What Is A Report Writer? (Duties, Salaries And Skills)
Updated 26 January 2023
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A report is a formal writing style that presents data in an organised way with meaningful inferences for the reader to understand easily. Report writers fulfil an important function within an organisation by giving its investors and management team a clear representation of large data. The demand for report writers is steadily increasing with the increase in startups, consumerism and better algorithms. In this article, we discuss what a report writer is, review their job description, skills and salaries and explore different types of report writing.
What is a report writer?
To answer the question, "What is a report writer?", it may be essential to understand what they do. A report writer is a professional who collects, analyses and converts complex raw data and comprehensive information into written reports. These reports are easy for the average reader or non-technical employees to understand. It eliminates information that is irrelevant or disorienting and highlights what is more significant to the readers. Companies often generate large amounts of data for which they require experts to present that data in more appealing and useful ways to their leaders and investors.
Duties and responsibilities of a report writer
Report writers usually work with the IT department and in accordance with the goals and objectives of the company or management. They may build and repair data reports and software applications. They also test applications, analyse statistics and train the end-users on how to use the report writing software. Report writers often convert technical data and information into a language more suitable for the non-technical reader to understand and from which they can derive important information and conclusions.
Report writers also present financial information or data in an easy-to-understand manner to enhance communication between a company and its customers or between the different departments. Sometimes, the leadership team may ask report writers to provide an analytical review or their opinion on the data. Report writers are responsible for administering and managing the data from which they make their reports.
Related: Basics Of Work Report Writing (With Format And Examples)
Skills and qualifications for a report writer
To become a report writer, you require certain qualifications and skills that can help you be successful. Report writers usually come with a bachelor's degree in computer science, programming or a related IT field. They typically have sound technical knowledge of industry software and interface design programs. Examples include Sharepoint, Smartview, Hyperion, Cognos and Microsoft MySQL. Some skills that are crucial to becoming a report writer include mathematical abilities and statistical reasoning, ability to interpret data and analytical skills, writing, editing and proofreading skills.
As data becomes more comprehensive, it challenges the skills of an analyst and a report writer more significantly. Consistently learning and adopting new tools and methods can help report writers to study, analyse and use data effectively in a timely manner. Thus, remaining updated with the latest technology and software in the industry is important for a report writer.
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How much does a report writer earn?
The national average salary of a report writer is ₹18,252 per month. This can increase with experience and the industry or company for which you work. As you gain more experience and enhance your command of the technical tools that a report writer can use, you can expect to earn more. Also, as you exercise your analytical abilities and are able to produce better insights and results, you may progress into other similar roles with higher pay scales.
Who hires a report writer?
Report writers are in demand in numerous industries, such as education, health care, computers or IT, finance and telecom. Marketing agencies or marketing departments within companies have tremendous data regarding their customers, consumer habits, patterns and market demographics. A report writer can help them through studying and analysing this data and deriving suitable or meaningful information and insights from it, which they present as a written report.
A report writer's critically analysed reports can help an educational institution understand the gaps in the system. This can encourage them to implement innovative teaching methods or upskill their staff members. The health care industry requires report writers to present extensive health- and patient-related data in a report to identify problems and come up with better contingency management plans. Investors often hire report writers to help them understand the massive data, based on which they make many important decisions.
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Career outlook of a report writer
As a report writer, you require many valuable skills that can be an asset in other similar roles. A business analyst or data analyst role also requires strong analytical skills and the ability to interpret data and present it in an easy-to-understand manner. Thus, after some experience as a report writer, you may consider moving into a business analyst role. Business analysts come from varying domains.
Market research analyst is another role that a report writer can undertake with considerable expertise and knowledge of marketing. They study the market and determine the sales potential of a product or service. They may also identify the ideal market for a product and its appropriate price and suggest changes that can help increase the product's acceptance level in the target group. Operations research analysts evaluate a company's existing procedures, identify shortcomings and suggest steps for process improvement. These professions are similar in terms of function and skills required and only differ in their purpose.
Related: What Is A Business Analyst? Definition And Career Advice
Types of report writing
In your career as a report writer, you may write different types of reports. These may vary depending on the industry, organisation, role or circumstances in which you operate. You may specialise in certain types of report writing when you have had enough experience in writing those types of reports. Here are eight types of report writing:
1. Formal or informal reports
Formal reports often have a set structure. They have a guiding objective, are organised and extremely detailed. The writing style of such reports is impersonal, avoiding any personal pronouns. Informal reports are generally shorter and written in a more casual language, such as memos, emails and papers.
2. Short or long reports
There is no fixed length that differentiates a long report from a short one. The longer a report may get, the more formal its tone and structure may become. Long reports are usually more in-depth and require extensive research.
3. Informational or analytical reports
Informational reports are more about presenting the facts and figures in a way that is easy for others in the organisation or the concerned individuals to understand. Examples can be monthly or annual financial reports and attendance reports. Report writers write analytical reports with the aim of solving problems through analysing the available data, identifying faults and suggesting viable solutions.
4. Proposal report
A proposal report also aims to solve a problem or fill a gap in the system. A proposal details how one entity can solve the problem of another by meeting their requirement. Government agencies often issue an RFP or 'request for proposal', which mentions a specific requirement. Vendors and suppliers respond to this with a proposal.
5. Vertical or lateral reports
A report that moves vertically goes from the top to bottom or vice versa in the hierarchy of an organisation. They help the management oversee and control what happens in the business. Lateral reports move between different units or departments in the same organisation, such as between marketing and sales departments or finance and payroll departments.
6. Internal or external reports
Internal reports are only accessible to the employees of an organisation. External reports can be anything that is circulated to entities outside of the organisation, such as the public, shareholders, the government or the stock exchange. Both serve different audiences and purposes.
7. Periodic reports
Periodic reports are scheduled reports that usually have a set timeline and date of issue. These could be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. These reports usually move from the lower to the upper management and help them maintain control of things. Many of these reports get automatically generated through computers, software and algorithmic records, after which report writers can analyse them and write down their inferences.
8. Functional reports
Functional reports refer to those reports that serve a specific function in the organisation. Examples include marketing reports, accounting reports and financial reports. Most reports can fall under the category of some sort of functional report.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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