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Outsourcing data entry services relieves organizations from the painstaking process of transferring written documents into digital data. In a world where almost all processes are automated, how long will it last — or will it survive?
The data entry outsourcing services market will register a CAGR of almost five percent by 2023, Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market research company, predicted. Some of the primary factors that drive its growth include the need for cost reduction and operational efficiency improvement.
Essentially, outsourcing data entry services occur when organizations need to improve their focus on their core competencies. Data entry is a detailed and tedious activity, taking away intangible resources necessary for business growth: time and stress.
Collaborating with a company specializing in data management results in fewer errors and higher data accuracy. Through this, companies can prevent unwanted monetary losses from data entry mistakes.
An expensive lesson
One of the latest incidents that show how critical data entry can be is the experience of Chickasha Public Schools regarding a mistake made while entering information.
The news site newsok.com reported that an employee from the Grady County Treasurer clicked the wrong line on a drop-down menu — causing the Chickasha Public Schools to fall more than $2.1 million in property tax revenues.
To prevent this from happening, one of the state auditors reminded the public of how crucial it is to review manually-entered information to ensure its accuracy.
This incident teaches a valuable lesson: a single data entry mistake can result in millions of lost revenues. What we sometimes consider a simple job requires a high level of expertise and meticulous eyes that will scrutinize every piece of information from the output.
But is it possible?
Sometimes, seeing the same thing repeatedly can trick the mind into believing everything is well. Like a fish that doesn’t know there’s such thing as water, the human brain tends to see an error as accurate because it was exposed to it. This is why achieving a-hundred-percent accuracy is impossible, if not a miracle when a single person handles the job.
It should be a collective effort. A fresh set of eyes should review all registered information from the initial entry.
Outsourcing data entry services
Data entry has different forms aside from merely typing information into a system. Here are some of the examples
- Typing words into an MS file (copying)
- Transfer information into an Excel spreadsheet
- Word processing (create letters, mailing labels, and reports)
- Online form billing
- Email processing
- Catalog data entry
- Payroll data entry
As mentioned earlier, it helps to have a fresh set of eyes to review the entered information. This is to avoid typographical mistakes, which can significantly impact the actual output (especially when it’s a critical document like payroll).
Outsourcing data entry services is one of the best ways to ensure accurate information. A team of agents can work together to ensure the correctness of the file.
Can automation also help?
Artificial intelligence rose to popularity because it promises to make things easier for humans.
There is no wonder why many data entry automation software is offered in the market today. Instead of manually encoding data into the computer or a system, an automated data entry system can read information from sources such as PDF files, emails, and websites and transfer it into a more adapted data storage like databases and spreadsheet files.
As it shows, automation can take away the burden associated with data entry. However, it still needs human assistance.
If data entry is automated, how about the specialists and third-party companies that make a living out of it?
There’s a single word to answer the question: upgrade. It applies to both humans and companies.
Data specialists should start to learn how to operate data entry software. Similarly, it would also help if they gain other high-level skills like data analysis; instead of simply copying what’s written on a document, learning new skills opens more avenues that facilitate critical thinking — a challenging yet good exercise for the brain.
Meanwhile, companies should begin upgrading their technology.
Here’s the hard truth: companies that fail to innovate fail.
Are you not convinced yet? Try to remember the story of Kodak and Nokia.
By shifting from manual to automated data entry, they can ensure that clients will continue coming in. They can also use this as a competitive advantage against those afraid of the possible effects of automation.
Instead of succumbing to fear, companies that aim to dominate the market should capitalize on it to learn and develop everything they can years before their greatest fear become a reality.
What is the future of outsourcing data entry services?
A panic silently brewed within the Philippine BPO industry almost a year ago. It happened when artificial intelligence threatened call center jobs.
As a response, the president of the IT and Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, Rey Untal, said, “The automation of processes is not meant to replace people; it’s supposed to help them.”
The introduction of automated teller machines or ATMs to banks, for instance, drove the banking industry’s growth because it allowed their staff to focus more on work that requires human intellect and empathy. As a result, bank transactions became more accessible and more efficient. Withdrawing also became more convenient, thanks to the presence of ATMs in almost every corner.
Humans develop technology to make life easier. Instead of fearing change, they should embrace it. Through it, the quality of life will continue to improve.
Outsourcing data entry services can help your organization in managing your growing data. Partner with us now and see how our agents and technologies can help streamline your processes.
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