Every type of business requires data entry, and the amount of data collected
continually expands. More than 300,000 U.S. workers are employed keying in data.
Yet almost every industry is reducing the number of workers in this function.
So, how is this work getting done? Increasingly more businesses are relying on
data entry services from third party data entry companies.
While the employment of workers entering data is expected to decline by almost
five percent in the next eight years, the number of employees of data entry
service companies is expected to grow by close to 14%. Clearly, companies across
the board are recognizing the cost benefit of outsourcing to third party data
entry service providers.
Typical Data Entry Projects--Not Just for Large Companies
Outsourcing to data entry services is not only for large companies with ongoing
data entry needs. Although law firms, pharmaceutical businesses, and insurance
companies might be the first industries that come to mind, many smaller businesses
also need these services. For example, contest entries, signatures gathered
for ballot initiatives, receipts, invoices, and order forms are just some
of the types of documents handled by data entry companies.
One reason data entry service companies are growing is that they can provide
quick turnaround for one-off projects, eliminating the need for clients to
hire and train temporary workers. For clients whose businesses rely on the
fast fulfillment of orders, data entry companies provide service level agreements
that promise data entry completion within a specified amount of time, often
12 hours or less.
Other Cost Saving Considerations
Data entry companies not only provide the labor to enter data, they eliminate
the need for their clients to purchase and maintain computers, scanners and
software that are required for this work. Clients can also sidestep the need
for office real estate to contain personnel and equipment.
From Acquisition to Highly Accurate and Useable Data
Data entry companies accept both paper-based and electronic projects. After
acquiring handwritten or electronically-generated source data, the client
makes the raw data available to the data entry company. Sometimes physical
boxes of paper are shipped. The data entry service then inventories and scans
the documents. Electronic data is often encrypted before being transmitted
to the data entry service. In either case, the output is guaranteed to be
accurate, usually in the range of 95% or greater, and is delivered in the
Keeping Information Secure
Companies that collect personal information have a business and ethical imperative
to keep that information secure, and data entry companies employ a myriad
of methods to ensure that information is kept confidential. Expect that documents
will be tracked from the moment they are received, that access will be monitored
by cameras or even biometrics, that data may be encrypted, that source documents
will returned or destroyed per client instructions, and that the entire process
will be documented.
Although data entry companies ultimately rely on human beings to get the work
done, the application of sophisticated technology drives the systems that ensure
the security and accuracy of the data entered and the speed at which it is
BLS: Data Entry and Information Processing Workers