Excel and xero: creating dynamic dashboards for business insights


Businesses today generate a vast amount of data, and making sense of this data is crucial for informed decision-making. Excel, in combination with xero, a popular accounting software, provides a powerful platform for creating dynamic dashboards that offer valuable business insights. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to build interactive and dynamic dashboards in excel using xero data.


Before creating dynamic dashboards, ensure you have the following prerequisites in place:

Xero account: you should have an active xero account with access to the data you want to analyze.

Microsoft excel: use the latest version of microsoft excel or a version that supports power query and power pivot features.

Now, let’s dive into the steps to create your dynamic dashboard:

Step 1: data extraction with power query

Power query is an excel feature that allows you to connect to various data sources, including xero. Here’s how to extract data from xero:

Open excel and go to the “Data” tab.

Click “Get data” and select “From online services” > “From xero.”

Sign in to your xero account and select the organization you want to retrieve data from.

Choose the type of data you need, such as invoices, expenses, or sales, and apply any necessary filters.

Load the data into excel using the “Load” button.

Step 2: data transformation and modeling

Once you have your data in excel, use power query to clean and transform it for your dashboard:

Remove any unnecessary columns or rows, filter out outliers, and handle missing data.

Create calculated columns if needed. For example, calculate total revenue by summing invoice amounts.

Load the cleaned data into a data model by selecting “Table tools” > “Design” > “Add to data model.” this step is essential for creating relationships between tables.

Step 3: building the dashboard

Now, it’s time to create your dynamic dashboard:

Insert a new worksheet for your dashboard by right-clicking on the tab at the bottom and selecting “Insert.”

Design the layout of your dashboard, adding titles, charts, and tables. Plan for interactivity, as users should be able to filter and explore the data.

Use pivottables and pivotcharts to display summarized data. Create slicers to enable users to filter data easily.

Step 4: establishing data relationships

If your dashboard involves data from multiple tables (e.G., invoices and customers), you’ll need to establish relationships between them:

Go to the “Data” tab and select “Diagram view.”

Drag and connect related fields between tables to create relationships.

Close the diagram view and return to your dashboard.

Step 5: adding interactivity

Make your dashboard interactive for users to explore data:

Insert slicers for filtering. Select a pivottable or pivotchart, then go to “Pivottable analyze” > “Insert slicer.”

Choose fields that users can use as filters, such as date ranges, customers, or product categories.

Step 6: dynamic charts and graphs

To create dynamic charts and graphs:

Select your data and insert a chart from the “Insert” tab.

Use pivotcharts for flexibility and interactivity.

Link charts to slicers for real-time updates as users filter data.

Step 7: final touches

Add final touches to your dashboard:

Format charts, tables, and slicers for a professional look.

Test the dashboard thoroughly to ensure all elements are working correctly.

Provide clear instructions or tooltips for users on how to navigate and interact with the dashboard.

Step 8: data refresh and sharing

Your dynamic dashboard should automatically refresh data when xero updates. To ensure this:

Go to “Data” > “Connections” > “Properties” > “Usage” and enable background refresh.

Save the excel file in a location accessible to users.

Share the file or host it on a secure platform, allowing authorized users to access and interact with the dashboard.


By combining the data extraction power of xero with the data analysis capabilities of excel, you can create dynamic dashboards that offer valuable business insights. These dashboards provide a user-friendly interface for exploring financial data, making informed decisions, and gaining a deeper understanding of your organization’s financial health. Whether you’re tracking sales, expenses, or other financial metrics, the dynamic dashboards you build will be a valuable asset for your business.

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