The business process has been shown to have improved by thirty percent with an accurate data entry system. A large percentage of many business processes are dependent on data entry, and some leaders in the industrial sector claim that 90% of their company process is dependant on accurate data. Data is a crucial element in the life of any organization; it has a role to play in decision-making, efficient transactions, and completion as well as ensuring paramount customer support.
We are in the data digitalization age. Data entry and outsourcing has to be fast and accurate, as it affects the entire decision-making process of the business or organization. Inaccurate data not only increases cost by requiring a new dataset, it can upset the entire business process. No one gains from a loss of vital information, such as sales, sales return records, nor the presence of vague information.
A data entry operator has to deal with a large volume of data on a daily basis, and it must be completed at speed. The following tips can help you find a balance between speed and accuracy while dealing with data entry.
The root of the inaccuracies should be identified
The first step in curbing data inaccuracy – internal and external – is to locate the cause of the error. Errors often arise while moving the data from one database to another. Inaccuracies can also be as a result of time-bound data or incorrectly entered data. Time-bound data errors are often referred to as data decay, and these arise when data has not been updated for a long time. Data decay can arise from a change in personal information like marital status, telephone numbers, medical status, home address and so on. Incorrectly entered data include typos, spelling mistakes and data entered incorrectly due to lack of proofreading. Fatigue is the main cause of incorrectly entered data.
Mind the source of your data
Data is only as good as its source. The data entry team can do a great job and still produce a bad result – through no fault of their own – if the data is obtained from an inaccurate source. Care must be taken to ensure the quality of the data is top notch right from the source. If the integrity of the data has been compromised, no good decision can be made from the analysis of such data. It will be a waste of time and resources to continue processing such data. For this reason, data must always be obtained from a reliable source – and where such data is available from different sources, they should be pooled and analyzed for consistency before it reaches the table of the data entry operative.
Make use of the latest data entry software
The accuracy of data entry can be doubled by using improved software, like Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Some of the available software can read and extract particular types of data, thereby reducing translation errors. Fewer characters to type means lesser errors. Software can prove invaluable to you and your team when you are working under strict deadlines. The extra time it provides can then be used to analyze the entered data for errors. Be sure to update your choice of software regularly for better performance and improved features.
Automation of the process is virtually the only way a team can attain long term data entry solutions. There is no space for a ‘temporary’ solution in the quality objective for data entry. Effective communication channels, quality testing, setting realistic goals and regular training of the data entry operative has to be incorporated into a company’s long- term goal for dealing with data inaccuracies.
Data governance team deserve prominence in your data entry plan
A Data Governance Team has the responsibility of developing well-defined documents from processed data. Every company must build a vibrant data governance team as their first port of call in the data entry process. The team is responsible for proper channeling of data within the organization, as well as maintaining a healthy data record. There are a number of verification methods your team can use to maintain complete data accuracy including sight verification, double-key data entry verification, reprocessing reports, field validation and program edits.
The data governance team is a second eye that ensures there are no flaws in the management of data on a daily basis. They also ensure the data is properly cared for across the organization to maintain its value and accountability.
Innovation and creativity should be extolled over consistency
A company that has a rigid data entry team is bound to encounter more data inaccuracy problems than one that is flexible. Flexibility includes moving onto the latest technologies, and updating your knowledge to more efficient methods of data entry against the old system. As mentioned earlier, you should never rely on a single point of view for data documentation. Carry out a robust search for more quality information based on timeliness, relevance, legitimacy, accessibility, and completeness. Always be open to embracing new methods with proven results, especially when they can hasten the entire process without compromising accuracy.
Keep the workload manageable
It is true that time is money, but when the data entry operatives are overwhelmed with unrealistic targets, they begin to work under pressure – which is bound to affect their accuracy. It is the duty of the manager to know the amount of data entry a person can do in a day and keep the target at such. If there are a large volume of tasks to be completed, it is better to delegate the tasks among the team rather than forcing it on a single employee.
Even with this, a data entry operative should work closely with a reviewer to reduce errors to the barest minimum. A data entry professional easily becomes accustomed to a particular set of data, so their eyes and brain begin to correct the wrong data. Having a quality assurance professional as a second eye can help spot wrongly entered data and remove it, thereby preserving the integrity of the process.
Provide a friendly working environment and update your team on the importance of data
If someone does not fully understand the importance of what they do, there is a high tendency that they will take it for granted. Every organization should train their employees to fully understand the importance of the data they are entering, and how it affects the business. This will create a sense of responsibility and make them more efficient in their work. The employer should also create a friendly and comfortable working environment, because a healthy mind makes fewer mistakes than a troubled one. A healthy working environment for data entry professionals could come in the form of timely breaks, comfortable chairs and so on. The fewer the distractions faced by the data entry professional, the better their productivity.
Data entry can be a grim task even to a handful of employees. Consider outsourcing the job to data entry companies as the business grows, as this could save you the cost of having to hire more employees as the volume of data increases.
What other ways can you think of to improve your data entry accuracy? Let us know in the comments section below.