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.


top tips

  • Let the findings do the talking: it’s really effective and authentic to use verbatim quotes.
  • Believe in your research findings, but be ready for critique - and prepared to respond to it using your findings and evidence.

More QUAL Essentials

playing music with unusually created instruments.
What is qual?
A group of people networking inside traditional building.
Research question
John Harris talking about recruiting a sample.
Who to talk to
Old sweeping brush propped against box of pamphlets.
Approach choices
Bottles of brightly coloured printing ink on a shelf.
Industrial workshop space.
Christopher Glasgow talking about using research results.
Acting on Results
Young people studying at desks.
Conduct & Ethics