Data entry is the process of entering data into a database in the required format. Though it’s a tedious task, data entry is crucial for every organization as information needs to be recorded so that it has the information on hand and in one place for reference. Businesses handle different types of data from various sources in different forms – such as numbers, spreadsheets, handwritten documents, names, addresses, figures or computer codes. The best way for businesses to ensure professionalism and accuracy in data entry is to rely on data entry services provided by experts.
Data entry personnel need to be skilled in what they do and qualified to perform the job well. Accurate data entry is the foundation of every business as it is critical for maintaining updated, accurate records.
What Skills Should a Data Entry Operator Have?
People in data entry jobs have many responsibilities and require both hard and soft skills that they have to use every day. The key skills and qualities that data entry personnel need to have include:
- Typing Speed and Proficiency: We know that the main job of data entry specialists is to input huge amounts of data in a short period of time. While typing fast, they also have to make sure the data entered is accurate. So, a data entry operator should have good typing speed and proficiency. In fact, many employers expect the minimum typing speed to be around 40 to 50 words per minute and some require 70 words per minute. These skills are honed through practice. Skilled data entry personnel are also comfortable using all types of input devices such as keyboard, mouse and so on.
- Attention to Detail: Attention to details is a priority in a data entry job. They need to concentrate on their task to work better, and ensure faster and accurate typing or data editing with minimal risk of errors.
- Basic Software Skills: Skilled data entry operators would be knowledgeable about computer software since they have to work with a variety of computer software programs such as word processors, databases, spreadsheets, etc. Depending on the company’s business industry, data entry personnel might be required to learn and use many other types of software such as a CRM system. So, along with basic software knowledge, they should also have the ability to learn to work on new programs quickly.
- Know how to Operate Standard Office Equipment: To perform their tasks, data entry specialists often have to operate standard office equipment – such as printers, scanners, copiers, dictation machines, and so on. As many companies are now equipped with high-quality office equipment designed to increase the productivity of their employees, a data entry specialist would also need to be able to operate such equipment.
- Good Verbal and Written Communication Skills: A data entry specialist may be required to communicate often with inside and outside teams, managers and customers and provide feedback on any issues they may encounter with incorrect data or other database issues. So data entry personnel should have good verbal and written communication skills. Along with high level quality written skills (including spelling and grammar) and communication skills, data entry personnel should also utilize active listening to enter and sort data to meet the organization’s requirements.
- Focus and Patience: As a data entry is a highly repetitive task that takes a lot of time to complete, it is easy to get tired and bored, which can affect their work quality and productivity. But a skilled data entry operator would have patience and focus on the job, though it may entail often mundane and repetitive tasks.
Businesses need accurate, factual and reliable data entry that can help them get in-depth insights and actionable information. Hiring a skilled data entry staff to work in-house can be expensive as it involves recruiting, training and other initial and long-term costs. Partnering with an experienced data entry company is a more viable option to ensure accurate, error-free data. Reliable companies offer the service of skilled data entry personnel and would have audits and multi-level QA in place to ensure the highest standards of data accuracy.