Research on Finance

Research on Finance: What is the Best Format to Present your Findings

Nov 28, 2012
Before doing any research, one has to be clear about the purpose and aim of the research. Upward financial markets have been the key to any country's economic growth and to understand the aspects contributing to the financial success, many financial institutions are now willing to spend decent amounts of money to conduct research on finance.

What Does Research on Finance Involve

Research on finance involves gathering huge data and wide range of facts and figures for analysis. Historical trends of the financial segment, graphs and other theories are to be considered to do a thorough research and hence it is a time consuming process. One has to be extra cautious while dealing with the data and be careful in reporting any new data analysis. Towards the end of the research, you will have huge data and quite a few findings that you have to present well to be able complete the research in an effective manner. The success of your research largely depends on the format that you choose to present you findings. Go through the below points before you present your findings.

Know your audience

Different audience will have different interests, needs and expectations from the research and its findings. Since you are presenting your findings from the research on finance, you should project the data and findings in a more analytical way and narrative reports may not be needed. Again, it depends on whom you are presenting the findings to, and in few cases where the audiences are not financial experts, you might have to include sufficient background information to explain your research hypothesis.

Formatting the research report

Before you start making the report, go through all the data that you have to present and deduce an appropriate title for the report. Start with an introduction to the report that should contain the objective and aim of the research and provide brief background information about the research and the methodology used in the research. Use a consistent approach while making the report. Ensure that the report is in simple language, easy to read and understand. Do not try to include many details in a single page, use proper spacing to make the page legible and visibly interesting. It is good if you can restrict the number of different fonts in a single document to 2 or 3. Use headings to break the text into sections. Be consistent in using the features like, bold font, italic, and underline and it is suggested to keep the usage to minimum. Highlight the key or important information with the help of bullets or sidebars. Use jargon and acronyms based upon the audience. Try to include graphs and charts wherever required, keeping the paragraphs short. Use clear, simple and concise sentences and avoid unnecessary words.

Presenting the findings

Since you are presenting the findings from the research on finance, you might have a lot of data or information to present and it is possible that the audience might miss out on some important findings or analysis. So, it is imperative that you highlight the main findings in such a way that the audience understands the significance of these crucial findings. Provide some basic information about the research while detailing the goals of evaluation and the evaluation methods used to conduct the research. Summarize how the financial data has been collected and analyzed before presenting the analysis. Organize your data into sections and if there are any numerical results, and then report these results starting from the largest to the smallest. If the numerical data has to be presented in terms of percentages, then be more specific in stating what it is a percentage of. It is suggested that you use tables to present data in terms of percentages if the data is large enough. Use graphs and charts to show data ranging over a number of parameters.
There are many kinds of graphs that can be used such as pie charts, histograms (vertical bars and horizontal bars), pictograms, bubble charts, domino charts, etc. Select the appropriate graph or chart style based upon the type of data, and be consistent with the selection. All the tables and graphs that you use in the report should be numbered in a sequence. It is highly recommended that you try to have a reference of the tables and graphs in the text of the report.
Every evaluation or research will have certain limitations, state them with appropriate explanations. Present your interpretations and conclusions from the data analysis in a more objective and logical manner. Usually, researchers do not include any recommendations based upon the research and just present the results; however, it is recommended that you include recommendations, if you have any. You might want to let the audience know if the research can be furthered in future and if so, tell them how it can be done. There is a possibility that you get few questions out of your research that require further research to be answered, mention those here. Tell the audience how the knowledge derived from the research can be used to achieve the desired results in the financial market.
Finally, you should include a section to mention all the references used to get the data of the report. The simple and best format is to list the names of the author's in alphabetical order followed by the date of publication and the title. In case, if you referred to a website for data, then simply include the name of the author, title of the page or article, and the URL of the website.


Read the entire report to check if it has a logical structure and looks organized. Make sure that there are no assumptions made in the report, which lack any evidence to justify them. Check for grammatical and spelling errors and make the necessary corrections. Delete any information that seems to be irrelevant. Read through the summary and conclusion again to see if they are appropriately convincing.
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