How to Write Focus Group Reports

Updated July 12, 2018

A focus group is a roundtable discussion consisting of 8 to 12 people that is qualitative in nature. Many types of businesses use focus groups to guide business decisions, so writing a focus group report that presents the key themes of the discussion is imperative.

Become familiar with the discussion guide, group objectives and participant profiles. Attend the focus group discussion and take notes.

Arrange notes and make a basic outline of the report based on central ideas and themes discussed in the group. Wait for complete transcripts of the focus group before beginning to write the full report.

Read the focus group transcripts. Highlight the participants' comments that exemplify points to be discussed in the report.

Organize highlighted ideas and comments into a report that addresses the study objectives. For example, if the company's objective is to create a new advertising campaign, then the report should discuss how participants feel about the different examples presented. It should include how they would improve the advertising shown.

Create report sections for background information, executive summary, key findings, conclusions and recommendations and next steps. Be sure each statement has at least two verbatim quotes to support the statement presented.

Include quantitative-type results when collected from participants' handouts. Handouts typically ask participants to rate factors and satisfaction and to give feedback on a specific topic.


Try not to overemphasize one vocal respondent in the report. If unable to attend the focus groups, discuss group highlights with the moderator.


Focus group results are not representative and should not be the sole basis of business decisions.

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Things Needed

  • Focus group transcripts

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