Analytical Report – What Is It and How to Write It?
Jan 26, 2021 ● 3 min read
Over the last few years, analytical reporting has become a vital part of business intelligence. Instead of making decisions that only seem logical, companies are adjusting their strategies based on data-driven insights from reports.
But, what exact fragments go into an analytical report? How do you go about making one? In today’s article, you’ll learn everything about creating an analytical report for your business.
Table of Contents
What’s an Analytical Report?
It’s a report that helps you evaluate your business decisions based on data insights. What makes an analytical report different is that it gives you recommendations instead of just plain numbers. Analytical reports are based on historical data, statistics and provide predictive analysis for a specific issue.
An analytical report gives you:
- A better understanding of business and operational activities;
- Being able to view, understand, and summarize a large amount of information about your business through data visualization;
- Letting the end-user view multidimensional charts and interact with data using data visualization tools;
- Being able to weigh options between multiple solutions.
How to Write an Analytical Report for Your Business?
Now that you’ve learned what an analytical report is and what it does, it’s time to start writing one. Based on your preference, you can write your report on a piece of paper, use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. But, writing manually consumes quite a lot of time and research, and you may not end up getting any valuable data insights.
If you’re looking to save time and increase your efficiency, get a tool that does the job for you. Whatagraph is one of the tools that make it easy to create analytical reports since it offers analytical report templates for you.
Regardless of the method you choose, your analytical report should include the following:
- 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 discussion's body.
- 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 these instructions:
Identify the Problem
The first step to creating an analytical report is identifying the problem and the people affected by it. Make sure you describe the problem by including information on where it began, what techniques were used to solve it so far, and the effectiveness of them.
A great example of an analytical report is one of student tardiness in a selected school. In this case, we have a clearly defined problem. We’ve determined that people affected by it are students, teachers, and parents. Finally, we list the methods used to fix the problem, one being a reward system, which was unsuccessful.
Explain Your Methods
Secondly, you should list the methods you’ve used in the report to determine your actions’ success. You should also add one or two new methods to try instead. For example, a report done on a failed ad campaign may reveal that the success factor was determined by surveys conducted on a sample population.
Analytical reports display a detailed analysis of the information collected through the research methods employed. As you know, the report was built to sort out a specific issue and decide on alternative methods to try. So, it would help if you analyzed the success or failures of the solutions you tried in the first place.
To understand the analysis process better, imagine you’re writing an analytical report on obeying speed limits. You’re assessing and comparing the success and failure of formerly proposed solutions: constructing speed bumps, posting speed limit signs, or using police traffic stops.
Analysis of the information you’ve gathered by trying these methods can help you tell which one was the most effective for your business. You may even find out that a combination of two methods brought you the most success.
Lastly, your analytical report should include solution recommendations. And, it would help if you placed these solutions at the bottom of your report. By coming up with a few recommendations, you’ll be able to make data-based decisions instead of guessing.
What’s the Most Important Aspect of Analytical Reporting?
Although plain data isn’t enough to solve the problem, it does provide the necessary tools to make informed decisions. Even if you don’t get the expected results, data helps you explain and justify your situation.