Analytical Report – What Is It and How to Write It?
Apr 17, 2020 ● 3 min read
Businesses need a proper analytical report to help filter valuable information and enhance the creation of a full management report, leading to an effective business operation.
Analytical reports are an important reporting tool that ensures progress, influences operating costs, and uses a modern, understandable interface.
Table of Contents
What’s an Analytical Report?
It’s a business report that evaluates a business process or strategy using relevant company data to help employees make the right decision. Besides analysis and information, it also includes recommendations, and that’s what makes it different from informational reports.
Analytical reports are based on historical data, statistics, and provide predictive analysis for a certain issue.
The goal of analytical reports includes:
- A better understanding of business and operational activities;
- Viewing, understanding, and summarizing a lot of information about the business condition through data visualization;
- Letting the end-user view multidimensional charts and interact with data using data visualization tools;
- Weighing options between multiple solutions.
How Do You Write an Analytical Report?
You can write it by using traditional means such as a whitepaper, spreadsheet, or simple Word file. But, these take a lot of time and effort, and the end result is usually more confusing than useful.
Whatagraph, on the other hand, provides ready-made analytical report templates that make the job easier for every brand.
A basic analytical report should include:
- A title page – including the main topic or purpose of the report
- Table of contents – in a logical or chronological order
- A clause – specifying and presenting the methods used for the activity
- The main discussion – broken down into organized sections including the heading, the sub-heading, and the body of the discussion.
- The conclusions – according to the results and information gathered in the report
- The recommendations – given by the employee who created the report
- Sections for bibliography or appendices – when necessary
To write a successful analytical report, make sure you follow the points listed below:
Identify the Problem
The first step to making an analytical report is to identify the problem and the people affected by it. Make sure you describe the problem by including information about where it originated, what techniques were used to solve it so far, and the effectiveness of those techniques.
An analytical report example could be about student tardiness in a specific school. In that case, the problem is clearly defined - the student tardiness, the people affected are the students, the teachers, and parents, and one of the methods used in the past to fix the problem include a reward system for students on time, which proved to be unsuccessful.
Explain Your Methods
Explain the methods you’ve used in the report to assess the success of past tactics and consider alternative tactics.
For example, a report about the failure of an ad campaign of one company might reveal that the information about the success of the campaign was determined by surveys conducted on a sample population.
Analytical reports display a thorough analysis of the information collected through the research methods employed. Since this report is about problems, previously proposed solutions, and possible alternative solutions, the analysis of data centers around the success or failures of these solutions.
For example, an analytical report on obeying speed limits can assess and compare the success and failure of formerly proposed solutions, including constructing speed bumps, posting speed limit signs, or using police traffic stops.
The analysis of the information gathered from these three approaches can tell which of them was most successful, or what combination of these approaches was most effective.
Every analytical report should include recommendations for possible solutions to a specific problem. They are found in the recommendation or conclusion section of the report.
What’s the Most Important Aspect of Analytical Reporting?
The most important aspect of this type of reporting is the ability to make decisions or solve problems based on evidence instead of assumptions and guesses.
Even though data alone isn’t enough to solve the problem, it does provide the necessary tools to make informed decisions you can explain and justify in case they don’t work out as planned.