What Is an Evaluation Report?

You must already be familiar with what evaluation is. As a review, it refers to the assessment process of particular objects and factors with an intended purpose. Meanwhile, the evaluation report covers the detailed data results, conclusions, interpretations, and suggestions gathered from an evaluation. In other words, this business report is an outline of all the necessary steps to complete assessments—from the program background down to the lessons learned.

A research survey confirmed that 62% of American online shoppers believed that customer reviews were influential in 2019.

Moreover, Statista reported that 73% of North American learning and development (L&D) programs depended on feedback from the participants for their evaluation process.

On the other hand, Study.com confirmed, via the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), that the employment rate of statisticians among businesses would increase around 31% from 2018-2028.

Evaluation Reports: Why Are They Vital?

In case you wonder why evaluation reports are essential, remember that these tools are what audiences and stakeholders need. If you are assigned as the evaluator, then present the results collected from an evaluation. To do that, bring awareness to your audience about what the conclusions, interpretations, and recommendations are. Thus, elaboration and transparency of data come to play, which is similar to an analysis report.

Furthermore, the evaluation report benefits future circumstances. From the derived conclusions of your evaluation and data analysis, you can formulate solutions on how to improve operations next time. First, a business would understand one’s accountability of mistakes and aim to change. Next, create strategy-driven decisions for the programs or policies. Consequently, the enterprise reaches development plans, thanks to the lessons acquired from evaluation reports.

The Elements of an Evaluation Report

What makes up an effective evaluation report? Maybe you already know what the report’s meaning and intent are but not so much on the inclusions inside. So, expect to structure this business report into a series of elements. Familiarize these components to ensure your report covers all the important details. Without further ado, here are the elements of an evaluation report:

Header: First things first, a brief yet understandable header is necessary in an evaluation report. This part marks as the main title that includes the preparation date, employee or evaluator’s name, and the like. If the title already gives the gist of what the document is about, then that is a good sign. Executive Summary: A crucial component is the executive summary. Treat this part as a summary of the report’s subject. Aside from the subject, the summary should include a little understanding of the evaluation’s purpose and findings. Generally, executive summaries consume the first two pages or less of reports.Table of Contents: Just like most books, don’t forget the table of contents. This element is important, particularly if the report consists of a hundred pages or more. Be sure it contains an overview of the report’s contents along with their corresponding pages.Introduction: Before feeding your audience with the main dish of your report, provide a short introductory statement first. Indeed, the header gives the gist. But some details need to be introduced first, like the evaluation’s target and purpose. Introductory remarks can also define some technical terms which audiences might not understand.Evaluation Methods: What evaluation method do you use for the design, data collection, and analysis? Many examples exist like testing against control groups, tracking performance, or using qualitative measures. A common example is evaluating one’s participation, like studying the participants’ feedback. Around 73% of the North American L&D departments even rely on feedback as an evaluation method, according to Statista. And if you are using a different approach, assess first which method is appropriate.Resources: Aside from the methods used, specify the resources and equipment too. Your audience would want to know how the process was done according to the resources used. Did you make use of printable surveys or online sheets for the materials? Or maybe you depended on bar graphs and charts given by statisticians? Adding statistics to reports is even common, and how much more when the employment rate of statisticians continues to increase up to 31% within 2018-2028.Data Summary: If the executive summary gives the gist of the subjects, then the data summary is a more in-depth but short discussion about the meat of your report. Summarize thoroughly from the conclusions, findings, or interpretations observed during the evaluation. And one important tip about stating the results, don’t be biased. Be objective.Recommendations: As your audience discovers the findings and conclusions, then so what? Give ideas on the intended use or purpose of the derived results. And if there were various limitations and errors in the evaluation, then provide tips on how to prevent those. Evaluations are not meant to criticize only; those are opportunities to learn new solutions and strategies.References: Who were some of the authors who helped in report writing? And where did you gather your sources and facts? Incorporate the complete citations at the end. Keep in mind that others who read your report might plan on conducting a similar evaluation method. And you can help them look for more details on the references and citations given for future research.

How to Write an Evaluation Report

There is no denying that evaluation reports convey information. But the information given might not be that helpful at all if making the report was done poorly. Aim to craft an excellent report instead. And how do you manage that? Simply follow these six essential steps on how to write an evaluation report effectively:

Step 1: Clarify the Evaluation’s Purpose

Evaluation results may not matter without a clear objective in mind. The purpose is even the foundation of evaluation business reports. So what is the report for? Is it to solve the internship performance of every student at work? Or perhaps, to evaluate if a particular project or event is a success? Note it down. Once you clarify the essential details of this section, then you will be reminded about the goal as you write and report along the way.

Step 2: Determine Your Audience

Don’t write according to your preference or which is more comfortable for you. Instead, think about who views the report and who will use this document. Because what may be simple for you could be challenging to your audience. The key is to know the audience demographic. Next, assess what details they need, how they like the report to be presented, or why the report is useful to them. Hence, clarify their queries and concerns to know who you are writing for.

Step 3: Insert the Evaluation Report Elements

Now for the challenging part, slowly jot down those elements of an evaluation report that were discussed earlier from the header down to references. You can also write the components that are relevant to your report only. And just like a business plan, you can have an evaluation plan as well to structure how the sequence goes with your elements. Unplanned reports usually include a lot of mistakes, and you would not want to present those to your stakeholders.

Step 4: Organize the Data into Groups

Yes, you write the results, interpretation, explanation, and more in the report. But the problem with having too much information is by not knowing how to organize it. Therefore, the next process is to organize your data according to their respective groups. Grouping the details will keep the info well-arranged. In fact, the element titles and parts of your table of contents are your guides on what to call each group. To do that, label which data refers to the data interpretation, market analysis, conclusion, and so forth.

Step 5: Be Accurate Always

Reports that are barely understood can be misleading, and those may have audiences to create more questions. In short, write clearly. Also, know your limits. Indeed, being transparent is good, but there are parts that you may not be allowed to say. For example, you might present some business details to your competitors, and they need not know all the details which they can take advantage of. Lastly, check how accurate your details are. Maybe you overclaimed a statement that ends up as biased. Wrong info already fails in providing the learning points.

Step 6: Decide How to Present the Report

When it comes to the presentation, you can use your creativity. For example, you can always change the format if you dislike some parts of the evaluation report template. And with a self-evaluation report, there is more freedom to it, so your creative ideas are welcome. But data presentation is not all about the design only. Should you analyze quantitative or qualitative data? Note it. And instead of using long sentences, you can sum up some statements with graphic organizers like organizational charts, tables, and more.

FAQs

Why should I write an evaluation report?

According to the National Council for Voluntary Organizations (NCVO), writing evaluation reports enables you to spread the word to your internal or external stakeholders about significant findings and recommendations. More so, making an evaluation report is up to one’s purpose. So decide your goal first until creating that report would not be pointless.

What is an example of an evaluation?

Picture out a new job applicant. He or she undergoes an interview and training before being hired. And how does an employer decide if that applicant should be hired or not? The employer reviews the applicant’s performance during the interview and training if it passes the work standards or not. And that is an example of how evaluation works.

What are the main types of evaluation?

Generally, there are around four main types of evaluation. These are the process, impact, outcome, and summative evaluation. But be sure you know their differences. And most importantly, assess first if you used the right option wherein the evaluation type is fit to your purpose or intention.

According to self-help author Henry Cloud, “The natural response to evaluation is to feel judged.” That reaction is normal, but being judged is not the main point. Instead, you gather the learning points from evaluations and create the best goals out of those. Evaluation reports even keep businesses, and people in general, aware of their current strengths and weaknesses. And without evaluation, how much of a success or a failure your business is will not be realized.