Find out how to make an impeccable management report for your work – WAU
The quality of the management reports depends on the consistency of the data and analysis of the most relevant KPIs. Learn how to create an impeccable document combining analytical capacity and clear presentation of information with a focus on business intelligence and improved decision making.
The excess of data nowadays influenced the preparation of the management report, requiring a more analytical and judicious performance by the professionals. For this reason, it is essential to know how to develop a higher quality document.
The management report is a Business Intelligence tool and influences more strategic decision-making. Thinking about it, we will show below what this document is, its importance and, in particular, how to elaborate it!
What is a management report?
The management report is the document that seeks to present the performance of all activities carried out in the company. It must contain the particularities of the business and the performance in a given period.
To understand the use of this feature, it is necessary to understand the context in which it emerged. Initially, companies developed only financial reports to verify the economic viability of the business, mainly meeting legal requirements.
Despite the need for this resource, it was identified that he contributed little in decision-making, for presenting very technical and raw information. Thus, a new report, more succinct and objective, appeared, although using similar data.
Currently, among the main challenges for preparing management reports, is the high amount of data.
A study by EY consultancy revealed whereas 2/3 of the CFOs interviewed believe that “the increasing volume and pace of data is affecting the ability to provide meaningful insights to boards”. In addition, 56% of them believe it is a priority to review the report model.
What is the importance and benefits of this feature?
The importance of the management report is related to the several possible benefits with the resource. It directly influences the organization and administration of the company. Among the main differentials of well-developed reports are:
- enables measurement and monitoring of strategic metrics to monitor performance in relation to competition and internal challenges;
- allows to understand the current position of the brand in the market, in addition to understanding the growth per period, which makes the realignment of strategies;
- the history obtained through periodic reports provides a reference on the company’s performance over time, offering a regular benchmark;
- the knowledge generated by the reports allows the company to identify the best and worst practices, being able to review what is not good and constantly improve;
- it impacts communication between those involved, such as employees, managers, directors and suppliers, improving information fluidity.
All these benefits make the management report an indispensable resource for businesses in a digital transformation scenario. However, these advantages are only realized when the document is of quality and stable, which makes it necessary to know how to develop it correctly.
What elements should be present in the report?
Considering this consistency of the report, several elements must be present in the document, so that they are comparable and present a solid history of the company. Check out the main ones below!
As simple as it may seem, many untitled reports and basic information make it impossible to trace the source and compare it with other documents.
Thus, the title must contain the name of the company, the person responsible for the preparation, as well as the date of delivery and correspondence of the data. If applicable, it is also necessary to include the department to which the report refers.
It consists of a summary of what will be presented in the report, briefly showing the main topics that will be exposed and the questions answered.
In addition, this element serves to contextualize the situation that gave rise to the need for elaboration. For example, a half-yearly closing, a specific marketing campaign, etc.
THE reporting is guided by the objectives it serves. Therefore, this topic must be very clear in the structure of the content presented. To develop the objectives, think about issues such as:
- why is this report necessary?
- Who will read?
- What do I intend to answer with him?
By clarifying these issues, it is easier to understand how to structure the information in the content that will be exposed.
It is the development of the management report, presenting the complementary data and information, which allow to respond to the objectives initially set and add business intelligence to those who read.
To be clear, the report must follow a structure in the presentation of the data. For example, if the objective is to justify an investment in Content Marketing and SEO, it is necessary to keep in mind that, for the manager, revenue and ROI are the most relevant data.
However, in order to arrive at this information, it is interesting to present how the content strategy influenced email lists, and how they impact billing.
Thus, there is a data structure that informs about the most important requirements of the process, since only the final result (ROI) will hardly provide insights.
Conclusions and recommendations
The document must close with a quick summary of what has been described and what can be concluded from the data presented.
For example, in a marketing report, addressing that Y investment in content led to an increase in X in email lists and generated an ROI of Z.
In some cases, recommendations can also be used to enrich the report and guide decision making. For example, by investing 10% more in content marketing, we will increase email lists by 30%, which raises ROI by X%.
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How to prepare an impeccable management report?
As stated, there are several challenges related to creating an impeccable management report, especially when considering the excess of data today. In this way, some tips offer more clarity and objectivity to the process, facilitating the elaboration of the document.
1. Content planning
To write well, it is important to plan the content before you start writing. This phase is directly associated with the definition of objectives and understanding of what will be addressed.
Think about how each information entered will meet the needs of those who will read it. Will they help you make a business decision? Set priorities? Know how the strategy works?
Answer these questions before starting to produce the report and already organize in which sequence you will present each piece of information.
2. Definition of KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most important metrics to monitor in a company. They are defined in line with business objectives, therefore, it is unlikely that a management report will address data outside this scope.
Know all the KPIs of the business, but make a screening of which are, in fact, relevant to meet the objectives indicated initially. The average ticket, for example, is a key indicator, but it should not be added if it does not generate new and relevant information for the moment of the company.
This is the most strategic step in the preparation of a management report, so make a survey of the data and a thorough sorting of the information entered.
3. Tell a story
A quality report combines exposure and description, presenting all the most relevant information about a fact. However, for it to be useful and applicable, it must have a narrative that clarifies the data to readers, instead of overloading them.
To achieve this goal, it is indicated that the report contains concrete data and a history, which allows contextualizing the current moment with other periods and extracting intelligence from this process.
4. Clarity and language
Unlike what many professionals think, a quality report is not one that has difficult words. On the contrary, it is precisely the lightness of the language that makes the text easy to understand and use in practice.
Thinking about the reader is the first step in making the content clear. Remember that the manager will receive several reports and that he does not need to know all the challenges and problems faced in the area.
The goal is to inform only the essentials so that he knows how to manage the company. Thus, values the clarity and relevance of the information presented.
5. Final review
Text with spelling and grammatical errors inevitably is less reliable than flawless content. With that in mind, do a thorough content review, evaluating information structure, grammar and spelling, the content itself and conclusions presented.
What errors should be avoided in reports?
There are some recurring errors in management reports that make it impossible to use for the intended purpose: business intelligence. Thus, some common problems can be avoided when you know them beforehand. See the main ones below!
Many professionals want to use the report to present the team’s achievements and challenges, which makes the document inconsistent in relation to its purpose, as it increases the content, but without adding useful information.
In addition, there are cases in which, when in doubt about which KPIs to select, managers enter all possible data (some raw). Thus, information overload means that the report does not generate the desired insights.
Confusion in the presentation of ideas
Even with an adequate definition of the data to be exposed, reports that develop ideas in confusing structures are common, which prevents the full use of the exposed data and may even limit or render unfeasible the understanding of what was presented.
Content writing is also a recurring problem in reports, due to errors in London and others, making the effort to understand the document’s basic message preclude any possibility of insight or strategy from that material.
The management report is an important ally in more efficient and strategic decision-making, allowing to know the most relevant aspects of each area of the company and develop an integrated solution that aims to achieve the business objectives.
The various benefits promoted by the management report, however, depend on the quality and consistency of the document presented, demanding excellence from professionals in data analysis and information communication.
Do you want to know how to identify and set goals that are truly aligned with your business purpose? So, stay a little longer with us, and get to know our ebook on: OKR: Goals that Connect Strategy with Operation!