4 Common Data Entry Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

CORE Employee checking data

Data entry is a fundamental skill that allows businesses to keep track of all their information. These records must be accurate, secure, and in the correct order. As a result, organizations must avoid as many data entry errors as possible.

What exactly is a data entry error?

Data is a collection of facts, figures, or statistics used for analysis and decision-making. The act of entering information into an electronic medium, such as a computer or other electronic device, is known as data entry. With these things in mind, data entry errors happen when information is not set up, arranged, or coded correctly.

The frequent occurrence of data entry errors not only causes inconvenience but also incurs unnecessary costs. According to a Gartner report, the average financial impact of poor data quality on an organization’s annual cost ranges between $9.7 million and $14.2 million. Aside from the costs associated with errors, bad data can also cause business problems. For example, a single misspelled character could already be the cause of a disagreement within the company or in court.

Although data entry errors are a common annoyance, businesses can avoid making them in a variety of ways. However, before organizations do all of the fixing, they should be aware of the following common data entry errors.

a person typing on laptop

What are the most common data entry mistakes?

Data entry errors are frequently attributed to either a human or an automation issue. This type of lapse is divided into four categories.

Errors in transcription

Typographical errors, misspelled letters, duplicate words, and the omission of specific words, names, and other details are examples of transcription errors. During the encoding process, these errors happen when a certain text can’t be read because of bad handwriting, a poorly copied document, blotches and dirt on the scanner, or wrinkles and other flaws in the paper.

Overall, transcription errors are made by both human operators and optical character recognition (OCR) programs. It can also happen when attempts to scan printed materials have been compromised or rendered in an unusual font.

Errors in transposition

Transposition errors occur when numbers are swapped inadvertently to form incorrect sequences. An example of this error would be if an employee typed ‘296’ into the data spreadsheet instead of ‘269.’ A value error like this has serious consequences. For example, if two numbers are switched by accident, it could have a big effect on a financial statement and make it look like a business is doing fraudulent financial reporting.

Inconsistencies in units or representation

Some minor inconsistencies can be regarded as highly probable errors in unit formats and other critical data. These irregularities appear to be technically correct, but they are still ambiguous. Inconsistencies in unit and representation are common in the use of details such as dates and times, addresses, and measurements. One example is using numbers, where an integer replaces decimals in a data cell, or ‘1’ becomes ‘1.0’.

Inadequate data formatting

When correct data is entered into the wrong columns, incorrect data formatting errors occur. Incorrect data formatting produces inaccurate outputs, resulting in database disorganization. Some examples of this kind of mistake are putting the wrong name of a venue in the address column or putting in so many details that a data entry program can’t sort them out.

Some well-known methods for correcting data entry errors

Data entry policy

The 1–10–100 Rule, developed by George Labovitz and Yu Sang Chang in 1992, aims to improve data quality by putting a hypothetical cost on prevention, correction, and failure. This method says that it costs $1, $10, and $100, respectively, to fix each data record at the beginning, during the batching process, and at the end.

Data cleansing

Data cleansing is another method that will assist businesses in dealing with data entry errors. During this step, data that isn’t complete, up-to-date, duplicated, irrelevant, or formatted wrongly is taken out of the system.

How can businesses avoid common data entry mistakes?

Data entry mistakes can be costly, especially when large amounts of data are involved. However, vigilance is required to significantly resolve these issues. That being said, here are some pointers on how to avoid data entry mistakes.

happy employees working on data

Improve the workforce

One of the root causes of data entry errors is that some businesses lack the resources to adequately train their employees. Training employees in data accuracy and integrity measures, whether in IT, administration, or other departments, may solve the majority of data entry problems. Employees will understand how important data is and how inaccurate data can affect how a business runs.

Create a pleasant working environment

The working environment has a significant impact on productivity. A location that allows people to concentrate on their tasks and responsibilities would aid them in completing their tasks. With this in mind, businesses should make it easy for employees to do their jobs. This will help the company in many ways, including making fewer or no data entry mistakes.

Overloading should be avoided

Manual data entry errors occur due to the resource-intensive and monotonous nature of the task. While businesses want to achieve as many results as possible as quickly as possible, overloading data entry employees with tasks isn’t the best way to do so, especially when management imposes unrealistic targets in a short time frame.

Offshoring is beneficial

If hiring in-house data entry employees is not a viable option, offshoring them would be extremely beneficial. Offshored data entry employees will handle data handling duties such as checking, organizing, updating, and maintaining critical business information. Also, when businesses offshore data entry services, employees and managers can focus more on important tasks that will help the business achieve its goals.

Make use of automation tools

Using system software to integrate automation can improve the entire data entry process. So, businesses can save time and money while keeping their data clean and reducing the chances of making mistakes when entering data.

Check all data entries twice

When it comes to entering data correctly, accuracy trumps speed. Given this, data entry employees must maintain their focus on data entry tasks. They must ensure the accuracy of field labels, categories, and data entries.

Why is data verification important?

Data checking is one of the fundamental elements of running a business. It assists businesses in tracking organizational goals, operating at a higher level, and maximizing people’s time to be productive. Checking and verifying data entries helps business owners manage costs, deal with administrative burdens, and focus on their business’s core functions. This is especially true for large businesses.

Despite the fact that it is a non-core function, offshoring data entry services can help you better manage data and business information. One CoreDev IT (CORE) ensures that each client’s program meets their goals and requirements. Our Employer of Record (EOR) services are the best in the business, and the people we hire are skilled professionals who are eager to help our clients.

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