To communicate effectively, you need to know how to write an effective report. A well-written report is free of errors and clear. Begin the report by stating the purpose for writing the report and giving the client a glimpse of what they can expect. Include background information, questions and any other relevant details.
Business-driven Data Analysis for Non-Technical People should consist of:
- Simple writing and less technical detail
- What you did and how it affected you.
- Useful practical recommendations
1. Write your analysis report with less technical information and simpler writing
- The words should never be replaced by graphs and pictures
- Do not use flowery language and unnecessary details. Be direct (use bullets if necessary).
- You don't want to get lost in the process.
2. Your actions and your motivations should be clearly stated
This section is the place to demonstrate your expertise. Use the narrative to explain the answers to the client's questions. Tables should only contain 3 metrics and the data should be segmented rather than aggregated. It is easier to read.
Web reporting is different from web analysis because one is data puke. This image, for instance, is an example of data puke.
It's not the right way… The client must identify the actions and understand the context. You shouldn't make clients think: you should give them insights.
It is not a web-analysis, but a simple analysis of the website. Be sure to note the highlighted sections.
What you MUST do…
3. Applying practical recommendations
- Write the reasons for each insight. (Sales down 4% since ….) Use "you" to refer to your client.
- Each insight should be followed by a suggestion for a course of action (For example, because sales are down we suggest Y …). The best way to apply this is after you have a complete understanding of your client's company. A discussion, or at the very least a recommendation should occur if there is no recommendation.
- If you can, quantify the effect of your decision. (We'll save X dollars). It is important to create a sense that the client must act immediately.
The conclusion or outro should include the report's purpose, main conclusions, findings, and recommendations. The conclusion can be positive. The purpose of this report was to provide a guide on how to write a data analysis. It provided 3 insights with additional detail for each. Report writing should be simple, easy to read, and clear for stakeholders. Even when skimming a report, it should still be able convey its main points.
Many readers have asked about the use of PenPath dashboards in analysis reports. We recommend exporting the dashboard in PowerPoint or using screenshots.