Manual Data Entry – Drawbacks and Solutions

Organisations and companies in almost all sectors depend heavily upon data for their operations. Data is imperative for informed decision making, response to change, and establishment of strategic goals. So why do so many organisations play Russian roulette with such a valuable asset?

In today’s digital world, manual data entry still remains the mainstream of data management. This entails manually entering specific data such as customer name, business type, income etc., from various sources, including personal bills and ID documents. Usually performed by data entry operators, they are trained to look for relevant data from their sources and copy them into a digital medium. Manual data entry may be suitable for small scale operations, but it restricts expansion and inhibits progress due to the following reasons, all of which are interconnected:  

1. Cost

The cost penalty associated with manual data entry is counterintuitive. Most companies that choose manual data entry cite cost escalation of automation as a reason, but this is misleading. Manual data entry involves hidden costs. The cost of employees performing the manual data entry is the apparent cost element, but the hidden cost is a correction. Data entry errors can affect an organisation’s bottom line by almost 30 per cent or more (Gartner, 2021). In addition, Verification of data accuracy and correction are additional costs that are often overlooked.

2. Manual Data Entry Error Rate

Research has found that data entry operators make up to 10.23 errors per 30 datasheets. The high error rates associated with manual data entry can be attributed to various reasons, from inadequate training of data entry professionals to human fatigue, misinterpretation of data etc. These errors can be debilitating to businesses.

At the most superficial level, it can affect internal operations, customer satisfaction and external supplier relationships. When the data entry error involves money, a company, big or small, could overpay/underpay vendors, overcharge/undercharge clients, disrupt their accounting and auditing processes and get into financial/legislative trouble.

3. Slow turnaround times

Manual data entry is time-consuming.  An average rate of keystrokes can vary from 6,000 to 15,000 per hour, depending on data entry speed. Data that requires understanding before being entered can delay the process even further. To avoid delays, companies would need to hire good data entry operators, who must be trained – this leads to extra expenditure and further delays.

4. Human Boredom 

Manual data entry is repetitive and tedious. It has been known to be demoralising, especially when the operator chooses better and more productive work in the company, resulting in employee dissatisfaction and a high turnover rate. Severe problems in today’s highly competitive business environment!

Conclusion 

As companies diversify and expand, the amount of data they deal with also increases exponentially, and manual data capture simply cannot keep up with the processing demands resulting in a “choke point.” This disruption is not a temporary or a one-time problem that would go away with time because it would be persistent and repetitive and can adversely affect the scale-up of the organisation.

Manual data entry is costly, inaccurate, and demoralising. These issues can lead to a loss of focus from the core or strategic tasks. Thus, manual data entry cannot support the strategic, sustainable growth of an organisation.

Scantek’s ecosystem is fast, accurate and completely digital, therefore eliminating any chance of human error. Having removed the need for any manual handling, you’ll be able to divert those resources towards more important revenue-generating areas of your business. To find out more about Instant Identity Verification and how it can benefit your business, contact Scantek.

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