New Contest for 2017: The Excel 5 Minute Challenge

Happy New Year everyone! I’m back from a few long months of moving into a new house. Now that I’m all settled in, I’d like to start this New Year with a bang.

By that, I mean a new Excel Contest!

The idea for this contest came from this YouTube video posted by John Michaloudis (MyExcelOnline). In his video, he builds a dashboard in 3 minutes, giving us an interesting way to see fundamental techniques in action. Neato!

The goal of this contest is to see the various techniques the Excel community uses to quickly pull together reporting. I’m hoping to showcase the versatility, flexibility, and ease of creating reports and dashboards with Excel.


The 5-Minute Excel Challenge

The task is simple. Start with some prepared data and create a fully functional dashboard/report in 5 minutes or less.

To participate in this contest, you can submit a video of you building out a report or dashboard. All videos will be loaded to an official 5-Minute Challenge YouTube Playlist.



All submitted videos will be judged by the Excel community.

The number of “Likes” on each video posted will determine the winning entries.

So what can you win?


1st prize:

Xbox One


2nd prize:

Fitbit Fitness Wristband



3rd prize:

Amazon Fire HD 8



3 Honorable Mentions:

A bunch of leading Excel MVPs have graciously offered several top prizes for all three Honorable Mention winners.

Your choice of one of two of these gift-packs:


DataPig Add-ins Gift Pack


Mr. Excel Gift Pack

From Bill Jelen


Magic of Pivot Table Course

From Ken Puls


RefTreeAnalyser Formula Auditing Tool

From Jan Karel Pieterse


Excel Dashboard Pro Training Course

From Jordan Goldmeier


Contextures Pivot Power Premium Add-in

From Debra Dalgleish


Peltier Tech Charts for Excel 3.0 – Advanced Edition

From Jon Peltier



Contest Rules

  • Your video must be no more than 5 minutes long (it can be less than 5 minutes).
  • Your video must be real-time. No edits! No fast-forwarding. No tricks.
  • Your video must end with a reasonably useful working Excel dashboard or report.
  • You can start with staged/prepared data on your worksheet or in a PowerPivot data model. However, your presentation layer/canvas must be empty.
  • All work must be done real-time. No copy and pasting pre-cooked VBA, Charts, PivotTables etc. However, you can copy and paste objects created during the video.
  • You can use all tools available to you: Formulas, Macros, VBA, Power Pivot, Power Query, Power BI, and even Add-ins. I want to showcase the versatility of Excel, and how Excel can be used at all levels of skill. If you’re an expert at Power BI, show that off. If you’re a charting wizard, show that off! If you’re the king of Pivot Tables, show that off!
  • You don’t have to narrate your video, but it will definitely help your chances of winning likes from the Excel community.
  • You can submit as many videos as you’d like (no limits on the number of submissions).


How do you make a Video?

There are any number of free screen capture tools out there.

Just enter “Free Screen Capture Sofware” into your favorite search engine.

Here is a link to SourceForge that’ll get you started.


How do you Submit your Videos?

Just upload your video to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or any content sharing service.

Then send me an email with the subject line “Excel 5 Minute Challenge”. Include a link to the actual video file (no links back to your website). If you want to advertise your site, then give me that info and I’ll put it in the video description when I post your submission.

Email to

I will then upload your entry to the official 5-Minute Challenge YouTube Playlist.

I will send you a reply when I’ve posted your entry.

If you’re video does not meet the contest rules above, or if I can’t get to your video, I’ll let you know.


Contest Deadline

All entries must be submitted to me by Sunday, February 5th
(11:59pm US Central time).

I will announce winners on Friday, February 10th (6:00pm US Central time).


Winner Selection

Winners will be selected based on the number of “Likes” each video receives.

In the event of a tie, I’ll make the final determination based on the video content.



  • Prizes are subject to availability and shipping costs to your area. I’ll use Amazon to distribute prizes, so if I can reasonably get the prize to you from there, great. In other words, if you, for example, live in Papua New Guinea and the shipping cost is more than the value of the prize, then I’ll replace the prize with cash value.
  • You can only win one prize (regardless of how many submissions you enter).
  • By submitting a video, you agree that none of the data you present is confidential or under NDA.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the cool things our Excel community can create!

10 thoughts on “New Contest for 2017: The Excel 5 Minute Challenge

  1. Pingback: Five Minute Dashboards – Daily Dose of Excel

  2. Joshua Yu

    Would using excel short-cuts disqualify the video? For instance, I constantly use Ctrl+Page Up to navigate between tabs.

  3. Steve Rider

    While most people may be pre-partying this Saturday night before the Super Bowl, I spent my evening completing my five minute dashboard! I just submitted. Thanks for setting up. Cool idea.

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