Dashboard Spy readers have been asking me to elaborate on the use of Google Spreadsheets as the charting engine for dashboard KPI graphics. As you may know, Google Docs is a free product that offers web-based office suite functionality including word processing, presentations and spreadsheets. While it is often accused of being “10 years behind Microsoft Excel”, the Google Docs Spreadsheet does offer some excellent features for us dashboarders. I’ve been investigating the use of the product’s ability to publish data charts over the web.
Here’s a quick look at the charts:
There are five types of charts that are available:
Columns – with 4 sub-types
Bar Charts – with 4 sub-types
Line Charts – with 5 sub-types
Scatter – with 3 sub-types
As demonstrated in this ”Ask the Dashboard Spy” video on coding dashboard portlets in html, we can take great advantage of the fact that Google Docs allows the creation of spreadsheet graphs that can be accessed over the web via their own URLs.
By the way, here is the url for the entire collection of Dashboard Spy videos.
Continue reading to see 2 helpful Google Docs videos:
If you would like to see a bit more of the Google Spreadsheet charting capabilities, here is another introductory video.
And this video is from a famous series of videos called In Plain English. It explains Google Docs.
Tags: Google Spreadsheet Graphs for dashboard charting, Google Docs for Dashboarding