Manual Data Entry Challenges and Best Ways to Solve Them

Companies and organizations heavily depend on data for their maneuvers and development. It helps in accurate decision-making, establishing tactical goals, and responding quickly to changes. For this, manual data entry has been the basic foundation for data management.

Customarily, a manual data entry task was carried out when the data was transferred from different sources like documents, paper bills, receipts, invoices, orders, etc. to books like general ledger, record books, etc. However, after innovation, the data is now recorded from similar sources to programs like spreadsheets, computer software, etc. The entry work is carried out by professional data entry operators who are trained to get relevant data from various sources and transcribe them to any targeted digital medium.

Through this piece of information, let’s learn about manual data entry in detail. We shall also discuss the challenges involved while using a manual data entry system and the trending ways to deal with them.

Manual Data Entry – An Introduction

As mentioned above, data entry is a process of recording information into certain electronic systems like computers or any other similar electronic system.

So, what is manual data entry? Accordingly, manual data entry is a customary method of data entry used for entering particular information like product specifications, customer details, invoice details, etc. obtained from paper documents. This data entry method is also accepted when certain rules are applied for verifying the data by professionals like accountants, auditors, etc. The job requires noteworthy human efforts, speed, and accuracy.

Manual data entry is a process that has been practiced since the commencement of the processing of information. Companies and institutions mostly hire laborers or data entry specialists who master data entry merely to record and organize the data.

Manual Data Entry – Are Companies Still Using this Method?

Thinking that when automated data entry has proved to be a savior, do companies still use manual data entry’s? Here are some reasons why companies are still adopting manual data entry methods.

  • Small businesses deal with limited data and operations. Hence, manual data entry is sufficient for their requirements.
  • Manual data entry is cost-effective for small businesses as they might not oblige to automated entry systems.
  • Manual data entry is highly adopted by companies when they are working on sensitive data that needs to be used or accessed by limited people or staff members.
  • Companies also opt for manual data entry when they want to have improved control and judgment over the data.
  • Manual data entry excludes the usage of the internet as the entries are carried out offline on particular software. Hence, companies prefer this method to avoid issues like software failure, hacking, etc.

Apart from all these, automated data entry is an ideal way to keep your database updated for enduring benefits.

Certain Examples of Manual Data Entry Method

Certain businesses use manual entry systems to gather the details of their customers. While other companies use the data for processing along with other organizational tasks that need accurate information from the employees.

Another common example of manual data entry is recording shipping details into the database. This includes important dates, the recipient’s name, addresses, and other shipment details of every package. The data stored is further used for billing purposes, tracking shipments, etc.

Companies also use manual data entry methods for recording the details of the employees like hiring dates, salary amounts, job titles, addresses, contact details, etc. It also helps in tracking the attendance and performance of the staff.

Different Types of Manual Data Entry Processes

There are three basic types of manual data entry processes. Let’s explore them briefly.

Paper-Based Forms

This type of entry is carried out on printed forms. The forms are filled by employees or customers by hand. This doesn’t require any kind of access to electronic systems or software. When the forms are filled, they are scanned and stored in the system. In this type of manual entry, possibilities of errors increase due to smudged ink, unreadable handwriting, physical blemishes, etc. which makes identifying characters difficult.

Keyboard Entry

In this type of data entry system, an employee is hired to enter the data from different sources into a document or spreadsheet. Companies can either hire an employee for the job or outsource it. However, it should also be noted that keyboard entry is time-consuming. Again, there are chances of data inaccuracies as human error might occur while typing the data.

Scanning

By scanning method, data is transferred from any physical document to the computers or other electronic devices without manual typing. The advanced printers have the function of scanning documents through barcodes and machine-readable symbols. This reduces the chances of errors in the database to a great extent.

Manual Data Entry – Challenges of the process

No doubt, manual data entry is very beneficial for small businesses, but it still restricts the expansion of the industry and obstructs its progress. Why? Here are the challenges companies face while using a manual data entry system.

Manual data entry is slow and tedious

Yes, the manual data entry process needs lots of human effort and time as all the information is entered through manual efforts. Many people have mentioned it as a boring job as the repetitive task makes it mind-numbing. It becomes additionally tiresome during peak seasons like festivals, sale time, etc. when there is bulk data to transfer. As the information is transferred through human typing, the task also becomes time-consuming.

Errors in data entry can be harmful

Humans are prone to mistakes while making entries such as incorrect formatting, misread information, spelling mistakes, etc. When such mistakes occur, inaccurate data is stored in the system. This is harmful while making essential decisions in business. Again, when the calculations are carried out using a large database, it might lead to huge financial losses. Thinking of fixing such a database? This can be additionally challenging as if errors are not addressed correctly, it adds to the errors.

Manual data entry is surely expensive

Data processing isn’t the job of one individual. It needs a team of professionals. Again, the salary for professional data entry operators varies depending on their experience, skills, etc. The analysts who are professional and also analyze the database to meet the efficiency levels charge good pay which can be costly for companies having limited budgets. On the other hand, hiring more people for data entry can also be costly for companies.

Manual data entry requires high training costs

Certainly, manual data entry is a repetitive task, some manual data entry processing needs complete focus on every entry or detail, mastery over the software used, formatting, etc. Again, considering the accounting department, the clerks need to have complete knowledge of various accounting processes and terminologies to handle the data entry task efficiently. In short, companies need to spend a particular amount on training employees for data entry tasks. This might take several months, and hence, it adds to the cost of the company.

Automated Data Entry – Is It Possible?

All thanks to the advanced technology, automation of manual data entry is now possible. Automated data entry is an ideal solution to the challenges faced during manual data entry which is difficult, time-consuming, and costly. This method helps speed up the process and benefits the company with productivity, accuracy, and efficiency.

Here are some details about automated data entry systems for a brief introduction.

Automated Data Entry – An Introduction:

When the data gets transformed into a legible format and gets stored automatically in the database, it is termed automatic data entry. The process includes scanning or collecting data in various formats like videos, images, documents, etc., and processing it into various computer files. The processing of data is carried out through various technologies including RPA, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

What are the advantages of an automated data entry process?

The primary benefits of an automated data entry process are efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Here are some other benefits of the automated data entry process.

Automated data entry improves the accuracy level

The automated data entry is carried out using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Hence, the accuracy level of the database improves to around 98 to 99 percent. Such an accuracy level is difficult to achieve through a manual data entry process. It eliminates the chances of errors in the database which helps in making accurate strategic decisions.

Automated data entry is less time-consuming

In the manual data entry process, an individual might take around 3 minutes to complete a single entry or page. The same when carried out through an automated data entry process gets completed in a minimum of 20 seconds, even if the entry is carried out for accounting purposes. Hence, automated data entry saves good time for the company which can be further invested in other essential work.

Automated data entry has reduced training costs

Manual data entry needs advanced skills that need to be taught to the data entry operators which is costly for the company also. On the other hand, automated data entry is carried out through software that is quick and easy to learn. Where manual data entry takes around three months to learn, automated data entry can be learned in merely an hour. Hence, it not only reduces the learning time but also training costs.

Automated data entry reduces the cost

The average cost paid to a manual data entry company is much higher compared to automated data entry services. Automated data entry is carried out through advanced hardware and software implementations. This reduces the overall data entry cost of the company. Thus, companies can invest in other important areas like innovations, marketing, etc.

Automated data entry gives consistent operations

When using an automated data entry system, companies can receive consistency in various procedures with ease. Merely by making certain settings or a few clicks, companies can receive standardized output. This reduces the chances of errors in the database or poor-quality data. In a manual data entry system, getting standardized output is difficult as the operator gets exhausted doing the same job.

Where is Automated data entry used?

No doubt, there are various benefits of using automated data entry. But which sectors use automated data entry software seriously? Scroll down to have a look.

Finance Sector

Every business has a finance department that handles the revenue, loss, profits, salaries, invoices, and every minor to major financial aspect of the company. As every financial bill or invoice goes through the department, it becomes difficult for the companies to record every transaction without making errors. With the help of an automated data entry system, recording every financial transaction becomes quick and easier. Be it cheques, financial documents, handwritten bills, typed invoices, etc., an automated data entry system makes a note of every transaction with ease.

Human Resources Department

The human resource department looks after every facet of the employees including their contact details, payroll, attendance, etc. Maintaining all these can be difficult without the help of an automated data entry system. With the help of an automated data entry system, the HR personnel can focus on other essential tasks of the company like investigating the complaints from employees, training employees, etc. as the routine entries would be recorded rapidly.

Healthcare Department

Data is very important for the healthcare department. Missing a single information, or making errors while recording the details of the patient can be dangerous. When a manual data entry system is used for recording the details of the patient, the physicians would have to spend a lot of time searching files. With the help of an automated data entry system, recording and storing the details of the patient becomes easy. Again, when needed the physicians can also make changes and search for the details quickly.

Invoice Data Automation

Every company generates thousands of receipts in a year. And printing all these is surely expensive. Again, if the task is done through manual data entry, errors can add to the cost of the business. With the help of an automated data entry system, all such errors are eliminated. Again, the automated invoice process also helps with automatic receipt generation and storing securely.

Final Words

So, manual input of data is bad? Not. Both manual and automated data entry systems are important in one or the other way. Selecting an ideal data entry method depends on the needs of the business. Where a manual data entry system is a great choice for companies with limited data, an automated data entry system helps companies dealing with huge databases focus on other essential tasks.

No matter whether you are looking for accurate manual data entry services or automated ones, DataPlusValue is at your service to help you with your database. We have a team of trained professionals capable of handling your database securely. So, walk in today with your data and requirements to have a reliable, accurate, and quick solution to your data entry needs.

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