In recent years, analytical reporting has evolved into one of the world’s most important business intelligence components, compelling companies to adapt their strategies based on powerful data-driven insights.
While many companies struggle to leverage an effective business intelligence strategy, the importance of analytical information created a fluctuation of data that cannot be simply collected into a single spreadsheet. It has become harder to create and use a single report and communicate a wide range of vital information between departments, stakeholders, and important parties in a single company. That’s why a business needs a proper analytical report that will help filter important data and improve the creation of the full management report that can lead to a successful business operation.
That doesn’t mean that creating these kinds of reports should only be intended for specialized analysts, who can read and interpret complex data more swiftly, but with self-service BI tools that expand the knowledge of all employees in a company, analytical reports can become one of the most invaluable reporting tools that force progress, directly affect operating costs and use modern interface which everyone understands.
That said, we will delve deeper into analytical reporting as well as its value in a real-world business context and consider how to write an analytics report with the help of professional online reporting software.
Let’s get started.
What Is An Analytical Report?
An analytical report is a type of a business report that uses qualitative and quantitative company data to analyze as well as evaluate a business strategy or process while empowering employees to make data-driven decisions based on evidence and analytics.
While analytical reporting is based on statistics, historical data and can deliver a predictive analysis of a specific issue, its usage is also spread in analyzing current data in a wide range of industries. For example, a hospital has seen in their report that the average waiting time can be reduced by conducting specific actions. The American Journal of Managed Care even stated in its own research that the total waiting amount is 121 minutes. A marketing agency can decide to allocate their budget differently after the team has seen that the most traffic comes from a different source of the invested budget. Applications of these kinds of reports are different, and, therefore, the writing style and generating data is distinctive in every industry.
How To Write An Analytical Report?
Now that we’ve managed to define analytical reporting, we’ll consider how to write an analytics-style report to enhance business intelligence across the board with the help of modern and professional tools.
- Use digital dashboards: When considering the question “what is an analytical report,” it’s important to think about the best medium in terms of usability and presentation. It’s possible to write an analytical report using a spreadsheet, whitepaper, or a simple Word document or file. But these more traditional report-writing methods are usually clunky and time-consuming. It is possible to structure data across a broad range of spreadsheets, but the final result can be more confusing than productive. By using an online dashboard, you will be able to gain access to dynamic metrics and data in a way that’s digestible, actionable, and accurate. No more sifting through droves of spreadsheets, no more patchwork data analysis, and reporting methods. With digital analytical reporting, you will see the insights unfolding before your very eyes.
- Be dynamic: Traditional reports have a standard structure that doesn’t facilitate editing. And static reports have their limitations. Traditional types of analytical reports typically consist of a title page, table of contents, introduction, methodology, body section, conclusions, recommendations, and a bibliography. But with dynamic, interactive dashboard reporting software, your structure will be far simpler and more holistic. As such, you can retain all the conventional information you require, but the dynamism will provide information you can use in real-time and dig deeper while drilling down into pockets of information with the swipe of a screen or the click of a button.
- Choose the right chart types: What is the most important aspect of analytical reporting? Choosing the right chart type, perhaps. Once you’ve made a conscious commitment to work with dynamic analytical reports, the next phase of the “how to write an analysis report” operation comes in the form of choosing the right chart type. A modern data report offers a host of interactive data charts and visualizations you can use to your advantage. If you choose the right chart types - those that represent the information you’re looking to convey with your data analysis report - you will enhance communication and productivity. Common analytics report chart types include interactive bar charts, line charts, bubble plots, area charts, and maps. To help you pick visualizations for your report, here is a guide to choosing the best types of data visualization for your business.
- Follow design best practices: When you’re considering the preparation of analytical reports, presentation is everything. Regardless of how powerful your dashboard software is, without following data analysis and reporting best practices, you will dilute your most vital organizational information, making it far less effective. When it comes to the design aspect of how to write an analysis report, a clear, concise layout with a balanced mix of visuals is the way forward. For powerful analytical reporting, you must make sure your dashboard provides clear-cut answers to the questions linked to key aspects of your business’s performance. You should avoid packing too many charts and widgets into any data analytics reports as it will only detract from your analytical information. Also, for maximum data analytics reporting success, focus on following a logical format that will help you and your users extract actionable insights at a glance. Adding tables at the bottom of the dashboard will help you achieve a logical analytical report format as they usually provide more value than charts, graphs, or similar metrics.
- Work with the right KPIs: As well as the many different types of analytical reports that exist in the digital age, there are also many types of dynamic key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use. The visually rich and interactive nature of these KPIs means that you can gain access to a wealth of invaluable information, both past, predictive, and in real-time. For an analytical-style report format to work it its optimum capacity, selecting the right KPI template to build up your performance and business goals - is vital. When you’re creating or developing a business analytics report, you should consider which trends you are looking to uncover or benchmark and choose your KPIs accordingly. Focusing on your primary business goals will help you reach a suitable conclusion when picking dynamic KPIs - doing so will ensure you’re able to make your business more adaptable, more responsive, and more innovative with the initiatives you develop for the organization. By choosing your KPIs well, you gain the ability to spot strengths and weaknesses while making your information more accessible to other stakeholders, both internal and external. This is an essential component of making sure that you get the structure of an analytical report just right.
- Make your analysis report accessible: Expanding on our previous point, your business analytics report must always be accessible. In addition to developing a visually accessible, logical design and format, your analytical information should always be available to the right people in your organization whenever and wherever they need it. By working with a modern analytical report template, you will be able to provide 24/7 access to your company’s most important KPI dashboards as employees will be able to log in and extract insights from a multitude of devices, including smartphones and tablets. The primary aim of an analytical report template is to improve internal business intelligence while empowering everyone with the information they need to perform better - this limitless level of accessibility will do just that.
- Tell a tale: You’ve probably noticed that we’ve already mentioned the importance of “telling a tale or story” a couple of times - and for good reasons. The human brain favors strong narratives or a plot it can follow, so if your analysis report format is developed with storytelling in mind, you will make your business analysis report efforts far more powerful.
To learn more about how to improve your analysis efforts, you can read our comprehensive guide on data analysis methods. Next, we will take a closer look at real-life scenarios where you can utilize analytical reports to generate business value.
Benefit From These 6 Analytical Report Examples
As mentioned, these kinds of reports can be used in many industries that are finding analytical reports essential for healthy business development. Let’s explore this through 6 different analysis report examples.
1. Healthcare: How to reduce the patients waiting time in our hospital?
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- Treatment Costs
- ER Wait Time
- Patient Wait Time
Next, we look at an analysis report sample in the health and wellbeing sector. The healthcare dashboard above emphasizes healthcare metrics that combine historical data, statistics and delve deeper into the analysis of trends, therefore, it can serve as a fundamental part of generating future decisions that are important to run and modify a successful hospital strategy. Although big data in healthcare are becoming expansive and increasing in the variety of information it can provide, it also uses reports in a form of a dashboard (like the one above) so that every analytical information generated has its own measurement and quality of evidence. The average waiting time by division can clearly increase the effectiveness of different hospital departments if used correctly. Also, the number of patients can explain why some divisions have the bigger amount of waiting time, and, therefore, propose a solution to reduce it, and also reduce costs that directly affect the department. This metric is important for the finance department, but the holistic view of all the analysis created and presented in this dashboard will help management make better decisions. This dashboard can also serve as an analytical report template, which can then be used as a roadmap to a successful hospital strategy.
2. Sales: How to exceed targets next year?
The next analysis report example comes from the sales industry.
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- Sales Growth
- Sales Target
- Acquisition Cost
This sales dashboard depicts a rounded view of sales performance. It combines a lot of important KPIs, like the average weekly sales revenue, customer acquisition cost, and yearly overview of the revenue and profit. You can even go further and interactively explore these units on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly time frame. The importance lies within the analytical reporting interpretation of big data compiled into just one dashboard, and a quick summary of the key factors that a sales report should have. The sales target in this example is exceeded by 115%, which means that managers can quickly conclude their targets are on track, provide feedback to their team and generate more ideas on how to proceed with the next steps of a strategy. Incorporating this kind of report into a business practice can bring value to a company, as smart data are presented in a clear and efficient way. Combining these metrics, which provide straightforward evidence and analysis of the overall sales strategy, managers can reduce operational costs and set additional targets on how to decrease customer acquisition cost, which is one of the main goals of a sales strategy.
We can go even deeper on a monthly level.
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This monthly report combines data of sales reps, their whole funnel, the average length of sales stages, and the average sales cycle length. You can see in this report template the single efficiency and conversion rates of a specific sales manager or representative, gather information on the number of opportunities, proposals, negotiation, and closing time each one had. This sharp series of sales charts and analyses can project evidence of an effective sales cycle, meaning each member of a team can visually see their part of the sales strategy and take decisions based on the presented data. Since these kinds of reports can be used by different teams and stakeholders, the important value of clear analysis and numbers can define future actions while analyzing current data.
3. Marketing: Where should we allocate our budget?
Our third analytical report example comes from marketing. Digital marketing KPIs have expanded since the use of digital media has entered into the marketing scene and reports have become more broad and detailed. Although you can combine your tracking KPIs into a single spreadsheet, it is often more useful to have a clear overview of specific campaigns, return on investment, cost per click, or landing pages conversion rate.
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- Traffic Sources
- Conversion Rate
- Bounce Rate
This data analysis report template shows a perfect overview of a web analytics report. It quickly shows the total amount of visits, average session duration, bounce rate, page views, and the total goal conversion rate. Based on this data, a marketing department can quickly grasp into their analytics and conclude whether to make changes to their strategy or make an additional decision for a specific campaign. Monitoring traffic sources can easily define where to invest more or less, and the systematization of top campaigns, channels, and conversions can easily provide evidence of historical data based on the last year’s performance, or weekly analysis of trends. This kind of analytical reporting can bring time-consuming writing and exporting documents into the pains of the past since the dynamics of digital reports have gone into the future of digital data and age.
4. Finance: We should reduce the operating expenses ratio. How to do it?
The fourth in our examples of analytical reports comes from the finance sector.
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- Return on Assets
- Return on Equity
- Working Capital
Meeting financial objectives can be established by a simple example of analytic report that combines all the important financial aspects of a company: gross profit margin, operating expenses ratio, operating profit margin, and net profit margin. All these indicators offer valuable and succinct insights into one central point of access which can be then analyzed in more detail by providing data and, therefore, a base for making future decisions. After seeing this visual representation of the most important key performance indicators, stakeholders, managers, or employees can benefit from insights and decide whether to reduce the operating expenses or take actions into developing a new strategy to increase revenue and profit.
5. FMCG: How do we make our supply chain more efficient?
Our next data analysis report example comes in the form of our FMCG dashboard. A business analysis report focused on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), this report sample is ideal for businesses turning over large amounts of inventory on a regular basis.
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- Out of Stock Rate (OOF)
- Delivered On-Time & In-Full (OTIF)
- Average Time To Sell
- Percentage of Sold Products Within Freshness Data
Boasting a cohesive mix of supply chain metrics designed to help business owners develop efficient strategies for streamlining their stock handling and fulfillment activities, this analytical report sample offers both at-a-glance and long-term strategic metrics based on average selling times and out of stock rates, among other invaluable nuggets of information.
This is a data analysis report template that will save you time and money while significantly improving both your supplier and consumer relationships in the long run.
6. Market research: How do we increase our brand awareness?
This analysis report template is based on improving your business’s market research strategies to gather critical insights using a more efficient, effective, and value-driven approach.
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- Unaided Brand Awareness
- Aided Brand Awareness
- Brand Image
- Celebrity Analysis
An analysis report template offers a two-fold solution — the mix of KPIs featured within this real time dashboard can help businesses across industries boost their brand awareness and leverage influencer relationships while collecting market insights that will help in the development of smarter, more results-driven marketing and communication initiatives.
Our brand analysis dashboard is an analytical report example that will help you create a brand image that resonates with your target audience while taking advantage of business-boosting opportunities across a range of mediums, from email to social media and beyond.
“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” – Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
Historically speaking, after the digital age has well entered into the business realm of collecting and interpreting data, analytical reports have become a set of must-haves for a business to thrive into the vast amount of data received every day.
After considering an official analytical report definition (what is an analytical report?), looking at a host of analytical reports examples, and discovering how to make an analysis report, it’s clear that these dynamic, interactive, and highly-visual dashboards offer no end of the business-boosting value.
In the analytical report examples provided, it’s easy to see how these kinds of reports can be used across industries by offering actionable insights that cover a host of departments, activities, and internal functions. Using a business analytics tool will ensure that you stay on top of today’s market while reducing operational costs and propelling yourself ahead of the competition, one data-driven initiative at a time. An online data visualization tool, along with analytical reports examples, can help track the specific and holistic performance of your company and improve your decision-making.