Best practices to create a high quality report

Creating a report is meant to give actionable insights to the report users about their data, just forming a report with sales information in it isn’t just enough for business professionals to make informed decisions. While building a report the designer should always ask important questions to themselves:

  • What is the purpose of this report?
  • Who will be using this report?
  • How can this report help people to do their jobs better?
  • What is the most important information this report can provide and how can it be highlighted?
  • Is the report output easily understandable by its users?
  • Can this report be seen from a different perspective, could this lead to a misunderstanding?
  • Does the report have so many visuals that it can be confusing or overwhelming?
  • Is the report staying focused on the topic?
  • Is this report providing all information that the users expect to see?
  • How would the user want to see this report:
    • sent as an email message?
    • in a printable format?
    • on a web browser?      

And here are some of designer tips might help to create a better report:

  • Good headers and footers are an excellent way to help the user interpret the report.
  • Documenting purpose of this report would be an excellent guidance to the users.
  • Displaying the last refreshed time and date is always a must have practice. People who are looking at a report will know that if they are looking at the most up to date version.
  • Putting important information, like totals, at the top of the report will highlight that information quickly.
  • Localize data formats to the appropriate target user. For example, Europeans read dates differently than users from the U.S.
  • Pay attention to the height and width of the report page. Prefer Auto formatting.
  • Verify how the report is displaying in the different sizes of screens and in different browsers.

Also, most importantly a good report designer creates reports that are easy on the data source. If you continue to use data that you don’t need from your data source, you will overload your data source, and this will also affect the performance of your report.

Best practices to create a report


Interested in more efficiently designed, high quality reports?  Anyon Consulting can help.  Contact us today to learn more about our Custom Report Development

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