Common Issues Related to Data Entry

Common Issues Related to Data Entry

Published On December 29, 2015 -   by

A business looking to stay competitive in today’s cutthroat market has to rely on modern, cutting-edge practices lest they fall into obscurity. This organizational tool has become a staple for every type of business looking to manage data and keep track of everything from employee paychecks to product lists. Retail companies, service-based industries, and government-based businesses are just a few examples of different business organizations that rely on data entry services in order to run smoothly. However, data entry is not an infallible process, and there are many issues that can cause setbacks, frustration, and further problems for any business that utilizes it. These issues must be addressed in order to target specific problems and implant change lest they continue to plague a business in negative ways.

Error in Input Process

One of the most common data entry problems occur during the actual data input process. A seemingly insignificant mistype can cause short and long term problems, leading to inaccurate records, misinformation, and disorganization. This is particularly common in instances of manual, human-based data entry. Unfortunately, even the best data entry clerk can make mistakes, which in turn can cause a lot of problems for a business. For example, when a data entry clerk misspells or mistypes information into a field, he or she might not notice the error immediately. The information is then transferred into the software system and effects all the other connected information. For example, if a data entry clerk inputs the wrong monetary value that is billed to a client for services rendered, like $1,150.00 instead of $11,150.00, her employer loses money and has essentially wasted time on a project that isn’t being correctly billed to a client. This can actually result in very serious consequences, and is a common mistake. Adding or subtracting a number, or changing the place of the decimal point is a small error that can cost a business incredible amount of money.

Data Configuration

Even the best, most comprehensive data entry program can produce problems for a business. Incorrect formatting is a common issue, and can result in the right data being entered into the wrong fields. A business that deals with a large network of people may need to have multiple means of contacting their clients, thus they use a program that has several fields for addresses and phone numbers. However, this can cause disorganization and confusion because information like a phone number might be doubled, or an excess of information is entered that the software program cannot sort out. Or information is input into the correct fields once, leaving any number of excess, unused fields empty and not effectively utilized.

Human Error

Like the data input issues mentioned above, there are many problems revolving around simple human error. Any number of employee related concerns, such as exhaustion, speed of data entry input, distractions, emotional components, and time can negatively affect how data is being managed. Also, people can misinterpret data as they might see one piece of information, but their brain interprets it in a different manner. An example might be an employee reading numbers from a spreadsheet. The actual number might be a serial code for a product that consists of letters and numbers, yet the person interpreting it might skip over the letters or replace the letter “O” with the number zero. Businesses must take this into account when considering potential issues, as human error is always a factor in data management. Keeping up to date, current data entry programs can help with some of these issues, as modern software programs can be configured more specifically to your unique requirements, and can help your data entry specialist handle data more effectively. Also, asking that a data entry clerk repeat the information aloud as it is entered, a seemingly silly practice is actually helpful to ensure that what is being read by an employee is exactly what is being entered into a program.


Data entry is a costly venture for any business, whether or not they have large quantities of data to manage. The time, labor, and expensive software programs can actually cause more problems than a business can effectively manage. Despite the full control exercised over in-house data entry, issues revolving around expenses are one of the main reasons that companies are choosing to outsource. The cost of hiring full-time data entry clerks may cost a company more than they can spare if they are looking to maintain current success rates or are hoping to expand in the future. Also, the cost of correcting any errors with data management can be an aggravation for any business as it can be time-consuming, or even next to impossible, to go through every source or file within a software program in an attempt to find the single small error that affected the entire database. A company might then have to enlist the help of employees into combing through every file in order to find a single incorrect number, which is time spent away from clients, projects, and business management.

Solutions and How to Ensure Fewer Data Entry Errors

Firstly, make sure that your software has descriptive information regarding the text fields so that the data entry clerk knows exactly where to input information, which helps to avoid confusion. If a clerk encounters five or six field options for a single piece of information, the chances of error rise significantly if he or she is not aware of exactly which field to input the data. Make sure all fields are labeled or described accordingly. Don’t rely on free-form text fields; be sure that your software has a labeled data type such as a URL, email, phone number, or monetary value.  Be sure that your employees are able to effectively and accurately manage any data being utilized by your business. The labor involved in accurate data entry is quite costly, and it may be advantageous for your company to outsource, where chances of error are minimized.


As beneficial as data entry can be for any business, it is not without its problems. It is important that a company understands where potential issues may lie, such as with software configuration or input error, so that they can take steps to correct the problem. A small correction like using descriptive texts on each data field can save a business money, time, and hassle. And always be sure that if you are managing data in house, your business is able to afford the expense of the time and labor involved in keeping a skilled specialist on staff, as well as maintaining current, cutting edge software programs. Data entry problems are numerous and can be subtle, but have all consuming costs for a business’s future. When the hassle and potential problems of managing data entry is taking time away from more important aspects of a company’s function, consider outsourcing as a means to effectively handle data entry without the problems or expenses.

– DataEntryOutsourced

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