How to Create a Report?

Reports are used in various fields, such as business, science, education, and government. They can be used to communicate the results of a study, the progress of a project, or a company's financial performance.

Reports are typically divided into sections, each with a specific purpose and structure. This article will guide you through how to create a professional report using an online report generation tool. We will cover the basics of designing a report, including creating a data source or database connection, designing the report layout, and adding parameters to represent the data.

Example of How to Create a Report

Introduction to Creating Reports

Creating professional reports is paramount for informed decision-making. Utilizing online tools for report creation offers businesses a flexible and accessible solution in the fast-paced landscape of modern business. These report-generation tools, often cloud-based, enable seamless collaboration among team members regardless of physical location.

The user-friendly interfaces of online report generation tools allow users without extensive technical expertise to design, customize, and share reports effortlessly. The real-time collaboration features of online tools facilitate input from various stakeholders, ensuring that reports are comprehensive and reflective of diverse perspectives.

Additionally, the accessibility of data stored in the cloud ensures that teams can work on reports anytime, anywhere, fostering a dynamic and agile approach to business intelligence.

Online report-generation tools also frequently offer a range of templates, interactive features, and integrations with other business applications, streamlining the report-creation process and ultimately enhancing the efficiency of decision-making within organizations.

Best Practices in Creating Reports

In the digital transformation era, businesses increasingly rely on online report-generation software to harness the power of data and facilitate informed decision-making. Whether you're a seasoned analyst or a novice explorer, adopting best practices is crucial to maximizing the potential of these tools. Here are some key strategies for creating impactful reports that drive business success.

1. Embrace User-Friendly Interfaces

One of the fundamental aspects of effective report creation lies in the usability of the software's interface. You should consider platforms that offer intuitive, user-friendly designs, allowing users of varying technical expertise to navigate seamlessly through the report generation process.

The smoother the interface, the more efficiently your team can collaborate, ensuring that everyone—regardless of their technical background—can contribute to creating insightful reports.

Navigating through cluttered interfaces can hinder productivity. A clean, well-organized layout promotes a positive user experience, enabling quick access to essential features and reducing the learning curve for new users. Look for online report-generation tools that prioritize simplicity without compromising functionality.

2. Ensure Data Accuracy and Consistency

In the realm of reporting, data is king. Ensuring the accuracy and consistency of your data is a non-negotiable best practice. Consider online tools that seamlessly integrate with your data sources, providing real-time updates and minimizing the risk of discrepancies.

The ability to connect to databases, APIs, or third-party applications ensures that your reports are always based on the most up-to-date information.

Consistency in data presentation is equally crucial. Establish standardized conventions for naming conventions, units of measurement, and formatting. It enhances the professionalism of reports and eliminates confusion among stakeholders. Online report generation software that offers data validation features can be a game-changer, automatically flagging potential errors and ensuring the reliability of your insights.

3. Leverage Templates for Efficiency

Efficiency is the cornerstone of successful report creation. Online report-generation tools often come with various templates tailored to different business needs. Leverage these templates to streamline the reporting process, saving time and ensuring a consistent look and feel across various reports.

Customization within templates is also key. Select tools that allow you to modify and personalize templates according to your requirements. This flexibility ensures that while you benefit from the efficiency of templates, your reports remain unique and tailored to your organization's distinct needs.

4. Collaborate in Real Time

The beauty of online report generation lies in its collaborative potential. Best-in-class tools enable real-time collaboration, allowing team members to work together seamlessly, regardless of geographical constraints. It fosters a dynamic and collaborative environment where multiple perspectives can be incorporated into the report creation process.

Implementing commenting features within the tool facilitates communication among team members. Whether it's feedback on data interpretation, design suggestions, or general comments, real-time collaboration enhances the overall quality of your reports. Look for platforms prioritizing communication features to ensure a smooth and efficient collaborative experience.

5. Emphasize Visual Storytelling

Numbers and data, when presented visually, have a more significant impact on the audience. Engage your audience by incorporating visual elements into your reports. Choose online report-generation tools that offer a rich array of visualization options, from charts and graphs to interactive dashboards.

Visual storytelling is not just about aesthetics; it has to do with communicating complex data and information in a format that is easily digestible. Experiment with different visualizations to find the most effective way to communicate your data-driven narrative. Tools that allow dynamic, interactive visualizations empower your audience to explore and understand the data on their terms.

6. Prioritize Security and Compliance

With the increasing reliance on cloud-based solutions, security is a paramount concern. When selecting an online report generation tool, prioritize platforms that adhere to stringent security standards. Look for features such as role-based access control, data encryption, and secure authentication mechanisms to safeguard your sensitive information.

Ensure the chosen tool complies with relevant industry regulations and data protection laws. It is especially crucial for businesses dealing with sensitive customer information or operating in highly regulated industries. A robust security framework not only protects your data but also instills confidence among stakeholders.

7. Streamline Distribution and Accessibility

The impact of a report is maximized when it reaches the right audience promptly. Choose online report-generation tools that offer streamlined distribution options. Whether sharing reports via email, embedding them in presentations, or exporting them in various formats, a versatile distribution system ensures your insights are accessible to all stakeholders.

Consider the accessibility of reports on different devices. Mobile responsiveness is increasingly essential in today's on-the-go business environment. A tool that allows users to access and interact with reports seamlessly across devices ensures that decision-makers can stay informed, regardless of their location or the devices at their disposal.

8. Implement Version Control and History Tracking

As reports evolve, maintaining version control and tracking changes become imperative. Best practices in report creation involve implementing tools that offer robust version control features. It ensures that changes made by different team members are documented and previous versions can be retrieved.

History tracking provides transparency into the evolution of a report, aiding in auditing and compliance efforts. Choose online report-generation tools that offer a detailed history of changes, enabling users to trace the development of reports over time. It not only enhances accountability but also facilitates continuous improvement in report-creation processes.

Adopting best practices is key to unlocking the full potential of these powerful tools. From user-friendly interfaces and data accuracy to real-time collaboration and visual storytelling, integrating these practices into your report creation process ensures that your insights are comprehensive and impactful. As businesses continue to evolve, leveraging the capabilities of online report-generation software is a strategic investment in staying ahead in the data-driven era.

Ad hoc dashboards designed and embedded with Jaspersoft
Try Jaspersoft - Free Trial
Efficiently design, embed, and distribute reports and dashboards at scale with Jaspersoft.

Mastering the Art of Report Creation

Creating insightful reports is fundamental for anyone navigating the data-driven business landscape. Jaspersoft, a robust reporting tool, empowers users to design visually appealing reports, establish database connections, and add dynamic parameters for a customized experience.

Let's explore the intricacies of crafting a compelling report using Jaspersoft, from setting up data sources to the final touch of parameterization.

Designing a Report with Jaspersoft

Creating a report with Jaspersoft begins with the design phase, where the canvas becomes your palette for data visualization. The drag-and-drop interface offers an intuitive experience, allowing you to seamlessly arrange elements and construct a layout that conveys your data story effectively.

Jaspersoft's design interface is simple and easy to understand. The drag-and-drop features allow you to place text fields, images, and charts effortlessly. This user-friendly approach is ideal for beginners and experienced designers, streamlining the process of arranging elements on the report canvas.

As you design your report, consider the intuitive arrangement of elements. Group related information together, create a logical flow and maintain consistency in design. The step will enhance the visual appeal and ensure that your audience can easily grasp the insights you're presenting.

Creating a Data Source or Database Connection

A robust report is only as good as the data it represents. Establishing a connection to your data source is a critical step in the report creation process with Jaspersoft.

Navigate to the "Data Adapters" tab, where Jaspersoft facilitates the configuration of data sources. Whether it's a database, XML, or JSON, Jaspersoft allows seamless integration. Set up a new JDBC data adapter or connect to existing sources, ensuring a dynamic and real-time connection to your data.

Crafting SQL Queries for Precision

Jaspersoft's flexibility shines when crafting SQL queries for data retrieval. Dive into the "Data" tab, where you can define queries using SQL or HQL. Tailor these queries to your specific data needs, allowing for precise extraction and representation in your report.

Once the data source is established, it's time to focus on the layout of your report. Jaspersoft offers a plethora of design options to ensure your report not only conveys information accurately but also captivates the audience visually.

Interactive Report Elements

Leverage the power of interactive report elements within Jaspersoft. From dynamic charts to drill-down capabilities, these elements enhance user engagement. Incorporate features that allow users to explore data further, providing a more immersive experience.

The devil is in the details, and Jaspersoft understands the importance of customization. Dive into the "Properties" tab to fine-tune font styles, colors, and sizes. Consistent and thoughtful customization ensures your report maintains a professional and cohesive appearance.

Adding Parameters to Represent the Data

To add a layer of dynamism to your report, consider incorporating parameters. These dynamic elements allow users to interact with the report, customizing the output based on their specific criteria.

Navigate to the "Parameters" tab within Jaspersoft to create dynamic parameters. Define parameters such as date ranges, product categories, or any other variable relevant to your report. Setting default values and configuring display options provides users with a personalized and interactive reporting experience.

Conditional Formatting for Visual Emphasis

Take parameterization a step further by implementing conditional formatting. This feature enables you to highlight critical information based on specific parameter values. Whether it's color-coded cells or bold text, conditional formatting enhances the visual impact of your report, guiding the audience's attention to key insights.

Embedded data visualizations with Jaspersoft
Interactive demo: Bikeshare Embedded BI, supported by Jaspersoft
Experience how to turn data into valuable insights that you and your customers can use to make better decisions.

Navigating Pitfalls: Common Mistakes to Dodge in Online Report Creation

Creating reports with online report-generation tools can be both empowering and daunting. While these tools offer many features to simplify the process, there are common pitfalls that even seasoned users may fall into.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when harnessing the capabilities of online report generation tools, ensuring that your reports convey accurate insights and captivate your audience.

1. Neglecting Data Accuracy

In crafting visually appealing reports, the foundation lies in the accuracy of your data. Neglecting data validation can lead to misleading insights and erode the credibility of your reports.

Online report generation tools often provide validation features—leverage them to catch errors before they impact your analysis. Ensure that your data sources are reliable, and implement validation checks to maintain the integrity of your information.

2. Overlooking Report Design Principles

The allure of many design options can sometimes lead to cluttered and chaotic report layouts. Keep in mind that simplicity is your ally. Avoid overcrowding your reports with unnecessary elements. Embrace white space, prioritize a logical flow, and ensure that each element contributes meaningfully to the overall narrative of your report.

In pursuing creativity, don't overlook the importance of consistent branding. Your reports are an extension of your organization's identity. Consistency in data representation is equally crucial. Inconsistencies in units of measurement, naming conventions, or formatting can confuse your audience and compromise the effectiveness of your reports.

Maintain uniformity in color schemes, fonts, and logos to reinforce brand recognition. Establish standardized practices early on, ensuring a uniform and professional presentation across all aspects of your report. A cohesive visual identity enhances professionalism and instills confidence in your audience.

3. Ignoring User Experience

User experience should be at the forefront of your considerations when creating reports. Ignoring accessibility can result in missed opportunities for engagement. Ensure that your reports are easily accessible across various devices and browsers. Responsive design is key, allowing users to interact with your reports seamlessly, regardless of their preferred platform.

Many online report-generation tools offer features for dynamic interactivity. Ignoring these capabilities is a missed opportunity. Leverage interactive elements such as drill-downs, clickable charts, and parameterization to empower users to explore data on their own terms. A more dynamic and engaging experience enhances the value of your reports.

4. Forgetting Collaboration Capabilities

Creating reports is seldom a solo endeavor. Forgetting to harness the collaboration capabilities of online report-generation tools can lead to siloed efforts. Choose tools with real-time collaboration features, allowing team members to contribute seamlessly. Comments, annotations, and shared access enhance the collaborative spirit, resulting in more comprehensive and refined reports.

In the absence of version control, chaos may ensue. Forgetting to track changes and maintain version histories can lead to confusion and errors. Online report generation tools often provide robust version control features—make it a habit to document changes, revert to previous versions if needed, and keep the evolution of your reports transparent.

5. Neglecting Security Measures

The increasing reliance on online tools demands heightened attention to security. Neglecting security measures exposes your reports and sensitive data to potential risks. Choose tools prioritizing data encryption, secure authentication, and role-based access control. Regularly update passwords, monitor user access, and protect against threats to safeguard your valuable information.

6. Ignoring Compliance

In industries where regulatory compliance is paramount, neglecting compliance measures is a severe oversight. Ensure your chosen online report generation tool adheres to relevant industry regulations and data protection laws. Compliance is not just a checkbox—it's a commitment to ethical and legal standards in handling data.

Avoiding these common mistakes is pivotal in crafting reports that convey accurate insights and resonate with your audience. As you navigate the landscape of online report generation, prioritize data accuracy, adhere to design principles, focus on user experience, embrace collaboration, and fortify security measures. By steering clear of these pitfalls, you elevate your report creation process, ensuring that your reports become not just informative documents but compelling narratives that drive informed decision-making.


Creating a report involves presenting information clearly and concisely. Using a report generator tool, you can create professional reports to communicate data, findings, and recommendations to a specific audience.

When writing a report, it is important to remember the intended audience and the purpose of the report. You should summarize the main findings and recommendations clearly and concisely and provide actionable insights for the reader.

Following the guidelines presented in this article, you can create custom reports that meet your specific needs and help you make data-driven decisions.

Creating a Report with Jaspersoft

Related Resources

Jaspersoft in Action: Embedded BI Demo

See everything Jaspersoft has to offer – from creating beautiful data visualizations and dashboards to embedding them into your application.

 On-demand demo (22:28)

Fundamentals of Ad Hoc Reporting

Providing your users with helpful reports and dashboards is one thing, but you can’t expect to predict every question they will have. See how ad hoc reporting puts the power of report-making into your users’ hands.

 On-demand webinar (59:22)

Ready to give it a spin?

Start your 30-day trial now.