Organizations around the world rely on the quality of their data to make decisions, implement programs, develop products, and so much more. And yet, spreadsheets and the human errors associated with them are so common, costly, and even deadly that there is an organization, the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group, that tracks and studies data-entry and spreadsheet mistakes. They meet every year to discuss the issues and risks the combination of people and spreadsheets pose for organizations.
A growing number of organizations are turning to data entry services to complete these vital tasks and ensure they are done with high quality and consistency across their databases. Data entry services offer a way to cut costs, reduce turnaround times, and improve efficiency. And outsourcing eliminates the burden of managing those teams.
Here are three signs that you need a managed workforce for data entry.
1. Your data entry relies on an in-house team.
If yours is like most organizations, you are doing data entry work in-house. You already know the drawbacks of managing data-entry teams: they are among the most difficult to scale and the fastest to churn. And you likely need to onboard new hires and provide ongoing training, as well as manage the team day to day.
You may be skeptical of data entry services and reluctant to use an untested, outsourced team. While it’s true no one knows your business better than you do, the best data entry services will bring experience and best practices gleaned from their work with other organizations who have faced similar challenges. With an experienced team providing data processing and research for repetitive tasks at scale, your team can focus on higher value projects.
2. Your data-entry requirements change regularly.
If your business rules or other domain-specific requirements change frequently, a managed team is a smart choice. Managed teams, unlike anonymous crowdsourced workers or traditional outsourcing, can operate as an extension of your own team.
The best managed teams provide technology to maintain close, reliable communication with you. This managed-team approach has been shown to improve data accuracy and reduce errors in tasks from transcription to sentiment analysis.
While you can and should automate data entry tasks that don’t change often or substantially, even the most efficient automated systems apply people to manage exceptions. For example, if optical character recognition (OCR) software is unable to interpret the numbers on a receipt that has a coffee stain, that receipt would be flagged for manual review.
3. Data quality matters.
When the quality of your data matters—and it usually does—a managed workforce is your best option. While not all data entry must be 100% accurate, and automation is a helpful building block for scaling the work, people will be involved in any operation that requires high quality.
Consider the transcription of medical records, for example, where there’s no room for errors and when data accuracy means the difference between sickness and health. Legal data entry is another use case where quality is critical and can have implications on individuals’ freedoms.
The Managed-Team Approach to Data Entry
The best data entry services apply a managed-team approach and provide the people, processes, and technology to support close communication and collaboration with your team. They bring experience with similar use cases and know how to onboard workers on your tasks so they have the context and domain knowledge they need to perform your tasks with high quality. They assume the burden of managing your data-entry operation, so you can focus on innovation, customer experience, and product development.
At CloudFactory, we have been providing data entry services for more than a decade. Our workforce strategy delivers a managed extension of your team for data entry. We can work with you to apply, monitor, and moderate automation. We also have experience with and best practices for processes that scale and can adapt to your unique requirements.
To learn more about outsourcing data entry, transcription, and enrichment at scale, read our helpful guide.