Sunday, August 4, 2013

P1.5: Building a Dashboard Report Using PivotTables- Excel 2013

In this post you will learn how to create a dashboard displaying Total Sales, percentage Growth, and ratio of Internet and Reseller sales using PivotTables in Excel 2013. The data is from the Ferrari PowerPivot book.

The Dashboard

A dashboard is a report which displays final results in a compact form. To begin, open the Dashboard workbook from Chapter 1 of the PowerPivot book we have been using. You will observe that this particular dashboard displays Total Sales of the AdventureWorks company. The Total Sales is arranged by country by region, along with percentage Growth of sales, and the percentage of Internet and Reseller sales. With the summarized information in a compact report, the dashboard allows the reader to visualize patterns and to assess the data more comprehensively than viewing a single table.

Fig. 1: Dashboard of Total Sales, Growth of Sales, and Internet-Reseller Sales by Country
By looking at Figure 1, you can observe the complexity in the types of data within the column sections of the dashboard. Creating this condensed report with computations and formatting will require multiple PivotTables or other intermediate tables to import the data to modify on the dashboard for the following reasons:
  • The regions within the Country are geographically sliced. So if there is only one region, then that region is collapsed and removed, leaving only the Country. A PivotTable cannot handle slicing and removing for only specific rows.
  • Column headers slice the headings differently and include different sets of Years, as with two years you can determine the growth percentage between the two. Also, Internet and Resell are from where the products were sold, different than years. Again, mixed slicing cannot be achieved with a PivotTable.
  • The data elements inside the cells are calculated differently. They vary from summation for Total Sales, percentage of sales Growth, and ratio of Internet and Reseller sales. The elements in the dashboard are from different calculations, not available in a PivotTable.
  • The colors in the dashboard allows the viewer to assess quickly the patterns in the data. They are derived from conditional formatting, different formulas for different cells, and are unable to be created with a PivotTable.
So we create a dashboard with data inputted from different PivotTables to devise a dashboard displaying different data requiring different formulas.

Creating the PivotTables

We start by querying the Data Model in the workbook with PivotTables. Because PivotTables have a dynamic quality, the PivotTables can change when the source data is updated with new data. For example, adding new entries or fields can change the positional coordinates of the specific cell in a PivotTable referenced by the Dashboard. Therefore, instead of stopping at PivotTables, Excel tables will be used to construct the Dashboard. By referencing Excel tables instead of PivotTables, there will be no need to change the formulas for the Dashboard every time the data is modified. 

The Dashboard worksheet already has the Data Model created. To add a PivotTable from the Data Model present in the workbook, click the Insert tab and then the PivotTable button as shown in Post 1.3. To access the Data Model, select Choose Connection under Use an external data source and the Existing Connections window will appear. The Data Model in the workbook is under the Tables tab as shown in Figure 2.

Fig. 2: Creating a PivotTable from a Data Model
Now we have a blank PivotTable of the Data Model, from which we can select fields to display in a table. To make the Internet PivotTable, select the fields SalesTerritoryGroup, SalesTerritoyCountry, SalesTerritoryRegion, FiscalYear, and SalesAmount from the DimSalesTerritory, DimTime, and FactInternetSales tables. Place the fields into the quadrants as shown below in Figure 3.

Fig. 3: PivotTable Fields for Internet Sales

For the Resellers PivotTable, you also select the same fields except the SalesAmount field is from the FactResellerSales table. The fields are placed in the same areas below the field selection area. Now you have created the PivotTables for Internet and Reseller Sales, depicted in Figures 4 and 5, respectively. 

Fig. 4: Internet Sales PivotTable

Fig. 5: Reseller Sales PivotTable
Converting PivotTables to Excel tables

To convert the PivotTables to 'regular' Excel tables, use the Convert to Formulas button under the OLAP Tools drop down button located in the Analyze tab. Do this for both Internet Sales and Resellers Sales tables.

Fig. 6: Convert to Formulas Button

After converting both the PivotTables into Excel tables, you know have tables you can use to reference for the Dashboard. The two finished Excel tables are shown in the Figures 7 and 8 below. 

Fig. 7: Reseller Sales Table

Fig. 8: Internet Sales Table.

Creating the Dashboard

Now that we have the two Excel tables, we can create the Dashboard, using standard Excel formulas and certain formatting for cells. Start by copying the row labels to the new empty worksheet which will contain the Dashboard. Next label the column headings. You can add color formatting to distinguish the labels from the data as needed.

Fig. 9: Dashboard Labels
Notice in the Internet and Reseller Sales tables that they do have missing values in some cells. When converting the PivotTable into Excel tables, the empty cells in PivotTables return as empty string cells into Excel tables. Therefore we have to use IF() statements in the Dashboard to return numerical zeros when the cell is an empty string for the Total Sales when adding Internet and Reseller sales. 

Fig. 10: IF() formula for Total Sales in Europe in 2006
For the percentage in Growth columns, you can use the mathematical formula to find the difference between the two desired years and divide by the base year for the percentage.

Fig. 11: Formula for Total Sales Growth in 2007 from 2006
By dividing the sales of the Internet by Total Sales, you can calculate the percentage of sales from Internet sales (and Reseller sales when you divide Reseller sales by Total Sales) in each year.

Fig. 12: Formula for Percentage
The color formatting for the cells can be achieved through conditional formatting where you can set certain values in cells to have certain cell colors. You can format the cells by clicking on the Conditional Formatting button shown below in Figure 13.

Fig. 13: Conditional Formatting Button
Dashboards are indispensable for conveying important data and information in a condensed report. Patterns from conditional formatting in Dashboards can aid in visual analysis of the data. As you can see in Figure 13, some Regions in the United States and Australia show poor growth in red in 2007. Also, the distribution of Internet and Reseller sales in lean towards Resellers in North America, whereas in Europe they are distributed more evenly after the years. 

Now you have created a Dashboard containing information on Total Sales, percentage Growth in Sales, and percentage of Internet and Reseller sales by year and Country-Region. 

Thanks for reading,

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