It is a role that requires patience, dedication, concentration, and speed. It is a role that is at the lower end of the career scale in companies, but the effort required is no less than that of someone in senior management. Welcome to the world of data entry clerks.
Data entry clerks not only need to have the above-mentioned qualities, but they also need to be trained in a wide variety of skills. That is why candidates for such roles are often put through tough entrance tests before they are finally given the job.
Essential Skills of Data Entry Clerks
Table of Contents
1. Software Skills
Needless to say data entry operators will spend much of their time on the computer, and therefore, will need to have the acumen to pick up how different software works. As technology changes, so will the requirements of the roles, and data entry operators will have to constantly keep updating themselves with the latest applications in the market.
They will have to be good at using spreadsheets like Excel. They will have to know how to create pivot tables, write formulas and in some roles even prepare basic macros. They will have to be good with typing documents in a Word file. They will have to know how to extract and manipulate data from an access database. They might even have to know file conversion techniques from one format to another.
Many companies use custom-built software for various tasks like accounting and payroll and so on. The operators will have to eventually learn the skills for using these applications as well.
The data entry professionals will need to have fast typing speeds so that they can type documents quickly, and they will need to know shortcuts keys for applications like Excel and Word so that they can get the data entry done quickly. Many data entry candidates are given typing tests during selection to assess their typing speeds.
2. Emotional Skills
This is a job that requires a lot of patience and self-reliance. Data entry professionals often spend much of their time alone in front of the computer dealing with pages and pages of data. Hence, they must have a wide attention span and a disciplined work ethic to dedicatedly perform their duties well all day.
Merely entering the data is not enough. These executives will also have to check the accuracy of the data, make sure it has not been tampered with and if errors have been made, patiently rectify them. When they are working with mountains of numerical data, they will have to patiently enter all the figures and not worry about how much time it takes or the fact that they have been glued to the computer screen since morning.
After patiently entering all this data, executives may suddenly be told that the sets they were given were wrong. It might be frustrating, but they will have to patiently delete the old information and enter the new ones. The work they do is important, so this is a job that requires the utmost dedication.
Additionally, as different projects may have different Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), an executive must have an eagerness to learn.
Despite the fact that their job requires them to spend much of their time in front of the computer, data entry professionals also need to have strong communication skills. They will have to coordinate with other operators to manage the workflow. They will have to speak to associates from other departments to verify the accuracy of data. Managers and departmental heads will ask questions from time to time and they will have to give the right answers.
Data entry operators should also know when not to talk. Their role puts them in a position that gives them access to a wide variety of confidential information that they should not reveal. The company has placed a level of trust in them that they will handle the information with care and they should not break that trust. Secrecy is very much a key element of their roles, and they should ensure that they observe the company codes and rules with diligence.
Data entry clerks play a vital role in the functioning of any business. Hence, businesses should ensure that they are able to recruit candidates with the right talent and qualifications for the job, and continually invest in their training and skill up-gradation. The alternative would be to outsource data entry to a professional BPO services company that has a team with all the essential skills for the job.