We live in an age of data digitization. Hence, the job of maintaining accuracy in data entry assumes utmost importance as this information is being used by businesses for making key decisions. However, the job of data entry operators is not an easy task as they have to handle huge chunks of data on a daily basis, and they have to perform their tasks in a speedy manner. Hence, the chances of inaccurate entries increase in this demanding job role.
Irrespective of the size of the data entry team, errors in data entry can upset your entire system, and this could result in poor decisions causing additional errors and increasing costs. The following tips could be used to improve the accuracy of data entries.
Businesses should identify the sources (both internal and external) of data inaccuracy to plug the gap. Data inaccuracy may result from incorrect values, movement of data from one database to another, and time-bound changes such as changes in marital status. If businesses find the cause of data inaccuracy, then it will be easier to fix it.
It is important for businesses to set realistic data accuracy goals to improve accuracy in data entry. Management must take an active role in developing understandable goals for the data entry team. They should be evaluated based on efficient data capture and entry, and effective coding.
Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and other similar tools can reduce the workload of data entry professionals by automatically reading and extracting certain data. Lesser typing means fewer mistakes and the staff gets more time to analyze the data.
Speed is fine as employees should work at a specified pace to achieve desired results in a time-bound manner. However, rushing tasks will not help as that increased tension heightens the chances of errors.
It is the duty of a manager to ensure that the team is not under pressure to achieve unrealistic targets, as there is a limit for data entry work that a person can do in a day. If you overload the data entry staff, they become tired and that increases the chances of errors. If there is more work, it is better to efficiently delegate the same among the team.
Reviewing goes a long way in reducing data entry errors. Businesses should create an efficient system of review and double-check the data. It is best to have a system where quality assurance professionals check the entered data as it helps identify and remove most errors.
Always utilize the features of advanced software wisely. One widely used feature is automated error reports. This is beneficial when you are entering the same kind of data for a project. For example, a social security number has nine digits. If an operator enters fewer digits, the software can alert the staff by pointing out that error.
Employees need to be trained to understand the importance of the data they are entering. They should know how inaccurate entries affect the business. Such measures make employees more responsible and effective as they know the relevance and importance of their job.
Organizations should adopt robust data entry accuracy standards such as data monitoring, geo-coding, matching, linking, and data profiling. These standards ensure that data conforms to pre-defined standards that in turn help improve the quality of data.
A healthy and active mind seldom makes mistakes and often produces accurate results. Businesses should provide a comfortable and healthy work environment for data entry professionals. These could be in the form of desks, ergonomic chairs, and timely breaks, etc. A good workplace helps in retaining the focus of employees, which is crucial to inaccurate data entry.
Data entry is a critical task across divisions. Besides adopting the above techniques, businesses have found outsourcing data entry to a professional company to be a viable solution to their data entry challenges.