Preparing a risk analysis report

Risk analysis is still a relatively new field for most areas of business and government. Complex models, probability distributions and statistics can leave the reader of a risk analysis report thoroughly confused. The reader may have little understanding of the methods employed in risk analysis or of how to interpret and make decisions from its results. In this environment, it is essential that a risk analysis report guides the reader through the assumptions, results and conclusions (if any) in a manner that is transparent, efficient and interesting. We tend to write reports with the following components (depending on the situation):

  1. Summary

    • Introduction to problem

    • Decision questions addressed and those not addressed

    • Discussion of available data and relation to model choice;

    • Major model assumptions and the impact on the results if incorrect;

    • Critique of model, comment on validation;

    • Presentation of results

    • Discussion of possible options for improvement, extra data that would change the model or its results, additional work that could be done

  2. Discussion of modeling strategy

    • Decision question(s)

    • Available data

    • Methods of addressing decision questions with available information

    • Assumptions inherent in different modeling options

    • Explanation of choice of model

  3. Discussion of model used

    • Overview of model structure, how the sections relate together

    • Discussion of each section (data, mathematics, assumptions, partial results)

    • Results (graphical and statistical analyses)

    • Model validation

    • References and datasets

  4. Technical appendices

    • Explanation of unusual equation derivations

    • Guide on how to interpret and use statistical and graphical outputs




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