Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: 3 Easy Steps

• March 26th, 2023

Dynamic Dashboards in Google Sheets- Hevo Blogs

Searching for a critical key performance indicator (KPI) or metric for a report can be difficult in a sea of raw data, primarily when your data is spread across multiple spreadsheets and tabs. Efficient Project Management requires planning and creating dynamic dashboards, that can help you make this job easy.  

A dashboard helps you track insights and get a bird’s-eye view of data so that you can make data-driven decisions. Having a dashboard gives you a perspective on your tasks and also allows you to track the progress of your projects and campaigns. 

One such platform that offers tools and functionalities for creating dynamic dashboards is Google Sheets. This blog will present you with information on what dynamic dashboards are and how you can build a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet platform available on the browser and as a mobile application for Android and iOS. It’s free to use and is bundled with Google Drive, Slides, Forms, and Docs to share documents and presentations.

It’s similar to Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and offers features like online collaboration, integration with Google Forms, Importing data from a website or RSS feed, translation, data visualization, and much more. With Google Sheets, you can either download and use third-party add-ons or create your own.

Introduction to Dynamic Dashboards

Unlike reports and static dashboards, dynamic dashboards update automatically with real-time data. If there is a change in raw data or project schedule, the elements in your dashboard will update automatically. 

Up-to-date reporting enhances efficiency and interactive features make reporting more interesting. It also allows you to use the dashboard for Predictive Analytics and live decision-making.

Benefits of using Dynamic Dashboards

  • Real-time Changes: Dynamic dashboards are always up-to-date as they reflect the information in the live project management software. Teams can rely on the information on dashboards for Business Analytics and can monitor real-time changes in Insights.
  • Easy to Modify: Data Visualisation in tabular or graph format is easy to read, and dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets makes it easier to change. They have full access to the underlying data and also allow personal visualization for multiple users. If you prefer to see data as a long list of milestones and your client prefers to see them on a timeline, dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets has a feature to do that. 
  • More Profound Insights: A tremendous benefit of dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets over a Static or Presentation-based dashboard is their ability to drill down for Insights from underlying data. You can click on a blip, task, or graph and bring up the data underneath for easy identification. Dynamic dashboards allow you to visualize and edit data at your fingertips.
  • Consistent Project Views: Having consistent project views lets the team compare progress over time and evaluate metrics with other projects more efficiently. dynamic dashboards are configurable, and you can set up any reports, graphs, and tables and change them if you need to. 
  • Custom Views: Another advantage of a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets is that it lets you control the display information. You can drag-and-drop reports and change type, size, and data placements to draw attention to essential metrics.
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7 Key Google Sheets Features and Functionalities

You must be familiar with Google Sheets for organizing data. But did you know you can also build a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets to visualize and analyze your data? A handful of techniques allow you to present data dynamically. 

1) Pivot Table

Pivot table is a powerful feature in Google Sheets, useful for summarizing large data sets and long worksheets. You can summarize data by date, category, and specific data. Unlike a spreadsheet, you can drive more insights from a pivot table and add another dimension to the table.

A Pivot table allows you to take a two-dimensional table and pivot it around the aggregation of the data to introduce a third dimension. Google Sheets also offers a ‘Suggested Pivot Table‘ section which uses AI to analyze your data and suggest the third dimension.

2) Slicer

Another feature for creating a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets is using the Slicer function to “Slice away” portions, so only the selected data remains in visualization.

Slicers are compatible with Pivot tables as well. It is also beneficial to control the data for Charts and Graphs in the dashboards. You can simply slice data, and the graphs/charts will only display parameters for selected data.

3) Charts

Charts are the best features that help you to quickly understand the data patterns and trends, especially when you are working with crucial metrics. Charts display complex tables and datasets in an easy-to-understand format. You can also use pivot tables as raw data.

4) Lookup Formulas

An essential technique for data projects in Google Sheets is to use lookup formulas. Some of the commonly utilized formulas are listed below:

VLOOKUP is a vertical lookup formula that finds a key-value (unique identifier) in the first column of a defined range and returns the value from another column in the same row. 

HLOOKUP is like VLOOKUP, and the only difference is it’s a horizontal implementation of the VLOOKUP formula. HLOOKUP returns the value of a given cell in the column discovered after searching the first row of a range for a key.

INDEX & MATCH are superior to VLOOKUP, and their combination creates a powerful and flexible lookup solution. INDEX returns the content of a cell, specified by row and column offset. MATCH returns an item’s relative location in a range that matches a given value. They are more flexible and avoid VLOOKUP pitfalls. 

Multi-Condition Lookup Formula: You can use this when you want to find a formula, based on two or more parameters. In such a scenario, the multi-condition lookup formula does the trick.

A multi-condition lookup formula looks like this:

={"Plans Overdue";ARRAYFORMULA(IF(T2:T="",,IF(S2:S+T2:T>U2:U,IF(U2:U="","Delayed","Complete - On Time"),IF(S2:S+T2:T<U2:U,IF(U2:U="","On Time","Complete - Late"),))))}

5) Sparkline

This feature helps you to create dynamic graphs that represent the time-based progress of a metric. You just have to choose the data range as the function argument, and Sparkline will create a simple but gynamic graph. These graphs don’t have any axes and exist inside a cell. You can also enlarge these graphs by merging multiple cells. You don’t need a full-blown chart and complex parameters to represent the dataset’s timeline. 

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Sparkline
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6) Data Validation

Data validation helps add interactivity to your dashboard. It creates a drop-down menu where users can select a parameter that changes the data in charts automatically. It’s a powerful technique to protect Structured Data from people who need to edit specific sections of it. 

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Data Validation in Dynamic Dashboard
Image Source

7) Conditional Formatting

Applying Conditional Formatting can help you to see numbers greater than 0, equal to 0, or less than zero in a different format. When the data is continuously changing, this tool will help to bring attention to specific sections. It’s beneficial when a Project requires tracking minute percentage changes for various metrics.

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Conditional Formatting in Dynamic Dashboard
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All of these exceptional features can help you not only set up a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets but also carry out insightful analysis in a matter of minutes!

3 Steps to Build a Dynamic Dashboard In Google Sheets

The steps to build a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets are as follows:

Step 1: Load/Collect Data

The first step to create a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets is to set up a database for your dashboard. You can either create a Google Form to collect data or you can load data from an external database or your analytics tool. Data collected from Forms can be converted to Google Sheets and used to power a dashboard as well!

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Collecting Data
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Step 2: Create a Table/Chart with Raw Data

After collecting your data, create another sheet that will act as your dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets. In this sheet, create a table or chart for every item you want to visualize. 

For example — You can create a Pivot Table for Sales across different demographic states in a country, by selecting the relevant entries and specifying a “No Limit” on the end row, which ensures all new incoming information gets reflected in the table itself. 

After this, you can customise the parameters which you wish to be displayed in the chart, and also transform them into different formats like Geo Charts to get better visualisation for your Sales.

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Creating Table with Raw Data
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Once you figure out the metrics you want to track, you can use different Google Sheets tools to create multiple visualizations for these same metrics.

Step 3: Format for Readability

The next step is to customize your dashboard in Google Sheets to make it attractive and readable. You can add colours to charts and tables or change fonts, so your dashboard is fun to work with. You can add colours to the background of a graph and include titles in different font groups.

Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets: Creating Charts for Readability
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This is how you can create a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets for your data analysis workloads!

Limitations of Building Dynamic Dashboard in Google Sheets

Are Google Sheets features and functions enough for quick data visualization? Yes. However, it’s not the perfect tool for advanced project management. Here are two limitations of creating a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets:

  • Hard to Consolidate: Users across the world favour Google Sheets for its simplicity and quick Ad hoc data analysis. But, as a result, data in spreadsheets is scattered across departments. It becomes challenging to merge data from multiple sources before generating dashboards and reports.
  • No Advanced Scaling: As an organization grows, a spreadsheet should also have the ability to scale. However, the number of rows and columns is limited in Google Sheets, and it can be difficult for large organizations to continue using it for data visualization and analysis. 

Conclusion

These are a few things that you should know before creating a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets. The final result will improve your team’s organization and efficiency. Cells and formulas in Google Sheets make it easy to arrange data.

Also, modern integrations with various tools like Google Forms and add-ons lets you automatically copy stats and more into your account. You can use this data and transform it into a professional-looking dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets.

Just like data on Google Sheets, most businesses today have an extremely high volume of data with a dynamic structure that is spread across numerous applications. If data integration is something that your business struggles with, Hevo Data can help achieve your goals in a hassle-free automated manner.

Creating a data pipeline from scratch for such data is a complex process since businesses will have to utilize a high amount of resources to develop it and then ensure that it can keep up with the increased data volume and schema variations. Businesses can instead use automated platforms like Hevo Data.

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Share your experience of building a dynamic dashboard in Google Sheets! Let us know in the comments section below!

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