Pure data entry is still a resource-intensive task for many companies in 2023. Thus found Zapier found out that, on average, 76 percent of employees spend up to 3 hours per day moving data from one location to another. And, 73 percent spend the same amount of time looking for information in a given document. 83 percent take up to 3 hours to fix errors in a data entry.
It is therefore no wonder that more and more companies are turning to data entry software. With these, they can capture data automatically, enter it into their databases, process it and evaluate it. But what should companies look for when choosing data entry software? What features should it have to make data entry virtually effortless? We'll show you how to find software that intelligently automates the entire process of data capture, entry and evaluation.
This article was written in German, automatically translated into other languages and editorially reviewed. We welcome feedback at the end of the article.
Data Entry Program Definition
Data Entry Programs are software applications that facilitate the process of data entry. How data entry is performed with software depends on the type of data entry. Typically, organizations today use a user interface through which employees enter information into digital forms or databases in writing. Programs play an important role in converting physical data into digital data and enable companies to capture, process and store information electronically.
With structure to fewer errors and more consistency
Data Entry Programs allow users to capture data in a structured and organized manner. This can be customer data, orders, inventory, financial information or other business-critical information. To do this, software usually provides fields or categories into which specific data can be entered. This minimizes the likelihood of errors and ensures consistent data entry. Some Data Capture Programs also provide validation mechanisms to ensure that the data entered meets the required criteria.
With the current rapid development of AI and machine learning, more and more companies are turning to intelligent data entry typing software.
With this, they can automate the entire process of data entry - from capturing data from various sources, to inputting it, to analyzing it and passing it on to subsequent workflows. The bottom line is that companies can use Data Entry Computer Programs to save time and resources and thus reduce costs.
Enter Data: Companies have these Options
Companies have various options for entering data. The choice of the appropriate method depends on the specific requirements of the company, the type of data to be entered and the available resources. Often, multiple methods are combined to ensure efficient and accurate data entry. Here are the most common types of data entry:
In manual data entry, employees enter information by hand into predetermined forms, tables, or databases. This can be done physically or electronically. Typically, employees use data entry software such as Excel to do this. Manual entry is a time-consuming method and carries a higher risk of human error. Nevertheless, it is often used in smaller companies or for one-time data entry.
Electronic forms or websites allow companies to enter information directly into online forms. The data is then automatically transferred to a database. This saves time and reduces errors, as the data entered is directly processed digitally.
Voice input and voice recognition
Voice input systems allow users to enter data verbally. In this process, speech recognition software translates the spoken words into text, enabling fast and convenient data entry. This technology is mainly used in voice assistants and transcription services.
Barcodes and QR codes
Barcodes and QR codes consist of optical markings that contain information on products or labels. Companies use scanners or smartphones with appropriate apps to read the codes and capture the data they contain. This is a fast and efficient way to capture data in warehouse management systems or at points of sale.
Companies can import data from external sources, such as partners, suppliers or customers. This is usually done by importing files that have specific formats or structures. Data import enables companies to combine information from different sources and use it in their internal systems.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to transmit data wirelessly. RFID tags are attached to objects for this purpose. Special readers can then retrieve the information from the tags. This method enables contactless and automated recording of data, for example in logistics, goods transport or access control.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI technologies enable companies to extract and analyze data from multiple sources. Text recognition can, for example, capture text in images and PDF documents. Machine Learning makes it possible to recognize patterns in large amounts of data and to make predictions.
Data entry: Here's how to do it in 9 Steps
Let's take a look at practice: How do employees proceed when they want to digitally record data from a source in the company system?
- Preparation and materials
The employee will ensure that they have the necessary materials to manually enter the data. This includes a computer or other digital device on which to capture the data and physical data to be converted to digital format. This may be handwritten documents, forms, or other written records. Alternatively, it can also obtain the data from a digital source.
- Open the required software or application
The employee starts the computer and opens the software or application they want to use for data entry. This may be a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel, a word processor such as Microsoft Word, or specialized data entry software.
- Data preparation
The employee organizes the data that he wants to transfer into the desired digital format. He sorts them according to categories or criteria to ensure that the data can be captured in a structured and clear manner.
- Start data entry
The employee opens a new document or file in the software. He starts entering the data from the sources into the digital format. Depending on the type of data, he enters text, numbers, date values and other relevant information.
- Create data fields
As the data is entered into the software, the employee creates appropriate data fields or columns to organize the various pieces of information. For example, he might create separate columns for each record for first name, last name, date of birth, and so on.
- Format data
The employee uses the software's formatting tools to ensure that data is consistent and easy to read. He adjusts the font, font size, and colors to improve clarity.
- Data verification
The employee carefully goes through the captured data to ensure that there are no errors or typos. A thorough review is important to ensure the accuracy of the digitized data.
- Saving the data
The employee saves the file in an appropriate file format (e.g. Excel, CSV, PDF) in a location where it can be easily accessed and securely stored.
- Create backup
The employee creates a backup copy of the digitized data to ensure that it can be restored in the event of data loss.
10 Reasons why Companies should automate their Data Entry
In practice, the most important thing for companies is that data entry requires as little effort as possible. Because:
Until now, it has taken employees up to 3 hours a day to move data from one place to another.
This is where Data Entry Programs come into play. They automate the entry process. Companies benefit from this in this way:
Automating data entry replaces repetitive manual tasks. This reduces the workload. Employees no longer have to enter data manually. This allows them to focus on more important and strategic tasks, which increases the overall efficiency of the company.
Human error is inevitable with manual data entry. An automation minimizes this risk, as it is based on predefined rules and algorithms that ensure consistent and error-free data processing. This leads to higher data quality and helps avoid costly errors.
Automating data entry reduces staffing needs by reducing the number of employees companies need to hire for repetitive data entry. This reduces regular expenses.
With automated data entry, information is immediately available to companies. In the process, data is captured, processed and updated in systems in real time. This enables decision makers to use up-to-date information and react faster to changing conditions.
Automated data entry can be easily adapted to increasing data volumes. Modern systems can thereby efficiently handle a larger volume of data without causing bottlenecks or performance losses. Companies are thus prepared for future growth.
Through automation, data entry and processing takes place in a fraction of the time compared to manual entry. This speeds up internal processes and improves the speed of response to customer inquiries or business needs.
Better data analysis
Automated data entry ensures structured and consistent data that is more suitable for data analysis. Clean data is the foundation for meaningful insights and informed business decisions.
Focus on value creation
Automation frees employees from time-consuming data entry and allows them to focus on activities that add value to businesses. This increases productivity and promotes innovation and creativity.
Automated data entry enables faster and more accurate processing of customer inquiries or orders. This leads to an improved customer experience and higher satisfaction.
Companies that automate their data entry can be more agile and innovative. They have access to up-to-date data that allows them to better adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. This gives them a competitive advantage over competitors who still rely on manual data entry.
11 Features that a good Data Entry Program should have
For companies that collect, process, analyze and evaluate floods of data on a daily basis, there is only one efficient solution: they need data entry management software that automates the entire data entry process. What should a top data entry software be able to do?
User friendly interface
Data Entry Programs should have a user-friendly interface. After all, a clear design and clear instructions make it easy for users to set up, control and manage automatic data entry quickly and easily - without wasting a lot of time learning complicated processes.
Input validation is an important feature to ensure high data quality. Data Entry Process software should therefore verify that the data entered meets the expected criteria, such as specific data types, numeric values, or date formats. This validation can prevent errors and inconsistencies.
Data Entry Programs should offer the possibility to import data from different sources and export it in different formats. This ensures interoperability with other systems and simplifies data exchange with external partners or service providers.
Seamless integration with a database is critical to securely store and easily access the data entered. A well-functioning database connection allows users to manage, search, and update data efficiently.
Error detection and correction
Data Entry Programs should have an error detection function to identify potential errors or invalidities in the data entered. The software should then assist users in correcting the errors or correct them automatically. In this way, the program ensures that companies are accessing reliable information.
Support for different data types
Versatile Data Entry Programs can automatically capture and process different types of data such as text, numbers, dates, images or other specific formats. This is important to be able to process and merge different types of information.
Data security is a critical aspect of a data entry typing software. It should therefore have security mechanisms that ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data entered. This includes access protection, encryption of sensitive information and regular data backup.
Customizable user roles
The ability to create different user roles with different access rights and permissions improves data security and control. Administrators can then restrict access to specific functions or data, depending on the roles and responsibilities of the users.
Data Entry Programs should be able to keep pace with growing data volumes and increasing business demands. A scalable solution allows the program to function smoothly even if data entry or user numbers increase - without sacrificing performance.
Logging and audit
Automated logging of data changes and an audit function are important to ensure transparency and traceability of data entries. It should be possible to track who edited or inserted which data and when, in order to identify and investigate possible irregularities.
Support for multilingualism
Data Entry Programs should allow data entry and processing in different languages to meet the needs of international companies.
8 Data Entry Programs Companies should know
Companies can simplify their data entry with the following Data Entry Programs. Depending on the requirements and type of data, a different tool is suitable:
Google Spreadsheets is a web-based spreadsheet application that is part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). It allows creating and editing spreadsheets in real time. Multiple collaborators can work on a spreadsheet simultaneously, which makes it ideal for collaborative data entry. It is well suited for simple data entry, data analysis and visualization.
LibreOffice Calc is a free, open-source spreadsheet application that is part of the LibreOffice package. It offers similar features to Microsoft Excel and is suitable for creating complex tables, calculations and charts. It is especially useful when extensive data processing and analysis is required.
Similar to LibreOffice Calc, OpenOffice Calc is a free, open-source spreadsheet application. It provides basic spreadsheet functions and is suitable for users who need simple data entry and basic calculations.
Zoho Sheet is part of Zoho Office Suite and is a web-based spreadsheet. It enables real-time collaboration and offers features such as macros, data import from various sources and advanced calculation functions. It is suitable for small teams and companies that want to collaborate on data and perform analysis.
Airtable is a combination of spreadsheet and database that allows flexible and visual data entry. It is particularly well suited for projects that require data to be organized in multiple views. Airtable is suitable for teams that want to manage structured data in a collaborative environment.
Trello is a visual task and project management software that is organized in the form of boards, lists, and cards. While Trello is not traditionally intended for data entry, it can still be used for simple record keeping and tracking of information. It is suitable for those who prefer a visual and flexible way of data entry.
Notion is an all-in-one platform for knowledge management, project organization and team collaboration. It offers flexible options for data entry, organization and presentation. Although it is not specifically designed for data entry, it can still be customized for multiple use cases, including database and information management.
Konfuzio is a data entry cloud software that combines advanced AI-powered technology, ease of use, high security and scalability. This makes it a powerful solution - especially for companies with large amounts of data. To achieve this, the software has, among other things, a freely trainable AI that not only compiles and extracts data according to its own requirements, but also automatically validates and evaluates the data according to self-determined criteria.
Data Entry Programs are specialized software applications for efficiently capturing and organizing data from various sources such as forms or documents. They reduce manual entry, minimize errors and increase productivity in various industries such as healthcare, finance and e-commerce. The programs improve data management and facilitate data analysis for businesses.
Companies often enter data manually - into forms or databases, for example. Companies in industry, on the other hand, are more likely to use sensors on products to collect data automatically. Alternatively, companies can use web forms on websites to collect data from customers. In addition, there is the option of importing data from external sources, such as suppliers or partner companies. Automatic data entry that relies on AI and machine learning has proven to be particularly efficient.
A Data Entry Program should be able to capture, store and manage data in an automated way. It should offer an intuitive user interface as well as automatic validation mechanisms to minimize errors and improve data quality. It should also provide the ability to import and export data to ensure seamless integration with other applications. Security features are also important to ensure data confidentiality. In addition, a data entry program should have comprehensive documentation to track the addition and modification of data.