How to Approach Data Entry Outsourcing

The 5 steps of data entry outsourcing

Typically data entry outsourcing contains five steps or phases between the outsourcing firm and the hiring organization. The steps are requirement analysis, standardizing operations, execution, quality audit, and delivery.

In the first step, the outsourcing firm will gather requirements from the hiring organization. Once they have received and analyzed the requirements, then they will perform standardizing operations. In this phase, they will choose how to perform the data entry and on what file types or mediums should the data entry be outputted to. Next, the outsourcing firm will execute the data entry services. Once this is done, the outsourcing firm should audit the data entry in order to make sure there are no errors and that the data is correct with the original source. Finally, the outsourcing firm will deliver the data to the hiring organization in the specified format.

Types of data entry outsourcing services

Online data entry- Hiring companies outsource their data entry jobs while still maintaining control of the applications. Often, the outsourcing firm will manually type data into online, web-based applications/databases or will use remote access software. Examples of online data entry are data input for payroll, data entry from images, data entry of products from online or offline catalogs, legal document data entry, and index entries of written documents and books.

Offline data entry- Offline data entry deals with data entry from written input sources into the desired file format. These written input sources are often hand written or printed material, scanned images, or PDF files. The hiring organization can receive the data entry in almost any format from the outsourcing firm once the data has been entered. In addition, the outsourcing firm should be able to transfer the data through such methods as FTP, email, CD/DVD, hard drives, and online submission.

Excel data entry- The outsourcing firm will perform excel entries for a hiring organization. Often, outsourcing firms know excel shortcuts and tricks in order to optimize data entry.

MS Access data/ database entry- The hiring organization can send files to the outsourcing firm, which in turn will perform data entry into databases. The outsourcing firm should be able to create new records from input sources, format database fields with optimal standardization, update records through verification of a resource, form data processing, generate reports, and establish relationships between different databases.

Web data entry- Web data entry typically involves the outsourcing firm performing remote access data entry from the hiring organizations systems. For example, a hiring organization can use the outsourcing firm to complete data entry tasks during non-working hours in order to increase productivity. The hiring organization can specifically select which files the remote operators can access.

What to look for in choosing a good data entry outsourcing company

Good data entry outsourcing firms should have a technologically advanced infrastructure that assists with providing secure online and offline data entry services. The infrastructure should include firewalls for all the outsourcing firms devices, and anti-virus software with the latest patches for malware and adware. Furthermore, the hiring organizations should sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the outsourcing firm that denotes who is responsible for protecting information and the transit of the information. There should be penalties in the SLA if either side fails to do their part in securing and protecting data.

Data Entry OutsourcingSecondly, outsourcing firms should have a technologically advanced infrastructure that is fast. Firms should have high-bandwidth internet lines to provide quality online typing with zero downtime. Hiring organizations should check to see if the outsourcing firms utilize redundant systems in case their main communication lines fail. The hiring organization should establish an alternative procedure in case communicates go down for a period of time.

Lastly, the outsourcing firm should be reliable. The outsourcing firms should validate data entries by verifying various authenticated sources and information available in the public domain. This can include email, addresses, zip codes, names, and phone numbers. The outsourcing firm should also have the same set of data entry be done by two different operators and then compare the entries through computer software to test accuracy. This application will highlight errors in data entry and then will be verified with the original source. Finally, the outsourcing firm should have quality control personnel that can audit work.

How to effectively use data entry outsourcing firms:

The following list describes what hiring organizations should do in order to best utilize the outsourcing firm for data entry services:

Effective communication- The hiring organization should make sure to effectively and clearly communicate the data entry requirements by email, chat, or phone. If the hiring organization is using online and/or offline data entry requirements, they should send the outsourcing firm the input sources in a pre-agreed upon form and method. For example, the outsourcing firm may want to receive input sources in a .doc file. Similarly, the hiring organization should clearly state how they would like to receive the outputted forms of data entry from the outsourcing firm.

Request proposals- After a hiring organization sends an outsourcing firm requirements and details about the data entry services, then the outsourcing firm should analyze the requirements. Subsequently, the outsourcing firm can provide a test run or evidence of how they will perform the job and send results. This is essential for the hiring organization to know what they are getting and to see if any changes need to be made.

Accuracy- If the outsourcing firm is performing offline data entry from an input source, then the hiring organization should make sure the firm performs data entry in an offline application. After double-checking the data through quality control, the firm should submit it in an online database where it can be reviewed by the hiring organization. Similarly, if the outsourcing firm is performing data entry for online applications, then the firm should perform double verification of data entry for the same source. The hiring organization should enforce the outsourcing firm to rectify any mismatches in the data entry output.
Recommended data entry outsourcing companies

Axion Data Services- Axion specializes in data entry services and internet research for retail, direct marketing, not-for-profit, and services companies. Axion will develop a service plan for the specific data entry projects requested by hiring organizations. Axion contains a U.S. domestic work force in addition to a partnership with a firm in India for data entry projects that require cost-effectiveness and overnight turnaround.

RelyServices- RelyServices has over 450 staff members working 24/7. It is based in the U.S. and has offices located in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. RelyServices offers a variety of data entry-outsourcing services such as data conversion, data processing, and online/offline data entry. They also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with their work. RelyServices has a unique combination of onshore and offshore outsourcing, which helps them maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Cignus Web- Cignus Web is located in New Delhi, India with 50 plus employees. Cignus handles clients from various countries across the world. They offer 24/7 services for their customers. In addition to basic data entry services, they also offer data processing, catalog processing, and OCR/scanning. Cignus web claims to offer tailor-made services that are competitively priced yet maintain the highest level of quality.

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