One crucial category of data dashboards, often referred to as manufacturing dashboards or production dashboards, is designed to monitor the essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the manufacturing process. In the era of Industry 4.0, the manufacturing dashboard has become a vital tool for companies to oversee their manufacturing operations and harness the value of data.

Production Dashboard (by FineReport)

Note: All the manufacturing dashboard templates shown in this article are created by FineReport, a powerful reporting software that has been honorably mentioned by Gartner Magic Quadrant for ABI Platforms. You can download FineReport for free and have a try!

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1. Definition of Manufacturing Dashboard

The manufacturing dashboard integrates crucial indicators essential for companies to assess manufacturing performance. Given its relevance to product production data, the manufacturing dashboard is also commonly referred to as a production dashboard.

Dashboards provide intuitive and user-friendly ways for people to track the data and figures. People in charge of manufacturing operations can overview the overall performance of the production line and make accordingly decisions on how to optimize.

2. Why Do We Need a Manufacturing Dashboard? 

Why not a spreadsheet?

First, why you’d better turn Excel data into a dashboard?

Excel isn’t a problem in itself.

You can’t imagine how essential Excel is for manufacturing. Almost every manufactory plant you walk in uses Excel for their daily recording. However, as long as the business grows, the cost of maintaining those spreadsheets becomes a huge monotonous task. In other words, it causes efficiency inside the organizations.


Storing Excel files on personal computers or drives poses challenges in sharing data value among companies. Each time data is required, individuals must locate those who own or record the data.

You have to ask, for example, your colleague Jack “Hey, man, do you have order data for June 2020?” Then you might get an answer like: “Well, I’m not sure. Let me check it when I’m in the office.” 

Subsequently, you might find yourself waiting the entire afternoon as colleagues search for documents. Additionally, you may spend a substantial amount of time performing tasks such as copying, pasting, verifying, preparing, and distributing.


The thing even worse is that some Excel files may have multiple authors or multiple versions. That causes a headache as it may confuse you with the data accuracy. If you have done everything, then Jack tells you: “Sorry, man, the file just sent you is not the latest version…” Oh, how troublesome.

What is the better solution for manufacturing data?

What is behind manufacturing dashboards is a real-time data-gathering solution. The underlying manufacturing reporting system pulls out the relevant data for you automatically. After the manufacturing dashboard is developed, you can see those figures directly and conveniently.

This is a manufacturing dashboard that updates whenever the database updates.

Manufacturing dashboard to optimize operation
Manufacturing dashboard to optimize operation (by FineReport)

It offers a streamlined approach for business professionals to manage data, reducing the time consumed by repetitive tasks. Build the templates once, and manufacturing dashboards can be displayed on computers and TV dashboards, consistently presenting the required data.

After knowing the shortcomings of Excel in the context of business intelligence, I will demonstrate the most cost-effective and efficient method of creating a manufacturing dashboard using Excel data.

3. How to Create a Manufacturing Dashboard Template (with Excel data)

Here I use FineReport Designer to do the dashboard template design. It’s an enterprise reporting tool with simple, professional, and flexible characteristics. I like to use the canvas-like Designer to create dashboards by drag-and-drop. It also provides a free version that supports 2 concurrent sessions for personal users. You can click the button to get a free activation code and have a try by yourself.

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3.1 How to Turn Excel Data into a Manufacturing Dashboard?

You can import Excel files into FineReport or connect FineReport with Google Sheets. Also, you can link to other databases if you want. In this post, I will show you how to connect to the Excel dataset.

  1. After the Designer is enabled, click the + above it. Click File Dataset.
How to use Excel data set to do manufacturing dashboard

2. Set the title as whatever you want on the File window that pops up. Here, I named the dataset “Store Information.”

3. Click the drop-down in File type and change it to Excel.

4. Click Selection to select the local file.

How to use Excel data set to do manufacturing dashboard

5. Select your Excel file and click Open.

6. Click Preview to confirm that all data are correct, and then click OK and return to the Designer.

How to use Excel data set to do manufacturing dashboard

You can see that an Excel dataset is added to the template dataset list at the bottom left of the dataset management interface.

3.2 Create Your First Template for a Manufacturing Dashboard

I have written a post introducing how to use a drag-and-drop way to create a dashboard in How Can Beginners Create a Great Dashboard?

3.3 Push the Manufacturing Dashboard to Those Who Need It

Using the decision-making platform, you can schedule tasks and control authority. These are exactly what the company’s management needs most.

Set the dashboard to be pushed regularly

If you need to generate and publish reports regularly, you can set up a task schedule. Once set, the server will complete the task within the specified time, generate the required files, and even notify users of the results via email, SMS, platform messages, etc.

Set authorization based on roles

To ensure the security of data and information, enterprise managers, the most effective way is authorization management, allowing users to access only their authorized resources per the security rules or security policies set by the system.

Permission Management on production dashboard
FineReport Authorization

FineReport supports different forms of authorization management. There are three types of authorization methods for departments, roles, and users. Meanwhile, the data security of the mobile terminal also supports device binding.

Template Authorization

After the template is developed, the template authorization system can ensure that only authorized users can view reports and data from the platform. In addition, FineReport can integrate with various portals such as OA and single sign-on to ensure data security.

Data authorization

FineReport supports setting parameters to ensure that different people can see different data content.

Permission inheritance

FineReport users can use user data from other platforms such as OA to configure permissions by synchronizing data sets.

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4. More Manufacturing Dashboard Samples

Dashboard APP Demo 3
Plant Monitoring Dashboard (From FineReport)
Grid-monitoring dashboard

Last but not least, these templates are pre-built in FineReport Designer. Download and activate FineReport for free now.

FineReport, renowned for its excellence in web reporting software, stands out as the optimal choice for conveying insights from data. Dive into FineReport to commence your thrilling data adventure, and the personal version comes at no cost!

For enterprise users, engage with us to receive an exclusive quote on our premium enterprise edition! Propel your business with cutting-edge solutions customized to your needs.

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Schedule a live demo with our product experts at your convenience. This session will provide clarity on your requirements and demonstrate how FineReport can assist you and your organization in transforming data into value through effective reporting management.

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