Tailor the reporting to the audience
The audience for the research determines the style of reporting. The research might be for yourself and colleagues, for your Board, or funders, or for users. Match the style and tone of the report to the intended audience.
Form of reporting
- Formal report: this would include an executive summary and a full account of the context, questions, stages and findings of the research
- One-page briefing summary: suitable for a busy reader or as a short appendix in a funding bid
- A live presentation on powerpoint or presi presentation with pictures and/or video (but make sure you have permission to use any pictures or video footage)
- Anecdotal/storytelling style: might be useful for marketing materials, aimed at a broad audience
And of course as an arts company you’ll want to be creative with the presentation of your findings – but obviously not the content.
What to include
Elements to include in most reports include:
- The research questions: what you wanted to find out
- What you did and how you did it: this helps give your report credibility
- Your findings and overall themes that emerged, illustrated by verbatim quotes from your transcriptions – this brings your qualitative research to life
- Your conclusions and next steps
Defending your findings
In a live presentation you may find yourself having to deal with critique from naysayers or those who don’t understand the power and use of qualitative research. Be open and ready to justify and explain your research approach and findings and hold your ground - particularly with critics whose idea of research is limited to measuring and numbers.
Remember, qualitative research is systematic and rigorous; your critics have not been in the focus group, read the transcription and interpreted the results – you have.