Business report / research can be described as systemic and organized effort to investigate a specific problem encountered in the work setting, that needs a solution. It comprise a series of steps designed and executed, with the goal of finding answers to the issues that are of concern to the manager in the work environment. This means that first step in report / research is to know where the problem area exists in the organization and to identify as clearly and specifically as possible, the problem that need to studied and resolved.
Once the problem that needs attention is clearly defined, then steps can be taken to gather information, analyze the data, and determine the factors that are associated with the problem and solve it by taking the necessary corrective measures.
These entire processes by which we attempt to solve problems is called research or report. Thus, research or report involves a series of well-thought-out and carefully executed activities that will enable the manager to know how organizational problems can be solved, or at least considerably minimized. research or report thus encompasses the processes of inquiry, investigation, examination and experimentation. These processes have to be carried systematically, diligently, critically, objectively and logically.
The expected result would be the discovery that will help the manager to deal with the problem situation.
The report / research provides the needed information that guides mangers to make informed decisions to successfully deal with problems.
Definition of Report:
A systematic approach of writing that describe the
practical problem and its solution in meaningful
organization of Paragraphs for a certain field.
Objective of written Report
It enables the manager with a view to
closing the gap between the existing state
of affairs and the desired state to achieve
A solution how to minimize the gap between theory and practice so that accomplished work can be more effective, innovative and fruitful or productive manner.
Theory Practice Gap
Characteristic of a Well Written Report:
The Important features:
Clarity / clearness
Conciseness/ Brevity /Shortness
Proper emphasis on important aspect
Meaningful organize of paragraph
Smooth transition from one topic o the next
Choose or pick exact word that have operational command for easy understanding verse or sentence
Purpose of written report
Simply to offer : Some specific factor requested by a manager. This type of report can be very narrowly focused and explain in brief information format
Sell an Idea: Detailed arrangement of logical display through out the report. Also must be clearly mentioned why proposed ideas is an improvement and should be adopted
The Main parts to be followed in writing the Business Report
Table of content
A copy of authorization letter (In response the original proposal)
Introductory section: Detailing purpose of the study giving some background information of what it relates to, and stating the problem studied, setting the stage for what the reader could expect in the rest of the report
The Body: Detail regarding the framework of study, hypothesis if any, sampling design, data collection method, analysis of data and result obtain.
The Final part: Once analyzing the data findings will represent here and conclusion will draw.
The Main parts to be followed in writing the Business Report (Cont.)
Recommendation: if you wish to write the recommendation there must be cost and benefit analysis
Limitation: Every professional report would also point out the limitation of the study (e.g. in sampling, data collection etc.)
Acknowledgement: This section is mentioned from whom you got help or some degree of assistance during your business report writing. The type of help may be date collection, acting as liaisons etc. You must write it before executive summary.
References: A list of the references cited in the report or literature review section i.e. body of the report you must keep in this section. The source of information you must keep record in this section which assisted to complete your report.
Appendix: Your group-work activity chart, You must keep Organization char of the company, picture, newspaper clippings or any other support picture or supplement reading relate to the report.
Special Note: Simple, interesting, precise and comprehensive, unbiased
and objectives presentation of finding and specific limitation of the study
should employed in the report carefully.
Instruction Manual to write the Business Report :
Letter of Transmittal
Letter of Authorization
Table of Content
List of Tables
List of Figures
-Classification of problem
-Aims and objectives of the study /Report
Review of The Report
-Historical study with expert/author/researcher/editorial views in the respective field
-Your criticism and point of expert/author/researcher/editorial views in light of present situation.
-Your theoretical design or framework
-Hypothesis Formulation: The assumption of your investigation whether true or false.
-Unstructured or Structure interviews
-Type and nature of study: Qualitative or Quantitative
-Data Collection Method
-Data Analysis techniques use: SPSS/SAS/NUDIEST
Result or Outcome of The Report
-Discussion with data interpretation
-Direction or suggestion for the future Reporter
The Report Introductory Part The Report Body The Report Final Part The Report Formal Part The Report Source of Information
Letter of Transmittal
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Executive Summary (must not be more than 1/8 th of the total size of the report)
Length and formality determine report structure.
Prefatory pages of a report consist of the title fly, title page, letter of transmittal, table of contents, and executive summary.
The body of the report is called report proper.
The title fly carries only the report title. Print the title in the highest-ranking form used in the report, and double-space it if you need more than one line.
The title page typically contains the title, identification of the writer and reader, and usually the date. “Submitted for” or Prepared for” is written before “Prepared By”. Date is written towards the end.
The letter of transmittal is a letter that transmits the report. It is a personal message from the writer to the reader.
The table of contents is the listing of the report contents. It is the report outline in finished form, with page numbers to indicate where the parts begin. It also may include a list of illustrations (tables, figures, diagrams).
The table of contents is appropriately titled “Table of Contents” or “Contents”. Below the title set up two columns. One contains the outline headings, generally beginning with the first report part following the table of contents. You have the option of including or leaving out the outline letters and numbers.
The executive summary summarizes whatever is important in the report --- the major facts and analyses, conclusions, and recommendations.
As the need for formality decreases, and the problem becomes smaller, the makeup of the report changes.
The changes primarily occur in the prefatory pages.
First, the title fly drops out.
The executive summary and the letter of transmittal are combined.
The table of contents drops out. Because, certainly a guide to a 100-page report is necessary, but a guide to a 1-page report is not necessary.
As formality and length requirements continue to decrease, the combined letter of transmittal and executive summary drops out.
The shorter report usually begin directly ---- with conclusions and recommendations.
The title should tell what the report contains. Use the five Ws and 1 H as a check for completeness (who, what, where, when, why ---- sometimes how).
Example: Who: Nokia
What: Sales training recommendations
Where: Implied (Nokia regional offices)
Why: Understood (to improve sales training)
How: Based on a 2005 study of company sales activities.
The title will be: “Sales training recommendations for Nokia based on a 2005 study of Company Sales Activities.”
Example: Who: Petco
What: Analysis of Advertising campaigns
Where: Not essential
How: Not essential
The title will be: “ Analysis of Petco’s 2005 Advertising Campaign.”
Letter of Transmittal
The transmittal has several purposes: to transmit the report, to orient the reader to the report, and to build a good image of the report and of the writer.
Organize the transmittal in this way:
1. Transmit the report: Tell when and by whom it was authorized and the purpose it was to fulfill.
2. Mention any points of special interest in the report. Indicate minor problems you encountered in your investigation and show how you corrected them. Thank people who helped you.
3. Point out additional research that is necessary, if any. Sometimes your recommendation cannot be implemented until further work is done. .
4. Thank the reader for the opportunity to do the work and offer to answer questions.
Table of Illustrations
The table of illustrations may be either a continuation of the table of contents or a separate table. Such a table lists the graphics presented in the report in much the same way as the table of contents lists the report parts.
In constructing the table, head it with an appropriately descriptive title, such as “Table of Charts and Illustrations,” or “List of Tables and Charts,” or “Table of Figures”.
Origin of the Report: Includes a review of the facts of authorization. You should present such facts as when, how, and by whom the report was authorized; who wrote the report; and when the report was submitted.
Problem and Purpose: The problem is whatever the report seeks to do. The purpose statement identifies the organizational problem the report addresses, the technical investigations it summarizes. It tells the reason of the report.
Scope: The scope statement identifies how broad an area the report surveys. For example, Company X is losing money on its line of radios. Does the report investigate the quality of the radios? The advertising campaign? The cost of manufacturing? The demand for radios? A scope statement allows the reader to evaluate the report on appropriate grounds.
Limitations: Limitations make your recommendations less valid or valid only under certain conditions. Limitations usually arise because time or money constraints haven’t permitted full research. For example, a campus pizza restaurant considering expanding its menu may ask for a report but not have enough money to take a random sample of students and townspeople.
Historical Background: Formal reports usually have a section that gives the background of the situation or the history of the problem. Your general aim in this part is to acquaint the readers with how the problem developed and what has been done about it. It should review what past investigations have determined about the problem, and it should lead to what still needs to be done.
Assumptions: These are statements whose truth you assume, and which you use to prove your final point. If they are wrong, the conclusion will be wrong.
Sources and Methods of Collecting Information: If you conducted surveys, focus groups, or interviews, you need to tell how you chose your subjects, and how, when, and where they were interviewed. If your report is based solely on library or online research, omit the methods section; simply cite your sources in the text and document them in notes or references.
Definitions, Initialisms, and Acronyms: When you know that some members of your audience will not understand technical terms, define them. If you have only a few definitions, you can put them in the Introduction. If you have many terms to define, use a glossary either early in the report or at the end. If the glossary is at the end, refer to it in the Introduction so that readers know that you’ve provided it.
Report Preview: In this part you tell the readers how the report will be presented --- what topics will be taken up first, second, third, and so on. You give your readers a clear picture of the road ahead.
Appendix: You use it for supplementary information that supports the body of the report but has no logical place within the body.
Possible appendix contents are questionnaires, working papers, summary tables, additional references, and other reports.
As a rule, the appendix should not include the charts, graphs, and tables that directly support the report. These should be placed in the body of the report, where they support the findings.
Bibliography: It is a list of the publications used.
1. Name of the author ; in normal order. If a source has two or three authors, all are named. If a source has more than three authors, the name of the first author followed by the Latin et al. or its English equivalent “and others” may be used.
2 . Book Title: Book titles are usually placed in italics.
4. Location of publisher: If more than one city is listed on the title page, the one listed first should be used.
5. Publishing company
6 . Date: Year of publication. If revised, year of latest revision.
7 . Page or pages: Specific page or inclusive pages on which the cited material is found.
8 . URL for Internet sources or indication of the media (CV, DVD).
Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002), 55.
Article title: Typed within quotation marks.
Periodical title: Set in italics, which are indicated by underscoring.
Publication Identification: Volume number in Arabic numerals followed by date of publication (month or year or season and year).
Page or pages
URL for online periodicals.
Linda Beamer, “Directness in Chinese Business Correspondence of the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 17, no. 2(2003):201.
Tommy Peterson, “ Copying with disease,” ComputerWorld 37, no. 25: 40(June 23, 2003), http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2003/0,4814,82314.html.
1. Source description
2. Main head of article
3. Newspaper title.
4. Date of publication
5. Page (p.) and column (col.). May be used --- optional.
URL. Should be added when available.
Nick Wingfield, “Wifi Moochers; Some Wireless Internet Fans, Desperate for a Fix, ‘Borrow’ Access at homes, Hotels, Cafes,” The Wall Street Journal , July 31, 2003, B1.
“ The Ten Biggest Mistakes of E-Mail Records Management,” September 9, 2003,http:// ioronmountain.ed4.net/enterprise/.