Data is an inherent and crucial part of every business. It’s inherent because all business activities yield data. It’s vital because that data is used to make business decisions and plan for the future. Consequently, data entry, the process of entering data into a spreadsheet or database, is critical to good business performance.
This foundational importance means your data entry process warrants attention and care. If you improve your data entry process, its positive effects will permeate through your business. Here are some ways to improve the process.
Since data entry requires an appreciable investment of time, improving the process should center on reducing that investment. One way of doing this is to periodically evaluate the importance and utility of the data you’re entering into your system. You can do this by perusing the e-forms and other things you use to record data. If you find any unnecessary items, remove them from the data entry process.
Data cleansing refers to the process of analyzing your data to ensure it’s reliable. Check for four things: completeness, correctness, reasonability, and consistency. Completeness means ensuring that all the data forms are filled in, so, for instance, there shouldn’t be any empty items. Correctness means checking to see if the data entered is, in fact, correct and factual. Reasonability means the data entered should make sense (for example, age shouldn’t be a negative number). Lastly, consistency means checking to see if the data entered is the same across the board. For instance, a person’s name should be the same across all the databases into which it’s entered.
Standardizing processes helps remove errors and improves consistency. It’s the process of establishing a particular way of doing something.
With regards to data entry, standardization means establishing rules on how to deal with different items. If everyone follows the same rules, data will be entered in the same way. Consequently, standardization will improve the consistency of your data entry process.
Manually entering data can be extremely tedious and costly. The process takes much more time than automatic methods. Moreover, the risk of making mistakes is much higher due to the greater involvement of people in manual data entry. Automating the process is a simple way to save costs and the areas in which human error can occur.
All of these improvements require investment in technology, training, labor, and more. You can undercut these costs by outsourcing your data entry processes. Get in touch with us at 3Alpha, LLC, and we’ll take care of all your data entry needs. On top of data entry services, we also offer bookkeeping, accounting, online data management, and more services.