How to Write a Data Analysis

by Nicole LaMarco - Updated June 28, 2018
Cropped Hand With Pen Analyzing Data On Office Desk

Data scientists aren’t the only ones who need to write data analysis. Professionals like actuaries, economists, medical professionals, meteorologists and others, all need to write such reports. It’s actually a great skill to have and is applicable across the board. A data analysis report is an executive technical summary of the results from a series of experiments and tests. It’s typically divided into four sections: description of data preparation, descriptive statistics formed from experimental studies, inferential statistics derived from quantitative studies and a qualitative analysis that explains the results and sums up the conclusion. In simpler terms, it is a professional version of high-school lab reports broken up into data analysis sections with an introduction, the body of the paper, a conclusion and the appendix that lists all sources.

What You Need to Write a Data Analysis Report

To write a data analysis report, you need a spreadsheet program to sort your findings and Word or a comparable document-writing program. For a data analysis report, ensure all of your information has been triple-checked for accuracy and that the methods of discovery are comparable to the subject matter. In other words: what you want to say, what you found, how you found it and what you believe your findings prove.

Craft Your Outline

What rules does your industry or company set as far as writing data analysis reports? Start to sketch out exactly how you want the paper to look. That way you have a roadmap to guide you where the report needs to go. If your report is more than 10-pages long consider writing a table of contents. The tone should be formal but not too stodgy as it needs easy readability. This is a good time to consider your audience. Is it meant for anyone or is it only for those in your field? Your tone is informed by your target audience.

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Craft Your Data

How to make data analysis in research have the biggest impact is laying out your graphics, tables, charts or spreadsheets clearly. This needs to be done before the body of the paper so you can match up the references and points. For each set of data, you should summarize why it is important. Place the texts as close to the visual as possible for ready readability.

Craft Your Report Body

The most impactful reports relay information easily. Try not to rely too heavily on technical jargon and “$5 words.” The information should be easy to identify and correlate with the graphics.

The conclusion should be swift. Its purpose is essential to tie all the data analysis sections together. What information do you want your audience to take away from your report? Focus on that.

Edit and Edit Again

It cannot be overstated that every bit of the report should be checked for accurate data, grammar, form, font and overall appearance. It is a smart idea to ask someone else to proofread it because fresh eyes can catch old mistakes.

How to write data analysis in research reports may seem complex but it’s more like a puzzle. Gather up all the pieces and start to form the outline, steadily working your way in. Your work is important and deserves a well- crafted final product to showcase it.

About the Author

Nicole LaMarco is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in The Employment Times, Web Hosting Sun and WOW! Women on Writing. See her work at www.nickylamarco.com

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