Today I have a very special person with me which is not only an Excel Expert & Blogger but also a good friend of mine.
To reach more & more people, I have decided to be more social & grab some Million Dollar Excel Tips for my visitor from some super hot Excel Experts. So here are some words I got from brad this week.
Hey brad,First of all, I want to thank you for coming to ExcelChamps. Let’s start with some intro about your blog.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for reaching out to me to talk a little about myself and what I do.
My name is Brad and I run the Excel Blog at bradedgar.com and I started the blog in hopes of helping others learn how they can apply Excel techniques to answer and solve business problems and questions.
I noticed while in the office that most, if not all of my counterparts were coming to me for advice or help on creating reports using business intelligence software and then transforming that data into actionable analyses in Excel.
From there I knew I could build a blog around providing readers with the knowledge they needed to use Excel to solve business inefficiencies, as well as help them come up with solutions to save big dollars for the company they were, are working for and in turn, this would help them advance in their careers.
What Do You Think About The Future of Microsoft Excel as a Spreadsheet program?
In my eyes, Excel has, is and always will be a spreadsheet program even as it becomes an even bigger powerhouse in the business intelligence world.
Excel was created to organize, manipulate and store (to a certain extent) data. People will always need this type of software functionality in order to manage information and data that is stored within databases.
I believe that the application will evolve into one of the best business intelligence software’s on the market with time but will of course always provide its users with the ability to use it as a spreadsheet program.
Your 5 dollar dashboards are very popular in Excel Community, Tell us something about these dashboards.
I started the 5 Dollar Dashboard section on my website as an extremely affordable way for people to purchase industry specific Excel dashboards that they could use to apply in their work and business. It’s a plug and play concept whereby the user simply needs to copy and paste their data into the associated raw data table, and the dashboard will update accordingly and provide them with business answers/solutions and action items. Additionally, I personally love dissecting and reverse engineering dashboards and I figured it would be an affordable option for them to learn how to create dashboards in Excel.
What is your Million Dollar Advise To BI Beginners?
If I were to give my million dollar advice to new BI professionals, it would be to first and foremost always learn the business case and what people are looking for before diving into building reports and dashboards for clients or your company.
Some additional things I would suggest doing:
Always gather the exact information that is required for the end result / dashboard / report. You’ll want to minimize the amount of raw data by reducing the number of columns/fields used in your spreadsheet to not clutter and slow down the presentation.
Make sure to outline and sketch out your dashboard and then show the user what you’ll be including. With this, you should always catch anything that the user hadn’t thought of the first time around.
Also, where possible, summarize the data as best as possible for your needs before importing it into Excel. This will make for a more efficient spreadsheet by reducing the number of formulas required.
An example of this would be instead of pulling all transactional records for sales, simply pull the summarized monthly sales for the period you are reporting on.
What are your 5 Tips for people who are struggling with their dashboards
Tip # 1
Make sure you understand the exact steps required in order to build an Excel dashboard. Here is a step by step guide that you can use and follow – 5 Easy Steps on How to Make an Excel Dashboard. Learn more from here.
Tip # 2
Get the data right before you even start working in Excel by either learning to write reports yourself using your company’s business intelligence software or having and finding the right people to get you the data that you need. If you are working with a specific software, use these search techniques to find resources using Google to become a BI reporting expert for the BI software your company uses.
Tip # 3
Learn everything and anything about Excel Pivot Tables. They are ridiculously useful for summarizing your data sets before presenting your data into a dashboard. If you’re just getting started out, here is a great Beginner’s Guide to Excel Pivot Tables.