dashboards excel reports charting outlook budget outlook previous yearNot sure which charts & methods to use to show performance and variances?

Here’s an overview of some different methods used for visualizing performance comparisons, deviations, as well as future estimated performance.

This is specially beneficial for controllers and financial analysts looking to enhance their corporate reports to include better and improved charts.

In every corporate report, you have sections where you make comparison of actual values to budget or target values. In this section I will show you the most effective ways of making these comparisons.

You will also compare your performance to PY to see if you did better or worse. There are different way of doing this. My favorites are using symbols and using what I call the pin chart.

Lastly you will also have reports where you show how you expect to be performing for the rest of the year. These are called your forecasts or outlooks.

One point to emphasize is the consistent use of colors in your reports. Make sure your actuals have the same colour throughout your reports. They should be clearly in focus and visible. Basically stand out against budget, target, previous year, forecasts and any other series you have.

In the same manner, be consistent with the use of color for your other series.

This basically means that the chart that looks like a simple column chart, is in fact two sets of stacked charts.

Yes, it does require some work, but once you have it setup, you can re-use as much as you want.

Watch the steps in this video:

Excel Dashboards that Inform & Impress

Use these techniques in your own reports

Unbeatable value!