Data entry is perhaps the most common outsourced work sent to home-based independent contractors and service providers. Many join the data entry employment sector due to the nature of the job, which is relatively easy compared to other home-based professions. Viewing from a distance, the data entry job mostly involve entering information into a database via typing (keyboard), scanning (optical scanning devices), and recording (video and audio recorders).
Data entry positions do not require high levels of specializations and specific skill sets, other than proficient typing which entails the traits speed and accuracy. However, data entry professionals must exhibit excellent focus for long periods of time when doing their functions. Data entry workers usually work for lengthy periods of time, entering information via computers and other devices.
Responsibilities range from entering business information found in business cards to updating the database with new data. Most type of data entry jobs depend on the type of business the employers are engaged in. For instance, employers who are into real estate will probably outsource real estate-related data entry work to their contractors. If a data entry worker is providing service to research firm, he or she could be handling marketing analysis and business trends.
This job attracts and appeals particularly to women who stay at home and are looking for work without leaving the comforts and the duties in their respective houses. Most data entry workers found all over the globe are mothers who stay at home to watch and take care of their children. That being said, a number of men are now entering the data entry field.
Data workers work full-time or part time and toil for 30 to 40 hours a week. The need for companies to constantly update their data and keep them abreast with the latest news and information fuels the demand for data entry professionals in this modern age.
As mentioned earlier, most data entry jobs require working in front of a computer for 6 to 8 hours straight on a daily basis. Not only will such work cause stress on the worker, it can also affect a data entry professional’s focus on the job itself. Accuracy is an important ingredient in this line of work and many employers are very strict when it comes to the accurateness of information.
The information you enter vary greatly, depending on your employer’s line of business. You could be entering financial reports and market trends if you are working for an accounting firm. Or you could be entering and updating medical reports, medicine inventory, or patient profiles if you are servicing a hospital or a health-related institution.
Salary rates vary from employer to employer, country to country. The average wage rate for those based in the Philippines, one of the leading outsourcing destinations in the world, is $400 to $500 a month. However, the rate goes up for those who are hired based on their specialized skills, like editing, researching, and accounting. The salary for these type of data entry positions ranges from $500 to $750 a month.
Since most data entry workers are based in their homes and most data entry positions are entry level, this job allows them to experience first-hand the nature of working from home. Data entry jobs are also viewed as good means to introduce people to working online, enabling them to learn the complexities and intricacies of the home-based virtual worker.
Data entry jobs also prove to be a good launching platform for those who want to venture further as virtual workers. According to renowned freelance content writer Laureen Miles Brunelli, those who started out as data entry services providers can easily cross over to other virtual professions in other industries, such as information technology and online banking.
Many data entry professionals, especially those who excel in their positions, have been able to climb up the ladder and promoted to positions that involved bigger responsibilities and require leadership and management skills, such as database administrator and information technician to mention a few.
While many say that to get ahead in the data entry field, all you need is above average typing skills coupled with precision and speed, taking courses will significantly boost your chances of getting your career in the lead for advancement opportunities. Among the classes you can take to boost your data entry career are:
- Vocational and technical trainings / courses for Business Administration;
- Basic and Advanced technical courses in Information Technology (IT);
- Computer literacy courses;
- And many more.
Also, good communicational skills and very keen attention to detail are also essential to this type of work and such traits can easily get the attention of your superiors, colleagues, and most importantly, that of your clients.
Is Data Entry Soon To Become A Thing From The Past?
Many business owners, analysts, and employment outlook observers agree that data is a critical factor that drives mankind forward and that accurate and fast data entry is a key element in the modern world and very well into the future. Accurate and fast data entry is very critical in keeping up with the latest business trends and in providing reliable services to customers. But with the advances in technology, particularly in the data and information storage and management, many believe that the data entry profession is nearing its end.
For instance, Cambridge University has developed and now automated data entry systems , which gathers and stores data from scanned documents and other type of electronic documentation. All you need to do is scan the paper and the software will sift through the document and enter the information found in the paper to the computer’s information database.
“Automated data entry solutions can recognize machine- or computer-printed text (OCR), checkmarks and bubbles (OMR), handwriting (ICR), and barcodes,”
the Cambridge University website states, referring to the school’s automated data entry software.
“We can configure the system to interpret handwritten or printed forms, forms faxed through a fax server, or forms submitted electronically through Web forms.”
While it really sounds like the folks at Cambridge University made things a lot easier for a lot of people, their automated data entry software spells death to many data entry professionals.
“Automated data entry solutions can replace traditional manual “heads-down” approaches such as double-key entry. By implementing such a solution you can achieve faster, more efficient entry while eliminating or reassigning data entry positions,”
the website adds.
Another news article from CVisionTech says that the advances in data entry will render almost other human –operated data entry processes obsolete. The article also adds that if implemented on a massive scale, companies and organizations that rely heavily on accurate and fast data entry operations will save billions of dollars once they decide to go automated.
Studies suggest that
“automating forms-based information workflows and, in particular, the lifecycle of business forms represents billions of dollars of potential efficiency gains and hard-dollar cost savings,”
as stated in the article.
Employment outlook studies headed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics also supports the notion that developing technologies that pertain to data and information storage have a huge impact on the future demand for data entry professionals. Employment demands will decrease by 7 per cent within 2010 to 2020 and will continue to diminish as years go by.
While many argue that even with the new trends emerging in the data entry sector, several experts say that these technologies still require the “human touch”. Data entry, even if it is automated, needs people to oversee the process, manage the databases, implement changes, and keep things in check.
Crossover to Other Virtual / Home-Based Professions
The door may be closing to many home-based data entry professionals but there is a myriad of other employment opportunities in the virtual world. Many people out there are now on an exodus from the corporate world where they toil and toil in a cubicle for 40-50 hours a week to a homier atmosphere where they can excel and even get good pay.
Many data entry professionals can easily use their skills and experience learned in the data entry field to various industries, such as information technology, systems administration, database management, and so on. Data entry workers who come from specialized fields such as finance and health will also find vast employment opportunities in finance and health-related positions, even if they are working right at the comforts of their homes.
If you are a data entry worker looking for employment options in other fields, you might find the following list compiled and provided by AllYou useful. However, you should also understand that some positions in this list, if not all, require particular skill sets which you need to have in order for you to qualify.
Top Home-Based Jobs in the World
- Virtual Assistant: Just over a decade ago, nobody wanted to be a virtual assistant or VA in common parlance. But its popularity rocketed to significant heights and demand for topnotch VAs is continuously growing and spreading. VAs provide general office services, ranging from scheduling, administration, and event organizing among others. Salary figures for VAs depend on their experience, client requirements, and specialization, ranging from $10 to $30 an hour.
Why data entry professionals are likely to excel in this job: Most data entry workers are exposed to office operations and communicate on a daily basis with a string of other professionals. Their experience will help them adjust to the hustles and bustles of a VA’s world.
- Online Reseller: Selling stuff online is a great way to earn income in this modern age. There is a whole lot of people out there who want to get rid of stuff and you can get to help by positioning yourself as the middleman, right between buyers and sellers. While the money you can make fluctuates, depending on what you are re-selling and whether it’s shopping season or not, it can be a lucrative business if you play your cards right.
Why data entry professionals are likely to excel in this job: Reselling involves reaching out to the right people. Data entry professionals have tons of experiences dealing with people and personal information and this can help them establish and grow a client base.
- Document translator: If you speak several languages other than English, you might find the document translator a fulfilling home based profession. Many companies from English-speaking countries do business with non-English speaking nations need people to do translations for them, which means you have a potential gold mine waiting to be explored. Languages that likely need exert translation include but are not limited to French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese.
Why data entry professionals are likely to excel in this job: Most employers are looking to cut costs and would rather hire professionals who are already established as home-based operators because they will likely have the software and the tools needed to work online effectively.
- Interview Transcriber: There are several professionals who are required to conduct interviews such as journalists, researchers, and head hunters. However, most of these people simply do have the time to listen and transcribe the interview into texts. That is where you come in. Looking at the big picture, the work process is relatively easy: 1) employer sends you the audio file via email or other channels: 2) you listen to the file and make the transcription; and 3) send the transcription back to the employer. Rates could go from $5 to $40 an hour, depending on several factors such as expertise and length of the interview among others.
Why data entry professionals are likely to excel in this job: Data entry professionals are fast and accurate in typing, which makes them very ideal candidates for such work. However, they should also have excellent listening skills, as some audio files are distorted and it is very hard to figure the words when distortion and other noises are also included in the recording.
- Content writer: People now read news, information, and anything else on the internet. This fact fuels the demand for content writer, whether office-employed or home-based. Companies understand that they need fresh and engaging content to keep their websites running and updated. Because of the huge market that is the Internet, many businesses opt to outsource their content needs to virtual workers. While the demand of content writers is very high, many do not have the necessary skills to produce high quality articles, blog posts, and copies. And that makes content writers in the modern world precious commodities.
If you are a data entry specialist and you want to explore other career options in the field of writing, here’s a guide on how you can become a freelance writer.