There are numerous occasions you will want to display your list data using visuals like various charts (Pie Chart, Bar Chart, Line Chart, etc.). All these things are possible by using Power BI where you are required a license for each user. To be more specific, in Power BI you are required to have licenses for all users to view charting dashboards. And that is costly if your user base is large.
Recently, I came across a product known as SharePoint Dashboards that provides various charting solutions. (They do have other solutions and I have explained below). The advantage of this compared to Power BI is that you just need a subscription for the user building the dashboards, not for the users who are viewing the charting dashboards.
The beauty of this product is, you do not need to install anything, nor do you need technical knowledge to use it. Anyone can sign up and use 20 free and useful templates. A paid user having a subscription can use all more than 139 templates.
Let us check in detail.
SharePoint Dashboards – Complete Template Gallery
SharePoint Dashboards provides a SharePoint Template gallery showing 20 free templates and 119 paid templates. Templates are organized into these categories:
- Row Highlight
All these templates can be used without installing any 3rd party software.
Each category in the gallery above has its own templates. I’ve discussed specific templates and how to use them on a SharePoint list in the sections below.
Key benefits of SharePoint Dashboards
SharePoint Dashboards provides numerous benefits that deliver impactful changes to organizations. It is safe, simple to use, customizable, collaborative, adaptable, and insightful. Features include:
- No installation of external Software: Simply copy and paste templates directly to SharePoint.
- Improved decision-making: Visualize data information using simple to understand concepts.
- Save time: Templates can be configured and setup with only a few clicks. Fast any easy!
- Options for Personalization or Customization: Each template can be configured to match the exact look and feel for your organization. Colors, border, backgrounds, text all can be adjusted with simple dropdown options.
- Tracks competitive production: You can use the dashboards to track the development and technical ability of other businesses in your industry. Groups and individuals can analyze their competitors’ data and conduct a SWOT analysis to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Data Visualization: SharePoint Dashboards can present large amounts of data in a visual format that makes it easier for users to understand.
- Collaboration: SharePoint dashboards can be shared among team members, allowing everyone to access the same information and collaborate on projects more effectively.
Supported and Unsupported Platforms
SharePoint Dashboards includes a number of templates that convert your daily data and present it in an appealing and effective way. Before working with the SharePoint Dashboards templates, remember:
These templates are only for SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server Subscription Edition users. Currently, these templates are not supported by other SharePoint versions.
Licensing, pricing, and Installation
There are two types of licenses or subscription plans available. One is free and the other is the Paid version or Pro version.
SharePoint Dashboards offer a lot of flexibility to free subscription users. Such as:
- 20 free templates: They allow anyone to sign up for a free account, which includes 20 free templates.
- Simple to learn: Users can easily learn how to make dashboards and charting especially with the availability of tutorials and instruction provided by SharePoint Dashboards.
- Copy & paste: They offer copy & paste method where users can copy the prebuilt code and paste that on SharePoint to format the view in a while.
Paid or Pro Version
Similarly, by using the Paid or Pro version, you can get more flexibility with more customization options. The cost of the Paid version is $29 per month. It comes with below features:
- 119 Pro templates: They offer 119 Pro templates that come under the paid version. (Users can also use the 20 free templates.) As a result, users can get a total of 139 templates in the Paid version.
- Email Support: Pro Subscription plan members are provided email support to troubleshoot challenges.
SharePoint Charts Complete Training
SharePoint Dashboards provide complete training videos, documentation, and instructions that allow the user to create their own visualizations using different types of charts, and dashboards as per their business requirements.
However, the user can get ideas from preparing the data to create a dashboard on the SharePoint list.
SharePoint Dashboards Charting Templates
SharePoint Dashboards provides 28 charting templates with extensive charting capabilities. Charting templates include:
- Bars (1 Row)
- Bars Grouped
- Bars Stacked
- Columns (1 Row)
- Columns Grouped
- Columns Stacked
- Flow Chart
- Heat Map
- Proportional Area
- Scatter Plot
- Swim Lanes
- Word Cloud
Now, let us see a few examples of charting templates that we can use to create charts without using Power BI.
Create Charts using SharePoint Dashboards Charting Templates
Let’s look at how to use SharePoint Dashboards to create charting and visualization on a SharePoint list without using Power BI.
Once you are logged in to the SharePoint Dashboards, you can find different types of charting templates such as Bar, Bars (1 Row), Bars Stacked, Bubbles, Columns(1 row), Org chart, Marimekko, and many more.
SharePoint Dashboards charting format
You can find all these charting options only in the Paid version. Let us see with a few examples, how easy it is to create charts using SharePoint dashboards charting templates.
View 1: Bars visualization on SharePoint list using charting template
Below I am displaying a SharePoint list that I have formatted to Bar visualization by using the SharePoint charting templates.
Let’s format a SharePoint list to see how the visualization works. I have prepared a Sharepoint list named Project Expenses having a default title column and a number column.
To format the above SharePoint list into a bar chart by using a SharePoint chart template, the steps I followed were:
- Once you are logged in to the SharePoint Dashboards with the Pro version, you can find different types of visual templates under Charting or View.
- Select a visual (in my case, I have selected View – Chart / Bars)).
- Personalize your chart on the left side customize panel by providing a title, color, font, background gradient, and so on as per the business needs.
- Next, give the SharePoint field internal names to the respective fields i.e., Title and Expenses.
- Click on the Copy Template. It will display a short description dialogue box that will instruct you how to apply the template on your SharePoint list.
- As per the instruction, I moved to my SharePoint list and navigate to the Format current view. Paste the template (JSON code) to the formula bar. Click on Save.
- My SharePoint list was instantly formatted to a bar chart view as shown below:
This is how to Format a SharePoint list to a bar chart view using the template.
View 2: Waterfall visualization on SharePoint list using charting template
Similarly, let’s take another example where I have formatted my simple SharePoint list to a waterfall chart visual.
Below, you can see that I have prepared a SharePoint list named Monthly Sales Report having a title column and 2 number columns (i.e., Profit & Loss). Then I formatted that SharePoint list to visualize via the waterfall model using the charting template of SharePoint Dashboards.
To convert a SharePoint list to a waterfall chart, I have followed below steps:
- From the Charting template, select View-waterfall.
- Customize the chart’s components such as title, font family, size, +ve bar color, -ve bar color, etc.
- Also, set the SharePoint field names (i.e., Profit & Loss) and click on the Copy Template.
- Once you clicked on Copy Template, a dialogue box will open with a short description of how to paste the template. Click on OK.
- Go back to the SharePoint list, click on the List view header > Format current view > Paste the template code in JSON formula bar > Save.
- You can find the formatting is applied on the SharePoint list and the data will display in a waterfall chart format as shown below:
This is how to create a waterfall visualization from a SharePoint list using the template.
View 3: Employee Cards on SharePoint list using charting template
Let’s talk about another template that will convert a SharePoint list to an Employee card using the template.
While scrolling through the verities of templates, I discovered an amazing template i.e., Employee Card. Below, I am displaying how a Simple Employee SharePoint list is converted to an employee card visual.
To create the employee cards from the SharePoint list, I have followed below steps:
- I have prepared a SharePoint list named ‘Employees’ having such columns:
- Employee: People
- WorkPhone: Text
- CellPhone: Text
- Location: Text
- Manager: People
- Then, from the SharePoint gallery template, navigate to the Charting template, and select Employee Cards.
- Here, you can directly copy the template or you can customize the card by providing Picture Width, Border Color, Font Size, family, etc.
- Once the customization is done, click on the Copy Template. Again, a dialogue box will open to instruct you how to apply the code on the SharePoint list. Click OK.
- In addition, each template studio displays the details of SharePoint list columns as well as the version that is permitted for this template. If you have any problems applying the template to the SharePoint list, the template includes a video tutorial.
- When you paste the template code on the Format Current view and click on the Save button, you can see the list is converted to the Employee Card visual as shown below:
This is how to Create Employee card visual using SharePoint charting Template.
View 4: Gantt visual on SharePoint list using charting template
While surfing the SharePoint Charting templates, I found another visual template i.e., Gantt Chart. I applied this visual template to my SharePoint list and I got the amazing result as shown below:
As we can see, I converted my normal SharePoint list to a Gantt chart view. Now, I will explain how I built this chart on my SharePoint list using the SharePoint charting template.
- Select the Chart / Gantt from the SharePoint dashboards’ Charting gallery template.
- Customize the chart as per your business requirement and also, you can select a theme for the visual.
- As the chart requires 2 date fields, provide the SharePoint field names such as Title, Start Date, and End Date.
- Once you customized the template, click on the Copy Template button. A dialogue box will appear to instruct you how to apply the template on the SharePoint list. Click on OK.
- Then come back to the SharePoint list and paste the template code on the SharePoint list’s Format current view.
- Once you click on the Save button, immediately the list is converted to the Gantt chart visual as shown below:
By using the SharePoint Charting template, we can format a SharePoint list to a Gantt chart view.
SharePoint Dashboards are integrated with different types of templates to format the SharePoint list column into a button format such as email, date increment, delete, download, edit, flow, hyperlink, and many more.
Let’s format a SharePoint list to see how the formation works. There is a Sharepoint list named Tasks Assign having different types of columns such as a single line of text, a people column, and a choice column.
Below we are displaying a SharePoint list that we have formatted by using the SharePoint column button templates.
SharePoint column format using button template (free version)
On the above list, we have formatted the Email column using the free version and the Form column using the paid version. Let us discuss how to format these columns using the SharePoint Dashboards’ button templates and the following steps are:
- Once you logged in with the SharePoint Dashboards with your respective credential, click on Get Started. It will redirect you to the SharePoint Template Gallery.
- As we want to format the column as a button, click on Buttons.
- You can select any version of templates. (Ex: Button Email/free). It will redirect to a studio page where you can customize the button as per the business need.
- Below we are displaying the customization studio page which allows the user to choose a prebuilt theme for the button, and personalize the font family, its color, size, border color, background color, icons, etc.
- When you click on the Show Preview option, this will display the preview of your button customization with an example video.
- The best part is that each template comes with a video tutorial that shows the user how to use the template on their SharePoint site. It also shows the user which platforms the template will support.
- Once the customization is complete, click on the Copy Template button. Instantly, it will display a dialogue box showing a short description of how to copy the template.
- As per the instruction, I selected a button theme, provided the people column, and copied the template.
Where Assignto is the internal name of the SharePoint people column.
- Then I selected the single-line column (Email) that I want to format. Navigate to the Column settings > Format this column > Paste the template on the JSON formula bar > Save. This is what the result will appear.
- Once you click on any email button the respective person’s mailbox will open.
SharePoint column format using button template (Paid version)
Similarly, let’s take another example where we will format a choice column using a paid version template. Here, I will format a choice SharePoint column to a combo box format where it displays the options such as edit, delete, and open that item.
To format the choice column into a combo button, I followed the below steps:
- On the SharePoint Template Gallery, selected the ‘Button / Combo‘ (pro version) from the buttons’ gallery template.
- From there, I selected a theme with other customization and once the customization is completed, clicked on Copy Template.
Also, you can find that it is displaying the supported SharePoint versions and is embedded with a YouTube video tutorial.
- Once the template is copied, come back to the SharePoint list and select Format this column under the Column settings. Paste the copied template on the JSON formula bar.
- After you save the code, you will notice that the format has been applied to SharePoint, as shown below:
This is how I customized my SharePoint list by using the SharePoint gallery template.
I think this is one of the best tools having a lot of useful templates that you can use to make charts without using Power BI.
You can just sign up for free and use the 20 free templates available in SharePoint dashboards. Once you know the basics, you can sign up for a Pro subscription for full access.
After working for more than 15 years in Microsoft technologies like SharePoint, Office 365, and Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI), I thought will share my SharePoint expertise knowledge with the world. Our audiences are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. For my expertise knowledge and SharePoint tutorials, Microsoft has been awarded a Microsoft SharePoint MVP (9 times). I have also worked in companies like HP, TCS, KPIT, etc.