Step Up Your Company’s Data Entry With These Four Tips
Love it or hate it, data entry is an essential component of every business. It helps your company come up with more informed strategies, especially if you dabble deeply with data analysis. Whatever industry or niche you’re in, performing effective data entry should be one of your main priorities for improved productivity.
That said, you might answer the question “what is a data entry job, and how can you be good at it?” with an answer like “well, you have to be good at Microsoft Excel.” That certainly does help on an individual level, but if you want to improve the data entry capabilities of your entire staff, you’ll need a holistic approach.
It sounds complex, but it’s actually quite easy with the right methods. Here are four simple yet effective tips to help you step up your company’s data entry.
1. Train your current staff with essential computer skills
No matter what role, administrative tasks are almost always present, and data entry duties and responsibilities are part of them. Some deal with data entry more than others. However, it’s still crucial that all your staff are skilled at it, at least to a certain degree.
In particular, your staff should have:
- Mastery of basic keyboard shortcuts for faster data entry
- Experience in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet programs
- At least 60-80 WPM typing speed
Of course, these skills may vary with the department and work involved. Regardless, these can be a good starting point for improving the data entry skills of your workforce. So even if your most skilled staff in data entry is out of the office, the rest of your team can fill in and keep the data entry going.
Alternatively, you can hire administrative assistants or data entry specialists to handle all the data entry so that your other specialists can focus on doing what they do best (if you have the budget).
2. Upgrade equipment
Data entry is a deceptively simple task. It seems like it’s all just tables, numbers, and text. However, there are productivity issues that can occur from:
- Small monitors
- Subpar mice and keyboards
- Lack of sufficient processing power/RAM
- Uncomfortable chairs
- Tables that are too tall/short
- Bad lighting
These problems become even more prominent once the workload gets heavy. Your staff can cope with your current equipment, sure. But they’re much better off if their equipment is up to the task. Slow machines, for example, can be a huge pain to even the most experienced staff. Constant slowdowns or freezing can cause a decline in their productivity and lead to frustration.
Thus, you’re better off upgrading your staff’s equipment than making them cope with underperforming tools. For instance:
- Larger monitors can show more of the tables, allowing for better input.
- High-quality keyboards provide a more pleasant typing experience, encouraging longer hours of uninterrupted work. Durable mice with side buttons for navigation can also ramp up efficiency.
- More powerful processors (at least Intel i5 10th generation/AMD Ryzen 3 4000 series) and higher RAM (8 GB or more) keep machine performance steady and reduce work hiccups.
- Adjustable ergonomic chairs and desks, ideally with lumbar support, soft cushioning, and an armrest, can make it comfortable for your staff to seat long hours. Your chairs should also be height-adjustable to accommodate all your employees.
- Tables with a proper height let your employees work comfortably without having to be in an awkward position to reach their equipment on the desk.
3. Utilize formulas and train your employees on them
Using formulas is one of the best ways to speed up data entry significantly. It can automate a lot of the processes and cut down on necessary steps to add data to your spreadsheets.
Here are a few examples of when formulas can be instrumental in fast data entry:
- Adding the total sales in a day with incurred expenses
- Computing the gross salary of employees
- Calculating commission fees based on percentages
To do this:
- Identify the parts of your data entry workflow that can benefit from formulas
- Assign your most skilled data entry person to set up the necessary spreadsheets, including the formulas
- Orient the staff members involved on how to fill in data on the spreadsheet
One challenge you may face is if, somehow, the formula stops working or the resulting numbers end up being off. But if you follow the first tip, you can easily resolve this by having one of your staff diagnose the spreadsheet. Even if they’re unfamiliar with the formulas used, their basic knowledge of the program should be enough to identify the problem.
4. Discuss how to improve company’s data entry with staff
One of the best sources of information on how to improve your data entry lies within your own company: your staff. With their firsthand experience, they can tell you a thing or two about data entry.
For one, they can express their suggestions, concerns, or grievances about data entry for their work. Their output can help you gauge how you can go about modifying their workflow around data entry.
Here are a few ways their output can help:
- Impact of data entry on their workload – Is it manageable, or does it vastly affect their productivity?
- Sentiments on data entry in general – How do they feel about it? Are they alright with it, or would they prefer to allocate more of their time to other tasks?
- Whether data entry should be part of their work at all – Do their roles really require data entry, or should someone from another role/department do it?
Whether it’s technical feedback or general sentiments about data entry, their opinions can give you a holistic view of how to best approach data entry in your company.
Chances are, many of your staff will talk about data entry as it relates to their other responsibilities. After all, data entry is just one task out of many others that may be more critical for certain roles.
By collecting their feedback, you can come up with an approach that is both effective and in line with your staff. This can result in better data entry thanks to collaboration.
If you want to step up your company’s data entry, the best tip is to start by better leveraging your current staff. Focus on leveraging and maximizing their capabilities with an optimized workflow or better equipment. WelcomeWare, for example, amplifies your front desk’s capabilities by letting them manage multiple front desks through a remote work setup. With sleek customer facing healthcare kiosks that can capture documents via a scanner, you can also decrease misspellings and make the check-in process faster and more convenient. With a streamlined workflow from WelcomeWare, your staff can focus on each task with precision and quality for better overall productivity.
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