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How to Profit by Using a Data Entry Service

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According to a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting on research conducted at Harvard University, businesses that apply the most technology to their processes are leaving their competitors in the dust. Specifically, the highest consumers of technology in every industry group have, on average, gained a 10 percentage-point increase in market share over their competitors.

What does this report have to do with data entry services?

  • Data entry is a business process
  • Data entry is becoming more and more automated
  • With increased automation comes increased accuracy and availability of information
  • When information is leveraged for competitive advantage, even small companies can win

In other words, from both the consumer and supplier perspectives, businesses can benefit from the use of data entry services. Heres how:

Consuming Data Entry Services
Improvements in data entry technology including scanner speeds, optical character recognition, voice-to-text conversion, algorithms that enable image scraping from the Web and self-learning databases have contributed to the speed and accuracy of data entry output. Whether companies deploy these technologies internally or use data entry services, businesses can be confident of results.

When data entry becomes a core requirement--rather than simply a core competency--businesses should consider outsourcing to data entry services. Data entry companies that offer the most highly automated services should be sought after.

Other considerations include customer service, from initial contact through project test phase (when applicable), and price. Unless company policy--or personal philosophy--mandates the use of United States service providers, consideration should also include highly automated and reputable offshore data entry companies. Companies should exercise due diligence in assessing third party services by thoroughly checking references.

Profiting from Data Entry
When businesses have sufficient clean, relevant data to make analysis statistically significant, the next step is to monetize the information. There are many ways to make data pay; here are a few suggestions:

Putting data into a closed loop tracking system: Many companies spend money on lead generation through tradeshows, magazine bounce back cards, and increasingly though paid Web search mechanisms. Unless these leads are tracked from reception to sale or death, though, purchasers are not getting full bang for their buck. No market is static, and there is always knowledge to be gleaned from the disposition of leads, whether or not they result in sales. Robust data in a closed loop system can help companies close sales, identify sales trends, spot best and worst marketing activities, and spur product development ideas.

Using data entry services to create products for resale: Low-cost, highly-accurate, timely data, gathered and input by data entry services, can be turned into a number of saleable products including research reports, white papers, lead lists, podcasts, and catalogues.

Productizing Services: Two of the most common services that depend on data entry are medical and legal transcription. These businesses take raw data and turn it in to useable information through the data entry process. Other possibilities include audio or video transcription of textbooks, speeches, product manuals, sports training, physician instructions, and so on.

The point here, for market incumbents and startups alike, is that although highly-intense use of technology confers advantage, that advantage can be overtaken rapidly by the next good idea--if it, too, is propelled by technology.



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