The Importance of Accuracy in Data Entry

by Sophia Cross - Updated September 26, 2017

Data entry is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a company's success. When data is added correctly, the information disseminated can help executives plan ahead, determine goals and help rectify shortcomings. When information is entered into the computer system with mistakes, the conclusions are skewed and inaccurate, for better or worse. The accuracy and efficiency that data entry operators enter information, therefore, is of utmost importance.

Initial Input

Data entry operators initially input data into systems that represent either business objectives or information. Sometimes, this data remains relevant, but often it decays over time. For this reason, data entry professionals must enter new information on a revolving basis. If the initial information is incorrect, the company risks having double entries that create more work than necessary. When this happens, administrators might have to manually scour and purge outdated and inaccurate information. If the initial information is accurate, the data entry operator needs only to insert new data to create the update.

Data Entry Validation

Some businesses employ the use of data entry validation programs, which reduce the chances of incorrect data being entered into the system. Initially, it takes more time than those systems that do not double- or triple-check. In the long term, however, the validation programs may save the business valuable time and money by reducing the need to go back over old records and correct past mistakes. In a validation program, the data entry operator must verify the information entered more than once before it is accepted. Some programs only allow numeric entries into certain fields on a form, and vice versa.

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Software Programs

Not all data entry accuracy problems are human-generated. Cheap and inefficient data validation software programs might have bugs, programming deficiencies and other problems. Larger organizations require more precise and accurate data storage programs, while smaller companies may not need such stringent requirements. The deciding factor is how a cheap or expensive data control package affects a company's bottom line. Whether the program misses a few characters or misinterprets a decimal point can be the difference between a few pennies and thousands of dollars lost.

Increasing Value

When incorrect data stays in a company's database, it can negatively affect its full value. Outdated information, such as outdated past-due rental notices, or old appraisals that have not been updated, can make a company appear less profitable than it actually is. This can negatively impact a business owner's ability to get financing in the future, to get more business or to sell at a later date. Keeping accurate records and updating them on a daily basis is imperative to maintaining and increasing the company's value.

About the Author

Based in Dallas, Sophia Cross has been a writer for more than 16 years. She began her career with a local newspaper and has also worked as a realtor and social worker. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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