Two cool charts for dashboards

Dashboards play a crucial role in providing concise, real-time insights, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions. Traffic light charts and gauge charts are valuable tools for creating a visually appealing dashboards. Both types of charts use visual cues for quickly communicating information, such as project status, performance metrics, or goal attainment.

Let us deep dive and explore the significance of these charts.

Traffic Light Charts

Traffic light
Traffic Light Chart

Traffic light charts are commonly used in project management, performance reporting and goal tracking to provide a quick and intuitive assessment of the data being presented.

As the name suggests, they use colors like red, yellow, and green to indicate different levels of performance, risk, or status.

  • Red: This signifies a critical issue that needs immediate attention.
  • Yellow: A warning sign that the value is approaching a concerning level.
  • Green: Everything is functioning within the desired range.


  • Performance Monitoring: Traffic Light charts are ideal for monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and assessing whether they meet predefined targets. For example, in project management, green lights indicate that projects are on track, while red lights signify areas needing immediate attention.
  • Risk Assessment: They are also valuable for risk assessment, with red lights highlighting areas of high risk, yellow lights indicating caution, and green lights signaling low risk. This enables stakeholders to prioritize resources and intervene accordingly.

 Gauge Charts

Gauge charts are frequently used in dashboard designs to give the user quick access to information about the status of a metric or KPIs. They resemble speedometer gauges in cars and show a single value within a range, often represented by a needle or pointer. This makes it easy to see at a glance where a particular value stands in relation to its target or threshold.


  • Performance Evaluation: Gauge charts excel in visually summarizing performance metrics such as sales targets, customer satisfaction scores, or website traffic. The position of the needle relative to the scale provides a quick assessment of performance status
  • Goal Tracking: They are also effective for tracking progress towards predefined goals or targets. Whether it’s reaching revenue milestones or achieving operational efficiency, gauge charts offer a compelling visual narrative of progress over time.

Power of Dual Charts

While Traffic Light and Gauge charts each offer unique advantages, combining them in dual-chart formats can enhance their effectiveness further. By presenting complementary visualizations side by side, they give a comprehensive view of performance, risks, and opportunities in a single glance. Not only this, they keep the viewers focused on the most important data points by highlighting specific metrics.

Other benefits include:

  • Instant Insights: Both charts allow viewers to grasp the data’s meaning at a glance, without needing to decipher complex numbers or trends.
  • Actionable Information: Traffic Light and gauge charts charts highlight areas needing attention. The combination of visual cues and precise metrics empowers stakeholders to take timely corrective actions.
  • Real-time Monitoring: In real-time monitoring applications, dual charts enable rapid detection of anomalies or deviations from expected performance levels.


In conclusion, Traffic Light and Gauge charts serve as indispensable tools for data visualization, offering intuitive ways to navigate through insights and gauge success with precision. Whether it’s monitoring performance, assessing risks, or tracking progress towards goals, these charts provide a visual narrative that empowers decision-makers to make informed choices with confidence.

Check out these videos to learn how to make them in Excel.

Make Traffic Light chart in Excel

Make Gauge Chart in Excel

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