Informational and Analytical Reports: Definition and Uses

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  • 0:02 Business Reporting
  • 0:41 Informational Reports
  • 3:06 Analytical Reports
  • 5:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
In this lesson, you will learn the difference between informational and analytical reporting and their specific uses in the business world in order to help make decisions.

Business Reporting

Business reporting is an essential part of any planning process in the workplace as it consists of providing data and information to specific audiences. Examples of business reports include financial plans, customer service reviews, and marketing research results. In this lesson, you will learn the definition of informational and analytical reports and the uses of each type of report. Fred Factoid's job at Crazi Toys is to oversee and provide managerial reports to the executives regarding different company issues. Let's take a look at Fred's workday to see how he uses both types of reporting.

Informational Reports

Informational reports provide data, facts, feedback, and other types of information without analysis or recommendations. There are four uses for these types of reports:

Decision-making reports are a use of informational reporting that contains facts about monitoring and controlling operations. Additionally, these reports provide specific feedback on a company's operations. Fred provides these types of reports to Crazi Toys' managers every day through the submission of production record reports. These informational reports contain up-to-the-second information on toy production summaries to help managers in short-term decision making.

Policy reports are another use of informational reporting that provides procedures and guidelines for an organization. Fred has also written extensive policy reports detailing new corporate initiatives, such as tuition reimbursement and sexual harassment policies. His latest report provided updated, automated procedures for sales representatives to receive reimbursements for traveling expenses. These reports help with determining budgets and provide checks on spending allotments for companies.

Compliance reports are the third use of informational reporting that reveals a company's consent to regulators or governments that the company is abiding by regulations. A common example would be any financial reporting produced by a company. Fred works with Crazi Toys' accounting department to ensure that they produce quarterly, midpoint, and year-end financial reports that are requested by regulators and the government. This information is necessary for shareholders to make decisions, as well as an integral part of corporate decision-making.

Finally, status reports are a use of informational reporting that provide critical feedback and updates on projects. These reports are used on a daily basis by most employees. For example, Fred provides weekly status reports on the new toy line to all of management in a report titled: 'Week ending January 25, 2020, Toy Line Status Update.' His report details any issues in development along with product successes with estimated delivery dates. Companies rely on status reports to report project updates to all levels of management.

Analytical Reporting

There is another type of business reporting that is used to make decisions. Analytical reports offer both information and analysis, but they also include recommendations. Offering recommendations is the biggest difference between informational and analytical reporting.

The first use of analytical reporting focuses on investigating business opportunities within the marketplace. This type of report provides advantages and disadvantages of taking a specific course of action whether investing in a company, buying a competitor, or investigating a new product venture. Fred excels in this version of reporting as he spends most of his time conducting investigations into product development. The last report he wrote was a marketing research analysis to determine if there was consumer interest in robotic pet toys. This reporting is essential in making sound business decisions on weighing opportunities.

Problem-solving reports are generated, as well, by internal teams to help solve corporate issues and offer a specific solution through troubleshooting analysis. Fred works with the quality assurance teams to help develop reports on whether a toy problem can be fixed. In one instance, it was found that one robot toy had a piece that kept breaking off. The size of the piece would make it a danger to small children as they could swallow the piece and have breathing difficulties. The report detailed how the robot could be redesigned to eliminate the structural weakness and parts breaking. This report solved the problem and protected their customers.

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