For many, Excel spreadsheets are a no-nonsense way to keep track of your business KPIs. Whether you want to track company revenue, sales team performance or key marketing indicators, Excel is the go-to tool for many business leaders who want a simple way of monitoring the metrics that matter. 

However, you may have noticed that Excel is not the most effective way of getting your team to take notice of your KPIs. Even if the spreadsheet is regularly updated, it doesn’t mean your team is making a habit out of checking it.

This isn't great if you’re trying to build a data-driven culture, where everyone is aware of their performance metrics, and is laser-focused on hitting their goals. 

That’s why many team leaders seek to turn their Excel KPI spreadsheets into an office wallboard. A wallboard (or TV dashboard) is a TV that permanently displays performance metrics, so your colleagues become aware of them, and check them regularly throughout the day. 

If this sounds like you then read on to find out more about the solutions available.

Displaying Excel data on a TV screen directly

Displaying your Excel spreadsheet on a TV screen feels like it should be a straightforward task. After all, we’ve all shared documents to a TV screen during a presentation or a meeting. 

You may expect that displaying your spreadsheet is as simple as connecting your screen to a computer via a HDMI lead. However, in practice, there are two major stumbling blocks:

  1. Permanent display

Ideally you need a solution set up for permanent display. That means not setting up the screen every time you come to the office. (Screencasting or other similar screen sharing options are therefore out of the question.)

Even if you dedicate a laptop (connected to a screen via a HDMI lead) you will still need to continually access the laptop to update the spreadsheet or refresh the data. In reality, maintaining your wallboard becomes a constant chore, (which is unlikely to stick).

  1. Visual comprehension

Most Excel spreadsheets and dashboards are not optimized to be displayed on a big screen. If your display is hard to read at a distance (or at a glance), then people aren’t going to get the information they need and it’s not going to be effective. 

(Not to mention, it just doesn’t look very professional. If you’re someone who takes data seriously – you deserve a solution that makes you look like the modern, data-driven business you are.)

Spreadsheets won't be readable at a distance, when displayed on a TV

Instead, the best solution is a KPI dashboard tool

Instead of directly broadcasting your spreadsheet, consider using Geckoboard – a KPI dashboard tool that’s powered by the data in your spreadsheet. 

People looking at a dashboard
Geckoboard is powered by the data in Excel and auto-updates in real-time

By connecting your Excel spreadsheet to Geckoboard, you can quickly build a KPI dashboard that visualizes your most important metrics. There are multiple reasons why this is a better solution:

  • Your dashboard will be optimized for full screen TV display, meaning it can be easily read and understood at a distance. (It also looks more polished and professional.) 
  • You can set up your device in kiosk mode, meaning your dashboard will always display when you power-on in the morning. 
  • By establishing real-time connection, your dashboard will update whenever you update the data in your spreadsheet. 
  • You can manage your dashboard (or loops of dashboards) remotely from the Geckoboard app.
  • Geckoboard also integrates with over 90 other data sources such as Salesforce and Google Analytics, meaning you can include other metrics in your dashboard directly from the tools you use.  

The cost

Geckoboard does carry a cost, starting at $39 per month. For some, this may be offputting. However, many Geckoboard customers find this cost to be more than worth it because of

  • The time they save, otherwise spent manually sharing spreadsheets
  • The increased level of engagement their team has with data and KPIs, which leads to a greater sense of accountability and motivation.  
It has made a huge impact on our sales and our team’s psychology. They can see how far away they are from their targets – if they’re only a few percent off, there’s a big drive to hit them on time.
— Vaughn Newton - Dymatec

Display excel spreadsheets on a TV screen

Try Geckoboard for free and build your first Excel-powered KPI dashboard in minutes.

For further information on using Geckoboard as a TV dashboard, check out our Complete Guide to TV Dashboards.