“Even in writing an annual report, the unconscious plays a role.”- Mason Cooley.
Making reports is something that happens as a general process once you reach college. Whether it is a project or an internship, reports have become a crucial part of the process of a lot of things. However, when it comes to business reports, you need to take things up a notch. So, how to make the best report?
In a business, a visually appealing report is imperative and is made predominantly via MS Powerpoint. While some people prepare the best reports on it using various media types that can reduce reliance on wordy content, some need other tools.
Some of the most common ideas on how to make the best reports used in a business are:
- Annual Reports
- Client Report
- Marketing Report
- Sales Report
- Business Report
- Strategy Report
- Progress Report
- Competition Report
- Income Tax Report
- Website/Online Report
While each report is pretty demanding with a lot of written content, they can all be jazzed up using online tools to make the report more engaging and exciting. However, to make any of these, you need data. And depending on the type of report, the data can come from some or all of the following sources:
- Google Analytics
- Microsoft Excel
- Google Webmaster
- Internal Documentation
So, to make the best use of data, you need the right tools on how to make the best report. Creating a report is an easy job, primarily if you have all the resources and data available. However, to create an engaging and interesting one is a whole different ballpark. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into those report tools.
Top Online Tools to Create an Engaging Report
With the digitalization of various processes and services, making an engaging and exciting report is child’s play using online tools. Varying from essential tools for simple presentations to full-blown suites, you have many choices at your disposal to make the best report possible . So, the following are the top tools on how to make the best report possible :
One of the best tools to create an engaging report, or even a presentation based on that report, is Visme. It is a cloud-based tool that uses a highly visually-driven approach to making a report. The UI is intuitive, easy, and straightforward, with a drag-and-drop-based design philosophy to keep the user interested.
You get features like an in-built analytics system, work tracking, and live editing features within the platform. In addition, if you have a signature style for a presentation, a color scheme, or a logo, the platform will also feature these elements in all the reports and presentations as default.
There are various plans to choose from, starting from $20/month onwards and up to $60 per three users per month. And if you want to try it out before you invest money, the platform also provides a live demo version.
Canva is an online platform that has become the prime choice in designing pretty much any type of visual content. Whether it is a poster, a pamphlet, a badge, or a collage, Canva offers many template options to build exciting and engaging content.
One of the latest additions to the platform’s capabilities is building engaging reports and presentations for various purposes. Canva also offers the same drag and drop-based approach to building a report and even providing multiple font styles to suit your report.
Depending on the intent, Canva offers templates for various reports that can make many things more accessible. While the best features are reserved for paid users, there is still a lot of room for creativity using the free templates and tools for early users. For advanced users, a fee of $12.95/month will be charged.
If you are running a call center business, internal reports and comprehensive reports about the number of calls, the leads generated, and the average metrics of each employee are also needed. So, the first step to solve all of these problems is to adopt a platform like CallHippo.
While it is not mainly known for report generation, the CallHippo report generator is one of the best ones in the business. Without much user intervention, you can generate reports like activity call feed, abandonment rate report, embedded reports, availability report with just a few clicks. To take it a step further, you can even integrate other extensions to generate more reports.
CallHippo also allows you to narrow down the metrics through this integration, decide the parameters, and generate a custom report. Furthermore, you can even increase the team’s productivity as the reports are backed by insights generated from the available data. Now that’s how to make the best report.
One of the things that can be attributed to the success of Google Docs is that it is a shareable resource and allows multiple collaborators to complete the task in the same file at any point in the process. Based on this idea, Slite is a report-making tool that helps numerous collaborators.
With the in-built editor, it does not matter what stage you are at in the report-making process. The overall outcome is spectacular, collaborative, and feature-rich. Furthermore, Slite offers functionality to provide you with the critical data for use in the report without actually putting it in an organized order.
The best part is that even the paid version is relatively cheap at $6.97 per month. For those who just want to use the collaborative report-making platform, the free version of Slite is also quite helpful.
If you are looking for a platform that can present complex topics in a more straightforward and more visual form, Venngage is the way to go. Widely the choice for B2B users, Venngage uses templates to allow complex ideas to be put forth more easily and clearly.
Ranging from infographic templates to report templates and samples, Venngage has all the tools that can make your report more insightful and concise. Furthermore, for an outsider or a probable client, simply conveying a complex idea is where Venngage excels.
It also packs features to convert data insights into visual representations that look well in reports and presentations. Unfortunately, while the free version offers many features to unlock the full scale of features, you will have to shell out $19/month for the premium version.
Another visually-driven tool to prepare reports and presentations that look both informative and engaging is Flipsnack. The platform is a publishing tool that allows you to publish different content and even edit them.
With this tool, you can publish an image, a PDF and then use them in your report to prepare either on the platform using the standard editor or offline. Depending on the usage, the features get unlocked, and the prices also increase.
Starting from a free version, you can pay up to $79/month for three users and unlock the full force of the features that Flipsnack offers.
Other Tools to Create an Engaging Report
While online tools are a boon and cannot be overlooked in the current digital world, there are times when an online tool is not needed. In these cases, you probably are working on preparing a report for a localized process and can use the following offline tools at your disposal:
Customer Relationship Manager System
As the name suggests, any business needs a CRM system to keep a handle on the client-facing processes they are undertaking. And naturally, when it comes to generating a report for gaining insights into your customers, a CRM is your best bet.
If your CRM system has been updated and maintained, it will help you generate reports to tell you where the opportunities lie for more business. Furthermore, the best report is the one where it offers insights about honing relationships with existing clients and building new ones as well.
Data Analytics Systems
In recent years, data is paving new paths for decision-making. And the majority of it is coming from analytics. However, according to a report, not using the insights from data analytics impacted a project success rate by 89%, while organization success was affected by 59%.
Even from a client’s perspective, a report driven by data analytics is the one that is backed by logic. It also lets you understand what exactly your client is looking for since the data supports your research. Hence, the next time you look to make an impactful report, look no further than data analytics.
Metrics and Data Sets
Walking hand-in-glove with data analytics are metrics and data sets. While most of the insights from data analytics come from deciphering data sets, metrics and data sets as standalone can also solve many mysteries.
Using metrics, you can efficiently conduct a SWOT analysis for your problem and hence the business and then prepare a report for the way forward. Though it may not be as fast as data analytics, it will still get the job done for preparing a detailed report.
While in many cases, “old is gold” is the best way to go, in report making, you might be better off leaving that approach biting the dust. With the plethora of report-making software and platforms available, preparing a remarkable, engaging, and interesting report is easier than ever.
So, get down and get reporting for business growth! These were our ideas on how to make the best report. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments below!