A Guide To The Top 14 Types Of Reports With Examples Of When To Use Them

Types of reports blog post by datapine

Table of Contents

1) What Is The Report Definition?

2) Top 14 Types Of Reports

3) What Does A Report Look Like?

Businesses have been producing reports since, forever. No matter what role or industry you work in, chances are that you have been faced with the task of generating a tedious report to show your progress or performance.

While reporting has been a common practice for many decades, the business world keeps evolving and, with more competitive industries, the need to generate fast and accurate reports becomes critical. This presents a problem for many modern organizations today as building reports can take from hours to days. In fact, a survey about management reports performed by Deloitte says that 50% of managers are unsatisfied with the speed of delivery and the quality of the reports they receive. 

With this issue in mind, several BI tools have been developed to assist businesses in the generation of interactive reports with just a few clicks, enhancing the way companies make critical decisions and service insights from their most valuable data.

But, with so many types of reports used on a daily basis, how can you know when to use them effectively? How can you push yourself ahead of the pack with the power of information? Here, we’re going to explore the 14 most common types of reports in business and provide some examples of when to use them to your brand-boosting advantage. In addition, we will see how online dashboards have overthrown the static nature of classic reports and given way to a much faster, more interactive way of working with data.

Let’s get started with a brief report definition.

What Is The Report Definition?

A modern reporting example created with a dashboard tool

A report is a document that presents relevant business information in an organized and understandable format. Each report is aimed at a specific audience and business purpose and it summarizes the performance of different activities based on goals and objectives.  

That said, there are various types of reports that can be used for different purposes, rather you want to track the progress of your strategies or stay compliant with financial laws, there is a different report for each task. To help you identify when to use them we will cover the top 14 most common report formats used for businesses today. 

What Are The Different Types Of Reports?

Top 14 types of reports overview graphic

1. Informational Reports 

The first in our list of reporting types is informational reports. As their name suggests, this report type aims to give factual insights about a specific topic. This can include performance reports, expense reports, and justification reports, among others. A differentiating characteristic of these reports is their objectivity, they are only meant to inform but not propose solutions or hypotheses. Common informational reports examples are for performance tracking such as annual, monthly, or weekly reports . 

2. Analytical Reports 

This report type contains a mix of useful information to facilitate the decision-making process through a mix of qualitative and quantitative insights as well as real-time and historical data. Unlike informational reports that purely inform users about a topic, this report type also aims to provide recommendations about the next steps and help with problem-solving. With this information in hand, businesses can build strategies based on analytical evidence and not simple intuition. With the use of the right BI reporting tool businesses can generate various types of analytical reports that include accurate forecasts via predictive analytics technologies. Let's look at it with an analytical report example.

Analytical report example of a sales pipeline dashboard

**click to enlarge**

The example above is the perfect representation of how analytical reports can boost a business’s performance. By getting detailed information such as sales opportunities, a probability rate, as well as an accurate pipeline value forecast based on historical data, sales teams can prepare their strategies in advance, tackle any inefficiencies, and make informed decisions for increased efficiency. 

3. Operational Reports 

These reports track every pertinent detail of the company's operational tasks, such as its production processes. They are typically short-term reports as they aim to paint a picture of the present. Businesses use this type of report to spot any issues and define their solutions, or to identify improvement opportunities to optimize their operational efficiency. Operational reports are commonly used in manufacturing, logistics, and retail as they help keep track of inventory, production, and costs, among others. 

4. Product Reports

As its name suggests, this report type is used to monitor several aspects related to product performance and development. Businesses often use them to track which of their products or subscriptions are selling the most within a given time period, calculate inventories, or see what kind of product the client values the most. Another common use case of these reports is to research the implementation of new products or develop existing ones. Let’s see it more in detail with a visual example. 

Type of report examples: a report on product innovation, useful for product development and pricing decisions

The image above is a product report that shows valuable insights regarding usage intention, purchase intention, willingness to pay, and more. In this case, the report is based on the answers from a survey that aimed to understand how the target customer would receive a new product. Getting this level of insights through this report type is very useful for businesses as it allows them to make smart investments when it comes to new products as well as set realistic pricing based on their client’s willingness to pay. 

5. Industry Reports 

Next in our list of the most common types of reports we have industry-specific reports. Typically, these reports provide an overview of a particular industry, market, or sector with definitions, key trends, leading companies, and industry size, among others. They are particularly useful for businesses that want to enter a specific industry and want to learn how competitive it is or for companies who are looking to set performance benchmarks based on average industry values. 

6. Department Reports

These reports are specific to each department or business function. They serve as a communication tool between managers and team members that need to stay connected and work together for common goals. Rather is the sales department, customer service, logistics, or finances, this specific report type help track and optimize performance on a deeper level. Let’s look at it with an example of a team performance report. 

A department report type example of a customer support team performance

The image above is a department report created with an online data analysis tool and it is tracking the performance of a support team. This insightful report displays relevant metrics such as the top-performing agents, net promoter score, and first contact resolution rate, among others. Having this information in hand not only helps each member of the team to keep track of their individual performance but also allows managers to understand who needs more training and who is performing at their best. 

7. Progress Reports

From the brunch of informational reports, progress reports provide critical information about the status of a project. These reports can be produced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis by employees or managers to track performance and fine-tune tasks for the better development of the project. Progress reports are often used as visual materials to support meetings and discussions. A good example is a KPI scorecard . 

8. Internal Reports

A type of report that encompasses many others on this list, internal reports refer to any type of report that is used internally in a company. They convey information between team members and departments to keep communication flowing regarding goals and business objectives. 

An internal report example: hospital management dashboard

As mentioned above, internal reports serve as useful communication tools to keep every relevant person in the organization informed and engaged. This healthcare report aims to do just that. By providing insights into the performance of different departments and areas of a hospital such as in and outpatients, average waiting times, treatment costs, and more, healthcare managers can allocate resources and plan the schedule accurately as well as monitor any changes or issues in real-time. 

9. External Reports

Although most of the reports types listed here are used for internal purposes, not all reporting is meant to be used behind closed doors. External reports are created with the aim of sharing information with external stakeholders such as clients or investors for budget or progress accountability as well as to governmental bodies to stay compliant with the law requirements.

External report type example of a client report for an IT project

The image above is the perfect example of an external client report from an IT project. This insightful report provides a visual overview of every relevant aspect regarding the development of the project. From deadlines, budget usage, completion stage, and task breakdown, clients can be fully informed and involved in the project. 

10. Vertical & Lateral Reports 

Next, in our rundown of types of reports, we have vertical and lateral reports. This reporting type refers to the direction in which a report travels. A vertical report is meant to go upward or downward the hierarchy, for example, a management report. While a lateral report assists in organization and communication between groups that are at the same level of the hierarchy, such as the financial and marketing departments.

11. Research Reports

Without a doubt, one of the most vital reporting types for any modern business is centered on research. Being able to collect, collate, and drill down into insights based on key pockets of your customer base or industry will give you the tools to drive innovation while meeting your audience’s needs head-on.

Types of reports: research report for customer demographics

The image above is a market research analytics report example for customer demographics. It serves up a balanced blend of metrics that will empower you to boost engagement as well as retention rates. Here, you can drill down into your audience’s behaviors, interests, gender, educational levels, and tech adoption life cycles with a simple glance.

What’s particularly striking about this dashboard is the fact that you can explore key trends in brand innovation with ease, gaining a working insight into how your audience perceives your business. This invaluable type of report will help you get under the skin of your consumers, driving growth and loyalty in the process.

12. Strategic Reports

Strategy is a vital component of every business, big or small. Strategic analytics tools are perhaps the broadest and most universal of all the different types of business report imaginable.

These particular tools exist to help you understand, meet, and exceed your most pressing company goals consistently by serving up top-level metrics on a variety of initiatives or functions.

By working with strategic-style tools, you will:

13. Project Reports

Projects are key to keeping a business moving in the right direction while keeping innovation and evolution at the forefront of every plan, communication, or campaign. But without the right management tools, a potentially groundbreaking project can turn into a resource-sapping disaster.

A project management report serves as a summary of a particular project's status and its various components. It's a visual tool that you can share with partners, colleagues, clients, and stakeholders to showcase your project's progress at multiple stages. Let’s look at our example and dig a little deeper.

Project controlling dashboard as an example of a project report type

To ensure consistent success across the board, the kinds of reports you need to work with are based on project management. 

Our example is a project management dashboard equipped with a melting pot of metrics designed to improve the decision-making process while keeping every facet of your company’s most important initiatives under control. Here, you can spot pivotal trends based on costs, task statuses, margins, costs, and overall project revenue. With this cohesive visual information at your fingertips, not only can you ensure the smooth end-to-end running of any key project, but you can drive increased operational efficiency as you move through every significant milestone.

14. Statutory Reports

It may not seem exciting or glamorous, but keeping your business's statutory affairs in order is vital to your ongoing commercial health and success.

When it comes to submitting such vital financial and non-financial information to official bodies, one small error can result in serious repercussions. As such, working with statutory types of report formats is a water-tight way of keeping track of your affairs and records while significantly reducing the risk of human error.

Armed with interactive insights and dynamic visuals, you will keep your records clean and compliant while gaining the ability to nip any potential errors or issues in the bud.

What Does A Report Look Like?

Now that we’ve covered the most relevant types of reports, we will answer the question: what does a report look like? 

As mentioned at the beginning of this insightful guide, static reporting is a thing of the past. With the rise of modern technologies like self service BI tools , the use of interactive reports in the shape of business dashboards has become more and more popular among companies.

Unlike static reports that take time to be generated and are difficult to understand, modern reporting tools are intuitive. Their visual nature makes them easy to understand for any type of user, and they provide businesses with a central view of their most important performance indicators for an improved decision-making process. Here we will cover 15 useful dashboard examples from different industries and functions to put the value of dashboard reporting into perspective. 

1. Financial Report

Visual reporting example for finances tracking metrics such as current working capital, cash conversion cycle, and vendor payment error rate

Keeping finances in check is critical for success. This financial report offers an overview of the most important financial metrics that a company needs to monitor its economic activities and answer vital questions to ensure healthy finances. 

With insights about liquidity, invoicing, budgeting, and general financial stability, managers can extract long and short-term conclusions to reduce inefficiencies, make accurate forecasts about future performance, and keep the overall financial efficiency of the business flowing. For instance, getting a detailed calculation of the business working capital can allow you to understand how liquid is your company. If it's higher than expected it means you have the potential to invest and grow. Definitely, one of the most valuable types of finance reports.

2. Marketing Report 

A marketing report example for campaign tracking generated with a modern dashboard tool

Our next example is a marketing report that ensures a healthy return on investment from your marketing efforts. This type of report offers a detailed overview of campaign performance over the last 12 weeks. Having access to this information enables you to maximize the value of your promotional actions keeping your audience engaged by providing a targeted experience. 

For instance, you can implement different campaign formats as a test and then compare which one is most successful for your business. This is possible thanks to the monitoring of important marketing metrics such as the click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), cost per acquisition (CPA), and more. 

The visual nature of this report makes it easy to understand important insights at a glance. For example, the four gauge charts at the top show the total spending from all campaigns and how much of the total budget of each campaign has been used. In just seconds you can see if you are on target to meet your marketing budgets for every single campaign. 

3. Sales Report

A sales report template focused on high-level metrics such as revenue, profits, costs, incremental sales, accumulated revenue, up/cross-sell rates, etc.

An intuitive sales dashboard like the one above is the perfect analytical tool to monitor and optimize sales performance. Armed with powerful high-level metrics, this report type is especially interesting for managers, executives, and sales VPs as it provides relevant information to ensure strategic and operational success. 

The value of this sales report lies in the fact that it offers a complete and comprehensive overview of relevant insights needed to make smart sales decisions. For instance, at the top of an analysis tool, you get important metrics such as the number of sales, revenue, profit, and costs, all compared to a set target and to the previous time period. The use of historical data is fundamental when building successful sales strategies as they provide a picture of what could happen in the future. Being able to filter the key metrics all in one screen is a key benefit of modern reporting. 

4. HR Report 

Employee performance depicted with a modern human resources report

Our next example of a report is about human resources analytics . The HR department needs to track a lot of data such as employee performance and effectiveness. But overall they need to ensure that employees are happy and working in a healthy environment since an unhappy workforce can significantly damage a company. This is all possible with the help of this intuitive dashboard. 

Providing a comprehensive mix of metrics, this employee-centric report drills down into every major element needed to ensure successful workforce management. For example, the top portion of the dashboard covers absenteeism in 3 different ways: yearly average, absenteeism rate with a target of 3.8%, and absenteeism over the last 5 years. Tracking absenteeism rates in detail is helpful as it can tell you if your employees are skipping days of work. If the rate is over the expected target, then you need to dig deeper into the reasons and find sustainable solutions. 

On the other hand, the second part of the dashboard covers the overall labor effectiveness (OLE). This can be tracked based on specific criteria that HR predefined and it helps them understand if workers are achieving their targets or if they need extra training or help. 

5. Management Report

A example of a report type for investors relationships with metrics such as the working capital ratio, share price, share on assets, return on equity, among others

Managers need to monitor big amounts of information to ensure that the business is running smoothly. One of them being investor relationships. This management dashboard focuses on high-level metrics that shareholders need to look at before investing such as the return on assets, return on equity, debt-equity ratio, and share price, among others. 

By getting an overview of these important metrics, investors can easily extract the needed information to make an informed decision regarding an investment in your company. For instance, the return on assets measures how efficiently are the company's assets being used to generate profit. With this information, investors can understand how effectively your company deploys available resources in comparison to others in the market. Another great indicator is the share price, the higher the increase in your share price the more money your shareholders are making from their investment. 

6. IT Report 

IT report tracking the occurrence of technical issues to improve system operational performance

Just like all the other departments and sections covered in this list, the IT department is one that can especially benefit from these types of reports. With so many technical issues to solve, the need for a visual tool to help IT specialists stay on track with all their workload becomes critical. 

As seen in the image above, this IT dashboard offers detailed information about different system indicators. For starters, we get a visual overview of the status of each server, followed by a detailed graph displaying the uptime & downtime of each week. This is complemented by the most common downtown issues and some ticket management information. Getting this level of insight helps your IT staff to know what is happening and when it is happening and find proper solutions to avoid these issues from repeating themselves. Keeping constant track of these metrics will ensure robust system performance. 

7. Procurement Report

This procurement report example provides an overview of the most essential metrics of the procurement department

This next example of a report was built with intuitive procurement analytics software and it gives a general view of various metrics that the procurement department needs to work with on a regular basis. 

With the possibility to filter, drill down, and interact with the data, this intuitive procurement dashboard offers key information to ensure a healthy relationship with suppliers. With metrics such as compliance rate, the number of suppliers, or the purchase order cycle time, the procurement team can classify the different suppliers, define the relationship each of them has with the company, and optimize processes to ensure the company stays profitable.

8. Customer Service Report

Call center reporting type presented with the revenue value, costs per support, average time to solve an issue,  and overall satisfaction

Following our list of examples of reports is one from the support area. Armed with powerful customer service KPIs , this dashboard is a useful tool to monitor performance, spot trends, identify strengths and weaknesses, and improve the overall effectiveness of the customer support department. 

Covering aspects such as revenue and costs from customer support as well as customer satisfaction, this complete analysis tool is the perfect tool for managers that need to keep an eye on every little detail from a performance and operational perspective. For example, by monitoring your customer service costs and comparing them to the revenue you can understand if you are investing the right amount into your support processes. This can be directly related to your agent’s average time to solve issues, the longer it takes to solve a support ticket the more money it will cost and the less revenue it will bring. If you see that your agents are taking too long to solve an issue you can think of some training instances to help them reduce this number. 

9. Market Research Report 

A type of report for market research displaying the results of a survey about brand perception

This list of report types examples would not be complete without a market research report . Market research agencies deal with a big amount of information coming from surveys and other research sources. Taking all this into account, the need for reports that can be filtered for deeper interaction becomes more necessary for this industry than any other. 

The image above is a brand analytics dashboard that displays the results of a survey about how a brand is perceived by the public. This savvy tool contains different chart types that make it easy to visually understand the information. For instance, the map chart with the different colors lets you quickly understand in which regions each age range is located. The charts can be filtered further to see the detailed answers from each group for a deeper analysis. 

10. Social Media Report 

Social media report example displaying performance metrics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Last but not least, we have a social media report .  This scorecard format dashboard monitors the performance of 4 main social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and it serves as a perfect visual overview to track the performance of different social media efforts and achievements. 

Tracking relevant metrics such as followers, impressions, clicks, engagement rates, and conversions, this report type serves as a perfect progress report to show to managers or clients that need to see the status of their social channels. Each metric is shown in its actual value and compared to a set target. The colors green and red from the fourth column let you quickly understand if a metric is over or under its expected target. 

If you feel inspired by this list then we recommend you to take a look at our dashboard examples library where you will find over 80+ templates from different industries, functions, and platforms for extra inspiration! 

11. Logistics Report

Logistics are the cornerstone of an operationally fluent and progressive business. If you deal with large quantities of goods and tangible items, in particular, maintaining a solid logistical strategy is vital to ensuring you maintain your brand reputation while keeping things flowing in the right direction.

An logistics report focused on the warehouse performance in the logistics industry.

A prime example of the types of data reporting tool designed to improve logistical management, our warehouse KPI dashboard is equipped with metrics required to maintain strategic movement while eliminating any unnecessary costs or redundant processes. Here, you can dig into your shipping success rates across regions while accessing warehouse costs and perfect order rates in real time. If you spot any potential inefficiencies, you can track them here and take the correct course of action to refine your strategy. This is an essential tool for any business with a busy or scaling warehouse.

12. Manufacturing Report

Next in our essential types of business reports examples, we’re looking at tools made to improve your business’s various manufacturing processes.

Manufacturing Production report displaying main manufacturing KPIs to keep the pulse of your factory.

Our clean and concise production tool is a sight to behold and serves up key manufacturing KPIs that improve the decision-making process when it comes to costs, volume, and machinery.

Here, you can hone in on historical patterns and trends while connecting with priceless real-time insights that will not only help you make the right calls concerning your manufacturing process at the moment but will also help you formulate predictive strategies that will ultimately save money, boost productivity, and result in top-quality products across the board.

13. Retail Report

As a retailer with so many channels to consider and so many important choices to make, working with the right metrics and visuals is absolutely essential. Fortunately, we live in an age where there are different types of reporting designed for this very reason.

Types of reports examples: retail sales and order report

Our sales and order example, generated with retail analytics software , is a dream come true for retailers as it offers the visual insights needed to understand your product range in greater detail while keeping a firm grip on your order volumes, perfect order rates, and reasons for returns.

By gaining access to this invaluable access in one visually presentable space will allow you to track increases or decreases in orders over a set timeframe (and understand whether you’re doing the right things to drive engagement) while plowing your promotional resources into the products that are likely to offer the best returns.

Plus, by gaining an accurate overview of why people are returning your products, you can omit problem items or processes from your retail strategy, improving your brand reputation as well as revenue in the process.

14. Digital Media Report

The content and communications you publish are critical to your ongoing success, regardless of your sector, niche, or specialty. Without putting out communications that speak directly to the right segments of your audience at the right times in their journey, your brand will swiftly fade into the background.

Content quality control dashboard as a digital media report example

To ensure your brand remains inspiring, engaging, and thought-leading across channels, working with media types of a business report is essential. You have to ensure your communications cut through the noise and scream ‘quality’ from start to finish—no ifs, no buts, no exceptions.

Our content quality control tool is designed with a logical hierarchy that will tell you if your content sparks readership if the language you’re using is inclusive and conversational, and how much engagement-specific communications earn. You can also check your most engaged articles with a quick glance to understand what your users value most. Armed with this information, you can keep creating content that your audience loves and ultimately drives true value to the business.

15. Energy Report

In the age of sustainability and in the face of international fuel hikes, managing the energy your business uses effectively is paramount. Here there is little room for excess or error and as such, working with the right metrics is the only way to ensure successful energy regulation.

Energy management dashboard as an example of a type of report for the energy industry

If your company has a big HQ or multiple sites that require power, our energy management analytics tool will help you take the stress out of managing your resources. One of the most striking features of this dashboard is the fact that it empowers you to compare your company’s energy usage against those from other sectors and set an accurate benchmark.

Here, you can also get a digestible breakdown of your various production costs in terms of energy consumption as well as the main sources you use to keep your organization running. Regularly consulting these metrics will not only help you save colossal chunks of your budget, but it will also give you the intelligence to become more sustainable as an organization. This, in turn, is good for the planet as well as your brand reputation. A real win-win-win.

Types Of Reporting For Every Business & Purpose 

As we’ve seen throughout our journey, there are different report formats that are used by businesses for diverse purposes in their everyday activities. Whether you’re talking about types of reports in research, types of reports in management, or anything in between, these dynamic tools will get you where you need to be (and beyond).

In this post, we covered the top 14 most common ones and explored key examples of how different report types are changing the way businesses are leveraging their most critical insights for internal efficiency and ultimately, external success.

With modern tools and solutions, reporting doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Anyone in your organization can rely on data for their decision-making process without the need for technical skills. Rather you want to keep your team connected or show progress to investors or clients. There is a report type for the job. To keep your mind fresh, here are the top 14 types of data reports covered in this post: 

Now, over to you. Are you ready? If you want to start building your own types of reports and get ahead of the pack today, then you should try our BI reporting software for 14-days for free ! 

12 Types Of Reports (And What Each Is Best For)

Marketing reports take on many forms.

In this post, we’ll look at 12+ different types of reports and their best use cases. 

If you’ve ever wondered how to use such reports in different business scenarios — whether it’s communicating results to clients or relaying information between various departments — this guide is for you.  

Marketing reports

1. Periodic reports

1.1 google analytics report, 1.2 email marketing report, 1.3 social media report, 2. analytical reports.

Types of internal reports

4. internal reports, 5. short reports.

7. Proposal reports

8. vertical reports, 9. lateral reports, types of external reports, 10. external reports.

12. Long reports

13. formal reports, marketing reports.

Here are some reports that you can use if you are a marketer or a marketing agency in particular.

digital marketing report

See this report live

Use it to: Communicate performance to clients or a group of people (e.g., stakeholders like CMO and CEO).

Periodic reports are reports issued at regular intervals . They’re often presented as project deliverables and help with decision-making (i.e., an agency sends a digital marketing report to a client every month). You can have yearly, monthly, quarterly or weekly reports for example.

Examples: Progress reports , sales reports , social media reports , Google Analytics reports , email marketing reports . 

Let’s explore how these reports look in detail .

Google Analytics (GA) is widely used by marketers who want to make sense of data and drive strategic decisions.

If you’re a frequent GA user, you’d know this: It’s overwhelming navigating the sheer amount of data. Imagine how your client must feel when you present these data in a spreadsheet!

What’s a better way to communicate your results? 

DashThis’s Google Analytics report template:

GA report template

Grab this template with your Google Analytics data!

In your GA report, drag and drop preset KPIs like goal completions and conversions, sessions and users, and landing page performances. 

Creating this visual presentation will help you to present ROI to your clients in a compelling manner .  

Emails are often used to educate, nurture, and convert subscribers to customers down the road.

Want to make sure your clients understand how their email campaigns are doing? Pull metrics from your email autoresponder, and let DashThis summarize your data in an email marketing report template .

email analytics report

Grab this template with your email marketing data!

With DashThis ’ preset KPI widgets (e.g., open rate, number of subscribers, and unsubscribe rate) shown in a sleek format, clients will be able to view results at a glanc e .

the reports types

Grab this template with your social media data!  

Social media is a beast, especially when you’re on multiple platforms. 

One great way to track results across these different social channels is to use DashThis’ social media report template and use its pre-set KPIs (e.g., impressions and reach).

Display the best-performing posts from Facebook or Instagram directly on DashThis with a few clicks . Long gone are the days of manually inserting them. 

the reports types

Creating reports is a big job. It’s the stage where clients evaluate how easy it is to work with you and decide if they should continue extending your contract. 

With DashThis , you no longer need to hop from one platform to another to attach seven different Google Analytics reports, a handful of email marketing reports , and screenshots of a viral Instagram post for each client.

Go from spending hours each week per client to less than ten minutes total! DashThis is the perfect tool to create these different types of reports . Thanks to automation, you don’t have to start from scratch every time.

Start your DashThis 15-day free trial and automate your marketing reports toda y.

the reports types

Get an analytical report like this one with your own data

Use it to : Share data and insights to evaluate business decisions.

Data never lies. 

Analytic reports are business documents that share statistics, predictions, and solutions (e.g., feasibility report ). It’s a more technical report that gives you a clear understanding of what’s happening in your organization, so that you can evaluate your action plan.

Example: An ecommerce report that shows transactions and revenue. Based on the data, marketers can identify which channels generate the highest sales and choose which to focus on.

3. Marketing d ashboards

marketing dashboard

Dashboards are a real-time type of report . Much like the dashboards of your car, it shows you where your marketing strategies are as of now.

Use it to : It’s a functional report particularly useful to track a campaign and adjust it as it goes. 

Example: A rolling dashboard that follows your ongoing Facebook ads campaign , or a weekly marketing dashboard . 

Source:  Wild Apricot

Those reports are usually shared between different teams or employees across the same organization.

Use it to: Convey information among team members and departments within the organization. 

Internal reports are circulated within the company. They usually are there to inform different teams on different topics, or the entire company for an announcement.

Example : A marketing budget report sent to the finance department for approva l.

Use it to: Announce new events or internal changes. They are usually on an organization level .

Short reports are documents with less than ten pages; they’re usually informal. They usually are internal reports since they don't convey a lot of information.

Example: A memorandum (or “memo” for short) to inform staff of an upcoming work event .  

6. Informational reports

Use it to : Provide background information from a sector of a company to another.

Informational reports transmit information from a sector of an organization to another (e.g., annual reports , financial reports, accounting reports ).

Example : A leadership meeting minutes report that details which department heads attended and what was discussed .

Use it to: Set clear expectations and explain your strategy.

P roposals are problem-solving reports that include a project overview, solution, and expected outcome. They’re often used to convert leads to paying clients.  

Example: A digital marketing proposal that showcases an agency’s proposed strategy, case studies, scientific research, and process to a prospective client .

the reports types

Source:  AppSumo

Use it to: Communicate information to management or employees a supervisor or manager oversees.

Vertical reports communicate information either upward or downward in the hierarchy.

Example: A marketing plan created by a marketing coordinator sent for approval to the head of marketing, monthly financial reports sent for approva l.  

Use it to: Transfer knowledge so all departments arrive at the same decision. 

Lateral reports coordinate knowledge transfer between different departments in an organization. 

Example: A marketing plan detailing budget information such as marketing spend and expected incoming revenue sent to the finance tea m.

the reports types

Source: 8x8

The reports are usually public, so shared across multiple different organizations, available on a website or on different medias. 

Use it to: Announce an event, product launch, or other happenings.

External reports are distributed outside the company.

Example: A press release report about a new product launch sent to a tech publication for coverag e.

11. Informal reports

Use it to : Present information for internal use. 

Informal reports are less-structured documents (i.e., uses casual language). They’re usually of short length. 

Example : An informal post-event report with summarized points created by a marketer after attending a conferenc e.

Use it to: Share in-depth information.

Long reports are documents with more than ten pages. Due to the length, they’re usually formal.

Example: A white paper about an industry’s latest trend s.

Use it to: Provide information to educate, inform, convince, or drive decisions.

Formal reports are detail- and structure-oriented. Due to the long nature, they often include many sections (e.g., table of contents , executive summary) for easier reference.

Example: A yearly market research report used as a lead magnet to attract enterprise leads. 

What types of reports will you create today?

These 12 kinds of reports overlap each other.  

For example, a three-page SEO deliverable is an analytical, short, and external report .

So remember: It’s perfectly fine if your report format looks a little different from the examples in this list.

Does creating a single report eat up hours of your time? Or are you tired of cobbling analytics from multiple channels in your longer reports ? Report writing can take way too long and that’s why apps were created to help you streamline this tedious part of your job.

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20 Types of Reports and When to Use Them (Plus Templates)

If the many types of reports used in businesses make you want to scream, you’re not alone.

It can get overwhelming – from internal reports about sales activities to reports you need to submit for external collaborators. 

However, the reality of modern business is that they require several business report types to achieve success. 

A  Unito report revealed that over 75% of respondents said reports provide valuable insights almost every time.

The chances are high that you’ve had to write certain types of reports, whether you realize it or not. Irrespective of your role, you’ll likely need to write reports, whether occasionally or once in a while.

And to ensure you’re writing the appropriate report for specific situations, you need to recognize the different types of reports and how to write them.

Below, you’ll discover an exhaustive list of business report types, what they do, when you need them, plus examples and templates. 

Let’s get into it. 

Table of contents

1. Formal report

3. Audit report

4. marketing report, 5. progress or periodic report, 6. trend report, 7. analytical report, 8. evaluation report, 9. client report, 10. sales report, 11. proposal report.

13. Research report

14. financial report, 15. incident report, 16. project report, 17. annual report, 18. lateral report.

20. Event report

Make beautiful, engaging reports with Piktochart. Try it for free .

What is report writing? 

Do you remember those report cards you received at the end of every school session? The details of how well you perform academic and extracurricular activities during the year.

This is what reports do. 

Reports are documents detailing the results or findings from a process, project, or investigation. They can also refer to a well-detailed analysis of specific data sets or situations.

In business communications, report writing is the process of preparing formal documents that elaborate on a specific topic. Report writing often uses facts, tables,  graphs , charts, etc., to explain its findings for easy comprehension.

Since any report aims to educate and inform, preparing the  perfect report  that focuses on the target audience is crucial. Some reports also present available options and recommendations based on their findings.

20 report types, examples, and templates 

While numerous types of reports are used by businesses, these are the most common ones we’ve seen use almost daily.

Formal reports often carry objective information that is in-depth and straight to the point without personal references. These reports require careful structuring based on the organization’s style and purpose.

Formal report classification includes accounting reports, functional reports, and other lengthy reports.

employee compensation formal report template cover

2. Informal report 

An informal report is the opposite of a formal report. It lacks strict structuring, contains short messages, and uses casual language. Businesses intending to pass quick critical information often use informal reports. Informal reports pay more attention to fast and effective communication than formal structuring.

Again, other types of reports fall into this category, including digital postings, emails, memo reports, and some forms of internal reports.

fashion internal report template cover

An audit report is a formal report created by an auditor about the financial status of an organization. Audit reports are written using generally accepted auditing standards.

However, these formats may vary slightly depending on the audit’s circumstances. An example is an end-of-the-year audit report for an organization.

internal audit report template cover

Marketing reports give detailed information about marketing campaigns. They are used for monitoring marketing activities and informing about marketing strategies that work or require improvements.

social media report template cover

Progress reports , also known as periodic reports, are reports generated at specific intervals. Depending on the report needs, they could be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports, or they may even use regularly scheduled dates. 

Progress reports are used to supply progress or performance information. Other business report types could also qualify as periodic reports if they are made available at intervals. 

Examples of progress reports include analytical reports, Google analytics reports, and inventory reports. 

progress report template cover

Sometimes called trend analysis reports, trend reports analyze everyday business operations and compare them to forecasts.

This report helps businesses discover recent industry trends and how they can benefit organizations. They also reveal important details about marketing campaigns and tell you the reach of your messages and their influences on marketing.

Examples include Google Analytics reports, surveys, and statistical reports.

annual trends report template cover

Analytical reports have gained prominence in recent years due to the growing importance of business data analysis. 

The last few years have seen data analysis ingrained as part of standard business practices, and the industry expects to  reach $68 billion in annual revenue  by 2025.

Organizations leverage data-driven insights that make analytical reports one of the most common reports used. Analytical reports can suggest recommendations to improve businesses by leveraging data insights to evaluate performance.

financial analysis report template cover

When an organization rolls out products, services, campaigns, or processes, they need to evaluate the success periodically or after the program.

An evaluation report documents a product’s effectiveness if a service meets expectations or if a campaign is successful.

Evaluation reports also highlight findings and make recommendations based on the performance. It is a formal, in-depth report, sometimes including background information, definitions, results, forecasts, and recommendations.

This report can assist with the decision-making process and show transparency to stakeholders.

evaluation report template cover

Since businesses deal with clients, they need a client report detailing their relationship with each client and their work activities. Client reports are used to give clients clarity of the progress of projects and help the business with management decisions.

Client reports are created and delivered according to the agreed time frame. For example, it could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. This makes the report a periodic report.

Meetings and discussions with clients could also accompany it to explain the content. As a result, client reporting helps a business build trust.

client report template cover

The sales department reports a business’ sales performance to executives and the board through the sales reports. Members of the sales team could also make a sales report for other group members or the team manager.

A sales report details the performance of a business for a specified period. They can also reveal happenings on the field to inform decisions.

This type of report highlights sales volume, revenue from the sales, leads, etc. They may be used to set key performance indicators or formulate an entire business target.

Examples of sales reports include periodic reports that track how sales perform for the specified period. For instance, a weekly sales report will track weekly sales, revenue, leads, etc.

sales report template

Businesses go into partnerships and other forms of business relationships. But before this happens, they establish the specifics of the relationship through a proposal report.

Proposal reports are official documents highlighting how a business intends to help another.

Proposal reports are sent in response to a Request for Proposal or RFP. They contain specific steps the business will undertake to assist the recipient business.

Since a company usually receives business proposals from many businesses, aim for thorough and precise proposal reports.

digital marketing proposal template cover

12. Survey report 

Survey reports are documents that help a business highlight the findings from a survey. It does its best to summarize the responses of a survey and objectively present the information while using visuals like tables, graphs, charts, and infographics to make reports easy to read .

survey report template cover

Research reports are documents created to communicate the findings from the research – whether business or scientific – related to the company. Experts in the field usually do it. Sometimes, a research report can uncover information requiring urgent attention.

The content in a research report includes the research process, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and limitations.

It will inform a business about essential market needs they need to attend to and how their products or service affects the public. For example, some social media platforms are looking into how they influence young people.

SDG report template cover

Financial reports and budget reports are often used interchangeably, but they are not necessarily the same.

Production and finance departments are typically in charge of these reports. Financial reports are formal documents that explain a business’s financial status and performance. Examples of budget reports include weekly or monthly financial reports that detail the economic activities for the period specified.

On the other hand, budget reports are concerned with the pre-set budget conditions and how they compare with the company’s financial situation. They help businesses make proper financial decisions and can be used to compare milestones over a specific period.

corporate financial review template

Although businesses put measures to prevent accidents and other undesirable incidents, they can still happen in the workplace. And when these incidents occur, additional steps may be required to avoid a reoccurrence. An incident report is an informational report that details the facts of an incident.

Incident reports may also reveal unusual occurrences, safety and health issues, security breaches, near misses, damage, etc.

It highlights the cause, exact occurrence, and ways to prevent incidents in the future. Specific industries, such as insurance companies and security agencies, may also require them.

incident report template cover

Also known as a project health report, project reports help the organization give information about specific projects.

Businesses generally embark on projects, and making reports about each one allows them to track progress and assess performance effectively.

Project reports contain the objectives, which can help ensure compliance from everyone overseeing the project. It also makes it easy for stakeholders to give feedback, edit, assess financial requirements, and implement necessary actions.

marketing project template cover

Annual reports are comprehensive reports that give in-depth details about a business in the preceding year. It details the financial statements and achievements for the specific year. 

They could qualify as external reports since many organizations release their annual reports to the public. In some instances, releasing annual reports may be a mandate for some businesses.

However, companies mainly  design annual reports  to review the company’s business during the year. They help stakeholders become aware of the performance and inform shareholders and others about the financial performance.

annual report template cover

Vertical and lateral reports are terms used when referring to the direction of a report. Lateral reports describe those that move between members at the same organizational level.

Examples of these types of reports are informational reports exchanged between team managers, short reports between members of a team, or comprehensive reports between departments.

talent management and recruitment template cover

19. Vertical report 

A vertical report is a report shared between different organizational hierarchies. It could be from a higher level to a lower level or vice versa.

Examples include business reports from employees members of an executive team or managers to their team members.

team progress report template cover

Businesses organize many events, and event reports analyze each event’s success.

Event managers prepare these reports, and it works by comparing event results to the set goals. It determines an event’s success and serves as a blueprint for future events.

event report template cover

Make beautiful, engaging reports with Piktochart 

Understanding the different types of reports is crucial to using them for the growth and organization of your business. 

Not only are reports vital, but they can also help a business identify pain points and forecast future occurrences when appropriately used.

However, this isn’t always the case due to the large number of business report types that often confuse employees and owners.

The way out is to use  report writing tools  like Piktochart. Piktochart is an all-in-one business communication tool that helps businesses create reports, presentations, infographics, and a wide range of other business designs.

Its massive  library of templates  lets you get started quickly and turn complex data into clear, insightful reports in just a short amount of time. 

Pick a template, input your data, and watch your report come alive.  Create a free Piktochart account  to get started now!

Create your own report with a few clicks.

Start with a report template designed by experts and customize it with your fonts and brand colors. Upload your own photos or choose from our free library of royalty-free images. Add charts or maps and quickly get to a professionally-looking report.

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Jessica La is a writer with over six years in the SEO, AI, and content industry. In her blog ByJessicaLa.com , she explores all things marketing and is passionate about the unique ways businesses can improve, innovate and grow. You can reach her at [email protected]

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The Right Type of Data Reporting (+ 11 Types of Reports)

the reports types

Jan 20 2020 ● 3 min read

the reports types

Table of Contents

Types of reports include memos, meeting minutes, expense reports , audit reports, closure reports, progress reports, justification reports, compliance reports, annual reports , and feasibility reports.

You can classify reports in different categories in various ways such as action, formality, and length, and some of them may overlap the classification structure. Table of Contents:

Different Types of Reports in Various Categories

What Are the Different Types of Technical Reports?

Long reports are longer than ten pages and are typically formal reports. While shorts reports are less than ten pages and mostly informal reports are shorter reports.

Internal reports usually travel within the organization, while external reports are for outside of organization use.

the reports types

Vertical type of reports represent the direction of a report. Reports which go upward or downward the hierarchy are referred to as vertical reports.  Lateral report travels between the same organization level, such as the accounting department and finance department and helps correlate work in a company.

Periodic reports are reporting periodically and on regular intervals. These types of reports are typically vertical reports to check overall business activities or reports written by federal agencies, corporations, non-profits. Periodic reports include incident reports , sales reports, and feasibility reports and progress reports.

What Are the Different Types of Business Reports?

Reports are a vital part of any business organization; businesses monitor their progress and make critical decisions based on these reports.

In Business reports, you analyze a situation, evaluate the success or the problems and provide suggestions to fix the issues. A business report includes facts and figures, and usually, there is not one but many solutions for a problem with their own cost and benefits. Therefore, you can keep on top of your business affairs, whether you are reaching your goals or not and plan accordingly.

Moreover, a formal business report is written for a specific audience; it could be the CEO or the head of the organization. Additionally, informal reports are for internal use and staff members. There are different types of business reports ; some are formal and some informal reports. Business report examples include analytical reports , informational reports, inventory reports, marketing reports , statutory reports, non-statutory reports, annual reports, and general or confidential reports.

the reports types

Statutory reports are mandatory reports and companies are required by law to submit financial information to specific government agencies. Statutory reports have to be prepared according to the structure and rules that are already defined for these types of reports.

Non-statutory reports are not required to be submitted by a law. These are either formal reports submitted to the higher up in rank or informal for administrative use.

Business reports can either be general or confidential. A general report is for the inside of an organization use or press or public. A confidential report is not for many people and is reserved for some important figures in the organization.

the reports types

Annual report, as the name suggests, are yearly reports. The report is based on yearly data, sales, and profit. An annual report is submitted at the end of every year for the decision-makers to study and plan accordingly.

Informal report is shorter and written approximately in one to ten pages. These types of reports are natural and casual in style and do not require a lot of planning. Informal reports are mostly internal and used to report inside of a business organization. Informal reports examples include memorandum and letters.

What Are the Formal Reports and Its Types?

A formal report is more prolonged and requires in-depth research; it is written for decision-making audience or another organization. A formal report is written after careful planning and data gathering ; moreover, the reports are written using impersonal writing style.

Informational reports provide information, facts and data without evaluation and recommendation, and without giving a conclusion. Informational reports can be formal or informal, and the report examples include meeting minutes, expense reports, and progress reports.

Analytical report provides the same information as informational but also include the analyses of the problems and provide possible solutions. Analytical reports can also be formal or informal, and the examples include annual reports, audit reports feasibility report, justification report, and closure reports.

the reports types

Technical reports communicate technical information and explain process and progress. Furthermore, it could also be the result of scientific and technological research. The types of technical reports include a feasibility report, business plans, research reports, and scientific research.

Published on Jan 20 2020

Wendy is a data-oriented marketing geek who loves to read detective fiction or try new baking recipes. She writes articles on the latest industry updates or trends.

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Module 6: Reports

Types of reports, learning outcomes.

Informal versus Formal Reports

While there is no single difference between informal and formal reports, we can typically distinguish between the two based on their length and sections.

decorative image

Informal Reports

Informal reports tend to be shorter, although the quantity of pages or words is not defined. Think of informal reports as documents of under ten pages. An informal report usually has specific topics grouped in paragraphs, and these topics tend to have simple headings. Note that while informal reports often don’t have required headings, you can take inspiration from the headings required in formal reports.

Formal Reports

A formal report tends to be longer; although, again, the quantity of pages or words is not defined. It may start at ten pages and in some cases exceed one hundred pages. With a formal report, the topic of the report or the policy of the company it’s being written for determines which sections, labels, content, and purpose should be used as the basis for the report. These reports address complex topics that require substantial description of background, research on the topic, and evidence to support any proposed solutions. Both the data gathering and the summary of the topic generate length. To keep this abundance of information organized, the report requires formal headings and tight organization in order to help the reader stay on track.

Practice Question

Informational versus analytical reports.

Now that we’ve defined the difference between informal reports and formal reports, let’s dive in a little deeper. Informal reports and formal reports have two major categories: informational and analytical reports. It’s important to keep in mind that both informal and formal reports can fall into these categories (i.e., you can have an informal informational report or a formal informational report).

Informational Reports

An informational report provides a summary of information and data found on a particular topic. One such report is the expense report: this report is a set of information that is used to request allocation of funds. The format is strictly pre-determined and it is often completed at the end of a business trip.

Analytical Reports

The other category of report is an  analytical report . In this report type, information is researched and collected, then the report provides an analysis that leads to one or more recommendations. For example, consider a report that helps a company determine where to open a new store. The report might look at three properties with respect to road traffic, cost of the land, and adjoining stores, and then recommend the best site from the alternatives.


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68 Different Types Of Reports

Reports, as mentioned earlier, are business tools.  By conveying information objectively from one organizational area to another or from one institution to another, they assist in decision making and/or problem solving. Reports have been classified in numerous ways; the form, direction, functional use, and content of the report are used as the basis for classification. However, a single report might be included in several classifications. The following brief review of classification helps explain the scope of reporting and establishes a departure point for studying reports and reporting.

Formal or Informal Reports

Formal reports are carefully structured; they stress objectivity and organization, contain much detail, and are written in a style that tends to eliminate such elements as personal pronouns. Informal reports are usually short messages with natural, casual use of language. The internal memorandum can generally be described as an informal report.

Short or Long Reports

This is a confusing classification. A one-page memorandum is obviously short, and a twenty page report is clearly long. But where is the dividing line?  Bear in mind that as a report becomes longer (or what you determine as long), it takes on more characteristics of formal reports.

Informational or Analytical Reports

Informational reports (annual reports, monthly financial reports, reports on personnel absenteeism) carry objective information from one area of an organization to another. Analytical reports (scientific research, feasibility reports, real-estate appraisals) present attempts to solve problems.

The Proposal Report

The proposal is a variation of problem-solving reports. A proposal is a document prepared to describe how one organization can meet the needs of another. Most governmental agencies advertise their needs by issuing “requests for proposal,” or RFPs. The RFP specifies a need and potential suppliers prepare proposal reports telling how they can meet that need.

Vertical or Lateral Reports

This classification refers to the direction a report travels. Reports that more upward or downward the hierarchy are referred to as vertical reports; such reports contribute to management control. Lateral reports, on the other hand, assist in coordination in the organization. A report traveling between units of the same organization level (production and finance departments) is lateral.

Internal or External Reports

Internal reports travel within the organization.  External reports, such as annual reports of companies, are prepared for distribution outside the organization.

Periodic Reports 

Periodic reports are issued on regularly scheduled dates. They are generally upward directed and serve management control. Preprinted forms and computer-generated data contribute to uniformity of periodic reports.

Functional Reports 

This classification includes accounting reports, marketing reports, financial reports, and a variety of other reports that take their designation from the ultimate use of the report.

Almost all reports could be included in most of these categories. And a single report could be included in several classifications. Although authorities have not agreed on a universal report classification, these report categories are in common use and provide a nomenclature for the study (and use) of reports.

Reports are also classified on the basis of their format. As you read the classification structure described below, bear in mind that it overlaps with the classification pattern described above.

Now that we have surveyed the different types of reports and become familiar with the nomenclature, let us move on to the actual process of writing the report.

Business Communication Copyright © by IBS Center for Management Research , FedUni. All Rights Reserved.

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14 Types of Reports and When to Use Them (+ Templates)

14 Types of Reports and When to Use Them (+ Templates)

Written by: Raja Mandal

An illustration showcasing report pages in a printed off document.

Reporting is an essential part of business. In order to provide sophisticated and innovative reporting and analysis for your business or organization, you need to understand the various types of reports and when you'll need to use them. 

Simply knowing how to write a report isn't enough. The right types of reports significantly impact an organization, fundamentally changing the way people perform their activities and make decisions. 

However, deciding on a report is still a daunting task for many organizations. In this guide, we've put together a list of 14 types of reports and when you should use them.

Since you're here reading this, we're assuming you likely need to write a report. So, before we dive into the various types of reports, you can check out our handy guide on the proper report writing format to get started with your report writing process. 

Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit report templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

the reports types

Type #1: Annual Report

An annual report template available to customize in Visme.

An annual report is an in-depth, comprehensive report on a business's achievements and financial statements from the preceding year. The first few pages of the report contain an eye-catching design and an overview of the organization's past year's activities and include future schemes. 

Organizations use this report to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance. 

Sometimes, jurisdictions require organizations to create and disclose annual reports, making it the most important one in this list. 

You can use this type of report to:

Type #2: Weekly Report

A weekly report template available to customize in Visme.

A weekly report reviews a workweek that includes the works you have completed and ones that are still in progress to help you outline your workflow for the upcoming week. 

So, a weekly report is similar to an annual report. But while annual reports give an overview of a year, weekly reports provide a snapshot of a week. 

It allows the management team to take a quick look at what the employees are doing, including their challenges, strengths and weaknesses. On the flip side, the report can give the employees an idea of their role in the organization. 

Use this report when you want to:

A project status weekly report available to customize on Visme.

Type #3: Sales Report

As the name suggests, sales reports are submitted by salespeople to the team to inform them about the on-field scenarios. In other words, a sales report is a document that summarizes the sales performance of a company over a specific period. 

The report includes data on leads generated, new accounts, revenue, sales volume, KPIs and many other crucial ones. Furthermore, it helps you take out the guesswork from your business decisions, giving you a clear view of the sales process of your business. 

One of the crucial benefits these types of reports provide is that you can set them to various frequencies and key performance indicators. Here are some examples:

Daily Sales Reports

Track KPIs such as daily sales calls, leads generated and many others. Here is an example template:

A daily sales report template available to customize in Visme.

Monthly Sales Report

A monthly sales report helps you share the highlights, metrics and insights about your customer base with your stakeholders. 

A monthly sales report template available to customize in Visme.

Quarterly Sales Report

With a quarterly sales report, you can summarize your weekly and monthly sales report quarterly. 

A quarterly sales report template available to customize in Visme.

Yearly Sales Report

A yearly sales report is a lengthy, detailed version of your quarterly sales report. Use this to summarize your business' yearly sales performance, just like an annual report. 

A yearly sales report template available to customize in Visme.

Type #4: Analytical Report

An analytical report template available to customize in Visme.

Over the past few decades, data analysis has become a vital part of business intelligence and standard industry practice. Statistics show that the annual revenue from the global big data analytics industry is expected to reach $68 billion by 2025 . This is because the majority of businesses are adjusting their strategies based on data-driven insights.

So, in this digital era, one can not imagine business growth without data analytics. This is where analytical reports come into the picture. An analytical report helps you evaluate business performance based on data insights. 

The best thing about these types of reports is that they provide you with recommendations instead of playing with numbers. 

Use this report when you need:

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the reports types

Type #5: Marketing Report

A marketing report template available to customize in Visme.

If you're a marketer, you know that no matter how extraordinary your marketing campaign performed, you need to monitor every single aspect of your campaign. It will not only help you shape your marketing strategy but give the upper management all the relevant information they are looking for. 

Thus, making a marketing report is one of the key elements of every marketing strategy. A marketing report includes data from the marketing channels to visualize the overall performance of your campaign. 

In simple words, these types of reports help you understand whether the marketing strategies you currently use are doing well or not. 

Use marketing reports when you need to:

Type #6: Trends Report

A trends report template available to customize in Visme.

Trends report, also known as trend analysis report, allows you to report on the standard up-to-the-minute state of business. Also, it helps you analyze day-to-day forecasts, cases and opportunities in your business process. 

It can tell you where your brand message is being heard, who is listening and how it affects your marketing efforts. These types of reports rely on statistics, surveys and sometimes electronic analytics. 

Trends reports can help you:

Type #7: Informal Report

An informal report template available to customize in Visme.

As the name suggests, an informal report doesn't have any specific structure. They include a brief and unstructured description that can be crucial for a business. The primary purpose of these types of reports is to convey critical information quickly. 

Therefore, neglecting any formal structure in favor of efficient and effective communication motivates writing an informal report. These types of reports may include letters, emails, digital postings and many others. 

Use an informal report when you need to:

Annual budget reports, monthly financial reports, scientific research and employee appraisals are some of the examples of informal reports. 

Type #8: Formal Report

A formal report template available to customize in Visme.

Formal reports also have a similar purpose, but they can not sacrifice the structural format of business reports. They focus on objectivity, organization and contain detailed information, making them more time-consuming to prepare than the informal reports. 

Due to their precise nature often includes sections like a table of contents, executive summary, an overview of key findings, and others for easier reference. Also, unlike informal reports, these types of reports include conveying information to external parties. 

Type #9: Budget Report

A budget report template available to customize in Visme.

A budget report compares the actual spending and the pre-established budget. It helps businesses greatly in making accurate and informed financial decisions. Creating a budget report is typically creating financial goals for the organization. 

Once businesses hit a specific accounting period, they can use a budget report to compare these milestones. However, the budget reports are only estimations and differ from the financial results. 

Use these types of reports to:

Type #10: Event Report

An event report template available to customize in Visme.

An event report is one of the essential tools to measure whether an event was successful by comparing the results with the objectives. If you are an event manager or event planner, an event report should be in your toolbox. 

Though an event report may have many forms, the primary purpose is to make the event successful. Moreover, you can think of it as a follow-up to an event proposal to know about the event goals, purpose, budget and many more. 

You can use this report to:

Type #11: Project Report

A project report template available to customize in Visme.

Project reports contain information about the proposed project and all the relevant information. It provides a project's feasibility by detailing all the necessary information. 

It includes information about the project like introduction, executive summary, organization summary, project description, marketing plan, management plan, budget and many more. 

These types of reports are most useful when you want to show project stakeholders all the information relevant to your project to help them understand the benefits and drawbacks of the project. 

Use this report to:

Type #12: Research Report

A research report template available to customize in Visme.

A research report is a document prepared by experts to share their research findings. The primary purpose of a research report is to convey to the interested people the total result of the study. It's an effective way to document the research processes and find any gaps needing attention. 

Research reports include a summary of the research process, findings, recommendations and conclusions. A research report will help you quickly understand the market needs and peculiarities in marketing. 

Use this report when you want to: 

Type #13: Meeting Minutes Report

A meeting minutes report template available to customize in Visme.

Meeting minutes reports are the notes of actions taken during a business and organizational meeting. They are created by a person from the organization, such as a secretary or a manager and become a crucial meeting document. 

In some cases, meeting minutes reports are considered a legal document by the legal authorities. The primary purpose of these types of reports is to describe the actions taken by the meeting attendees. 

You can provide structure, offer legal protection, measure progress, determine ownership and many others with the help of these reports. 

Additionally, you can use these documents to:

Type #14: Evaluation Report

An evaluation report template available to customize in Visme.

An evaluation report is a document that summarizes the effectiveness of a product, service, or process according to a set of standards. An evaluation report helps you share key findings and recommendations with all the stakeholders in a business. 

Due to the complicated nature of these types of reports, they include an executive summary, background information, criterion definitions and overall results, giving your stakeholders the transparency they need to make informed decisions. 

Use an evaluation report to:

Create Your Report With Visme

Designing a report from scratch can seem intimidating, especially if you don't have any graphic design experience. Fortunately, with Visme, you can still design various types of reports using the free online report maker . 

The friendly interface of the Visme report maker gives you a stress-free experience for designing your reports. Choose a report template, customize it according to your taste, download it and you are all set to go. You can create and customize Dynamic Fields to easily update information throughout your reports and other projects. 

Visme lets you publish your reports online, share them using an URL or embed them on your website from the application itself. 

Sign up for a free Visme account and start creating your reports now!

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the reports types

Report Types: Top 8 Types of Reports

the reports types

This article throws light upon the top eight types of report. The types are: 1. Formal or Informal Reports 2. Short or Long Reports 3. Informational or Analytical Reports 4. Proposal Report 5. Vertical or Lateral Reports 6. Internal or External Reports 7. Periodic Reports 8. Functional Reports.

Type # 1. Formal or Informal Reports :

Formal reports are carefully structured; they stress objectivity and organization, contain much detail, and are written in a style that tends to eliminate such elements as personal pronouns. Informal reports are usually short messages with natural, casual use of language. The internal memorandum can generally be described as an informal report.

Type # 2. Short or Long Reports :

This is a confusing classification. A one-page memorandum is obviously short, and a twenty page report is clearly long. But where is the dividing line? Bear in mind that as a report becomes longer (or what you determine as long), it takes on more characteristics of formal reports.

Type # 3. Informational or Analytical Reports :

Informational reports (annual reports, monthly financial reports, and reports on personnel absenteeism) carry objective information from one area of an organization to another. Analytical reports (scientific research, feasibility reports, and real-estate appraisals) present attempts to solve problems.

Type # 4. Proposal Report :


The proposal is a variation of problem-solving reports. A proposal is a document prepared to describe how one organization can meet the needs of another. Most governmental agencies advertise their needs by issuing “requests for proposal” or RFPs. The RFP specifies a need and potential suppliers prepare proposal reports telling how they can meet that need.

Type # 5. Vertical or Lateral Reports :

This classification refers to the direction a report travels. Reports that more upward or downward the hierarchy are referred to as vertical reports; such reports contribute to management control. Lateral reports, on the other hand, assist in coordination in the organization. A report traveling between units of the same organization level (production and finance departments) is lateral.

Type # 6. Internal or External Reports :

Internal reports travel within the organization. External reports, such as annual reports of companies, are prepared for distribution outside the organization.

Type # 7. Periodic Reports :

Periodic reports are issued on regularly scheduled dates. They are generally upward directed and serve management control. Preprinted forms and computer-generated data contribute to uniformity of periodic reports.

Type # 8. Functional Reports :

This classification includes accounting reports, marketing reports, financial reports, and a variety of other reports that take their designation from the ultimate use of the report. Almost all reports could be included in most of these categories. And a single report could be included in several classifications.

Although authorities have not agreed on a universal report classification, these report categories are in common use and provide a nomenclature for the study (and use) of reports. Reports are also classified on the basis of their format. As you read the classification structure described below, bear in mind that it overlaps with the classification pattern described above.

i. Preprinted Form:

Basically for “fill in the blank” reports. Most are relatively short (five or fewer pages) and deal with routine information, mainly numerical information. Use this format when it is requested by the person authorizing the report.

ii. Letter:

Common for reports of five or fewer pages that are directed to outsiders. These reports include all the normal parts of a letter, but they may also have headings, footnotes, tables, and figures. Personal pronouns are used in this type of report.

Common for short (fewer than ten pages) informal reports distributed within an organization. The memo format of “Date,” “To,” “From,” and “Subject” is used. Like longer reports, they often have internal headings and sometimes have visual aids. Memos exceeding ten pages are sometimes referred to as memo reports to distinguish them from shorter ones.

iv. Manuscript:

Common for reports that run from a few pages to several hundred pages and require a formal approach. As their length increases, reports in manuscript format require more elements before and after the text of the report. Now that we have surveyed the different types of reports and become familiar with the nomenclature, let us move on to the actual process of writing the report.

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