8 March, 2023

Report design is on the rise in India, offering businesses the opportunity to create professional, aesthetically pleasing reports with ease. Organizations have realized the importance of report design and are turning to specialized agencies like DesignMyReport to help them get the job done quickly and effectively. There are multiple reasons why it’s necessary to do this. If you check out our article - Perks of hiring an Annual Report Design Agency, you’ll understand better. In this blog, we will explore the seven different types of reports, from formal and informal reports to functional reports, and provide a brief description of each one.

The different report types that an organization will have to create and present at some point in its lifetime are:

  1. Formal or Informal Reports
  2. Informational or Analytical Reports
  3. Proposal Report
  4. Vertical or Lateral Reports
  5. Internal or External Reports
  6. Periodic Reports
  7. Functional Reports

Let’s explore each one in detail.

Formal or informal reports are two types of documents that an organization uses to communicate information to its stakeholders.

Formal Reports

Formal reports are typically longer, more structured, and more detailed in comparison to informal reports. When it comes to this kind of report design, one must follow a specific format, such as a cover page, table of contents, introduction, main body, conclusion, and recommendations. Organizations use formal reports to present information on significant projects or events, such as financial reports, annual reports, and research reports. These reports are usually written in a professional tone and are intended for a specific audience, such as executives or shareholders.

Informal Reports

Informal reports, on the other hand, are usually shorter and less structured than formal reports. They can be in the form of memos, emails, or short documents. Organizations use Informal reports to communicate routine information internally, such as project updates, status reports, or progress reports. The report design here is pretty simple where the tone is conversational and there’s no specific format.

Overall, both formal and informal reports are essential for companies to communicate effectively and efficiently with their stakeholders. The choice of which type of report to use depends on the purpose, audience, and context of the communication.

Informational Reports

Informational reports provide objective information from one area of an organization to another. Managers often use these reports to provide performance evaluations, financial data, and personnel updates. Annual reports provide a yearly summary of an organization’s financial data and operations, while monthly financial reports provide more detailed financial information. Reports on personnel absenteeism help to keep track of employee attendance.

Analytical Reports

An organization creates Analytical reports to solve problems. These reports are often used to conduct scientific research, create feasibility studies, and make real-estate appraisals. Through the use of analytical reports, organizations can make more informed decisions and understand complex problems better.

Informational reports and analytical reports are essential tools for organizations to use. They provide objective information from one area of an organization to another and help organizations make smarter decisions. There’s a real need to be aware of the type of reports that each organization needs. Once you know this, you can apply the right kind of report design and get the job done. This ensures that businesses get the most out of their reports.

Many times an organization must outline a proposed idea or project and present it to an audience in a clear and persuasive manner. This is done in the form of a proposal report. It is typically used in business, government, or academia to propose new initiatives, programs, or solutions to problems.

Organizations generally create proposal reports to persuade the audience to support the proposed idea or project. These reports should provide a detailed description of the proposed initiative, including its purpose, goals, methodology, timeline, and budget. They should also address any potential concerns or objections that the audience may have and provide evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposal. Report design in such cases must be done carefully to capture all the necessary details and effectively deliver them to the audience.

Some reports only need to go from one department to the other. This can either happen from down to up or vice versa or in other cases, between employees that have the same designation but work in two different departments. Depending on the direction, organizations will create Vertical or Lateral reports, both of which are essential and effective ways to communicate information within an organization.

Vertical Reports

More often than not, upper management must be kept informed about the organization’s operations and performance, while also keeping lower-level employees informed of changes in policies, procedures, and goals. In those cases, the concerned department creates vertical reports which are formal communication documents that flow up and down within a hierarchical organizational structure. They are reports that are created and shared between individuals at different levels of management, such as employees, managers, and executives.

Lateral Reports

Lateral reports are formal communication documents that flow horizontally within an organization. They are reports that are created and shared between individuals at the same level of management, such as employees or managers of different departments. Lateral reports are used to share information and coordinate efforts between departments or teams, and to resolve issues or make decisions collaboratively.

Both these kinds of reports are pretty self-explanatory.

Internal Reports

Internal reports are documents prepared by an organization for internal use. When an organization wants to track performance, review current operations, and aid in decision-making, the concerned department prepares an Internal report. This is typically done for a variety of purposes such as to review financial performance, evaluate the success of certain programs or initiatives, or monitor progress on specific projects. Internal reports are typically distributed within the organization, allowing personnel to stay informed of the organization's progress and performance.

External Reports

External reports, on the other hand, are documents prepared by an organization for public use. These reports are generally used to provide an overall picture of the organization's operations, performance, and future direction. External reports may include annual reports, financial statements, and strategic plans. These are documents that are typically distributed beyond the organization, allowing members of the public to gain insight into the organization's operations and performance.

All organizations are required to create and distribute Annual reports. However, at some point, an individual or even the organization may decide that there’s a need to share reports on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly basis. These are called Periodic reports. Such reports are regularly scheduled reports that provide updates on the status of a project, business, or other ongoing activities.

Periodic reports can include a wide range of information, such as financial data, project updates, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other metrics that provide insight into the health and performance of the organization. These reports are typically used by managers, executives, and other stakeholders to track progress, identify trends, and make informed decisions.

The format and content of periodic reports can vary widely depending on the specific requirements of the organization or project. In some cases, the report design is highly detailed and technical, while in others, the same may focus on providing a more high-level overview of key metrics and performance indicators. Regardless of the format, periodic reports are an essential tool for managing and monitoring ongoing activities and ensuring that they stay on track to meet their goals and objectives.

Functional reports refer to documents that describe the operations, activities, or performance of a particular function within an organization. These reports may cover a wide range of topics, including financial, operational, and strategic aspects of a business function.

Functional reports may be prepared by various departments within an organization, including finance, human resources, marketing, and operations. These reports may be used to provide information to senior management, board members, and other stakeholders, as well as to support decision-making, planning, and performance evaluation.

Examples of functional reports may include:

Financial reports: These reports may include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, which provide an overview of the financial performance of the company.

Human resources reports: These reports may include information on employee turnover rates, training and development initiatives, and performance metrics, which help management make informed decisions about hiring, promotion, and retention.

Marketing reports: These reports may include market research data, sales figures, and customer feedback, which help management evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategies and make adjustments as needed.

Operations reports: These reports may include data on production output, quality control, and supply chain management, which help management optimize processes and improve efficiency.

Organizations need to put out reports for a variety of reasons, including legal requirements, stakeholder communication, and internal decision-making. Which makes it all the easier to understand just how important each of these reports is for an organization. Therefore, it’s also important to be very specific when comes to their report design. Keeping all this in mind, there’s a need to get in touch with report design agencies that can and will do a perfect job. Contact DesignMyReport for the best report design today! We promise that you will not be disappointed.