Reporting

How to Write Data Analysis Reports in 9 Easy Steps

Learn how to create and improve the quality of your data analysis reports while building them effortlessly and fast.

Stefana Zaric Stefana Zaric on October 14, 2021 (last modified on November 9, 2022) • 15 minute read

Imagine a bunch of bricks. They don’t have a purpose until you put them together into a house, do they?

In business intelligence, data is your building material, and a quality data analysis report is what you want to see as the result.

But if you’ve ever tried to use the collected data and assemble it into an insightful report, you know it’s not an easy job to do. Data is supposed to tell a story about your performance, but there’s a long way from unprocessed, raw data to a meaningful narrative that you can use to create an actionable plan for making steady progress towards your goals.

This article will help you improve the quality of your data analysis reports and build them effortlessly and fast. Let’s jump right in.

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What Is a Data Analysis Report?

A data analysis report is a type of business report in which you present quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate your strategies and performance. Based on this data, you give recommendations for further steps and business decisions while using the data as evidence that backs up your evaluation.

Today, data analysis is one of the most important elements of business intelligence strategies as companies have realized the potential of having data-driven insights at hand to help them make data-driven decisions.

Just like you’ll look at your car’s dashboard if something’s wrong, you’ll pull your data to see what’s causing drops in website traffic, conversions, or sales – or any other business metric you may be following. This unprocessed data still doesn’t give you a diagnosis – it’s the first step towards a quality analysis. Once you’ve extracted and organized your data, it’s important to use graphs and charts to visualize it and make it easier to draw conclusions.

Once you add meaning to your data and create suggestions based on it, you have a data analysis report.

A vital detail everyone should know about data analysis reports is their accessibility for everyone in your team, and the ability to innovate. Your analysis report will contain your vital KPIs, so you can see where you’re reaching your targets and achieving goals, and where you need to speed up your activities or optimize your strategy. If you can uncover trends or patterns in your data, you can use it to innovate and stand out by offering even more valuable content, services, or products to your audience.

Why Is Data Analysis Reporting Important?

Data analysis is vital for companies for several reasons.

A reliable source of information

Trusting your intuition is fine, but relying on data is safer. When you can base your action plan on data that clearly shows that something is working or failing, you won’t only justify your decisions in front of the management, clients, or investors, but you’ll also be sure that you’ve taken appropriate steps to fix an issue or seize an important opportunity.

A better understanding of your business

Data analysis makes it easier to understand your business as a whole, and each aspect individually. You can see how different departments analyze their workflow and how each step impacts their results in the end, by following their KPIs over time. Then, you can easily conclude what your business needs to grow – to boost your sales strategy, optimize your finances, or up your SEO game, for example.

An additional way to understand your business better is to compare your most important metrics and KPIs against companies that are just like yours. With Databox Benchmarks, you will need only one spot to see how all of your teams stack up against your peers and competitors.

It makes data accessible to everyone

Data doesn’t represent a magical creature reserved for data scientists only anymore. Now that you have streamlined and easy-to-follow data visualizations and tools that automatically show the latest figures, you can include everyone in the decision-making process as they’ll understand what means what in the charts and tables. The data may be complex, but it becomes easy to read when combined with proper illustrations. And when your teams gain such useful and accessible insight, they will feel motivated to act on it immediately.

Better collaboration

Data analysis reports help teams collaborate better, as well. You can apply the SMART technique to your KPIs and goals, because your KPIs become assignable. When they’re easy to interpret for your whole team, you can assign each person with one or multiple KPIs that they’ll be in charge of. That means taking a lot off a team leader’s plate so they can focus more on making other improvements in the business. At the same time, removing inaccurate data from your day-to-day operations will improve friction between different departments, like marketing and sales, for instance.

More productivity

You can also expect increased productivity, since you’ll be saving time you’d otherwise spend on waiting for specialists to translate data for other departments, etc. This means your internal procedures will also be on a top level.

How to Write a Data Analysis Report? 9 Simple Steps

Want to give value with your data analysis report? It’s critical to master the skill of writing a quality data analytics report. Want to know how to report on data efficiently? We’ll share our secret in the following section.

Start with an Outline

If you start writing without having a clear idea of what your data analysis report is going to include, it may get messy. Important insights may slip through your fingers, and you may stray away too far from the main topic. To avoid this, start the report by writing an outline first. Plan the structure and contents of each section first to make sure you’ve covered everything, and only then start crafting the report.

Make a Selection of Vital KPIs

Don’t overwhelm the audience by including every single metric there is. You can discuss your whole dashboard in a meeting with your team, but if you’re creating data analytics reports for other departments or the executives, it’s best to focus on the most relevant KPIs that demonstrate the data important for the overall business performance.

Pick the Right Charts for Appealing Design

If you’re showing historical data – for instance, how you’ve performed now compared to last month – it’s best to use timelines or graphs. For other data, pie charts or tables may be more suitable. Make sure you use the right data visualization to display your data accurately and in an easy-to-understand manner.

Use a Narrative

Just exporting your data into a spreadsheet isn’t a data analytics report. The fact that you’re dealing with data may sound too technical, but actually, your report should tell a story about your performance. What happened on a specific day? Did your organic traffic increase or suddenly drop? Why? And more. There are a lot of questions to answer and you can put all the responses together in a coherent, understandable narrative.

Organize the Information

Before you start writing or building your dashboard, choose how you’re going to organize your data. Are you going to talk about the most relevant and general ones first? It may be the best way to start the report – the best practices typically involve starting with more general information and then diving into details if necessary.

Include a Summary

Some people in your audience won’t have the time to read the whole report, but they’ll want to know about your findings. Besides, a summary at the beginning of your data analytics report will help the reader get familiar with the topic and the goal of the report. And a quick note: although the summary should be placed at the beginning, you usually write it when you’re done with the report. When you have the whole picture, it’s easier to extract the key points that you’ll include in the summary.

Careful with Your Recommendations

Your communication skills may be critical in data analytics reports. Know that some of the results probably won’t be satisfactory, which means that someone’s strategy failed. Make sure you’re objective in your recommendations and that you’re not looking for someone to blame. Don’t criticize, but give suggestions on how things can be improved. Being solution-oriented is much more important and helpful for the business.

Double-Check Everything

The whole point of using data analytics tools and data, in general, is to achieve as much accuracy as possible. Avoid manual mistakes by proofreading your report when you finish, and if possible, give it to another person so they can confirm everything’s in place.

Use Interactive Dashboards

Using the right tools is just as important as the contents of your data analysis. The way you present it can make or break a good report, regardless of how valuable the data is. That said, choose a great reporting tool that can automatically update your data and display it in a visually appealing manner. Make sure it offers a streamlined dashboard that you can also customize depending on the purpose of the report.

Data Analysis Report Examples

To wrap up the guide, we decided to share nine excellent examples of what awesome data analysis reports can look like. You’ll learn what metrics you should include and how to organize them in logical sections to make your report beautiful and effective.

Marketing Data Report Example

If you need an intuitive dashboard that allows you to track your website performance effortlessly and monitor all the relevant metrics such as website sessions, pageviews, or CTA engagement, you’ll love this free HubSpot Marketing Website Overview dashboard template.

Marketing Data Report Example

SEO Data Analysis Report Example

Tracking the performance of your SEO efforts is important. You can easily monitor relevant SEO KPIs like clicks by device, goal completions, or sessions by channel by downloading this SEO Campaign Performance dashboard template.

SEO Data Analysis Report Example

Sales Data Analysis Report Example

How successful is your sales team? It’s easy to analyze their performance and predict future growth if you choose this HubSpot CRM Sales Analytics Overview dashboard template and track metrics such as average time to close the deal, new deals amount, or average revenue per new client.

Sales Data Analysis Report Example

Customer Support Analysis Data Report Example

Customer support is one of the essential factors that impact your business growth. You can use this streamlined, customizable Customer Success dashboard template. In a single dashboard, you can monitor metrics such as customer satisfaction score, new MRR, or time to first response time.

Customer Support Analysis Data Report Example

Help Desk Data Analysis Report Example

Other than being free and intuitive, this HelpScout for Customer Support dashboard template is also customizable and enables you to track the most vital metrics that indicate your customer support agents’ performance: handle time, happiness score, interactions per resolution, and more.

Help Desk Data Analysis Report Example

Ecommerce Data Analysis Report Example

Is your online store improving or failing? You can easily collect relevant data about your funnel and monitor the most important metrics like average order value, revenue by channel, or ecommerce conversion rate by downloading this Ecommerce Full Funnel dashboard template.

Ecommerce Data Analysis Report Example

Project Management Data Analysis Report Example

Does your IT department need feedback on their project management performance? Download this Jira dashboard template to track vital metrics such as issues created or resolved, issues by status, etc. Jira enables you to gain valuable insights into your teams’ productivity.

Project Management Data Analysis Report Example

Social Media Data Analysis Report Example

Need to know if your social media strategy is successful? You can find that out by using this easy-to-understand Social Media Awareness & Engagement dashboard template. Here you can monitor and analyze metrics like sessions by social source, track the number of likes and followers, and measure the traffic from each source.

Social Media Data Analysis Report Example

Financial KPI Data Analysis Report Example

Tracking your finances is critical for keeping your business profitable. If you want to monitor metrics such as the number of open invoices, open deals amount by stage by pipeline, or closed-won deals, use this free QuickBooks + HubSpot CRM Financial Performance dashboard template.

Financial KPI Data Analysis Report Example

Rely on Accurate Data with Databox

“I don’t have time to build custom reports from scratch.”

“It takes too long and becomes daunting very soon.”

“I’m not sure how to organize the data to make it effective and prove the value of my work.”

Does this sound like you?

Well, it’s something we all said at some point – creating data analytics reports can be time-consuming and tiring. And you’re still not sure if the report is compelling and understandable enough when you’re done.

That’s why we decided to create Databox dashboards – a world-class solution for saving your money and time. We build streamlined and easy-to-follow dashboards that include all the metrics that you may need and allow you to create custom ones if necessary. That way, you can use templates and adjust them to any new project or client without having to build a report from scratch.

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You can skip the setup and get your first dashboard for free in just 24 hours, with our fantastic customer support team on the line to assist you with the metrics you should track and the structure you should use.

Enjoy crafting brilliant data analysis reports that will improve your business – it’s never been faster and more effortless. Sign up today and get your free dashboard in no time.

About the author
Stefana Zaric
Stefana Zaric Stefana Zarić is a freelance writer & content marketer. Other than writing for SaaS and fintech clients, she educates future writers who want to build a career in marketing. When not working, Stefana loves to read books, play with her kid, travel, and dance.
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