How Do I Write a Business Analysis Report?
A business analysis report is typically an in-depth review on a specific topic, department, or market segment. Its format can vary based on many factors. Writing this type of report means including an executive summary, study introduction, and methodology explanation followed by a review of statistics and conclusion. Each report often has different lengths for each section. The intended audience may also be a factor on the analysis report and how it explains the material studied.
An executive summary is typically a brief statement that explains the vital aspects of the report. A business analysis report is often a long and detailed document that includes information from many perspectives. Upper management or other executives often have little time to read through these entire reports at one time. The executive summary — written after the work has been completed — presents a quick synopsis on the major aspects of the report. The summary should be about one page and exclude heavy use of tables or statistics.
After the executive summary, the report should start with a normal introduction. A formal business report typically has a short paragraph to introduce the study’s purpose. An academically based article can have a few paragraphs that explain the study and reference other works that influence the current report. The introduction should make some reference to how the researchers conducted the study. A brief look into hypotheses or expectations may also be included here.
All reports typically have a research methodology used to help prepare and analyze information in the report. Researchers need to explain the methods used to review certain information or data in the report. This section may be more prevalent in an academically based business analysis report rather than an internal business document. If statistical tables or other significant reports are in the analysis report, researchers often need to explain the data-gathering process and computations used. Including tables in the document is often necessary to provide a pictorial analysis of the data.
All reports need a final conclusion. A business analysis report may also include recommendations from the researchers. This allows the report users to understand how a third party would correct or alter operations to improve them. The conclusion may also include long-term effects of current processes or the effect of external factors. Either way, the analysis report should present a final statement on the purpose of the data analysis.
@miriam98 - That’s fine when you’re just starting out, but once business gets rolling you need to conduct a periodic analysis.
One of the most common that I am quite familiar with from the places that I’ve worked at is the feasibility study. This is usually done when the company is thinking about expanding into a new territory or market.
They want to know what the return on investment will be, and if they have sufficient resources to get the job done and make it worthwhile. Some of these kinds of analyses are found in the traditional SWOTs reports, where you are looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business.
These are very useful and give you a good snapshot. In our company we’ve recently completed a business analysis of vertical market segments and decided upon a roll out of new products to tap into greater opportunities. There’s plenty of competition, but I think we’re poised for success.
I think that a business analysis report can be a subset of a much larger report or business document.
For example, a proposal for a business loan would contain a lot of the elements that you see here. You would have an executive summary, an analysis of the current market and things like that.
You need to bolster your report with solid facts and research, but the bank (or some other lender) will be looking at your report to see if you are worth lending money to.
They want to see that you’ve done your homework, and would probably want to see a section outlining risks and opportunities. I had to do a business loan proposal once for my dad’s business and we had to be very thorough.
Of course you have software that can help you write the stuff, but it won’t do your research for you.
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