How to Write a Business Research Report
Business research reports examine key aspects of how businesses operate before making recommendations on how to improve operations. To write such a document, you will divide up your report into sections that guide the reader from your findings to your recommendations.
Introducing the Report
The introductory sections of your business report include the executive summary and the introduction. According to Paul V. Anderson, author of "Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach," the executive summary provides a birds-eye view of your entire business report; it highlights the method, key results and interpretations, and strongest recommendations your report will make. Your introduction explains why this report is necessary for your business, as well as key concepts or terms that you use in the report and how you define them.
Articulating Your Method
Your methods section explains what research methods you used when gathering information for your report. For example, you could write that the research was conducted using questionnaires submitted to employees or one-on-one interviews. Your methods section will also refer to charts, graphs and tables you created from your research, often appended to the back of the report.
Sharing and Interpreting Results
The bulk of the report will explain and interpret the results of your research. Your results and interpretation sections of your report will include a narrative explanation of your research results and an analysis of what you think those results mean. For example, if you analyzed the profits and losses of a Chinese restaurant over a 32-year period, you might explain trends in these results and how these trends reflect the market fluctuations for Chinese food over the same time frame.
Concluding and Making Recommendations
Your conclusions and recommendations based upon your research will round out your report. Your conclusion section will make suggestions based upon your results, while the recommendations will include a fully articulated set of guidelines for enacting that suggestion. For example, your report might conclude that a law office should hire a new team of database engineers before recommending that the human resources department of that office contact local universities’ computer science departments in search of recent graduates who might be qualified for such a position.
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