashboard-specific way. Instead, only 41 pages talk about dashboards, and much of that is beginner stuff. What is a dashboard? Creating a dashboard data model. Stripping unnecessary elements out of charts. For beginners, this is good stuff. For an advanced user, there are still some good bits. The map on page 22 showing the most important parts of the screen is informative, for instance. The "data model" section was excellent vindication that I had blundered into doing it the right way.

Out of those 41 pages, 9 pages were spent on the VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, CHOOSE, and SUMPRODUCT functions. Another 3 dealt with cell ranges and tables. Some of the other information was of dubious worth. The suggestion that you strip unneeded elements out of charts was good advice, but the example chart -- with the grid lines removed, and thus a disturbing lack of scale -- argued against that advice.

The next 128 pages are an introduction to creating charts in Excel, with nothing more than lip service paid to the "dashboard" concept. Another 57 pages are spent on creating pivot tables and pivot charts. Then, 13 pages discuss Excel 2010 "sparklines" and 18 pages on miscellaneous charting techniques. Pages 279 to 336 are supposedly "dashboard" specific, but cover things like entering drop down lists, adding trend lines, setting axis starting values, etc.

It's all interesting information that a novice would welcome, and it would do wonders to spruce up any chart. It's just not in any way specific to a dashboard. It looks a lot like a general Excel charting and pivot table book that was repackaged with a hot buzzword to generate sales.

The book's title has the word "reports" in it. Apparently by "reports" it really means pivot tables. There are no real "reporting" techniques covered. My own favorite technique -- setting all of a worksheet's columns to be very narrow and then merging cells to position the information exactly where I want it -- isn't mentioned. Neither is dynamically changing print headings and print areas in macros.

The macro section is very, very basic. It is little more than "here's how you use the macro recorder". There isn't even any mention of how you can password your macro projects so that no one can see your code (which is important if you're using macros to pull data from an outside source via SQL Server). There is some small consideration given to passwording the workbook in general, and pulling data from Microsoft Access, but it's all very rudimentary. This book will leave you copying and pasting if the data comes from, say, a SQL server table.

The pages are not exactly dense. There is lots of white space, lots of table and screen capture examples, and each chapter starts with 2 to 3 "dead" pages due to layout. (There are 17 chapters.) It's easy to read and find information, with a thorough index.

This is a worthwhile book if you know only the basics of Excel and you want to take the leap into charts and pivot tables. For that reason, and for a few of the interesting bits of information I gleaned (like the data model and the new sparkline feature in Excel 2010) I give this book 3 stars. I think I'm being generous.

Only in the smallest of companies would someone who found this book eye opening be handed a dashboard project. If you're in such a predicament, I recommend picking up Stephen Few's "Information Dashboard Design" and getting a book dedicated to Excel charts instead of purchasing this.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great Excel Reference 2 avril 2012
Par Mellisol - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I have programmed Excel using VBA for years and read numerous Excel books. I was looking for ways to make my workbooks more dynamic, flexible, and efficient without using programming so that others would be able to easily update and maintain them. The book provides great concepts on how to organize your excel data, analyses, and reports or dashboards in a very efficient and flexible manner.

This book provides a number of current shortcuts, time savers, and explanations of how using method A rather than method B can save a lot of your time or computer memory in getting from raw data to polished report or dashboard ready plots and summary tables. This book does contain a number of chapters on common Excel features including functions and charts. I skipped through some of the charts material, but the descriptions of how the authors use some tools and functions I have never utilized before will add a lot of power and flexibility without programming to my workbooks. I think this is a great book for people who have made a few charts in Excel and want to learn more as well as for people who have spent years designing extensive spreadsheet models. It provides a fresh look on how to create efficient and flexible workbooks to identify trends and action items from a mountain of data.
Great learning tool 25 septembre 2012
Par DEAN C - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Purchased excel book to learn more about charts and reports to assist me at work. It has easy intsructions and great examples, plus referances back to the web site. Now I am teaching others here at work, plus the GO TO person. I'd purchase thsi book again...great sourse to expand your knowledge, beginer or advanced user.
Great Reference Guide 31 août 2013
Par Eric - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
For anyone like me, who is consistently being asked to use Excel to create dashboards or metric based reports, this is a great reference tool. Makes Excel very easy to understand and use; especially since it's so widely used in business.
Excellent Resource 11 septembre 2012
Par RTuten - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The book is well organized and works equally well as a training tool and as a resource following the training. The examples are valuable and can easily be modified to work with practically ANY business environment.
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