6. Implications, Conclusions and Recommendations

While your data analysis will need to analyze every questions asked, discussing such things as statistical significance and correlations, when you are ready to draw conclusions, you will have to determine what the main findings of your report really are. Not everything is worthy of being re-discussed when drawing conclusions. It is quite likely that the reader or readers of the final report have not spent much time thinking about the research, but want to understand quickly without having to read every last bit of analysis and data manipulation.

The final chapter of the research report must bring the research together and provide an interpretation of the results, written in language that is commonly understood even by managers who may not be well versed in statistical analysis, a summary of the critical conclusions of which management or any other specific audience needs to be aware, and strategic recommendations based on the findings of the research.

In more commercial reports the analysis of the data and the interpretation of the results may well go hand in hand, with only those findings directly relevant to the study objectives being discussed. Only summary tables and charts are part of the write-up. In these cases, the detailed analysis and a comprehensive set of tables and charts are usually confined to a technical report.