Pointy Haired Dilbert is a blog that provides some amazing, freely-downloadable MS Excel resources. The philosophy behind the site is a focus on data charting and visualization and on “telling stories” with data.
Templates that can be downloaded from the site (all 100% free) include sophisticated reporting dashboards, templates for advanced charts (e.g. bullet graphs, Gannt charts, Petal Charts, Speedometer, Candlestick charts, etc.), and even Excel-based games and apps (including a calendar and an Excel-based Twitter client). What you may not know is that aside from my interest in freeware I am an expert user of MS Excel: macros, VBA automation, the works 😉 .
I was searching for information on Excel dashboards, which I needed for a project at work, when I stumbled upon this site. Now I fully realize that the web is chock-full of excellent Excel sites that offer downloadable templates, but in terms of quality this site is definitely in the 90th percentile. This is because of the originality of some of the topics and templates on offer as well as the fact that they are presented with a good degree of simplicity (not to mention given away for free).
My top three five favorite templates:
- KPI Dashboards with visualizations revisted. See a 6-part tutorial on how this was made starting with part 1 here. See the image to the right for a preview.
- Using Maps in Excel. Very interesting. Can be customized for your particular needs.
- Using data filters as chart filters. Simple and elegant.
- Artistic dashboards in Excel. Very cool. Tutorial available here.
- Tag clouds in Excel. If only for the sheer originality factor.