How to Write a Business Report: A Step By Step Guide with Examples
With so much experience under your belt, you already know a lot about business reporting.
So, we don’t want to waste your time pointing out the obvious because we know what you need.
Secrets. Tricks. Best practices.
The answer to how to write a mind-blowing business report that you don’t need to spend hours and days writing.
A business report that will immediately allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
A report that’ll help you learn more about your business and do more accurate forecasting and planning for the future.
We believe we have just that right here.
With this comprehensive guide, you’ll create effective sales, analytical, and informative business reports (and business dashboards ) that will help you improve your strategies, achieve your goals, and grow your business.
So, let’s dive in.
What Is a Business Report?
Importance of creating business reports, types of business reports, what should be included in a business report, how to write a business report: an 11-step guide.
- Business Report Examples
Although there’s a variety of business reports that differ in many aspects, in short, a business report definition would be the following:
A business report is an informative document that contains important data such as facts, analyses, research findings, and statistics about a business with the goal to make this information accessible to people within a company.
Their main purpose is to facilitate the decision-making process related to the future of the business, as well as to maintain effective communication between people who create the reports and those they report to.
A good business report is concise and well-organized, looks professional, and displays the relevant data you can act on. The point is to reflect upon what you’ve achieved so far (typically, over the past month, quarter or year) and to use the data to create a new strategy or adjust the current one to reach even more business goals.
Business reports should be objective and based on the data. When stating the facts, people rely on numbers rather than giving descriptions. For instance, instead of saying “our conversion rate skyrocketed”, you would display the exact percentages that back up that claim.
Business reporting matters for several reasons, among which the most important ones are:
Recognizing Opportunities to Grow
Detecting issues and solving them quickly, evaluating a potential partner, having a paper trail, keeping things transparent for the stakeholders, setting new company goals.
In fact, over half of the companies that contributed to Databox’s state of business reporting research confirmed that regular monitoring and reporting brought them significant concrete benefits.
If you never look back at what you’ve achieved, you can’t figure out what you’ve done well and what you can leverage in the future for even better results.
When you analyze a specific aspect of your business over a specific time period and present the data you gathered in a report, you can detect an opportunity to grow more easily because you have all the information in one place and organized neatly.
Is it time to introduce new products or services? Is there a way to enhance your marketing strategy? Prepare a report. Can you optimize your finances? Write a financial business report . Whatever decision you need to make, it’s easier when you base it on a report.
Reports are essential for crisis management because they can introduce a sense of calmness into your team. Putting everything on paper makes it easier to encompass all the relevant information and when you know all the facts, you can make a more accurate and effective decision about what to do next.
Writing business reports regularly will also help you identify potential issues or risks and act timely to prevent damage and stop it from escalating. That’s why monthly reporting is better than doing it only once a year.
Having an insight into your finances , operations and other business aspects more regularly allows you to have better control over them and mitigate potential risks more effectively.
Different types of business reports may be accessible to the general public. And if they’re not, specific situations may require a company to send them over to the person requesting them. That may happen if you’re considering a partnership with another company. Before making the final decision, you should learn about their financial health as every partnership poses a certain risk for your finances and/or reputation. Will this decision be profitable?
Having an insight into a company’s business report helps you establish vital business relationships. And it goes the other way around – any potential partner can request that you pull a business report for them to see, so writing business reports can help you prove you’re a suitable business partner.
In business, and especially in large companies, it’s easy to misplace information when it’s communicated verbally. Having a written report about any aspect of your business doesn’t only prevent you from losing important data, but it also helps you keep records so you can return to them at any given moment and use them in the future.
That’s why it’s always good to have a paper trail of anything important you want to share with colleagues, managers, clients, or investors. Nowadays, of course, it doesn’t have to literally be a paper trail, since we keep the data in electronic form.
Writing business reports helps you keep things transparent for the stakeholders, which is the foundation of efficient communication between these two sides.
You typically need to report to different people – sometimes they’re your managers, sometimes they’re a client. But your company’s stakeholders will also require an insight into the performance of your business, and relying on reports will help you maintain favorable business relationships. A business report shows you clearly how your company is performing and there isn’t room for manipulation.
Once you set business goals and the KPIs that help you track your progress towards them, you should remember they’re not set in stone. From time to time, you’ll need to revisit your goals and critical metrics and determine whether they’re still relevant.
When you write a business report and go through it with your team members or managers, you have a chance to do just that and determine if you’re efficient in reaching your goals. Sometimes, new insights will come up while writing these reports and help you identify new objectives that may have emerged.
Depending on your goals and needs, you’ll be writing different types of business reports. Here are five basic types of business reports .
Analytical report, research report, explanatory report, progress report.
Informational reports provide you with strictly objective data without getting into the details, such as explaining why something happened or what the result may be – just pure facts.
An example of this type of business report is a statement where you describe a department within your company: the report contains the list of people working in this department, what their titles are, and what they’re responsible for.
Another example related to a company’s website could look like this Google Analytics website traffic engagement report . As we explained above, this report shows objective data without getting too much into the details, so in this case, just the most important website engagement metrics such as average session duration, bounce rate, sessions, sessions by channel, and so on. Overall, you can use this report to monitor your website traffic, see which keywords are most successful, or how many returning users you have, but without further, in-depth analysis.
Analytical reports help you understand the data you’ve collected and plan for the future based on these insights. You can’t make business decisions based on facts only, so analytical reports are crucial for the decision-making process.
This type of business report is commonly used for sales forecasting. For instance, if you write a report where you identify a drop or an increase in sales, you’ll want to find out why it happened. This HubSpot’s sales analytics report is a good example of what metrics should be included in such a report, like average revenue per new client or average time to close the deal. You can find more web analytics dashboard examples here.
From these business reports, you can find out if you will reach your goals by implementing your current strategy or if you need to make adjustments.
Research is critical when you’re about to introduce a change to your business. Whether it’s a new strategy or a new partner, you need an extensive report to have an overview of all important details. These reports usually analyze new target markets and competition, and contain a lot of statistical data.
While not the same, here is an example of an ecommerce dashboard that could help track each part of a campaign in detail, no matter whether you are launching a new product, testing a new strategy, and similar. Similar to a research report, it contains key data on your audience (target market), shows your top-selling products, conversion rate and more. If you are an online store owner who is using paid ads, you can rely on this report to monitor key online sales stats in line with Facebook Ads and Google Analytics. See more ecommerce dashboards here.
As you might guess from its name, you write the explanatory report when it’s necessary for you to explain a specific situation or a project you’ve done to your team members. It’s important to write this report in a way that everyone will be able to understand.
Explanatory reports include elements like research results, reasons and goals of the research, facts, methodology, and more. While not exactly an explanatory report, this example of a HubSpot marketing drilldown report is the closest thing to it, as it helps marketers drill into an individual landing page performance, and identify how good their landing pages are at converting, or which ones have the best performance.
A progress report is actually an update for your manager or client – it informs them about where you stand at the moment and how things are going. It’s like a checkpoint on your way towards your goal.
These reports may be the least demanding to write since you don’t need to do comprehensive research before submitting them. You just need to sum up your progress up to the point when the report was requested. This business report may include your current results, the strategy you’re implementing, the obstacles you’ve come across, etc.
In many companies, progress reports are done on a weekly or even daily basis. Here is an example of a daily sales report from Databox. HubSpot users can rely on this sales rep drilldown business report to see how individual each sales rep is performing and measure performance against goals. Browse through all our KPI dashboards here.
What does a great business report look like? If you’re not sure what sections your report should have, you’ll learn what to include in the following lines.
Business Report Formatting
Different types of reports require different lengths and structures, so your business report format may depend on what elements your report needs to have. For example, progress reports are typically pretty simple, while analytical or explanatory reports are a different story.
However, most reports will start with a title and a table of contents, so the person reading the report knows what to expect. Then, add a summary and move on to the introduction. After you’ve written the body and the conclusion, don’t forget to include suggestions based on your findings that will help your team create an actionable plan as you move forward.
After that, list the references you used while creating the report, and attach any additional documents or images that can help the person reading the report understand it better.
This outline may vary depending on what kind of report you’re writing. Short business reports may not need a table of contents, and informative reports won’t contain any analyses. Also, less formal reports don’t need to follow a strict structure in every situation.
Business Report Contents
When it comes to the contents of your report, keep in mind the person who’s going to read it and try to balance between including all the relevant information, but not overwhelming the reader with too many details.
- The introduction to the report should state the reason why you’re writing it, and what its main goal is. Also, mention what methodology and reporting software you’ve used, if applicable.
- The body of the report is where you’ll expose all your key findings, explain your methodology, share the important data and statistics, and present your results and conclusion.
- The conclusion , similarly to the summary you’ll add at the beginning of the report, briefly singles out the most important points and findings of the report.
If you decide to include more sections like recommendations, this is where you’ll suggest the next steps your team or the company may want to take to improve the results or take advantage of them if they’re favorable.
PRO TIP: Are You Tracking the Right Metrics for Your SaaS Company?
As a SaaS business leader, there’s no shortage of metrics you could be monitoring, but the real question is, which metrics should you be paying most attention to? To monitor the health of your SaaS business, you want to identify any obstacles to growth and determine which elements of your growth strategy require improvements. To do that, you can track the following key metrics in a convenient dashboard with data from Profitwell:
- Recurring Revenue. See the portion of your company’s revenue that is expected to grow month-over-month.
- MRR overview. View the different contributions to and losses from MRR from different kinds of customer engagements.
- Customer overview . View the total number of clients your company has at any given point in time and the gains and losses from different customer transactions.
- Growth Overview . Summarize all of the different kinds of customer transactions and their impact on revenue growth.
- Churn overview. Measure the number and percentage of customers or subscribers you lost during a given time period.
If you want to track these in ProfitWell, you can do it easily by building a plug-and-play dashboard that takes your customer data from ProfitWell and automatically visualizes the right metrics to allow you to monitor your SaaS revenue performance at a glance.
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Profitwell account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Note : Other than text, make sure you include images, graphs, charts, and tables. These elements will make your report more readable and illustrate your points.
Whether you’re writing a specific type of business report for the first time or you simply want to improve the quality of your reports, make sure you follow this comprehensive guide to writing an effective business report.
- Do Your Research
- Create an Outline
- Determine Formatting Guidelines
- Think of an Engaging Title
- Write the Introduction
- Divide the Body of the Report into Sections
- Choose Illustrations
- Conclude Effectively
- Gather Additional Documentation
- Add a Summary
- Proofread Your Work
Step 1: Do Your Research
A well-planned report is a job half done. That means you need to do research before you start writing: you need to know who you’re writing for and how much they know about the topic of your report. You need to explore the best business dashboard software and templates you can use for your report.
Also, if you believe you will need additional resources and documents to add in the appendix, you should do it during this phase of report writing.
Step 2: Create an Outline
Once you’ve gathered the resources, it’s time to plan the report. Before you start writing, create an outline that will help you stick to the right structure. A business report is complex writing in which you can get lost very easily if you don’t have a clear plan.
Moreover, the report shouldn’t be complicated to read, so sticking to a plan will allow you to keep it concise and clear, without straying from the topic.
Step 3: Determine Formatting Guidelines
Most companies have their in-house formatting that every official document has to follow. If you’re not sure if such rules exist in your company, it’s time you checked with your managers.
If there arent’ any guidelines regarding formatting, make sure you set your own rules to make the report look professional. Choose a simple and readable format and make sure it supports all the symbols you may need to use in the report. Set up proper headings, spacing, and all the other elements you may need in Word or Google Docs.
Pro tip: Google Docs may be easier to share with people who are supposed to read your business report.
Step 4: Think of an Engaging Title
Even if you’re writing a formal business report, the title should be clear and engaging. Reports are typically considered dull as they’re a part of official business documentation, but there’s no reason why you can’t make them interesting to read. Your title should suit the report topic and be in different font size so the reader can recognize it’s a title. Underneath the title, you should add the name of the author of the report.
Step 5: Write the Introduction
A good introductory paragraph for a business report should explain to the reader why you’ve written the report. Use the introduction to provide a bit of background on the report’s topic and mention the past results if there’s been a significant improvement since your last report.
Step 6: Divide the Body of the Report into Sections
As this will be the most comprehensive part of your report, make sure you separate the data into logical sections. Your report is supposed to tell a story about your business, and these sections (such as methodology, hypothesis, survey, findings, and more) will help the data look well-organized and easy to read.
Step 7: Choose Illustrations
Of course, each of these sections should be followed with charts, graphs, tables, or other illustrations that help you make a point. Survey results are typically best displayed in pie charts and graphs, and these enable the reader to visualize the data better. From the formatting point of view, breaking the long text sections with illustrations makes the report more readable.
Pro tip: Using centralized dashboard solutions like Databox can bring your reporting game to the next level. Sign up for a forever-free trial now to see how you can use Databox to track and visualize performance easier than ever before .
Step 8: Conclude Effectively
Finish your report with a to-the-point conclusion that will highlight all the main data from the report. Make sure it’s not too long, as it’s supposed to be a summary of the body of the report. In case you don’t want to add a specific section for recommendations, this is where you can include them, along with your assessments.
Step 9: Gather Additional Documentation
If you’ve determined what additional documents, images, surveys, or other attachments you may need for your report, now is the time to collect them. Request access to those you may not be able to get on time, so you have everything you need by the deadline. Copy the documents you can use in the original form, and scan the documents you need in electronic format.
Step 10: Add a Summary
The summary is usually at the top of the report, but it’s actually something you should write after your report is completed. Only then will you know exactly what your most relevant information and findings are, so you can include them in this brief paragraph that summarizes your report’s main points.
The summary should tell the reader about the objective of the report, the methodology used, and even mention some of the key findings and conclusions.
Step 11: Proofread Your Work
It may seem like common sense, but this final step of the process is often overlooked. Proofreading your work is how you make sure your report will look professional because errors can ruin the overall impression the reader will form about your work, no matter how great the report is.
Look for any spelling or grammatical mistakes you can fix, and if you’re not sure about specific expressions or terminology, use Google to double-check it. Make sure your writing is to-the-point and clear, especially if you’re writing for people who may not know the industry so well. Also, double-check the facts and numbers you’ve included in the report before you send it out or start your reporting meeting.
Business Report Examples (with Ready-to-Use Templates)
Here, we’re sharing a few business reporting examples that you can copy, along with ready-to-use and free-to-download templates. If you don’t know where to start and what to include in different types of business reports, these business report examples are a great way to get started or at least get some inspiration to create yours.
Activity Report Example
Annual report example, project status report example, financial report example, sales report example, marketing report example.
Note : Each of the business report templates shared below can be customized to fit your individual needs with our DIY Dashboard Designer . No coding or design skills are necessary.
For reporting on sales activity, HubSpot users can rely this streamlined sales activity report that includes key sales metrics, such as calls, meetings, or emails logged by owner. This way, you can easily track the number of calls, meetings, and emails for each sales rep and identify potential leaks in your sales funnel. Check all our sales team activity dashboards here. Or if you are looking for dashboards that track general sales performance, browse through all Databox sales dashboards here.
If you’re preparing for annual reporting, you will benefit from choosing this HubSpot annual performance report . It contains all the relevant metrics, such as email and landing page performance, new contacts, top blog posts by page views, and more. See all our performance dashboard templates here.
Project status reports can be very similar to progress reports. If you’re in need of one of those, here’s an example of a Project overview dashboard from Harvest that shows that can help you create simple, but well-organized report based on metrics that matter: hours tracked, billable hours, billable amount split by team members., and more. Check out more project management dashboard templates we offer here.
Are you creating a financial report? You will find this QuickBooks + HubSpot integration a great choice for a financial performance dashboard that makes creating a report simple. This dashboard focuses on the essential financial report
ting metrics and answers all your revenue-related questions. See all Databox financial dashboards here.
If you’re tracking your sales team’s monthly performance, this sales report template will help you prepare an outstanding report. Check out all the vital productivity KPIs, track your progress towards your goals, and understand well how your current sales pipeline is performing. See all sales performance dashboards we have available here.
Marketing reports can be easily prepared by using this monthly marketing report template . With HubSpot’s reporting, you can determine where your website traffic is coming from, how your landing pages and specific blog posts are performing, and how successful your email campaigns are. Browse all Databox marketing dashboards here.
Create a Professional Business Report in No Time with Databox
Does creating a business report still sound like a daunting task? It doesn’t have to be with Databox.
In times when we’re all trying to save our time and energy for things that matter rather than scattering valuable resources on tedious, repetitive tasks, it’s critical to optimize your business process. And we want to help you do just that.
Using a business reporting dashboard enables you to track data from all the different tools you’re using – but in one place. With Databox, you can monitor and report on performance in a single dashboard that is optimized for all your favorite devices and you can create streamlined and beautiful dashboards even if you are not that tech-savvy. (no coding or design skills are required).
Automating business reporting has never been easier. And with Databox, you can do exactly that in just a few clicks. Sign up now and get your first 3 business dashboards for free.
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Business Communication - How to Write a Powerful Business Report
Business communication -, how to write a powerful business report, business communication how to write a powerful business report.
Business Communication: How to Write a Powerful Business Report
Lesson 8: how to write a powerful business report.
How to write a powerful business report
When a company needs to make an informed decision, it can create a business report to guide its leaders. Business reports use facts and research to study data, analyze performance, and provide recommendations on a company's future.
Watch the video below to learn how to write and format a business report.
The basics of a business report
Business reports are always formal , objective , and heavily researched . Every fact must be clear and verifiable, regardless of whether the report focuses on a single situation or examines the overall performance of an entire company.
Because objectivity is crucial in a business report, avoid subjective descriptions that tell the reader how to feel. For instance, if sales were down last quarter, don’t say “Sales were terrible last quarter,” but rather let the sales data speak for itself. There should also be no personal pronouns, such as “I think we should invest more capital.” A business report should remain impersonal and framed from the company’s perspective.
The structure of a business report
Although the size of a report can range from one page to 100, structure is always important because it allows readers to navigate the document easily. While this structure can vary due to report length or company standards, we’ve listed a common, reliable structure below:
- Front matter : List your name, job title, contact information, and the date of submission. You can also create a title for the report.
- Background : State the background of the topic you’ll be addressing, along with the purpose of the report itself.
- Key findings : Provide facts , data , and key findings that are relevant to the purpose stated in the background. Be clear and specific, especially because the entire report depends on the information in this section.
- Conclusion : Summarize and interpret the key findings, identify issues found within the data, and answer questions raised by the purpose.
- Recommendations : Recommend solutions to any problems mentioned in the conclusion, and summarize how these solutions would work. Although you’re providing your own opinion in this section, avoid using personal pronouns and keep everything framed through the company’s perspective.
- References : List the sources for all the data you've cited throughout the report. This allows people to see where you got your information and investigate these same sources.
Some companies may also require an executive summary after the front matter section, which is a complete summary that includes the report’s background, key findings, and recommendations. This section lets people learn the highlights quickly without having to read the entire document. The size of an executive summary can range from a paragraph to multiple pages, depending on the length of the report.
As mentioned in Business Writing Essentials , revision is key to producing an effective document. Review your writing to keep it focused and free of proofreading errors, and ensure your factual information is correct and presented objectively. We also recommend you get feedback from a colleague before submitting your work because they can spot errors you missed or find new opportunities for analysis or discussion.
Once you’ve revised your content, think about the report’s appearance . Consider turning your front matter section into a cover page to add some visual polish. You can also create a table of contents if the report is lengthy. If you’re printing it out, use quality paper and a folder or binder to hold the report together. To diversify the presentation of your data, try using bulleted lists, graphics, and charts.
Example of a business report
To demonstrate the principles of this lesson, we’ve created a brief business report for you to review.
Let's start by looking at the first page of this two-page report.
The layout of the front matter is simple and effective, while the background sets the stage in a quick, specific manner. The key findings provide the main takeaways that warrant further investigation, along with a chart to add emphasis and visual variety.
Now let's look at the following page.
The conclusion features a little of the writer's opinion on the key findings, although the writing is still centered around the company's perspective. The recommendations are clear and supported by the data, while the references are thorough.
While business reports may seem intimidating, you have the ability to create a thorough, informative document through practice and careful research. Collect the facts and present them in an organized, objective manner, and you’ll help your business make informed decisions.
- Unito home /
- What Is a Business Report?
Whatever you’re doing at work, chances are someone else needs to know about it. Few of us work in isolation. In most workplaces, we’re collaborating towards common goals. To do that, we need to share information in a clear, concise, and helpful way. That’s the purpose of a business report!
Writing a business report isn’t complicated. But if it’s your first time, you might have some questions, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.
Find out what a business report is and why you might need to write one. Then, you’ll learn how to write a business report that’s so polished and professional it absolutely delights your boss!
What is a business report?
Business reports are formal documents that convey information in an organized way. They contain data that’s important to your workplace’s operations, whether that’s a specific project, business function, or task.
Whether you’re a manager, intern, or CEO, your job depends on informed decision-making. That’s where business reports come in! Your report might be used to help someone choose the best course of action, make plans for the future, or evaluate the success of a project.
Business reports can be written for such a wide variety of needs that their structure and content can vary a lot. For example, you might be writing a business report in order to:
- Propose an idea for a future project.
- Help someone evaluate the success of your work.
- Share progress towards benchmarks or goals.
- Determine the best response to a challenge or opportunity.
- Prove compliance with industry regulations .
Why do business reports matter?
The larger a company gets, the more important efficient communication becomes. That’s the goal of a business report — to get people the information they need to do their best work. In Unito’s Report on Reporting , 82% of people surveyed said their reports led to actionable insights at least most of the time.
Business reports are especially important for larger teams, or if information needs to be shared through multiple levels of an organization to get everyone on the same page.
The information in your report might go through many hands, and be used to make very important decisions. Sharing that information verbally (or through long, complex email chains) could create confusion, ambiguity, and wasted time.
Reports are also a form of recordkeeping. In the future, if someone needs to understand why a decision was made, they’ll be able to see exactly what information you were working with. They can also analyze your report in aggregate with other reporting from that time period, to understand how the business was functioning at that time.
How to write a business report
Because the whole point of a business report is to share information as efficiently as possible, they’re usually formal and concise.
If you’re accustomed to academic writing, writing business reports might feel like a bit of an adjustment. Unlike an essay, you’re usually not constructing a thesis or argument when you write a business report.
Instead, these reports are all about clarity and simplicity. Format your report so that it’s as easy to read as possible. Stay away from long paragraphs and wordy sentences, and use subheadings to keep things as skimmable as possible.
All the information in your report should be backed up by credible sources, either your own findings or external research. If you do need to include interpretations or recommendations, make it clear that they’re your own (hopefully well-informed) opinion, rather than objective statements of fact.
Business report structure
Business reports are just as varied as the business world itself, so what shape your report takes will depend a lot on why you’re writing it and what kind of company you’re in. However, there are components that will be found in almost all business reports.
Here are the basic building blocks of a business report. Next, we’ll go over some supplementary sections that you may or may not need to use, depending on your exact report.
Table of contents
Always open with a table of contents. This helps the reader see what’s in the report at a glance and quickly find the information they need.
Unless your report is extremely short, you’ll want to open with one or two paragraphs summarizing its main points. Anyone reading this section should be able to grasp your report’s key messages, whether or not they read the entire thing.
This section is all about the why. Why did you write the report, and why should your audience read it ? What information or insights will they come away with?
This is also your chance to provide contextual or background information that will help the reader understand what’s to come. For example, if you’re writing a quarterly progress report, you might provide a quick overview of the entire project.
Here, you’ll provide the actual information that your reader needs. You might include content like text, charts, images, or numerical data.
Break up your body section with plenty of subheadings for easy reading. If you include any visual content like graphs, make sure they are clearly labeled.
Here, you should restate and summarize the findings you shared in the report’s body. This might feel a bit repetitive, but remember, the goal of a business report is to share information. Circling back to your main points gives your reader a few chances to get the message.
Not every business report is exactly the same. Here are a few more sections you might need to include based on your goals and what kind of content you share.
This is where you’ll bring in your own opinions and interpretations. What concrete actions do you suggest the company take based on this data? Be sure to share the reasoning behind your suggestions. What positive outcomes do you believe they’ll create for the company?
References and Appendices
If your report contains any data that wasn’t original research, you’ll include it here. The references section, which often takes the form of a bibliography, is a list of the sources you referred to when writing. An appendix covers and catalogs supplementary information — such as documents, excerpts, charts, or graphs. A report can have multiple appendices.
Here, you’ll share how you collected the information in your business report. It’s most commonly found in reports that contain original research or findings. For example, you might let the reader know that your progress report was compiled from the results of weekly team meetings .
Tips for effective business report
It takes planning and careful attention to make your report as clear, concise, and useful as it can possibly be. Here are three of our top tips to follow when you’re ready to prepare your report.
Start with a plan
Don’t just sit down and start writing out of the blue. What’s your goal? What are the most important points you need to convey?
Try creating a detailed outline that includes the main points you will need to hit in each section. Then, you’ll know exactly what to say when it’s finally time to write.
Check company conventions
Your workplace might have a specific way they do things when it comes to business reports. Ask your manager if there are any specific formatting conventions you need to follow, and if possible, check out some of your organization’s past reports for inspiration.
If you’re lucky, your company might even provide you with ready-made reporting templates . Or you can try some of ours .
Edit, edit, edit
Revising, editing , proofreading — whatever you want to call it, this is when you polish and fine-tune your report. It’s an essential step before sending your report off to its reader… especially if that’s your boss!
As you reread, look out for spelling or grammatical errors. But also watch for places where your phrasing is confusing, or you can reword your message to make it clearer.
If possible, finish writing the report a day or two before you need it. That way, you have plenty of time to edit it with fresh eyes.
Types of business reports
As we mentioned above, there are many reasons to write a business report. Here are a few of the most common types you might find yourself working on.
These reports are usually issued regularly, to keep people updated on how a team, project, or initiative is progressing towards its goals. You won’t include in-depth analysis or interpretations in this kind of report — just the basic facts, so the reader can draw their own conclusions.
Like a progress report, information reports contain only the facts. But they have a much wider range of applications than just reporting on progress. These reports might share sales performance or HR data, such as quarterly profits, or employee turnover.
These reports don’t just share data — they analyze it to draw conclusions. For example, as above, your analytical report might share sales performance at your company. But here, you might break it down by geographical location, including your insights as to why some retail locations outperformed others.
Time tracking report
A time-tracking report is a type of informational report that shares exactly how much time an individual or team spent on specific tasks. Time-tracking reports help managers make sure their employees are using their time effectively. They’re also important for freelancers, or workers who get paid by the hour.
A research report gives full, comprehensive insights into all sides of a situation. It’s often used when companies are considering big changes that affect the future of their organization, such as a merger, expansion, or introducing a new product.
Need a hand building reports like these? Check out our resources here .
Get on the same page.
At their core, business reports are just a simple, direct way to share information.
Everyone needs to be well informed to make good decisions at work. That’s why you don’t need to be a born writer or a grammar whiz to write a great business report; you just need to know what you need to say and do it with confidence.
As you move forward in your career, you’ll likely find that writing them becomes second nature, especially if you follow the tips and guidance in this article.
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Course 2 of 5 in the Business English for Non-Native Speakers Specialization
This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents. Skills learned in this course will be used in the cross-cultural communications course and help prepare you to produce the professional business documents in the Capstone project. After completing this course, you will be able to: - write business emails - write an executive summary - write persuasively in English - adapt content to purpose, context and audience - use appropriate style and tone of writing for business purposes
Skills You'll Learn
Business Communication, English Language, Business Writing, Writing
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I got to learn a lot from this course. Especially,I learned so many new things at the same time very basic ones which I actually had no idea. In all
Jun 6, 2023
Really effective in teaching you how to improve your general writing skills and business writing skills as well. Definitely would recommend!
From the lesson
Business writing genres
Welcome to Week 2! This week we will cover Module 2 where we introduce you to basic genres of business writing and the writing process. You will also be introduced to vocabulary and language skills common to business communications.
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Business Writing Resources
- Business English
- Pronunciation & Conversation
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Written communication is especially important at work. Business writing often follows specific expectations. There are a wide range of standard phrases that are expected in business English that are generally not used in everyday English.
- Please find attached ...
- We regret to inform you that ...
- It has come to our attention that ...
Another challenge is that business writing follows very specific formulas in structure. Take the resume, for instance, the writing style you use, the points you highlight about your career or education, and the overall look and feel can play a very important role in deciding whether you are offered a job or not.
There are also a number of documents that are common to business writing . These include office memos, e-mails, and reports. These business writing documents also take on different styles depending on the audience of those who receive the documents. This guide to business writing points you in the direction of the wide variety of resources available on the site.
- Basic Business Letters
These two articles provide an overall framework for writing business letters. They outline specific issues of salutation, structure, letter layout and language use. Finally, there is also a
- Business Letter Writing Basics - Business Letter Writing Basics for English learners. Guide to basic style questions and standard phrases used in business English letters.
- How to Write a Business Letter - This 'how to' provides a quick step by step guide to writing a basic business letter.
Specific Business Letters
Building on basic business letters, these business letters provide specific examples of letters written for common business writing tasks such as making an inquiry, sales letters, placing an order, etc. They include key phrases commonly found in each of business letter types , as well as an example letter on which to model your own English business correspondence.
- Letters of Acknowledgement
- Making a Sale - Sales Letter
- Placing an Order
- Making a Claim
- Adjusting a Claim
- Making an inquiry
- Replying to an inquiry
- New Account Terms and Conditions
- Writing a Cover Letter when Applying for a Job
Specific Business Documents
There are a number of standard business documents that are used on a daily basis at the office. These documents follow standard outlines. This example provides important structural details, an introduction and example document on which to model your own reports.
- How to Write a Business Report
It is extremely important that these key business documents are in order when applying for a job. The cover letter and the resume are key to successfully winning a job offer during the interviewing process.
- Finding a Job - Writing a Cover Letter
- Example Cover Letter 1
- Writing Your Resume
- A Guide to Business Letters Types
- Writing for Business: Inquiry Response Letter
- How to Write a Claim Letter for a Business
- Learn English
- Finding a Job for ESL Learners
- Sales Letters for English Learners
- Business Letter Writing: Placing Orders
- Business Letter Writing: Account Terms and Conditions
- The Fundamentals of Writing an Inquiry Business Letter
- Business Letter Writing: Claim Adjustment Letters
- Crafting a Letter of Acknowledgment for a Business Setting
- Cover Letter Example
- How to Write a Resume for Non-Native English Speakers
- Finding a Job for ESL Learners: Interview Basics
- ESL Business Letter Lesson Plan
- Structure of a Formal Letter
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5 Online Business English Writing Courses and Resources to Make Your Writing More Effective
The first time I had to send an official email, I had no idea how to write a cover letter .
Sure, you can find a “template” of a cover letter online—a simple example that you can fill in with your own information.
But since I didn’t know anything about cover letters, I didn’t know which templates were good.
There was no teacher to tell me if the online template I’d chosen was the right one for the job.
When you start doing business in English, you’ll quickly learn that learning to speak business English fluently isn’t enough!
You need to be able to write correctly and in an engaging manner.
You need to know the right words to use and when, be it emailing your clients or drafting a report to your boss.
Writing in business English is indeed a craft, and it’s a skill you must absolutely master if you want to succeed in the workplace or kick-start your career.
You can’t write an email the way you’d casually text your best friend. You shouldn’t make a PowerPoint presentation without proofreading and spell-checking the information in all the slides. Drafting a business proposal isn’t the same as writing a letter.
Yes, the business world is a scary and competitive place, but (thankfully) you don’t have to be as clueless as I was starting out. We’re here to provide you with the right courses and online resources to help you master the art of business writing in English in a fast and efficient manner.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
So How Is Writing in Business English Different?
Business writing differs greatly from less formal styles of writing in many ways.
- The language itself is more formal—no short-forms or text message lingo here.
- Whether it’s an email, report or an article, there’s a particular format you must always follow and never play around with.
- Your ideas must be presented in a logical, concise way. You must have grammatically-correct sentences and interconnecting paragraphs (no random interjections, ever!).
- Even the choice of words matters—yes, there’s business English jargon and grammar you have to learn and remember.
However, there’s no reason to be fazed. Even if English isn’t your first language or writing isn’t your strong suit, there are tips, techniques and grammar secrets accessible to all that will greatly help you improve and be a pro at it. That is, if you know how and where to look.
How to Choose the Right Business Writing Course Online
The best way to go to learn business writing is to sign up for an online course. Choosing a free course or one that costs money will depend completely on your means and your areas of weakness.
Generally, a free course won’t be as intensive or thorough. However, it could be very useful for understanding the basics of any topic and the important things to watch out for.
Whether you’re signing up for a free or paid course, it’s always great to read the course outline carefully and highlight the areas that you’re specifically interested in . That way, you can focus on your weaknesses first and improve faster. Remember, writing effectively in business English isn’t about mastering one skill (writing only). It’s about knowing and honing different crafts—grammar, editing, proofreading, formal language, persuasive writing, paragraph-structuring and the like. So if you’re looking to sharpen your skills overall, these might be the type of courses for you.
Alternatively, depending on the type of writing you do more frequently, you can focus on courses that cover the art of writing resumes, emails, cover letters and so on .
As a general rule, take an objective look at your previous business writing samples or ask someone you trust to grade your skills and identify your weakest areas.
For instance, you may have impeccable grammar and spelling but haven’t mastered the art of writing formally . Or you may have difficulties structuring your paragraphs in a proper order when writing an email and require immediate help.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses beforehand will help you get the most out of whatever course you sign up for.
The Ultimate Guide to English Business Writing Courses and Online Resources
Resources you should always keep bookmarked.
No matter your business writing skill level, these resources are indispensable.
A free grammar checker, you can use Grammarly as a Chrome extension and it’ll check everything you type for errors while using the web browser. You can also download it for use on Microsoft Word or for Windows in general.
To put it briefly, this is a website that will give you an idea of how “readable” your writing is—it can analyze keyword density, point out clichés and long sentences and will even tell you when you’re using the passive voice. This will give you an idea of what areas you need to improve upon.
Make sure you run your article on this site by either copy-pasting it or uploading the file before sending it to your boss. You can even check the readability of any website with this tool.
If you find this tool to be really beneficial, then you can opt for a premium membership and unlock more features.
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Built by the Writing Lab of Purdue University, this website is a storehouse of information and resources. Whether it’s plagiarism, grammar doubts, citations help or practice worksheets you need help with, this site has it all. There’s even a section on business writing for different audiences!
Easy to navigate, Purdue is a handy site to check if you need a refresher. It has loads of references that cover everything from the mechanics of writing to writing letters of recommendations to preparing an application.
Designed with the needs of teachers, students and other users in mind, Purdue is your best friend if you want to learn from your mistakes and improve as a writer.
The Best Business English Writing Courses
Alison is a world-famous learning platform and has around 20 courses geared towards effective English speaking and writing. Tailored to niche needs, people who complete courses through Alison even receive diplomas you can highlight on your resumes.
Moreover, most of the courses can be completed in less than two hours. So if you’re low on time and have a business presentation to make, this is a great site to use.
Even the diploma courses can be completed in less than 15 hours. Even if you spend just two hours a day on this site for learning, you can master a valuable skill in a week. And here’s the best bit: The courses are all free—you only have to pay for the certificates.
If you’re looking for interactive online classes from the best universities in the world, these two free edX courses won’t disappoint. If you’re constantly making grammar mistakes or unsure about which tense to use, this first course is for you.
The “English Grammar and Style” course by the University of Queensland is an eight-week course that covers all need to know about sentence structures, phrasal verbs, using the right pronouns, the correct usage of prepositions and more.
However, for those who’ve already grasped the grammar basics and are ready to improve their overall writing and presentation skills, the course “Business Communications” by The University of British Columbia promises to be really helpful with a strong focus on sharpening your business communication skills.
Another platform specializing in MOOCs like edX, Coursera has several courses on business writing in English. The course “Business Writing” by the University of Colorado Boulder is a handy introduction to the subject. It teaches you to craft strong opening sentences and first paragraphs, as well as providing grammar information.
For non-native speakers, you can sign up for the specialization “Enhance Your Business English Communication” by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology which has five courses under it, one of them being “English For Effective Business Writing.” Finally, there’s another course by the University of California, Irvine called “High Impact Business Writing” that covers business reports, documents and presentations.
London School Of English
Founded in 1812, the LSE is actually the “longest-established officially accredited school in Britain.” They provide numerous online English learning courses all taught by verified experts, one of them being “Business English Online” that you can combine with their Skype English lessons . It covers a module on business writing, and you’ll get immediate feedback from professionals.
If you’re unsure about whether the course is right for you and your English language level, you can take a free online test on their website to see if you’re the right fit. If you score between three and eight, the course is a great choice.
Although it’s a paid course, you can opt for a free trial. You’ll get a full refund if you inform them within two weeks of your start date that the course doesn’t meet your expectations or skill level.
It’s always a good idea to sign up for a short free course to gain an understanding of how business writing works and identify your biggest areas of need.
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, artist, ideator, teacher and a self-taught Italian speaker. Visit her website here or contact her at [email protected] for business inquiries.
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Home ➞ Video lessons ➞ English for business report writing
English for business report writing, part 1 - introduction; overview of a report structure.
Part 2 - Report sections - executive summary, introduction
Part 3 - Report sections - approach, analysis
Part 4 - Report sections - conclusions and recommendations
Take a test here to see your score for each of the words shown:
Negotiations, human resources, language in use, mergers and acquisitions, business communication.
How to write a business report.
Knowing how to write a quality business report is essential to communicate your ideas across the field of business. These reports typically address a particular issue and help in decision making for the problem concerned. The reports present your findings relating to the issue, then recommend the measure that the organization should take.
The creation of a good report lies in its analysis and interpretation from the findings. The reader will get a clear view of what to do based on conclusions drawn and the recommendations given. Writing a report doesn't require acquiring any special writing skill but just need sharpening the older ones that you already have. Your ideas and research just need to be more structured in the form of reoprt. But don't forget that every report has its own structure and style which will vary according to the purpose and need of the reader. You must always remember to check the requirements for each report before preparing it.
How to Plan for Your Business Report
Before doing anything, planning is very important. So is the case with business reports. They need you to plan, and for that, to answer two important questions:
- Who will read it?
- What is its purpose: what needs solving, to find out what?
The Audience :
You can write a report for your varsity professor, or legislators, medical staff, advocates, taxpayers or all of them. Whomever the audience, you need to understand that they have an idea of what’s happening so your interpretation of the issue shouldn't be too overwhelming/underwhelming for them. You should ask yourself what’s more than you want them to know after they’ve read your findings. You should also be careful that it shouldn't be too bland for the administration nor be an array of technical terms that the general officers can’t understand; it should be a mix of both. Suppose you’re writing a report for a hospital, then the medical staff would be comfortable reading the benefits and risks of medications and treatments, while the administration would focus more on the government rulings how the issue will affect the reputation of their company or so. Always keep reader-specific information.
Once you understand who your audience is, your purpose should become more evident. You should try to summarize what matters the most; analyze strengths and weaknesses; and recommend the measures based on the data you have presented, if it is asked. Your readers should be able to understand what's going on and have back up data ready as to how that's happening and what should be done to alleviate it.
How to Structure Your Business Report
The following can be a part of your business report :
- a covering letter or memorandum
- a title page
- an executive summary
- a table of contents
- an introduction
- findings and discussion
- a list of references
A Covering Letter:
A covering letter is used when the report is for readers who are outside the business. A memo is used when the report is meant for the internal audience of the business. The letter/memo helps to identify the purpose and scope of the business report, the person for whom the report was made and the date when it was to be given in. It also gives the chance to acknowledge the assistance received in writing the report and indicate the future actions to be taken.
A Title Page:
This will tell others about the topic of the business report you're preparing. This should be specific and brief yet descriptive and give readers a clear concept of the report's content. The author's name, the name of the target readers, and the date of the reports was completion/submission should also be given here.
An Executive Summary:
The executive summary follows the title page and should help the reader quickly grasp what the report’s purpose is, what conclusions can be drawn from it, and what the key recommendations could be. The busy executives might not have the time to read the whole report so they will be the ones who are most helped by the executive summary since it has the gist of everything. It can be about 50-100 words. However, it should not exceed one page. It differs from the abstract of a report because it provides not just the summary of the document but also the key recommendations and conclusions.
A Table of Contents:
This page shows how the report is organized and helps the reader to access information. The various sections and sub-sections her are given titles and numbers, and the page on which each section begins is given. Depending on the course requirements, you might need a list of figures and a list of tables.
It gives the context of the report and evokes the interest of the readers. This sets the stage to the report. It directs the reader to the purpose of the report and gives them an indication of what they can are dealing with.
The introduction should:
- describe the context in brief
- identify the subject matter in general
- describe the problem
- outline the extent of the investigation
- preview the structure of the report
- comment on the limitations/setbacks of the report or the assumptions made.
(Adapted from Emerson, 1995, p. 35)
What you have to do in this section is that you will analyze, interpret and draw appropriate conclusions from the data presented in the body of the report. They are drawn directly from the findings. Always remember that conclusions should be specific, organized, list the most important points first and not include any sort of exaggeration or new information.
Recommendations are specific, action-oriented suggestions that can be given to solve the reported problem. When writing recommendations, you should remember to:
- make specific suggestions
- avoid conditional words
- number the recommendations
- describe how they can be implemented
- arrange the recommendations from most important to least important.
Note that conclusions shouldn't be confused with recommendations. If the conclusion is Family responsibilities directly affect job performance, it should not be confused with the recommendation, Provide managers with training to balance work and personal life.
Findings and Discussion:
This part is the main part of your report and should present your findings and discuss them quantitatively or qualitatively. It should give enough information, a proper analysis, and solid evidence to support your outcomes, and it should justify your recommendations. It should follow a logical and systematic organization. The discussion here should be divided into logical sections, each bearing informative and descriptive headings and separate numbers. If you use analytical frameworks like SWOT analysis, you should tell why. The analysis of options is better presented in tables.
This is where you will have to list all the sources of information that you have collected, quoted, or referred. The reference list should have a clear link with your report. See the Learning Resource hand-out on American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing for more information. It can be dictated by your faculty or organization.
Appendices usually contain all the extra information like figures, tables, questionnaires, or letters which may help the reader understand data and thereby the conclusions. Figures and tables which may take up more than half of the page are usually included as appendices because writers consider they hinder the flow of the text. However, the material essential for understanding should be included in the body of the report. Appendices should be given a number, or more commonly a letter (for example, Appendix A).
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How to Write Your Business Report
Now that you have planned and you know the contents, you must know how to write. Your writing should be clear and logical. Your report should be easy for the readers to read. You should take care of the following points to write effectively:
- use proper headings and subheadings
- use paragraphs
- write simple sentences
- write professionally
- use dictated space and fonts by your authority, if there isn’t any, use a standard one
- use numbers for each page
- use footnotes, tables, figures, and appendices
Headings and Subheadings:
Headings and subheadings are useful tools to understand what something is actually saying about. They should be descriptive and clear. Numbering a paragraph with " 1" , is not preferred as much as writing 1. Plants of the North-Western Region or such. Again, the formatting of the heading should be different from that of the subheading naturally due to the importance and hierarchy of points. You should also have an idea about parallelism when constructing headings and subheadings so that your writing doesn’t look out of place. Also remember that the first word of your heading should be a capital letter, but the following words should have small letters, except for proper nouns (Write Limited, 2013).
A paragraph should have 100-200 words and maintain the following structure:
- Topic sentence, which will state what the basic idea of your content is
- Explanation sentences, which will explain the idea
- Supportive sentences, on the basis of which the idea stands true
- Concluding sentence to give a definitive statement about your creative analysis.
You should also be careful and see if your paragraphs link with each other and are supportive of the purpose of your report.
Business writing , especially report writing should be easily understandable and clear. It will give the argument strength. For this, sentences should be written using simple language. Too big and complicated sentences compromise with the reader’s interest, not to mention understanding. A sentence having more than 15-20 words is a warning sign and you should then consider if you can shorten or simplify it. Big, technical words aren’t always fine. For example, begin is better than commence, and change is better than transformation. The use of active voice instead of passive is also a better option to help the readers understand better.
In semi-formal reports, you can use personal pronouns like we and you, but in more formal ones, you should skip this, and write a neutral subject. For example, you can use We have prepared this report for... or you can write This report has been prepared for... Again, remember to use gender-neutral words like clients instead of writing he/she. You should be aware not to use words that are offensive to any ethnicity or minority. You should also avoid contraction like it’s , use it is intead for a more formal tone. Two other important aspects to writing more professionally are editing and proofreading. Take a good amount of time for this. When editing, look out if any content is:
When proofreading, check for the grammar, spelling, punctuation and if everything is consistent.
Spacing and Fonts:
White spacing refers how much of the report has blank space. This makes it easy on the eye of the reader, creates balance and good presentation. This occurs not just with the headings. The use of multiple paragraphs, page breaks, use of graphs and charts also help create white spacing.
About the font, a standard size 12 is used for the writing and bigger, bold fonts are used for the heading and subheading according to necessity. They can be previously dictated or be done according to the standards. Either way, they should present good taste.
You should remember to use roman numbers from executive summary to the table of contents. Other than that, use 1,2,3... Also, your title page has no numbering.
Footnotes, Tables, Figures and Appendices:
Footnotes shouldn’t be overused. If something can be included in the text, there is no need for a footnote. Also, it shouldn’t be used for reference.
Tables should contain numbers or texts, and figures should contain graphical content, flow charts, organograms, excel files etc. These should be supplementary to the text but shouldn’t just represent the texts in a box. There should be a two-line space between text and figures.
Information in excess, but that can be referred to should go to the appendices. And the text it relates to can say “As obtained from the Table: “Places adjacent to Colorado where Cholera stuck this December” in Appendix A, we can say that...”
Lastly, wherever you take the information from, do not forget to put the sources towards the end of the report.
Now that you have all the information necessary to plan, structure and write your report, you should be able to write a professional business report more efficiently than you could. However, you prepare it, you must remember that these are all supplements, you need to use your own creative ability, and the help of these resources to excel in writing business reports.
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How to Write The Best Business Report in English – With Examples
You write a lot of business reports throughout your business career so it worths knowing what business reports are for, who they are for and how to structure one. In this article, I am going to tell you how to write the best business report and how to structure it to suit your audience and aim.
What is a Business Report?
Business reports are professional documents written for different purposes and a varied audience. They are often requested by a person or organization for a specific purpose. This request may come from within your organization or team, or from an external source wishing to engage you in a consulting role.
Whom to Write a Business Report?
You might be writing for someone who is an expert in your field, For example, preparing a sales report for your manager, or a non-expert, someone who has a completely different background to you. One thing that is common is that in a professional context people are busy, and this affects how they read. They probably won’t read a report from beginning to end. Instead, they may scan for the information they need and read-only that section or they may go straight to the recommendations and go back to read the analysis later. This means that you need to write with the reader in mind and place the key information where your reader expects it to be.
What is the Aim of A Business Report?
The aim of a business report is often to help the reader make a decision, by presenting facts and information, interpreting and analyzing that information, and making recommendations relating to the specific issue under investigation.
The Context of a Business Report
When you’re writing a report think of it as a communication process. You, as the writer, have an aim – something you need your reader to know, do, or understand. You need to communicate this to your reader clearly so that they can use the information provided to achieve the intended outcome.
Also Read: How to Write a Daily Report in 5 Simple Steps
The Content, Structure, and Style of a Business Report
The content, structure, and style of your reports are determined by your audience and aim. Before you write, ask yourself:
- What and how much content should I include and in what form?
- How much background knowledge can I assume?
- Would visuals help to clarify this information?
- What’s the most logical way to present it to my reader?
- Will my audience understand highly technical language, or do I need to write for a non-expert?
General Features of Reports
We usually separate the content into three broad categories:
- Back Matter
- Executive Summary
- Table of Contents
- List of Figures
Front matter is anything that comes before the body of the report. This varies according to the context, but usually contains a cover, title page, with a meaningful title, an executive summary , a table of contents, and if you’ve used a lot of graphics, sometimes a list of figures.
The executive summary is a standalone section that goes before the body of the report and provides a complete and concise summary of all sections within the report. It is not a part of the body.
The Body of a Business Report
The body of a report can vary greatly depending on function.
Introduction: Reports have an introduction, which provides background information and outlines the aim and structure for the reader.
Findings and Discussion: The body should be organized into clear sections that present and discuss the findings, with headings to indicate the focus of that part. In some reports findings and discussions are separate, and in others, you might find each finding is identified and then interpreted in the same section. It’s up to you to choose the most logical way to present the information for your reader and then indicate this clearly to your reader using specific headings.
Conclusion: Reports generally have a conclusion to briefly summarize the main findings, which leads to recommendations suggesting specific actions to resolve the issue under investigation.
Recommendations: If the focus of your report was to make recommendations you might find this becomes a section in the body before the conclusion. It’s always best to check the requirements of your brief so you know where to place your focus.
The Back Matter
After the body we find the back matter.
References: If your report required research you would put your reference list at the end.
Appendices: This section also contains appendices -anything that was too bulky to include in the paper, such as heavy data or anything you want your reader to be able to refer to.
So, having covered the main parts of a report hopefully, you now realize while there are certain common features how reports are organized can vary greatly depending on your focus.
General Tips For Writing Business Report
Analyze the context: As a professional document, consider your audience and aim carefully. Write for your audience: Meet the expectations of your audience. Chunk information and use a heading: Break the information in your report down into manageable chunks, and use clear and informative headings. Analyze and interpret findings: Remember, you’re the expert. You need to analyze and interpret your findings. Tell your audience what they mean. Consider logical flow: Make sure that the overall flow of information makes sense.
Examples of Business Report: You can find 50+ business report templates by clicking here.
Good luck writing your reports and if you have any questions or recommendations, please let us know by commenting in the comment section below.
- How to Prepare a Report for News
- How to Write a Report
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Vocabulary to use when writing business reports in English exercise
Writing a good report is not only about knowing how you structure it and what type of things to include (and not include), but also how you say what you do include: the words and phrases you use.
Although your choice of vocabulary is not as important for writing good reports as what you actually write about, to look professional you should you try the right type of vocabulary and not overuse the same words and phrases in your reports.
To help you know what words and phrases to use in your own reports, I have created the below online exercise. Through reading an example of a good report and doing a quiz/test, you'll learn and remember some English vocabulary which will make your reports look more professional and read better.
If you have already done the exercise on ' how to write business reports ' (which explains what type of things to write about and how to structure them in a report), you don't need to reread the report below again. Just focus on the words and phrases in bold in the report and from the context which you find them in (e.g. the sentence they are in), think about what their purpose is and their meaning.
Example & Exercise: The report
The following report evaulates the performance of a help desk in a small bank. From the context, try to guess what the meaning and purpose of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.
Report on the customer help desk's inbound customer call performance
The following report evaluates the current performance level of our customer help desk based in Pudsey, Leeds. It focuses on its performance when dealing with inbound/incoming customer enquiries made by phone.
This report was produced in response to the results of a recent customer survey. This survey identified a high level of customer dissatisfaction with our company's help desk. Of the 1506 customers who left a rating for the help desk in the survey, 1254 of those rated the service as bad or terrible. Of this 1254, 67% gave the reason for their dissatisfaction as 'call waiting time', while 25% said that the 'service is unhelpful'.
The purpose of this report is to identify failings with the current set up of the help desk which could account for this low customer rating. And to recommend changes to the help desk to improve the service provided to customers.
The findings which are contained in this report are predominantly based on a combination of statistics from the help desk's call management system (CallCom) and random monitoring of calls (100 in total) between customers and help desk analysts. Both the statistics and the call monitoring stem from the same 7 day period (4 May to the 11 May 2015).
In order to ensure the integrity of the results, during the period of evaluation, nobody in the help desk section was aware that an evaluation was being conducted.
After this 7 day period, a number of interviews with staff at the help desk (the manager of the section, a team leader and 6 help desk analysts) were then conducted to hear their views and opinions.
In addition to the above, I also reviewed the processes and procedures in place at the help desk for dealing with inbound/incoming call customer enquiries.
Customer waiting time
From reviewing the statistics from CallCom, one thing did stand out , the customer waiting time (before a call is answered by an help desk analyst). The length of customer waiting time varied throughout the day. During most of the day, the average waiting time for customers was around 25 seconds, but during 5pm to 9pm (except on weekends), this rose to an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds.
These 4 hours of the day, coincide with the highest call volume of the day for the help desk. On average, 41% of all calls each day were received during these 4 hours.
Chart showing the average customer weekday waiting time and the average percentage of calls received during the period of the study.
During these peak hours of call volume, the help desk does have more analysts answering customer calls. On average 10 extra staff (mainly part-time) are answering customer calls during these peak hours.
Length of call
Not only did customer waiting time increase during these peak hours, but there was also an increase in how long staff were actually speaking with customers during these hours as well. During 5pm to 9pm (except on weekends), the average time that analysts spoke to customers increased from 4 minutes 23 seconds to 7 minutes and 59 seconds.
Chart showing the average length of help desk analyst speaking time with customers during the period of the study.
During these peak hours of call volume, the nature of the calls did not differ significantly from those received during the rest of the day. But what did stand out was a difference between the length of time that full-time analysts spoke to customers during these peaks hours (on average 6 minutes and 56 seconds) and part-time analysts (on average 9 minutes and 28 seconds).
The statistics from ComCall indicated that although part-time analysts performed only slightly slower than their full-time counterparts on simple enquiries (e.g. confirming account and balance information), they performed significantly slower on more complex enquiries (e.g. freezing and resetting accounts).
Monitoring of customers calls supports this. On more complex enquiries, part-time staff put their customers on hold more often and for longer while they consulted with other staff to find out what they had to do.
Call procedures and processes
The procedures and processes that are in place in the help desk for dealing with customer enquiries meet the industry's highest standards (the standards set down in the Financial Services Association's customer service best practices).
Through monitoring calls between customers and help desk analysts, I can confirm that the vast majority of analysts always followed set procedures when dealing with customer enquiries. Furthermore , except for one or two occasions, they dealt with customers in a professional manner (even when customers were aggressive).
- The help desk's customer application system
From conducting interviews with help desk analysts, one of the things they stated was an issue was the slowness of the help desk's customer application system. In particular, they stated that the system had a tendency to run slow at peak hours (between 5pm to 9pm on weekdays). Resulting in them taking longer to deal with customer enquiries.
The monitoring of customer calls seems to confirm this. Analysts performed tasks using the system a lot slower when there were more staff taking calls (during peak call volume hours) than when there were less staff taking calls during the rest of the day.
The findings of this report on the help desk's performance would strongly seem to indicate that there is a problem with dealing with customer calls only during the hours of peak call volume (between 5pm to 9pm on weekdays). During these peak hours, the average waiting time for customers was nearly 10 times higher than during other times of the day (from an average of 25 seconds to an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds).
Although it would appear that simply increasing the number of help desk staff taking calls would resolve this issue, the rise in the average time that analysts spoke to customers when dealing with enquiries (an average of 7 minutes and 59 seconds at peak call volumes in comparison with an average 4 minutes 23 seconds outside of these hours) would indicate that it is not only a problem of not having enough staff on at these times.
Although having more staff taking customer calls at these times should reduce the average customer waiting time, it would not address the issue of customer enquiries taking longer to resolve at these times. It would appear that this is the main factor causing the longer waiting times that customers are experiencing.
The findings would appear to demonstrate that this issue is caused by two main reasons:
- The underperformance of part-time staff
The first (and most important) reason is that there appears to be a problem with the help desk's customer application system. It appears to run a lot slower during periods of peak call volume when more analysts are logged on and using it.
The second reason is that part-time staff complete tasks slower on average than their full-time colleagues. This would appear to not stem from a lack of willingness on their part to answer calls quickly, but that they have less experience on resolving more complex customer enquiries.
On the basis of the above findings, I make the following recommendations:
1. Request the I.T. department to perform an investigation into the problems experienced with the help desk customer application system as soon as possible.
2. Undertake a training programme for part-time help desk staff to improve their knowledge and speed in dealing with customer enquiries (especially more complex enquiries).
If you require any clarification or further information on the report, please do not hesitate to contact myself (James Smith) by email ([email protected]) or by phone (01535 666541).
Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
1. A formal way to say 'said', is
2. A more formal way of saying 'strongly suggested that', is
3. A phrase which is used to begin the paragraph where you explain to the readers the reasons behind why you are writing the report, is
4. A more formal way to say 'wasn't caused by' is
5. A more formal way to say 'carrying out', which you can use to say how you got the data that you are using in the report, is
6. A phrase which you use to introduce the part of the report where you say from where and how you obtained the data that you are using in it, is
7. A verb which you use when you want to say that you noticed something important when you were investigating or evaluating, is
8. A phrase which is used to begin the paragraph where you tell the readers what the report looks at, is
9. A formal way to say that there 'wasn't a big difference' between two things, is
10. A different way of saying 'causing', is
11. A phrase you would use when you want to say that doing an action 'won't have any impact on resolving' a particular problem, is
12. A more formal way of saying 'clearly show that', is
13. A phrase which is used to begin the paragraph where you tell the readers what you want to achieve in the report, is
14. A different way to say 'in addition', is
Now that you understand the vocabulary, practise it by writing your writing your own report with these words/phrases.
©2022, Blair English
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- How to Write a Report
How to Write a Report? - Tips and Guidelines
Ever tried writing a report on some event you were a part of? What are the kind of details you think should be included in a report? Learn everything about report writing, how to write a report, the various types of reports, and the format and structure of a report in this article.
Table of Contents
What is a report, what to include in a report, types of reports, report writing format and structure, how to write a report, frequently asked questions on report writing.
A report is a document of the summary of an event, issue, or a topic. A report is never a fictional story. Writing a report aims to let the unaware readers know about a particular topic or idea. However, there is no particular definition of a report. Any discourse, written or verbal, covering a particular topic is known as a report. A report can be a courtroom confession or a child’s book report. But in general, when people talk about a report, it is more of an official document describing the facts of a topic, which is typically written by experts. The information regarding the event or topic must have enough evidence to support the statement. The data must be factually correct as it reaches various readers. A report must be written in an informative tone rather than opinionated.
A report is a document which covers all the information related to the event or topic and includes all the factual information. Therefore, the one who writes a report must ensure that all the information provided has proper evidence for the same.
The information that can be added to a report include,
- The brief details of the event
- Consequences and effects of the event
- Evaluation of statistical data and analytics
- Interpretations from the information
- How the information is relevant to other events
There is often a lot of confusion when it comes to report writing and essay writing, although there are clear differences between them. Both essays and reports are written based on factual information; essays include the personal opinion of the author; whereas, reports stick to the facts. However, reports also include the author’s interpretation of the topic in the conclusion of the report. The only difference is that these interpretations are objective. A report is a more systematic and organised way of writing which includes headings, subheadings, etc. and makes it easier for the readers to read. Essays, on the other hand, are mostly written in a single flow without subheadings or breaks.
Reports are classified into three main types depending on the purpose or motive behind the report. The common types of reports are
- Academic Reports: This report tests the child’s comprehension ability. It tests if the student has understood the lesson and is able to comprehend the subject matter, such as books, historical events, biographies, etc.
- Business Reports: It can be a marketing report, work report, etc., and the main purpose of writing the business report is to identify different business strategies.
- Scientific Reports: Share research findings like case studies and journals.
The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the report. The basic format for writing a report is mentioned below.
- Executive Summary: Like an abstract in any academic paper, an executive summary is a standalone section of the report that summarises the whole of the report so that the readers know what to expect. These are mostly used in official reports.
- Introduction: The introduction of the report plays a crucial role as it includes the main idea of the report. The main argument is discussed in the introduction before you put your points and the evidence is collected.
- Body: The body comes after the introduction of the report. It includes all the information regarding the event or the topic. All the facts and evidence collected can be displayed in the body of the report. The body covers the major part of a report.
- Conclusion: It is the part of a report where all the information is gathered together, and your personal opinion or judgement is explained in this paragraph.
A report can be written easily if you have adequate information and you know how to categorise your points. You can follow to the tips provided below to write a report.
- Finding a suitable topic
- Conducting a research
- Gathering all the information
- Writing a thesis statement
- Preparing an outline
- Writing the final report
- Reviewing and revising
- Editing and proofreading
Let us look at each of these in detail.
Finding a Suitable Topic
Before you can start writing your report, it is crucial to find the topic you wish to write on. In most cases, the topic is already given, and if not, you can find a suitable topic for the same. To find the topic, you must keep in mind that you must be interested in the topic and must be able to collect the required information.
Conducting a Research
Whatever the kind of report, academic, business, news, etc., healthy research must be conducted. Research is essential to find adequate information regarding the topic. Since a report includes all the factual data, extensive research is essential. It is essential to find the right evidence to prove your topic.
Gathering all the Information
After you are done with your research, you can jot down all the points at a place and note down all the facts collected. After collecting the information, you can decide on the subheadings and divide them as per their categories.
Writing a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is written to conceptualise the main theme of the report. Just like the first sentence or the topic of the report, the thesis statement summarises the main points in brief.
Preparing the Outline
Preparing an outline of a report is essential for all the kids who are writing a report because you can categorise your important points and it becomes easy for you to decide on the headings and subheadings. It is essential to prepare the outline so that you do not miss out on the important points.
Writing the Final Report
After you have prepared the rough draft, you can start writing the final report. The final report must be written in simple language and in short sentences. The sentences must be short but convey the message clearly.
Reviewing and Revising
After the final report is written, it is crucial to revise and recheck if all the information has been added and you are not missing out on important information. Make sure to check if all the information has been added under the right heading and subheading.
Editing and Proofreading
After the final revision of the report, you must check the report for any grammar , spelling, and typographical errors. It is common that while writing, you might have overlooked a lot of mistakes. Therefore, final proofreading is essential.
What is a report?
A report can be a discourse containing any information which people are not aware of. A report can be either written or verbal.
What is the purpose of a report?
The purpose of writing reports is to spread information regarding an event, topic, or idea in brief. For example, a news report is written to spread the news among the people.
What is the format of a report?
- Executive Summary
How to write a report?
- Find a suitable topic
- Conduct a research
- Gather all the information
- Write a thesis statement
- Prepare an outline
- Write the final report
- Review and revise
- Edit and proofread
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Monday, June 5, 2023
Email and meetings now take up 40% of an employee’s workweek .
Workers are now spending nearly two workdays each week in meetings and on email, which might explain why it can feel like there is not enough time to accomplish everything at work, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The amount of time sunk into meetings and email is part of new data collected by Microsoft on the activity of millions of workers who use the company’s business applications. The data is part of the software maker’s annual study of workplace productivity trends.
Researchers found that the 25% most active users of its apps—in other words, people who use Microsoft’s business software for much of their online work activity—spent an average of 8.8 hours a week reading and writing emails and 7.5 hours logging meetings.
Both workers and bosses complain that digital overload is hurting innovation and productivity, a sentiment echoed in numerous workplace studies. In a separate Microsoft survey of 31,000 people worldwide, nearly two out of three said they struggled to find time and energy to do their actual job. Read the full story.
By John Koblin
The union that represents thousands of movie and television directors reached a tentative agreement with the Hollywood studios on a three-year contract early Sunday morning, a deal that ensures labor peace with one major guild as the writers’ strike enters its sixth week.
The Directors Guild of America announced in a statement overnight that it had made “unprecedented gains,” including improvements in wages and streaming residuals (a type of royalty), as well as guardrails around artificial intelligence.
“We have concluded a truly historic deal,” Jon Avnet, the chair of the D.G.A.’s negotiating committee, said in the statement. “It provides significant improvements for every director, assistant director, unit production manager, associate director and stage manager in our guild.”
The deal prevents the doomsday Hollywood scenario of three major unions striking simultaneously. On Wednesday, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of the studios, will begin negotiations for a new contract with SAG-AFTRA, the guild that represents actors; their current agreement expires on June 30. SAG-AFTRA is in the process of collecting a strike authorization vote.
The entertainment industry will be looking closely at what the directors’ deal — and the actors’ negotiations — will mean for the Writers Guild of America, the union that represents the writers. More than 11,000 writers went on strike in early May, bringing many Hollywood productions to a halt.
Over the last month, the writers have enjoyed a wave of solidarity from other unions that W.G.A. leaders have said they have not seen in generations. Whether a directors’ deal — or a possible actors’ deal later this month — undercuts that solidarity is now an open question.
W.G.A. leaders had been signaling to writers late last week that a deal with the directors could be in the offing, a strategy that it said was part of the studio “playbook” to “divide and conquer.” The writers and the studios left the bargaining table on May 1 very far apart on the major issues, and have not resumed negotiations.
“They pretended they couldn’t negotiate with the W.G.A. in May because of negotiations with the D.G.A.,” the W.G.A. negotiating committee told writers in an email on Thursday. “That’s a lie. It’s a choice they made in hope of breathing life into the divide and conquer strategy. The essence of the strategy is to make deals with some unions and tell the rest that’s all there is. It’s gaslighting, and it only works if unions are divided.
“Our position is clear: To resolve the strike, the companies will have to negotiate with the W.G.A. on our full agenda,” the email continued.
Representatives for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers declined to comment.
The writers and the directors shared some priorities, including wages, streaming residuals and concerns about artificial intelligence . W.G.A. leaders had said that the studios had offered little more than “annual meetings to discuss” artificial intelligence, and that they refused to bargain over guardrails. The D.G.A. said Sunday that it received a “groundbreaking agreement confirming that A.I. is not a person and that generative A.I. cannot replace the duties performed by members.”
Some of the writers’ demands, however, are more complex than those of the directors. W.G.A. leaders have described the dispute in urgent terms, calling this moment “existential,” and saying that the studios “are seemingly intent on continuing their efforts to destroy the profession of writing.”
Despite the explosion of television production over the last decade, writers have said that their wages have stagnated, and their working conditions have deteriorated. In addition to improvements on compensation, the writers are seeking greater job security, as well as staffing minimums in writers’ rooms.
The W.G.A. has vowed to fight on. The writers, who last went on strike 15 years ago for 100 days, have historically been united.
“We are girded by an alliance with our sister guilds and unions,” Chris Keyser, a chair of the W.G.A. bargaining committee, said in a video message to writers last week. “They give us strength. But we are strong enough. We have always been strong enough to get the deal we need using writer power alone.”
John Koblin covers the television industry. He is the co-author of “It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO.” @ koblin
Business reports: Identifies information useful in business strategy, such as marketing reports, internal memos, SWOT analysis, and feasibility reports Scientific reports: Shares research findings, such as research papers and case studies, typically in science journals Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written.
Best practices. The answer to how to write a mind-blowing business report that you don't need to spend hours and days writing. A business report that will immediately allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. A report that'll help you learn more about your business and do more accurate forecasting and planning for the future.
Email pixelfit/E+/Getty Images By Kenneth Beare Updated on June 06, 2018 If you would like to learn how to write a business report in English follow these tips and use the example report as a template on which to base your own business report. First of all, business reports provide important information for management that is timely and factual.
(Download) 6 Tips to Write Irresistible Business Reports in English 1. Understand What Reports Are For Business reports aren't the same as sending an email or writing a formal letter. What are they for? A good business report describes a present or past situation in an objective way. Objective means that the report states facts, not an opinion.
Front matter: List your name, job title, contact information, and the date of submission. You can also create a title for the report. Background: State the background of the topic you'll be addressing, along with the purpose of the report itself.
Business English, Spring 2021. 4 of 7 Emphasis: Avoid using all caps for emphasis—bolded, italicized, or underlined text is a better option because all caps is usually interpreted as yelling. Leave white space: Avoid writing long paragraphs that appear as a single block of text.If your message is long, revise for concision and include paragraph breaks to divide the text.
How To Write a Formal Business Report in 11 Steps Indeed Editorial Team Updated April 7, 2023 Formal business reports have important functions in helping managers and executives make decisions. These documents can have a variety of purposes depending on your needs and industry.
Jennifer Herrity Updated September 30, 2022 Business reports are often a common part of many peoples' work responsibilities. There are several types of work reports that you may be required to write, including daily work reports, sales reports and analyses.
Plan ahead: Approach writing a business report as a project. Set out all the goals and objectives you hope to achieve and then plan accordingly. Add a clear title: You may have an assigned title or wish to write your own title, in which case you can ensure it's clear and concise.
Procedure The findings which are contained in this report are predominantly based on a combination of statistics from the help desk's call management system (CallCom) and random monitoring of calls (100 in total) between customers and help desk analysts.
88,283 recent views. This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents. Skills learned in this course will be used in the cross-cultural communications course and help ...
Because the whole point of a business report is to share information as efficiently as possible, they're usually formal and concise. If you're accustomed to academic writing, writing business reports might feel like a bit of an adjustment. Unlike an essay, you're usually not constructing a thesis or argument when you write a business report.
This week we will cover Module 2 where we introduce you to basic genres of business writing and the writing process. You will also be introduced to vocabulary and language skills common to business communications. Business writing genres 7:32. Business letters, memos and emails: The basics 8:37. Report writing 7:28.
How do you write a business report? Start with creating a plan before writing, and check whether the company has its format. Followed by a title page, then a table of content, give a summary...
Updated on March 31, 2017 Written communication is especially important at work. Business writing often follows specific expectations. There are a wide range of standard phrases that are expected in business English that are generally not used in everyday English. Examples Please find attached ... We regret to inform you that ...
5 Online Business English Writing Courses and Resources to Make Your Writing More Effective. ... You need to know the right words to use and when, be it emailing your clients or drafting a report to your boss. Writing in business English is indeed a craft, and it's a skill you must absolutely master if you want to succeed in the workplace or ...
A marketing report. June sales report. Construction of a new convenience store. An unpaid invoice. A marketing plan. A new website. Scenario-based dictation exercises - business English Pro account. A review of a project. A private equity investment.
As the head of PR, I was asked to write a report on… The purpose of this proposal is to compare/ describe/ evaluate/ outline (the shortcomings of)/ summarise (the findings of a survey on)… This report aims to/ will investigate/ examine…
Knowing how to write a quality business report is essential to communicate your ideas across the field of business. These reports typically address a particular issue and help in decision making for the problem concerned. The reports present your findings relating to the issue, then recommend the measure that the organization should take.
Chunk information and use a heading: Break the information in your report down into manageable chunks, and use clear and informative headings. Analyze and interpret findings: Remember, you're the expert. You need to analyze and interpret your findings. Tell your audience what they mean. Consider logical flow: Make sure that the overall flow ...
Vocabulary to use when writing business reports in English exercise Writing a good report is not only about knowing how you structure it and what type of things to include (and not include), but also how you say what you do include: the words and phrases you use.
- Tips and Guidelines Ever tried writing a report on some event you were a part of? What are the kind of details you think should be included in a report? Learn everything about report writing, how to write a report, the various types of reports, and the format and structure of a report in this article. Table of Contents What Is a Report?
Researchers found that the 25% most active users of its apps—in other words, people who use Microsoft's business software for much of their online work activity—spent an average of 8.8 hours ...
W.G.A. leaders have described the dispute in urgent terms, calling this moment "existential," and saying that the studios "are seemingly intent on continuing their efforts to destroy the ...