BonaVista Systems (the maker of the Excel add-in product MicroCharts), a subsidiary of XL Cubed, has announced the winners of its 2008 Excel Dashboard Competition. You might be surprised to discover how effectively a dashboard can be designed using Excel, when enriched with MicroCharts, which adds sparklines and bullet graphs to Excel’s library of charts. These dashboards were not designed for show or to wow people with superficial eye candy–they were designed for actual use. The folks at BonaVista Systems have resisted the temptation to support the flashy (but ineffective) displays that the market has come to expect from dashboards. I applaud their courage and integrity. I’m betting that they don’t have a lot of customers coming back to them disappointed that their dashboards don’t work and don’t get used.