Curious about data entry outsourcing?
Data entry is a specialized and time-consuming task that needs to be assigned to skilled professionals.
However, hiring a full-time employee solely for the data entry process can be too expensive for most startups and SMBs. Sometimes, even large companies might occasionally need to outsource to take care of any additional data entry work.
So how do you go about it?
In this complete guide to data entry outsourcing, we’ll highlight the 3 key benefits of outsourcing the data entry process.
We’ll also cover 5 things you need to keep in mind while choosing your service provider and how to manage them efficiently. Finally, we’ll highlight three excellent data entry service providers to help you get started immediately.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- What is data entry outsourcing?
- 3 Key benefits of outsourcing the data entry process
- 5 Things to consider before outsourcing data entry
- How to manage your outsourced data entry professionals
- Top 3 vendors for outsourcing your data entry service
Let’s get started.
What is Data Entry Outsourcing?
Data entry outsourcing refers to hiring external help to handle the data entry tasks of your business.
Data entry jobs could be anything like:
- Transcribing handwritten document
- Claims data entry
- Product data entry
- Filling in MS Excel sheets for back-office accounting
- Survey data entry
- Raw data conversion and data input
- Document management services
- Image data entry
- Invoice data entry
- Offline data entry service like forms processing
Why outsource the data entry process?
The main objective of outsourcing data entry is to save tons of time and money.
As a third-party will be handling the tasks, you can easily focus on core business functions like marketing, finance, and operations.
But how is it usually done?
There are two ways you can go about data entry outsourcing:
- Onshore outsourcing: this refers to outsourcing within your own country (on-site or remote). While it can be an expensive business process, it’s easier to communicate and collaborate with the outsourcing partner.
- Offshore outsourcing: refers to hiring a foreign entity like India or the Philippines for your data entry work. This usually saves you a lot of money, but might bring in some collaboration issues.
To know more about onshoring and offshoring, click here.
3 Key Benefits of Outsourcing the Data Entry Process
Data entry outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular across a wide range of industries. From accounting to healthcare, most companies are looking to outsource data entry services.
Here are 3 key reasons behind this:
A. Cost Savings
Generally, outsourcing a data entry task to a service provider reduces your expenses significantly.
Here are three reasons why:
- You don’t need to spend a huge amount of resources on hiring and training an in-house employee to do this.
- You don’t need to invest in any data entry related software.
- You’ll save on the operational cost of employing someone like allowances and insurance.
Another significant benefit of outsourcing is that you can hire an offshore data entry service and enjoy additional cost savings.
For example, hiring data entry professionals from the Philippines comes at a far lower cost when compared to hiring a professional from the US.
But what about the quality of work?
That won’t be a problem as long as you outsource to a service provider with an excellent track record. As they employ professionals with years of training and experience, you’ll receive high quality service.
B. Better Accuracy
Data entry professionals are skilled at their job since it’s what they’re trained for.
This makes their work much less prone to errors.
As the outsourced staff brings in their own professional experience and tools, it’s very likely that they will provide time-efficient and accurate data entry – especially when compared to an inexperienced in-house team.
C. Increased Business Focus and Productivity
Chances are, your entire organization is pretty busy attending to your core competencies.
For example, a market research company could be focusing on data mining and data processing, while a real-estate business could be focusing on identifying excellent properties.
Therefore, it makes no sense to assign data entry work to any of those employees as it’ll come at the cost of taking time away from what they specialize in.
This can reduce their productivity, which ultimately affects your organization’s overall efficiency.
Outsourcing takes care of these headaches so that your employees can work on what they do best!
5 Things to Consider Before Outsourcing Data Entry
Those were some impressive benefits, right?
But don’t just go and choose an outsourcing partner provider right away!
Let’s go over 5 things to consider to pick the right data entry company:
1. Calculate the Potential Cost Benefit
Before making any hiring decisions, you need to get your maths right.
You need to know exactly how much the data entry outsourcing service can benefit your bottom line.
For that, you’ll need to calculate how much it would currently cost to do the job in-house using your own employees.
Once you have the data, you can use that as a reference while choosing data entry professionals. The goal is to not hire an agency or professional that would cost you more than doing it in-house.
2. Ensure Security Measures of the Service Provider
Security is always important whenever you’re dealing with sensitive company or client data. This becomes especially vital when that data is going to be shared with an external entity like an outsourcing provider.
When choosing your data entry service provider, you need to understand the security measures the company/agency is offering.
In general, these measures must meet industry requirements.
For example, if you are in the healthcare industry, you’d face serious legal issues if your information pipelines aren’t HIPAA compliant.
Similarly, if you are dealing with the financial sector, you can open yourself up to lawsuits if your client data isn’t securely handled.
To sum it up, no matter which industry you’re in, whether it’s e-commerce or accounting, ensure that the company you’re hiring is up-to-date with their data security protocols.
3. Evaluate Your Needs
Before hiring a data entry specialist company, it’s important that you clearly map out your business needs.
It’s common for businesses to have custom needs (specific requirements) beyond just normal data-entry like:
- Data capture
- Data mining
- Data conversion
- Data extraction
For example, if you need some advanced analysis and processing of your data, look for a company that could cater to your versatile data entry requirements.
Another common requirement you should look for is 24*7 customer support. This way, in case there are any issues, things can be resolved quickly.
It’s also important to ensure that the service provider uses the latest technology and software to perform the data entry task. This gives you better quality service at a lower cost when compared to buying the software yourself.
4. Turnaround Time
If your organization often has a lot of data entry tasks, then it’s important to check the turnaround time of the service provider. This is especially crucial when you are working in a time-sensitive industry like healthcare.
Ensure that your data entry operator has the proper resources like skilled professionals and modern technology to handle the workload.
Another common requirement with some industries is a dedicated emergency service line. This refers to on-demand data entry solutions with very short turnaround time. If your business requires such facilities, let the outsourcing firm know of this requirement before working with them.
Since you are handing over control of an important business function, you’d definitely want to work with data entry experts.
This is critical for sensitive industries like medicine and insurance claims processing — not just because of security reasons but also because you can’t afford human errors in your data.
Do thorough research on the outsourcing company that you are planning to work with.
Ensure that the service provider is financially stable since you don’t want to outsource your data entry work to a company or professional who can’t afford the necessary resources.
Additionally, to be extra-safe, check their client testimonials to get an idea of the quality of service and the client satisfaction that they provide.
How to Manage Your Outsourced Data Entry Professionals
While outsourcing is very useful, it comes with various management and collaboration challenges — especially when done remotely.
However, with the right set of tools, this can be overcome easily.
Here are three kinds of software that you must have in your arsenal if you are planning to outsource data-entry:
1. Communication and Collaboration Tools
Effective communication is important, right?
You don’t want to have errors in your data due to miscommunication.
However, you can’t just rely on emails for all your communication needs. To start with, emails are very limited when it comes to having task-relevant discussions. For example, with emails, you can’t just quote a specific set of data and have a comment thread for further discussions.
For that, you’ll need team collaboration tools.
Here are 3 important business communication tools which you must have in your toolbox:
- Instant messaging tools like Slack for having organized task-relevant communication channels and file sharing.
- Video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams for having important virtual meetings with your team and hired professionals. You can also share your screen for detailed explanations.
- Cloud storage and document collaboration tools like Google Drive and Google Sheets. This not only gives you a secured platform to store your data but also allows real-time document collaboration features like comments and edits on the datasheets.
2. Productivity Tracking Tools
Need a way to ensure that your data entry experts are only billing you for productive hours spent on your work?
All you need is a powerful time tracking software like Time Doctor.
What is Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a robust time and productivity tracking software used by large companies, like Verizon, as well as small businesses, like Firehouse Subs, to efficiently manage in-house employees or outsourced professionals.
Time Doctor can help you by:
- Analyzing the performance of the hired data entry experts with detailed, comprehensive reports.
- Tracking productivity across work apps through various platform integrations with apps like Trello and ClickUp.
- Ensuring that your data entry professionals are actively working during work hours.
- Helping you analyze where your data entry professionals are spending their hours.
- Automatically generating invoices using detailed time reports.
- Tracking time remotely using a functional Android app.
Bottom line: With Time Doctor, you can ensure that your hired professionals are making the best use of their time for your data entry tasks.
3. Project Management Tools
Streamlining your business operations can be a challenge — especially when you are working with outsourced data entry experts.
You need your data entry project to integrate well with your general project workplace. This way, you can ensure that your entire business is running smoothly, and there are no productivity hiccups.
For this, you need to ensure that:
- You are assigning tasks in an organized way.
- You can keep track of the status of their work.
- You have a systematic workflow charted out for them.
Using an efficient project management tool, you can take care of all these and more!
You can also perform advanced management functions like prioritizing tasks, mapping out dependencies, and tracking the overall progress of your entire organization.
All you have to do is pick one from the vast options of project management tools that are out there like Jira, Trello, ClickUp, and more.
Bonus Tip: Time Doctor can integrate with all these tools to ensure that your data entry professionals remain productive on these platforms.
Top 3 BPO Companies for Outsourcing Data Entry Service
Choosing the right outsourcing partner can be overwhelming when there are tons of options out there.
But don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you.
Here are three data entry outsourcing companies which provide excellent outsourcing services:
Invensis is a global data entry outsourcing company that has 20 years of experience in providing high-quality, cost-effective services for your data entry needs.
They have facilities like 24-hours dedicated customer service and multilingual online data entry projects. They also offer services like data mining, data cleansing, data conversion, data management.
Oworkers is an outsourcing company with 15 years of experience specializing in multilingual data entry solutions for global clients. With a strong team of professionals from countries like Bulgaria and Egypt, Oworkers also offers data annotation and content moderation services.
3. SunTec India
SunTec has been a leading low cost data entry service provider in the industry for 21 years. They follow the ISO and HIPAA guidelines for information security and data confidentiality. They also offer data management and data processing services according to your requirements.
Not only does data entry outsourcing save your in-house team from performing tedious, repetitive work, it also gives you a more time-efficient and accurate data entry process.
However, remember to outsource carefully to ensure a secure and accurate data entry service.
Carefully go through the list of providers and tips we covered here to determine which data entry provider suits you best.
After that, just use the tools listed here and you’ll have no trouble saving tons of time and money by outsourcing your data entry activities!
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.