What to Know Before Starting a Data Entry Project

Posted by: Aimee Sanders

Data entry is often an inevitable task for organizations in any industry. Regardless of your end goals, there will be occasions where your department will need to compile data from various questionnaires or tables for analysis. Although necessary, internal data entry can quickly become a costly and time consuming project. That’s why many companies choose to outsource their data entry services to a dedicated vendor. Partnering with a vendor gives you the guarantee that your data is extracted quickly, accurately, and securely. All while eliminating the stress on both your budget and your staff. Here are some things to consider before starting a data entry project:

What Can Be Keyed?

person-filling-out-survey-by-hand-for-data-entryData entry is an optimal solution for businesses that want to compile data from various types of forms, reports, and surveys. More specifically, data from paper documents like questionnaires, reporting forms, FDA clinical trials, conference surveys, financial reports, medical surveys, and handwritten data tables are perfect candidates for a data entry project. Processing data for analysis is necessary across almost all industries. Therefore, a good vendor will have experience working with a wide range of clients in the academic, manufacturing, retail, and medical spheres. Additionally, the vendor should be able to key from both hard-copy and digital forms making your utilization options endless. In some cases, you may want the papers scanned as well as keyed—particularly capable vendors will be able to scan, key, store, and even shred the documents.

On-Shore vs. Off-Shore?

At first, choosing between an off-shore or on-shore data entry vendor may seem like a minor decision. But there may be times where saving money isn’t worth the cost of potentially sacrificing the security and integrity of your documents. More companies than ever are turning to on-shore data entry options due to their accessibility, reliability, and security. Choosing an on-shore vendor means that your data never has to cross the ocean or travel outside of the United States. This eliminates the common concern of records getting damaged or lost in transport, being slowed down in Customs, or being handled by a foreign company with an unknown reputation. Working with an on-shore vendor also provides you with more control over your project as the company can work with you in person to fulfill your specific requests. Additionally, a good on-shore vendor should give you the advantage of accessible, responsive customer service, ensuring that you can always get the answers you need, when you need them, without having to worry about the possibility for instructions being lost in translation.

How Does the Vendor Handle Security & Confidentiality?

If your documents contain confidential, personally identifiable information, it’s vital that you trust your vendor to know and understand the pertinent regulations protecting that information and also have the processes and procedures in place to be compliant with those regulations. Are the documents protected under HIPAA? Does the vendor have experience working under HIPAA business associate agreements? What is their building security like? What about the security of their network infrastructure? A good vendor will have answered these questions many times and will have identifiable policies and procedures in place to address security and confidentiality concerns.

What Are My Output Options?

You should have a variety of options for the output of your finalized project. Regardless of your type of data, an experienced vendor should be familiar with a number of customizable formats to meet your specific needs. Formats such as Excel spreadsheets, ASCII, EBCDIC, and text outputs are some of the options that should support. At COR365, we provide even more popular capture methods such as capture all, keying directly into an online system, and data pinpointing and plucking.  Ultimately, a reliable vendor should be willing to work with you to ensure that your finished project meets all unique requirements and federal regulations.

How Important is Accuracy?

COR365 Data Entry Raleigh Accurate High SpeedWith any data entry project, high accuracy should be a “no compromise” requirement. After all, there’s nothing to be gained from analyzing inaccurate data. A good data entry vendor will be able to perform the work you want at verifiable accuracy rates. Vendors should be experienced with both single pass and double-blind verified projects. At COR365, we are independently measured at a minimum of 99.5% accuracy for double-blind verified data entry, and have extensive experience with accurately keying single pass projects, as well. In fact, our data entry projects are designed to avoid the use of a mouse to perform data entry, making the process that much more efficient and precise.

For double-blind projects, two separate technicians key the data set in multiple passes. If the second input is different than the other, a notification will sound to alert of the discrepancy and to take the time to visually confirm the correct data. This ensures your data is verified and accurate. It is imperative that you choose a reliable vendor with such processes in place to protect your project from missed keys and mistakes.

Want to Know More?

Whether you are ready to begin a data entry project today, or just simply still have questions, our team can help. Fill out the form below for more information, or Contact Us to connect with a COR365 representative. 

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