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How to Avoid Challenges that Come with Manual Data Entry
Being a part of digital era, it is extremely important to maintain accuracy in data entry, as this data is being used by organizations to make key business decisions. However, the job of data entry specialists is certainly not easy as they handle enormous data on a day-to-day basis. Besides, they are under the constant pressure of completing their job quickly. This increases the chances of inaccurate data entries.
Even with automation, ensuring accurate data entry is still a big challenge. Inaccurate data entry is one of the most expensive mistakes that businesses frequently make today. With the advent of big data, the need for maintaining data entry accuracy has increased. After all, most of the businesses map strategies and plan goals from the patterns in data.
10 Tips to Prevent Manual Data Entry Errors
Like any other job, there are pros and cons of manual data entry as well. Having said that the next question would be is "how to prevent data entry errors". We have put together a few tips to tackle the challenges in manual data entry and ensure higher accuracy. Data entry errors to avoid include -
Hire Sufficient Staff
No matter how efficient your employees are, they tend to make mistakes when they are overworked. This is one of the biggest problems of manual data entry. Tired, stressed, and overwhelmed employees will soon become resentful towards work and often tend to make careless errors. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have sufficient staff to handle the workload.
Provide a Comfortable Working Environment
Employees should have a comfortable working environment to perform their work accurately. Repetitive and mundane tasks often result in lack of attention leading to errors. Typing fatigue and continuous eye pain might lead to keying in incorrect data accidentally. Therefore, right from providing appropriate ergonomic support in employee workstations to ensuring sufficient breaks, everything is important.
Ensure that the Work is Double Checked
Having a standard operating procedure to double check all the data entry work carried out is a great way to tackle manual data entry challenges. Most of the managers and supervisors often think "how to avoid data re-entry", as it is a painfully time-consuming task. Double checking or conducting regular checks where possible will help in reducing the errors and eliminate the need for data re-entry.
Timely Update the Automated Systems
If your organization uses automation for harvesting data, then it is essential to know that even systems make mistakes. This happens when their programs are not regularly updated. Hence, it is important to ensure that all the automated systems are safeguarded against malware and viruses, updated timely, and running smoothly.
Identify Source of Data Inaccuracies
The best way to plug the gap is to identify the internal and external sources of data inaccuracy. Right from identifying incorrect values to analyzing the movement of data across various databases and updating the time-bound changes, there should be a system in place to ensure all these are verified and updated. Finding the cause of data accuracy will help in fixing it quickly.
Set Realistic Accuracy Goals
Setting realistic data accuracy goals will improve data entry accuracy. Therefore, management can actively develop understandable goals for the entire data entry team. Next, the team can be evaluated based on the efficient data capture, data entry, and accurate coding.
Leverage Appropriate Software Tools
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) can be used to minimize the workload of data entry operators. Such software can automatically extract data. Lesser typing simply means fewer errors.
Consider Automated Error Reports
Automated error reports are features of advanced software, which can be used to analyze the data entry efficiency. Leveraging this wisely will help in reducing mistakes. This is essential while entering similar kind of data for a specific project. For instance, social security number of a person carries nine digits. If an operator enters lesser number of digits, then the software will automatically alert the staff by identifying that error.
Maintain Robust Standards for Data Entry Accuracy
Adopting robust data entry accuracy standards will ensure that not only your data conforms to all pre-defined standards, like data profiling, geo-coding, linking, matching, and regular data monitoring, but also improves in quality.
Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner
If you are still thinking "how to prevent data entry errors", then the best option is to outsource data entry as it is a mundane and repetitive task. Outsourcing service providers will have the required bandwidth and can efficiently manage your data entry needs. However, in this case it is essential to ensure that the service provider follows all the above measures to ensure data entry accuracy.
Data in an extremely critical task, as numerous useful insights are often drawn based on this data to make important business decisions. Therefore, besides adopting the above-mentioned tips, businesses can also choose to outsource their data entry to reliable service providers.
Hiring a reliable outsourcing partner can be a viable option to tackle manual data entry errors. This is mainly because the service provider will have highly experienced, well-trained resources and will also have the required infrastructure, software, etc. to precisely cater to your data entry needs.
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