Data accuracy is one of the central attributes that define the quality of data. Correct data is critical for the success of strategic decision-making. Errors in data entry can prove to be enormously costly and can negatively affect the company’s business bottom-line. Hence, accurate data entry is vital to the success of a company’s data management efforts.
Rather than wasting time and energy to detect data entry errors during downstream stages of data processing when it has already caused damage, it is best to incorporate practices during the data entry stage itself, which would help to track errors and rectify them. An expert online and offline data entry service provider would ensure that these practices are in place.
Here are some actions that can help to ensure high-quality image data entry as well as data entry from other sources such as forms, product data catalogs, invoices, and other documents.
Here are some data entry best practices that can help enhance the level of data accuracy leading to reliable data and decision making.
Everyone wants their data entry tasks to be extremely accurate but before that, it is important to ascertain whether all are aware of the extent of data accuracy desired. for the project. Different projects may require different levels of data accuracy. Hence, the level of data entry accuracy required should be specified at the beginning of the project. A competent data entry service provider will make all efforts to understand the client’s expectations and carry out the tasks accordingly. This would ensure process efficiency as well as efficient utilization of valuable time.
There should be accurate goals for data accuracy, which should be linked, to the organization’s overall goals. These goals should be discussed and implemented early on.
A typical data entry accuracy goal can be expressed in terms of the percentage of accurate data converted. For example, such a goal can be expressed as “the company’s goal for data accuracy for non-verified characters is 96% of all converted characters and for verified characters is 99% of all converted characters”.
There should also be standards in place, to measure the data involved in the achievement of the goal. These accuracy standards should be compatible with the minimum acceptable accuracy standards of the client. The keying rate of each operator is compared against the standard to determine whether it is in line with the standards.
Implementation of these best practices will help in ensuring that all staff are familiar with these standards and implement them accordingly. Continuous measurement and monitoring of the goals for the whole duration of the project will ensure that there is a high degree of alertness during the keying process, in the interpretation of data, and during exception processing. An experienced manual data entry service provider would ensure that each data entry project would have specific data entry goals and standards, that are in accordance with the customer's requirements.
Another best data entry practice to enhance data accuracy is to watch out for errors from the very beginning of the data entry project. This approach results in two-fold benefits: savings of time and cost. Early detection of errors allows for quick rectification of errors, with minimal costs to the company. The only cost would be time incurred for re-keying the correct character into the field.
Errors, which are detected late, can spread to downstream processes, and lead to enormous costs, especially when they are detected post-data processing. The time costs would be huge: at least an hour would be required to identify the document containing the error and make the correction. This delayed time would lead to other adverse effects such as delays in rendering customer service and completion of business transactions, which would lead to a more detrimental impact on the business reputation. Even more disastrous is the failure to detect errors, until it is too late. Wrong numbers can lead to wrong business transactions, wrong shipments, delayed payments, and other such occurrences that will severally dent the company’s reputation. An efficient data entry and document management service provider would ensure that regular data cleansing procedures go concomitant with data entry so that errors are caught and tracked as early as possible.
For the early detection and identification of errors, it is important to define the kind of errors that can occur. These errors are of three types: keystroke, field, or application interpretation. It is important to make sure that every data entry mistake is utilized for improving the data entry procedure. A strategy to recognize the error and prevent it from re-occurring has to be generated. This can be used to establish an error correction process that would be implemented based on the importance of the data entry error.
Automated data entry systems may ensure rapid processing of data volumes but can also lead to the equally rapid spread of data errors. Often, the data validation and data correction programs of the automated data entry system can be inefficient in detecting and tracking errors. Manual data entry validation practices can help detect and rectify these errors, which may creep in during automated data entry. It is better not to rely completely on the accuracy of these systems for high volume and critical data entry projects.
One of the most reliable methods to increase the accuracy of data entry is double key entry verification or two-pass verification. It is very useful for the correction of random and miskeyed strokes.
Ensuring commitment to data entry accuracy is necessary for successful data entry projects. There are numerous opportunities in a data entry project for creating errors as well as for correcting them. Hence, efforts should be made to decrease the former in order to reduce the time and costs spent on the correction. The processes for implementation of data accuracy quality check and error rectification should be made an essential part of data entry projects to ensure the successful completion of these projects. Strict adherence to the above best data entry practices would enhance data accuracy leading to high-quality data, that enables successful business decision-making.