Most projects at work involve lengthy and jumbled data, wherefore well-structured analytical reports are particularly important. This article shows you all the major topics that you care about in analytical reporting: 

  • What is Analytical Report?
  • Analytical Report Examples
  • How to Write Analytical Reports Effectively?
  • Some typical mistakes to avoid while writing Analytical Reports

What is Analytical Report?

An analytical report is a type of business report that provides information, analysis, and opinions on particular business process issues. So, despite the different reporting situations, the analysis’s final goal is to identify and respond to specific problems and opportunities.

Analytical Report Example
Analytical Report Example

Besides providing explanations and opinions with appropriate written content, it is necessary to reflect the data patterns, relationships, and trends through charts and graphs. Accordingly, we tend to use qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods jointly.

Above all, the analysis report should focus on several key pointers under a certain business scenario.

Let’s see some examples.

Analysis Report Examples

All templates on this page are built-in FineRport. Don’t hesitate to Try Our Demo on the website or Free Download the FineReport.

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Analytical Reporting for Sales

Let’s take these sales analytical reports made by FineReport as examples. The first sales analysis report, which is a dashboard, is apparently targeted to the top managers. You are wondering why?

Sales Analysis(by FineReport)
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Look, for enterprises’ executives, the analysis report should deliver the most core, most summarized, and most important data. The data should be clear and focused. Don’t expect C-suites will spend 2 hours reading an analysis report over 50 pages. They can only spare you a limited time. Therefore you need to focus on what you want them to take away most from the meeting.

Let’s move to the second example. It is a detailed sales analysis report. If written in Excel, these detailed tables may take up a lot of your time to enter and update data. However, using the built-in templates in FineReport, you can directly apply them and automate the process depending on the automated reporting function of FineReport.

Sales detail analytical report example
Sales Detail Report (by FineReport)

When designing reports, the main users of such reports we presume are middle managers, such as department heads. Consequently, the main task of this level of information is to analyze data and find possible problems. What’s more, with the help of functions such as drilling down, report analysts and viewers can find out business problems and trace the roots.

Analytical Reporting for Marketing

Another example is the Analytical Report for Marketing, which provides a comprehensive analysis of marketing strategies, initiatives, and performance metrics for a specific product, service, or company. This report aims to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts and provide insights to drive future marketing decisions and improve overall business performance.

Analytical Report Example

This report displays a breakdown of marketing expenditure across different departments. It provides a clear visual representation of how much each department is spending on marketing activities. It can be further customized to show expenditure trends over time or compare it with the allocated budget.

Also, this analytical report compares the allocated marketing budget for each department against their actual expenditure. It helps identify any discrepancies between the planned budget and the actual spending. This chart assists in evaluating the effectiveness of budget planning and resource allocation.

Analytical Reporting for Finance

Let’s take a look at the third example: the Analytical Report for Finance.

Analytical Report Example

The Analytical Report for Marketing is a comprehensive analysis of various ratios and financial metrics related to the organization’s marketing operations. This report dashboard utilizes visualizations in the form of charts and graphs to present key ratios, such as the cash flow ratio, quick ratio, and current ratio. Additionally, it includes a thorough liquidity ratio analysis and profit margin analysis to assess the financial health and profitability of the marketing efforts.

The report dashboard provides a clear and concise representation of important ratios and financial metrics relevant to marketing operations. It offers a visual snapshot of the organization’s liquidity position and profit margins, enabling stakeholders to gain insights into financial performance and make informed decisions.

For example, the Cash Flow Ratio gauge chart illustrates the cash flow ratio, which measures the organization’s ability to generate cash flow from its marketing activities. It showcases the relationship between cash inflows and outflows and provides insights into the organization’s liquidity position.

The Profit Margin Analysis histogram focuses on assessing the profitability of the marketing efforts. It presents the profit margin ratio, which measures the percentage of each dollar of revenue that is retained as profit. This analysis allows stakeholders to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing strategies in generating profits.

How to Write Analytical Reports Effectively?

Let’s look at three steps to draft your analytical reports effectively.

1. Identify the Targeted Audience of the Report Analytics

Like what I wrote in A Complete Guide to Creating Stunning Data Reports, it is necessary to identify the targeted readers and their needs before you kick off any report analysis project.

As we have noted before, the senior managers may have different expectations of your analytical reports from middle managers. This difference may be greater in various departments at the individual contributor and entry-level.

After taking it in mind, you can find different people’s needs and requirements for data analytics reports from the graphic below.

This picture is to show the different expectation on the report analysis of audience in the organzation,
Expectations for Analytical Reports on Different Levels

2. Develop Analytical Report Framework

When we face a business problem, it is impossible to find the reasons behind the problem all at once. We need to use various ideas or models to pull the problem into pieces of sub-problems. Then solve the sub-problems one by one until we reach a final conclusion.

In the article Top 5 Methods of Thinking in Data Analysis, I mentioned several typical analysis frameworks that can help you quickly develop the report. They are:

(1) Formula Method

By using the formula method, you can use the formula to decompose the influencing factors for a certain indicator.

Data analytics example: decompose the question into sub-questions.
Divergent Structure Chart (by FineReport)

For instance, when I want to analyze reasons for a product’s low sales, I will consider:

  • Product sales = Sales volume * Unit price
  • Sales volume = Channel A sales volume + Channel B sales volume + Channel C sales volume + …
  • Channel sales volume = Number of users * Order rate
  • Number of users = Exposure * Clicks ratio

(2) Comparison Method

As the name suggests, we compare two or more data sets, which is the most common method. Depending on what to underline, you can compare time, geographical location, product categories, personnel department, etc.

In the report, we analyze performance based on time and categories
Column Area Chart (by FineReport)

(3) Funnel Analysis

The funnel model splits the entire purchase process into steps and then uses the conversion rate to measure each step’s performance. Finally, we may find some moves likely with defects or abnormalities.

An Example of Funnel Chart.
Multiple Funnel Chart (by FineReport)
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3. Design Graphics and Visual Experience

Precise and clear charts can effectively enhance the viewing efficiency and experience of the audience. After all, humans are visual creatures. 

I guess most people are familiar with PowerPoint and Excel. They are both common data visualization tools, but today I hope to talk about something different. So how to display the analysis concludes with a more novel form? Here, I recommend more efficient BI (Business Intelligence) tools to develop your analytical reports. 

Let’s take a look at the excellent effects they can deliver.

Let's see some examples on how to write analytical reports and develop excellent visual experience.
Verticle Line Bubble Chart (by FineReport)
Let's see some examples on how to write analytical reports and develop excellent visual experience.
Column Area Chart (by FineReport)

The colors, elements, and dynamic effects of these charts are all included in FineReport’s built-in templates, so users can directly make use of them to achieve the outcomes they want.

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This gives an example on the map application in analytical reports.
Bubble Map (by FineReport)
Dashboard Example for Anlytical Reports
Investment Dashboard (by FineReport)

Mistakes to Avoid in Analytical Reporting

After understanding the official definition of analytical reports and exploring various analytical tools, it is important to be aware of the critical mistakes to avoid when generating these reports. By sidestepping these errors, you can enhance the value of your reports and maximize their impact on business growth.

  1. Neglecting to Define Goals and Objectives: One major error in report building is failing to dedicate sufficient time to establish clear business goals and objectives in a collaborative setting. Without a thorough examination of your current operations and the establishment of actionable goals, you risk analyzing irrelevant information that provides little value to your business’s progress. Therefore, it is crucial not to overlook this essential phase. Allocate ample time for goal setting and involve relevant personnel or stakeholders.
  2. Overlooking User or Audience Considerations: Another mistake is disregarding the needs of your end-users and readers. It is important to consider the requirements of various users across different departments in terms of key performance indicators (KPIs), visualizations, and accessibility. By ensuring that your report templates cater to the understanding of external stakeholders and empower users to excel in their respective roles, you can achieve optimal results while fostering collaboration.
  3. Prioritizing Style Over Substance: While visually appealing designs have their merits, it is crucial not to prioritize aesthetics over practicality when designing your dashboards. Take the time to meticulously review your reports, ensuring that all relevant information is presented clearly, accessible, and fully interactive. By prioritizing information clarity and user experience, you can strike the right balance between style and substance. Find inspiration for design tips in the report building section.
  4. Neglecting Training: Creating impressive data templates is important, but without proper training for everyone in the organization, their value diminishes. Conduct workshops on the utilization of new data tools and ensure that all employees understand the reasons behind their usage and how to make the most of them. This approach leaves no room for exceptions or compromises.

By avoiding these crucial mistakes, you can elevate the quality of your analysis-driven reports, thereby enhancing business intelligence across the organization and promoting overall success.


In this article, we introduce the definition and importance of an analytical report. Then, with examples, we clarify further how to create a report analysis effectively. 

To sum up, when drafting an analytical report, you need to clearly define the target audience and apply a corresponding analytics framework based on their expectations. 

Last but not least, the visualization experience is something we should never forget. The audience will only read your report when it looks attractive. To make your analytical report more remarkable, we suggest BI tools such as FineReport.

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Also, please feel free to make an appointment for a live demo with our product experts. We will be more clear about your needs and see how FineReport can help you and your organization transform data into value.

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