What is a business report?
Note: for more on principles applicable to all types of report, see report.
Business reports are a type of assignment in which you analyse a situation (either a real situation or a case study) and apply business theories to produce a range of suggestions for improvement.
Business reports are typically assigned to enable you to:
- Examine available and potential solutions to a problem, situation, or issue.
- Apply business and management theory to a practical situation.
- Demonstrate your analytical, reasoning, and evaluation skills in identifying and weighing-up possible solutions and outcomes.
- Reach conclusions about a problem or issue.
- Provide recommendations for future action.
- Show concise and clear communication skills.
Remember that with business reports, typically, there is no single correct answer but several solutions, each with their own costs and benefits to an organisation. It is these costs and benefits which you need to identify and weigh-up in your report.
Further, when writing the report, you need to consider the audience you are writing for: is it the CEO or will the report be available to all staff concerned? It is vital that you ensure an appropriate level of formality, sensitivity, fairness, and objectivity.
It is also worth noting that sometimes, if not often, the typical essay PIE paragraph structure (point, illustration, explanation) may not be appropriate for a business report. Reports tend to be as brief as possible so it may not be suitable to present information in a linear paragraph form- you may be required use bulleted or numbered lists, or even tables. Generally, however, it is expected that you use full, grammatically complete sentences rather than truncated fragments in a bullet point style although this depends on your class and lecturer. If you are uncertain about the required style, it is strongly recommended you get in touch with your lecturer or course coordinator to ask.