How to write an analysis report

In an analysis report, sometimes called a recommendation report, the writer attempts to solve a problem by evaluating options and suggesting solutions. Though objective data is presented, the bulk of the report is analysis of that data to help the reader make a decision. The length of the report depends on the type and extent of the analysis. Consider including at least the following sections in your analysis report: Introduction/Background, Problem, Limitations, Conclusions and Recommendations.

Begin the report with objective data presented clearly and succinctly in a section titled either Introduction or Background. This section should suggest the significance of the problem addressed in the next section as well as identify who requested the analysis and why. If the background information is extensive, consider using an Introduction section (explaining why you are writing the report and its purpose) and a Background section (describing the methods and sources used to gather information and establishing their credibility).

Describe the specific problem addressed in the report in a Problem section. Ensure that your reader understands the significance of the problem by providing solid supporting information.

Spell out limitations of the analysis or the upcoming recommendations in the report. Describe possible threats to the validity of data garnered by certain methods such as questionnaires, interviews or focus groups. This is the Limitations section.

Draw conclusions (simplified or generalised statements about the problem that can be reasonably deduced from the presented data) in a Conclusions section. It may be helpful, when writing this section, to interpret the data gathered by thinking about the implications of it.

Present---in a Recommendations section---your recommendations by placing each under its own subheading or by itemising them if your recommendations are concise actions.

Include additional information if necessary under such headings as Method of Collecting Data, Findings, Presentation of Facts, Analysis of Facts, Options, Summary and References.

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