What Does 1-10-100 Mean For Data Entry Errors

A blog banner by Magellan Solutions about What Does 1-10-100 Mean for Data Entry Errors

A blog banner by Magellan Solutions about What Does 1-10-100 Mean for Data Entry Errors

Why Data Entry Errors 1-10-100 Is A Good Rule of Thumb for Startups and SMEs 


Data entry errors are inevitable when the human factor is at play.  Humans are bound to make a mistake. No complex reasons but such is the truth. 


Probability of Inaccurate Data Entry


Data Entry Technique


Into Simple Spreadsheets


Into Complex Spreadsheets



This study found that humans are bound to make more mistakes when doing repetitive tasks like data entry. As what said above, this is inevitable.

More industries from law enforcement to SMEs, transfers from paper trail to digitization. This is not only to max out innovation and technology but to safeguard their data and information. As well as for easy retrieval of data and processing. 

Because of these reasons, data entry work became an in-demand job in the last decades. Lots of industries rely on this job to ensure the accurate transfer of data from other various forms into one accessible database. 

However as human error is a fact of life, this job market and the industries that rely on this are plagued by challenges that resulted from inaccurate data entry.


Is There An Industry Accepted Data Entry Errors Rate?


Now this is a tricky question. Some would insist that 30% is the industry accepted for inaccurate data entry or good enough. This means that this error rate is not enough to cripple a business or an organization. 

But the bad news here is, an error is still an error and could pose a potential risk. That this industry accepted percentage is not applicable across all industries.

To illustrate, Amazon servers that host Netflix, Tinder, Airbnb, Reddit and IMDb crashed and made these websites down for five hours. Reported loss due to this was an estimate of $150 million in revenue. While U.S. financial services lost $160 million.  

The error is the incorrect entry of a single line command. Imagine this, 70% of the overall data entry work is accurate and this mistype of command only covers 30%. Still the loss is a huge drawback. 

Such example is the reason why there is an ongoing debate with regards to industry accepted margin for error. There is no industry accepted, but everyone must strive to achieve the highest accuracy at best. 


Data Entry Errors: Why 1-10-100 Escalation Is A Good Rule of Thumb for SMEs 


A bad practice that is becoming a norm for startups and SMEs is they do not give emphasis on data entry work. This is understandable as you would rather invest your money on things to improve your product and services. 

You may think you are not as big as Amazon and you cannot lose tons of money with a simple data entry error. That investing resources for data entry work simply is not worth it. 

Such is a fallacy according to George Labovitz and Yu Sang Chang, proponents of the 1-10-100 Rule of Escalation. 

In their 1992 study, they illustrate that inaccurate data entry multiply exponentially according to the stage at which they are identified and corrected. 

This means you can spend $1 for initial checking of data entry. Which could increase by $10 just to correct the error when it’s in batch. Then this mistake could cost $100 plus other factors affected by it. 

These factors are various issues in relation to customer retention, loss of sales, reimbursement costs and brand damage. 

The opposite is also true with regards to this scenario. As the old adage, bad input means bad output. Good input means good output. This rings true for data entry.


How To Reduce Human Error in Data Entry


Outsourcing data entry work is still the best choice for any business, especially for SMEs. As this strategy is proven to save money, time and hassle. 

Data entry though repetitive and may sound boring for some, is still a critical day-to-day operation across industries. For the outsourcing industry, they capitalize on the sophisticated combination of human intelligence and technology to deliver the best data entry services.

Operational automation is the fancy word when it comes to data entry services. You may think automation and latest use of software to ensure accurate data entry is just like that. Some outsourcing providers could pepper you with these words on their proposal.

What these providers are not telling you is, most data entry positions are still manned by humans. Manual data entry by humans is an important factor for this service. But the more humans there are in this operation, the higher chance of human error. 

Are we saying let’s remove humans to evade inaccurate data entry? No. We are saying you need to understand that reduction of data entry inaccuracies require the synchronization of humans and technology.

Look for data entry outsourcing provider that do these following steps to promote data accuracy:

  1. Trained data entry employees on the importance of data
  2. Provides a good working environment to promote focus
  3. Do not overload staff with data entry work more than they can handle
  4. Prioritize accuracy over speed
  5. Use software tools to automate the process
  6. Quality assurance for data accuracy

You may think you do not have to concern yourself with this information but that thinking could lead to costly losses for your business. 


How Quality Assurance Reduce Inaccurate Data Entry


Knowledge that you as a business owner ought to have is basic understanding of how quality assurance works in data entry. These are good key points to remember when you decide to outsource your data entry tasks to a third party provider. 

You can use this as a jump board to ask your provider. Keep these things in mind when you do so:

  1. QA can identify primary sources of inaccuracies and points of entry errors
  2. QA uses data profiling analysis to ensure accuracy and completeness
  3. QA has a system in place to reduce data redundancy and useless data
  4. Provider has standardized data entry processes
  5. Provider has progress monitoring techniques to improve data entry processes
  6. Provider uses data entry automation tools


Common Types of Data Entry Errors


Efficiency and accuracy is the name of the game when it comes to data entry. But fatigue and slip-ups could result in occasional errors. Here are common mistakes in data entry:

1. Transcription Data Entry Errors

This happens when information input happens in the wrong way. This is more common in transcribing words than in numerical data. Errors include typos, repetition, and deletion. 

2. Transposition Data Entry Errors

This is when information input happens in the wrong order. More common in numerical data than in words.

These two could be simple in a sense but as what we’ve discussed above could result in potential losses. It is good to remember that correction of inaccurate data entry takes time and resources. Prevention is always better than cure. 


When Does Outsourcing Data Entry Work Good For SME?


Startups and SMEs are in a constant battle between business improvement and outsourcing repetitive tasks. In reality, striving to achieve data accuracy is good for SMEs. Why? You are yet to gather tons of data and information. 

This is the good time to leverage outsourcing data entry to ensure you are building your database in good foundation. Error free and accurate. 

Best time to outsource data entry is when your in-house team suffers from the following:

1. High Error Rate

This result may be due to variable reasons like lack of data entry training, illegible handwritten forms, failure to understand context and so on. 

Outsourcing providers address this by pulling up samples from a certain period and do a query for verification. They use a benchmark like 1% error rate for a specific data set. Higher than that requires immediate correction.

2. Slow Turnaround Time

From paper documents into spreadsheets or word processors, keystrokes vary from 10,000 to 15,000/hour. Image capturing is slightly faster to digitize a file. For transcription data entry work, context is also important. 

Outsourcing providers use OCR and ICR for faster transport of image or paper documents into electronic data. 

3. Lack of Personnel to Quality Check

In-house data entry team requires QA manager to ensure accuracy is achieved. This means you need to hire additional help to vet your manual data entry tasks. Quality check plays an important role to ensure you only have the best information. 

Outsourcing providers have QA teams where they could assign to data entry personnel for your business. Some of the steps they do is a double entry system to eliminate erroneous data entry. 

4. Spike in Data Entry Volume

Seasonal spike of managing data entry work could cripple an entire business operation. It puts pressure and increases human error in the process for your in-house team.

Outsourcing providers offer flexible terms so a business can avail data entry services when there is a seasonal spike. Then scale down if it minimizes into manageable volume by the in-house team.

5. Loss of Focus From Core Tasks

For SMEs, you don’t have the luxury to let your core employees suffer from repetitive data entry work. Such scenarios rob them of the opportunity to complete tasks that have an impact on the business. 

Outsourcing providers free you from these shackles and let you focus on business management. Also improving overall operations in the long run. As your in-house employees are focused and only process information from accurate data. Courtesy of your outsourced data entry provider.


Magellan Solutions Reduce Inaccurate Data Entry For SMEs


As the only outsourcing data entry provider for SMEs, we understand the risks of data entry errors for your business operations. We are here to reduce such errors and ultimately reduce them to none.

Our data entry employees are competitive to ensure every keystroke is accurate. While our system and software in place serves as a second layer of quality assurance. 

With regards to your data and information security, we are ISO 27001:2013 certified and HIPAA-compliant. We only follow international standards when it comes to data security.

Process information from accurate data when you outsource with us. Give us a call for your free 60-minute business consultation. Fill up the form below!


Contact us today for more information.