Data processing involves performing specific tasks on a data set or to the information in a database. This process could span collating and capturing raw data (either manually or through automation software), transforming the values into the desired output, and creating an output format that can be referenced by managers, stakeholders, and other relevant entities.
Since the need for data processing can arise in any division of the organization, it is a business-agnostic task in that sense. The accounting division will require data processing of financial figures, the marketing division of customer feedback or loyalty forms, the sales department of orders, the procurement department of purchase orders – and these examples barely scratch the surface of the types of data processing requirements that an enterprise has.
The practice of outsourcing data processing tasks – such as data entry, data mining, and data management – has gained steam because of the complexity of performing these operations internally in the organization. The following are the challenges that businesses face by implementing data processing in-house:
- Tying up of valuable resources
- Compromise in focus on core competency
- Compromise in dedicated attention to mission-critical goals
- Escalating cost in training, technology, and infrastructure
- No assurance of accuracy and turnaround time
- The rigidity of implementation, without scope for implementing immediate change, should the need arise
Types of Data Processing Tasks that can be Outsourced
Image Data Entry:
For businesses that deal with images or have image banks, tasks such as image sorting, data capture from images, image indexing, image merging and editing, image conversion, and image data entry can be outsourced to a specialist back office BPO services company.
Product Data Entry:
In an age when eCommerce is thriving, several tasks such as adding product descriptions, features, and specifications, adding images for products, organizing products according to categories and subcategories, adding prices for products and data entry for online catalogs can be outsourced.
- Sales Invoice and Purchase Order Data Entry: Significant pressure will be taken off the accounting team when data entry from invoices and purchase orders (in any digital format), credit and debit memos, and updating of the CMS, business application software, and document management systems are outsourced.
Manual Data Entry:
Even in the age of automation, a requirement sometimes crops up for manual data entry, particularly for printed, unstructured, or handwritten documents. Manual data entry also becomes important when data has to be entered in software, such as the CMS or CRM applications. Outsourcing this task will have a positive impact on the business.
Transferring the data that is collected in forms into an electronic system is of immense importance if the end purpose is to leverage this data for business use. The data processing of all manner of forms – market research, insurance, medical, legal, registration, shipping, enrollment, loyalty, etc. – can be outsourced.
The requirement for document formatting is not restricted just to the publishing sector. Several companies that deal with documentation, such as technical guides and manuals or reports that need to be circulated, find that they could do with some assistance when it comes to Word-processing-related activities. Outsourcing tasks such as placing bookmarks and hyperlinks, inserting header and footer, caption numbering and labeling, and creating a table of contents, can deliver the right results.
Converting one file format into another is a task that can be easily outsourced. The scope for outsourcing includes HTML and XML conversion, eBook conversion, document conversion, PDF conversion, and more.
Every database usually needs periodic maintenance, with respect to the quality of information that it stores. Tasks related to data cleansing that can be outsourced include: removing duplicate and invalid records, the addition of missing details and variables, interlinking multiple data sources, correcting values, and so on.
Benefits of Outsourcing Data Processing
- Improved productivity of in-house employees and focus on core capability
- Cost efficiency as an investment in internal training and technology can be minimized
- Guarantee of accuracy and turnaround time, particularly if an outsourcing partner with considerable expertise and the required credentials are chosen
- Flexibility and scalability of outsourcing unforeseen spikes in data processing workload
- Access to trained talent and the latest technology for data processing
Outsourcing data processing will yield substantial business benefits by providing process efficiency. Moreover, with data indexed and archived in the best possible manner, retrieval can be accomplished at the click of a button. This in itself is a boost for any enterprise that knows how to leverage information for its growth.