In this blog, I will discuss what reporting is, its benefits, and describe several popular report types. Also, we’ll look at reporting tools and how they can ease business operations.
Let’s get started!
A definition of reporting
Reporting is the process of communicating information to a specific audience, usually presenting the data in formats such as text, grids, and charts. In business, organizations’ departments can use reports to provide a record of a particular activity and relay information on the success or shortcomings and what needs improvement. Setting clear goals and benchmarks is necessary for a company to grow, and a report demonstrates where in that climb the company currently stands.
Benefits of reporting
Next, let’s dive into the benefits of reporting.
1. Providing information
Through reporting, your organization can communicate efforts and present relevant numbers to its consumers, investors, or value chain partners in a practical, standardized way. When the organization provides easily understandable metrics, investors can feel more confident in its future, and conscientious consumers can have more faith in its products. This is an essential benefit because readily available data brings trust to the organization.
2. Commitment to transparency
Reporting displays your organization’s commitment to transparency, which helps to establish trust between the organization and its stakeholders. Transparency builds bridges among teams and lets them solve problems more quicker. The openness of clear and accurate reporting also helps keep employees informed about successes and failures and the company’s trajectory. Employees who feel they understand and are essential to the company’s strategy are more likely to give their all.
3. Attracting investment
A sensible investor wants to know the risk associated with their investments. By making your company’s complete environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk information available in one comprehensive package, you will increase your chances of attracting the intended capital. A good reporting plan will help organizations in market research, profit margin projections, and case studies. A good organization should have a detailed plan of how much money is already invested and how much capital infusion is needed to take the business organization to the next level.
4. Competitive advantage
Reporting provides your company with a competitive advantage by:
- Distinguishing your company from competitors.
- Reducing costs.
- Attracting new consumers.
- Attracting and retaining motivated and skilled employees.
- Improving performance.
Now that you know the benefits of reporting, let us go through the top five types of reports.
Top 5 types of reports
There are many types of reports. The most popular report types are informational, proposal, periodic, and functional. All these reports contain information that can be used for different purposes. For example, a report’s goal may be to track the progress of your strategies or stay compliant with the financial protocol. Let’s take a look at these top five report types.
I. Informational report
An informational report contains detailed facts without analysis. The purpose of this type of report is to educate the reader and provide them with knowledge on the topic. This includes timeline reports like annual, financial, performance, and expense reports. Information reports only provide details about a situation, they do not propose solutions or hypotheses.
II. Proposal report
A proposal report lets a writer suggest an idea for resolving a problem. One of the benefits of creating a proposal report is that it provides an overview of the entire resolution process. With the proposal report, the organization’s leaders can gauge new approaches, identify problems with them, project benefits, and estimate a budget by outlining entire ideas.
III. Periodic report
A periodic report is a document companies must file with governments in most countries with updates on the companies’ business operations. When used internally, a periodic report gives readers an analysis of current trends in the company and a comparison with its historical performance.
IV. Formal reports
Formal reports are professional, structured, and objective. In other words, they are well-researched, often long, and written in a business style that doesn’t include first-person or second-person pronouns or narrative.
V. Informal reports
Informal reports are the opposite of formal reports, containing casual language to communicate directly. They may be as short as an internal memo or a couple of pages long. They contain information, but it’s not likely to be deeply researched, they are presented in the first person and often have writing considered less professional, like contractions.
What is a reporting tool?
Reporting tools take data from different sources and present it in visuals like grids, charts, maps, and cards so that the information can be shared quickly, and future trends extrapolated. Reporting tools can produce various types of reports. They provide the ability to integrate data, visualize, schedule, and distribute it. The main goal of a reporting tool is to provide users with accurate, up-to-date information to support decision-making and drive business success. Bold Reports is a web-based reporting tool that helps you to do all of this with a simple user interface.
Bold Reports offers a 15-day free trial without any credit card information required. We welcome you to start a free trial and experience Bold Reports for yourself. Let us know what you think!