How to write a business analysis report
Business analysis reports are often the most important company documents on record, and there can be many reasons for writing them. Whatever the reasons, it's important that they be written with purpose and cohesion and that they communicate strength and vision.
Using information gleaned from company reports, analytics and data-driven goals and objectives will make for a thorough and important business document to help move the company forward.
Review any SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of your business and Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) analytics or other data in charts and graphs. Outline this information. Begin with the company strengths, weaknesses, areas of recent growth and any other information taken from this analysis data.
Write the company objectives, mission and vision statements into the outline. Review previous board minutes, any rules of engagement or other committee reviews and minutes to gather the most current versions of the company's forward-moving initiatives.
Outline an overview of the company's work flow and other process information as captured in flowcharts, organizational maps and any other detailed process information. Include a section for goals as they work into the company's overall mission and vision.
Review and outline business expenses, actual costs, profits and losses for inclusion in a separate section with budgetary and profit information. Determine a cash value for a profit and loss statement.
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Write an introduction justifying and explaining a reason for the analysis, along with what the focus of the report will be. For example, if funding is being sought, state and justify the need for funding as it works into the company's goals, mission statement and strengths.
Begin the next session by pulling together the outlined material containing the company strengths and weaknesses and other areas of company growth. Write it up into a complete section of one to three paragraphs.
Begin the next section by pulling together the outlined material for business expenses, costs, profits and losses. Work this information into a cohesive section of one to three paragraphs that sufficiently detail what the major expenditures were and how they resulted from a profit-loss perspective.
Conclude by recapping the most important, salient points of the report and its analysis, such as goals achieved, new vision statements, profits, company strengths and areas for improvement. Also include new goals and any additional mission statements. Include the components of the project under proposal and rate them by priority. If the report is being written to obtain funding or capital, include a final justification for it. The conclusion should be one short section, or a paragraph of four to six sentences in length.
- Analysis Report Project: Audience, E-writing, and Information Design, by S. Lawrence (2003)
- Use active voice and strong verbs when writing a business analysis report. This communicates strength and power. For example, if you're communicating expenditures, begin with "Profits result from direct investments in..." or, "Action-based project completion resulted in higher growth when process-driven..."