Marketing analytics & reporting

4 Reporting Examples to Build Visual and Actionable Reports

Reports can come in many different shapes and forms. Some of these include general work reports, sales reports, business reports, and marketing reports. 

When done the right way, reports can positively serve your clients and managers - and whoever is reading them. Today, we prepared some reporting examples that can give you more insights on how to create an effective report, even if you’ve never made one before in your life. 

Whatagraph marketing reporting tool
Mile Zivkovic

Oct 27 2020 6 min read

4 Reporting Examples to Build Visual and Actionable Reports

Table of Contents

  • What are business reports and why do they matter?
  • 5 tips for writing an actionable report
  • 4 types of reports to get you inspired
  • 1. Marketing reports
  • 2. SEO report
  • 3. Sales report
  • 4. E-commerce marketing report
  • Launch your business reporting into the future

There are many different kinds of reports, depending on who the intended reader is and what kind of information they require from you. There are also lots of styles for building business reports.

The fact is, a marketing manager will need different KPIs and business intelligence data compared to a CEO or a CFO. Therefore, one and the same data could be presented in a variety of different ways, depending on who’s reading it.

We'll cover some of the best practices for writing business reports. And we'll show some automated and visualized report examples that you can learn from and use today.

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What are business reports and why do they matter?

Business reports are informational pieces. They discuss results and measurements related to the relevant area of business. They can be made for different departments, with different benchmarks, and for different periods (e.g. annual reports). In other words, a business report is a rather broad category with numerous examples.

business report widgets with metrics

Whether they be for digital marketing, sales, or a general overview, business analytics reports and reporting samples can improve decision-making in the long term.

Many companies' reports have a specific target audience. For marketing, it may be for clients or the CEO. For sales, it might be for the managers or upper-level board members.

Intuitively, the report design of any business report should be clear. These should illustrate the key points and metrics to the appropriate audience. For example, a VP of sales will only care about recurring revenue, while a CMO might be focusing on conversions only.

Through progress reports, you should be able to tell whether your campaigns or efforts are working so you can make better-informed decisions about future marketing and sales initiatives.

This can take a lot of time to put together without the right steps and tools.

Lucky for you, we've got both covered.

5 tips for writing an actionable report

Before you start speed-typing your way to a report, there are a few things to note. The value of good communication cannot be overstated in this field of work. And like most things, the more practice put in, the better the reports will get, no matter the report format.

With that said, here’s a 5-point step-by-step process to writing quality business reports.

  • Know your audience

Knowing your audience is paramount when it comes to progress reports. Why? Because it allows you to set the tone for the whole report.

Once you know your audience, you can select the appropriate information, performance indicators, heck, and color scheme(s). You can also choose the value items for different business segments.

For example, for sales, you’d probably use more data visualization and numbers. Whereas, for marketers, you’d go with more information and focus on report design and scheme. For social media reports, you’d want to highlight a variety of different metrics in one place. The idea here is to build the reports around your audience.

  • Set the goals for your report

Your reports should be built with the end in mind. Such that you're able to focus on what matters to your audience. Ask yourself questions from the perspective of the person you are reporting to. This should give you a better idea of what the goals should be.

monitoring goal metrics

Once you know what you’re reporting about and why things get easier. You can then select indicators that will track the relevant aspects of performance.

  • Choose the right metrics to visualize

Data visualization is important, but visualizing the right metrics is supreme.

When you nail down your audience, you can be precise with the data and metrics you want to visualize. This type of approach can help with report design and optimizing the results of reports. From there, the information you choose to include in the report should be based on the audience's expectations and the timeframe you’re reporting on.

This brings us back to the point - it's all about visualizing the right metrics for the right audience. You can use graphs, bar charts, tables, pie charts and anything else that comes with Whatagraph’s pre-loaded widgets.

  • Make the data easy to understand and actionable

Making your report understandable and actionable is a crucial piece to a good report. This means that the report design and layout are integral pieces.

To improve your business's bottom line, ensure that your reports work for you and not the other way around. Focus on metrics that have a purpose and can improve decisions.

And it's really as simple as using data visualization tools to report. This is one of the best practices in business reporting. Doing this will empower you to give an overview of the results that will inspire action.

  • Choose the right tool

Last but not least, the reporting tools you choose can make or break your report. No, we're not talking about a hammer, some nails, and a saw here. We're talking about tools that can help you build automated and visual reports.

Reporting platforms like Whatagraph also provide you with pre-made reporting samples and templates to help you kick-start the report creation process. You can send your clients or managers real-time reports with key performance indicators that matter for them.

cross-channel reports

Now, the purpose of your reports will vary. And the degree of success will be dependent on the amount of practice you put into building reports.

Using the right tool can help you present an overview or in-depth insights, for various departments and different time periods. And Whatagraph grants these functions and much more.

4 types of reports to get you inspired

Some teams choose to put people on the payroll to build different types of reports. Meanwhile, other teams employ reporting software instead of using their team members’ time.

But if you're looking to maximize efficiency, Whatagraph is your best bet. The choice is pretty clear here.

You may be wondering why that is. Well, below are a few report examples to show you the value.

1. Marketing reports

This is a great all-around template that will give you an overview of your general progress as a company. And the content and data can be focused on all of your strategic business units.

This style of the report can be applied to both a sales report and a marketing report or a reporting sample for stakeholders.

While some people do use this type of report, this is only one report template of many. If you're looking to uncover more in-depth data and drill down on your data, check out some of the report templates below.

2. SEO report

SEO is one of the most common parts of a modern digital marketing strategy. And you've probably heard of or even used Google Analytics. But, it's often difficult to understand or use when reporting to clients or management. Whatagraph can help you visualize and make the data from SEO actionable. This makes the measures of your SEO efforts more understandable in your reports.

SEO marketing report sample.

Your SEO report could also consist of purely keyword and search query metrics. Again, all of the reports you create will depend on your situation and the needs of your team or your clients.

Whatagraph keyword performance report for SEO.

3. Sales report

For a sales team, accurate pipelines are non-negotiable. Knowing which deals are likely to come through or not can affect the bottom line of the company. Having these sorts of things on display for a sales team can improve the results of future sales initiatives.

4. E-commerce marketing report

The e-commerce report template from Whatagraph has all the primary metrics you need for financial reporting. This way, you can make sure you're getting the best possible results from your e-commerce activities - whether it's the performance of individual PPC campaigns, best-selling products, or other metrics you wish to keep an eye on.

E-commerce reporting sample made by Whatagraph.

Launch your business reporting into the future

Whatagraph is a reporting tool that comes with more than 100 different report templates. This covers pretty much every area of business. Whatagraph uses an open API to pull the data and build reports automatically. This means no more manual inputting and making critical mistakes, so you can take your monthly reports to the next level.

There are loads of templates to choose from, but you can customize the reports according to your needs. This is also done through a drag-and-drop system. This makes life so much easier.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for your free trial of Whatagraph to get started today!

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Published on Oct 27 2020

Whatagraph marketing reporting tool


Mile Zivkovic

Mile is the head of content at Whatagraph in charge of all content and communications for Whatagraph’s marketing data platform. A marketing heavy with almost a decade of SaaS industry experience, Mile has managed multiple content marketing teams without losing an ounce of his writing passion. The author behind some of the most-read pieces on our blog.