Data entry professionals have a responsibility to assess information and record it correctly. Incorrect or sloppy data entry results in false information, which can complicate or nullify an entire study or even ruin end-of-year data. Ensuring accurate data entry is imperative in any organization.
The Importance of Data Entry
If you have ever wondered, “How can we avoid data entry error?” or “How can we improve the data entry process?” you are well aware of the problems that erroneous data entry can cause. No one wants to wade through years of data to find where a number is off in the code or system. Even with advanced technology, there are many instances in which you may need to look for errors by hand. An expert may be required for this sort of check, which results in higher costs.
How to Ensure Accurate Data Entry
Cleaning up after poorly executed data entry is a waste of both time and money. Every company and industry has different rules surrounding the entry of data and how it can be shared, stored and sampled. Internal checks and balances may be needed, especially in highly private sectors such as health care.
Regardless of your organization’s industry, there are a few things that all of your employees can do to ensure they have accurate data entry.
Quality Control Audits
Quality control’s greatest tool is the audit. Random checks of your employees’ work allows you to see if there are problems before they become difficult to fix. Perhaps you have an employee who rounds more than he should, or you have an employee running “guesstimates” instead of actually entering data.
Randomize Your Samples
Another way to make sure that your audits are useful is to ensure they are as random as possible. This may mean keeping a list of how you’ve run audits in the past and varying your methods or using a randomizer.
Conduct Touch-Base Meetings
Your employees may need to talk to you about their data entry work. For example, if an employee doesn’t have proper figures, she may ask someone in the department to read a number to her, which could result in an error. Alternatively, you might have an employee who doesn’t know or has forgotten your company’s data entry rules. By talking to your staff regularly about best practices, you can help guide them to better data entry.
Employee Feedback Is Essential
People make more mistakes when they are rushing to get work completed. If your staff feels overloaded, they should feel free to tell you that. Looking into hiring another person or adjusting workloads among staff members can solve a lot of problems that may otherwise cause mistakes to be made in a rush.
Training and Continuing Education
Regular trainings and continuing education about the data entry process can help employees remember what they need to do to ensure correct information is entered into company systems. Sometimes, employees don’t know software shortcuts, or they need to brush up on changes. This is also best done through regular education.
Training and Error Rates
Generally speaking, error rates for data entry should be below 1 percent regardless of the industry. When dealing with manual entries, speed and accuracy must work in congress. Some people can maintain speed while entering data accurately, while others cannot.
Giving your employees everything they need to succeed allows you to easily see which employees are successful and which employees are not. From there, you can work on individualized training solutions. This alone can make them more invested and help to reduce your company’s error rates.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com) and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.