Write “advantages of Uber” and “disadvantages of Uber”
All data reported is analyzed within the body of the paper. Include at least one visual (chart, graph, image, etc.) where it would be more effective than simple text.
Use APA style for references that are cited throughout the report (in text)
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Analytical Report Group Assignment Guide
An analytical report is a technical document written for business or government uses. These reports use
information from surveys, financial records, and other reliable sources. It is different from an informational
report because it analyzes a situation and persuasively presents conclusions and recommendations.
This type of report is covered in the chapters “Planning…” + “Writing and Completing Reports…” in Bovée
and Thill’s Business Communication Today.
Sample student reports are available on Canvas, but please do not choose the same topics, or copy
the exact organization – reports should vary slightly depending on the topic.
Types of Analytical Reports
An analytical report can accomplish different goals. Once you have chosen a context and topic for the report,
you need to establish the type of goal or purpose. Below are three main types — your analytical report should
focus on one type of goal:
To Assess an Opportunity
• informs decision makers about a new and potentially successful endeavor
• Example context/topic: to analyze the potential of offering a gluten-free version of “X”
brand’s most popular cookie. In the report, you would include relevant data on market trends
and brand comparisons to conclude whether a gluten-free product should be developed and
marketed by “X” brand.
To Solve a Problem
• analyzes and attempts to solve a problem
• Example context/topic: to analyze the potential solution to “X” business’s decline in sales
by suggesting a new customer service strategy. The analysis would provide relevant data and
supporting details for the strategy.
To Support Decisions
• analyzes the effects (both positive and negative) a recent decision “X” business will
make or has made — if the report is done retrospectively – as in, the change has already been
made – then you use the available data to analyze the effects
Past Analytical Report Student Topics:
• To analyze the benefits of adopting a new dress code at X company (assess an opportunity)
• To introduce a different system of scheduling employee shifts to increase productivity at X eatery
(solve a problem)
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• To justify the new vacation policy at X office (support a decision)
Considerations when choosing your topic:
• Choose a context you are familiar with (i.e., a company you’ve worked for, a business you have
stock in, an organization you either follow actively, or are a part of).
• Choose a realistic topic – don’t attempt to make something up that is either unrelatable, or too
extreme (although the topic can be hypothetical).
• Identify a specific audience for the report, whether it’s to the CEO of a company, a manager, or an
entire board of directors.
• You will be writing as a group of consultants or analysts (hypothetical), but you need to define who
your audience is. Do not write the report as an academic paper for a general audience (like an
essay or research paper).
• Focus on a specific issue directed towards a specific audience – for example:
Instead of a report on the growing popularity of digital wallet apps, create a report analyzing the top
complaint(s) of Venmo users, with suggestions on how to improve the service for a real audience:
Overview of report
• Initial Work Plan (approx. 500 words – your work plan will be due as a separate assignment
first) + final report (approx. 2000+ words) – see sample on Canvas + on page 193 in the custom
text of Bovée and Thill (Chapter: Planning Reports and Proposals)
• Minimum of 6 references that are a balance of academic/professional sources found through the
library databases, as well as reliable, consumer publications such as Business Week, Forbes, etc.
(These will be cited using APA style – in-text citations + reference section.)
• At least one relevant, effective visual (e.g. graph, image, chart, etc.) included where necessary
Analytical Report Work Plan (due first — approx. 500 words)
A work plan is a document (and tool) to define and guide larger writing projects. It is basically an outline. A
work plan will be due before the first draft of your report. See the sample work plan in the chapter “Planning
Reports and Proposals” (p. 193 in the custom text).
1. Opportunity/Problem — What is the problem or opportunity the upcoming report will address? What
company/organization do you represent?
2. Purpose and Scope — Explain why you are preparing the report and what you plan to deliver
through the report. What will your report cover? Include limitations (what will not be covered), if
necessary. By mentioning the limitations of your report, you are also rationalizing how much can be
3. Sources and Methods of Data Collection — How will you find the data and what data will be
4. Background — What were the historical conditions leading up to the need of doing this analysis? Or,
what is the general context?
5. Audience Analysis — Profile your audience (demographics, attitude toward opportunity/problem,
level of knowledge on topic, number of people, location, etc.)
6. Outline – This section will provide a preliminary outline to guide your ensuing report (with headings).
Include questions that need to be answered in the body of your report. You won’t know if you can
answer all the questions at this time, but articulating them will help you with the focus.
7. Proposed Schedule of Tasks – Include a proposed timeline of tasks and dates for completion.
8. Potential References – list at least 2 sources you have already found to show that the research
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APA-style sample citations (“References” instead of “Works Cited”):
Bradley, G. L., & Campbell, A. C. (2014). Managing difficult workplace conversations:
Goals, strategies, and outcomes. International Journal of Business Communication,
53(4), 443-464. doi:10.1177/2329488414525468
Cilliers, F. (2013, July 1). The role and effect of social media in the workplace. Northern
Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, p. 567-592.
Analytical Report Organization (approx. 2000+ words)
1. Executive Summary — In a business environment, upper management of a company may not have time
to read an entire report. This section is about one page long and summarizes the key points of the report,
including conclusions and recommendations. Use short, clear paragraphs with headings to preface and
summarize the entire report in the beginning.
a. Purpose — The introduction of an analytical report begins with a statement of purpose, which sets
up and explains what will be covered in the report and why. It should begin with “To…”
b. Background — This section reviews the historical conditions or factors leading up to the report.
c. Sources and Methods — This section describes the sources and methods used to gather
information and supporting evidence for the report.
d. Scope — The scope section describes how much of the chosen topic will be covered and what the
analysis will focus on.
e. Limitations — This section (if relevant) states the areas related to the topic that will NOT be
covered. Provide reasons for why these areas are not included (budget, time, resources, etc.), but
also comment on why not including them still makes the results valid.
f. Report Organization — This section briefly prefaces how the following report is organized. This
gives a quick overview so the reader will know what to expect.
3. Body — The main content of the report is presented in short, topical paragraphs. Relevant and informative
headings are used to help the reader navigate from one topic to another. This is useful for busy business
people who may need to refer to one particular section of your report during a meeting or presentation. All
data reported is analyzed within the body of the paper. Include at least one visual (chart, graph, image, etc.)
where it would be more effective than simple text.
4. Conclusions — Based on a logical evaluation of the evidence provided in the report, clearly state
conclusions that are sound and justified. You need to interpret the findings of your research for the trends,
patterns, and possibilities that they indicate. In this section, give the answer, solution, or concluding
argument(s) to your statement of purpose.
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5. Recommendations — Propose a recommended plan of action for your audience. Recommendations
answer the question “what should follow after reviewing the report?” assuming that the report is successful
and the reader is convinced of the argument made and the conclusions drawn.
• Establish the need for action by re-mentioning the problem or opportunity.
• List the steps (recommendations) required to achieve the benefit, using active verbs for
• Summarize the benefit(s) that can be achieved if the recommendation is adopted along with
any potential risks, costs, or necessary procedure changes.
• Summarize your recommendations and action desired of recipient(s).
6. References – Use APA style for references that are cited throughout the report (in text) and in the end
section titled “References”. A minimum of 6 references total (from reliable sources) is required.
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