Companies use demographics reports to plan marketing campaigns or new product lines. Demographic information is also important for government agencies making funding and policy decisions. When preparing your report, strive for the most complete, accurate and relevant information possible. Tailor the report to the end user's needs. Ask questions at the beginning of the project if there is any confusion over the intent of the report.
Consider Your Audience
The type of demographic report you should prepare depends on the purpose of the report and its intended recipients. Market research reports may focus on brand awareness with your customers, customer behavior or advertising performance across different demographics. The level of detail to include is also dependent on the purpose of the report. A report listing the success of individual advertising campaigns will require more specific information than a report summarizing the company's use of different media channels in each demographic.
Obtain Relevant Data
Use data from authoritative sources that can be easily verified. For example, if you need data related to the ethnic diversity in a certain area, look for census information from government agencies. Avoid data sources that may be biased toward a particular race, age group or economic class. Use the most recent census or study whenever possible to make sure your information is still relevant. If you are unable to obtain the necessary data on your own, contact a market research firm that specializes in your industry.
Choose Appropriate Metrics
Use multiple metrics to measure key statistics whenever possible. This approach is more accurate than focusing solely on an individual metric. Expanding the scope of your report is especially important for market studies because you want to gather as much information as possible about your potential customers, such as age, ethnicity, salary, marital status and education. Focus a range of time rather than a single date. This allows you to compare changes between periods and predict trends for the future. For example, your report could discuss changes in the ethnic diversity of your customers over the last several years.
Use Visual Aids
Present numerical information visually to make the report easier to read. Charts, graphs and PowerPoint slide presentations convey complicated data in a way that all of your readers can understand. One common format for demographic charts is a two-way bar graph that includes ages and genders of a specific group of people. One half of the chart plots the ages of the females in the group and the other half plots the ages of the males. Keep your visual aids simple and focused on one to three key metrics. Too much information can make your visual aids more confusing than helpful. Remember to cite your data sources, even when using them in a graph or chart. You must treat citations the same whether you are using them in a text-based report or a visual aid.