One of the challenges while creating a dashboard is to present the analysis in limited screen space (preferably a single screen). Hence, it is important to make smart choices while creating the right chart. And here is where Bullet Charts score over others. Bullet charts were designed by the dashboard expert Stephen Few, and since then it has been widely accepted as one of the best charting representations where you need to show performance against a target. One of the best things about bullet charts is that it is power-packed with information and takes little space in your report or dashboards. Here is an example of a Bullet Chart in Excel: This single bar chart is power-packed with analysis:

Qualitative Bands: These bands help in identifying the performance level. For example, 0-60% is Poor performance (shown as a dark blue band), 60-75% is Fair, 75-90% is Good and 90-100% is Excellent. Target Performance Marker: This shows the target value. For example, here in the above case, 90% is the target value. Actual Performance Marker: This bar shows the actual performance. In the above example, the black bar indicates that the performance is good (based on its position in the qualitative bands), but it doesn’t meet the target.

Download Bullet Chart Template Now, let me show you how to create a bullet chart in Excel.

Creating a Bullet Chart in Excel

Here are the steps to creating a Bullet Chart in Excel: Download the Excel Bullet Chart Template

Creating Multi KPI Bullet Chart in Excel

You can extend the same technique to create a multi-KPI bullet chart in Excel. Here are the steps to create a multi KPI bullet chart in Excel: Note: Creating Multi-KPI bullet chart technique works well if the axis is the same for all the KPIs (for example here all the KPIs are scored in percentage varying from 0 to 100%). You can extend this to margins – for example comparing Net Income margin, EBITDA margin, Gross profit margin, etc. If the scales are different, you would need to create separate bullet charts. While I am a big fan of bullet charts, I believe a single-KPI bullet chart is not always the best visualization. I often gravitate towards a speedometer/gauge chart in I often gravitate towards a speedometer/gauge chart in the case of a single KPI. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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