Data entry clerk

Data entry clerk

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Data entry clerk'
Start a new discussion about 'Data entry clerk'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A data entry clerk, sometimes called a typist
Audio typist
An audio typist is someone who specialises in typing text from an audio source which they listen to. The source, or original document is usually recorded onto microcassettes created by someone dictating into a Dictaphone...

, is a member of staff employed to type data
Data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

 into a database
Database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 using a keyboard
Keyboard (computing)
In computing, a keyboard is a typewriter-style keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches...

. The keyboards used can often have specialist keys and multiple colours to help them in the task and speed up the work.

Examples


For a mailing company, data entry clerks might be required to type in reference numbers for items of mail which had failed to reach their destination, so that the relevant addresses could be deleted from the database
Database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 used to send the mail out. If the company
Company
A company is a form of business organization. It is an association or collection of individual real persons and/or other companies, who each provide some form of capital. This group has a common purpose or focus and an aim of gaining profits. This collection, group or association of persons can be...

 was compiling a database from addresses handwritten on a questionnaire
Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

, the person typing those in would be a data entry clerk. In a cash office, a data entry clerk might be required to type expenses into a database using numerical codes.

Mules


When spammers advertise for data entry clerks they are usually looking for mules
Money mule
A money mule is a person who transfers stolen money or merchandise from one country to another, either in person, through a courier service, or electronically. The term is commonly used to describe on-line scams that prey on victims who are unaware that the money or merchandise they are...

 to operate online accounts for them (email
Email
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 accounts, Ebay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 accounts, bank accounts, Paypal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

 accounts, etc.) See Internet Fraud
Internet fraud
Internet fraud refers to the use of Internet services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme....

 for information on these kinds of scams.

Optical character/mark recognition


With advancing technology, many data entry clerks no longer work with hand-written documents. Instead, the documents are first scanned by a combined OCR/OMR system (optical character recognition
Optical character recognition
Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is the mechanical or electronic translation of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is widely used to convert books and documents into electronic files, to computerize a record-keeping...

 and optical mark recognition
Optical mark recognition
Optical Mark Recognition is the process of capturing human-marked data from document forms such as surveys and tests.-OMR background:...

,) which attempts to read the documents and process the data electronically. The accuracy of OCR, and hence the need for ongoing data entry clerks, varies widely based upon the quality of the original document as well as the scanned image. Although OCR technology is continually being developed, many tasks still require a data entry clerk to review the results afterwards to check the accuracy of the data and to manually key in any missed or incorrect information.

An example of this system would be one commonly used to document health insurance
Health insurance
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care expenses among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is...

 claims, such as for Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In many systems, the hand-written forms are first scanned into digital images (jpeg, tiff, bitmap, etc). These files are then processed by the optical character recognition system, where many fields are completed by the computerized optical scanner. When the OCR software has low confidence for a data field it is flagged for review - not the entire record but just the single field. The data entry clerk then manually reviews the data already entered by OCR, corrects it if needed, and fills in any missing data by simultaneously viewing the image on-screen.

The accuracy of personal records, as well as billing or financial information, is usually of great importance to the general public as well as the health care provider. Sensitive or vital information such as this is often checked many times, by both clerk and machine, before being accepted.

Job security


The job is usually unskilled so casual staff are often employed on a temporary basis
Temporary work
Temporary work or temporary employment refers to a situation where the employee is expected to leave the employer within a certain period of time. Temporary employees are sometimes called "contractual", "seasonal", "interim", "casual staff", "freelance", or "part-time"; or the word may be shortened...

 after a large survey or census has been completed. However, most companies handling large amounts of data on a regular basis will spread the contracts and workload across the year and will hire full-time.

Data entry clerks working with physical hand-written documents is a declining role in the developed world because employees within a company frequently enter their own data as it is collected now instead of having a different employee do this task. For example, an operator
Operator (profession)
An operator is a professional designation used in various industries, including broadcasting , computing, customer service, physics, and construction. Operators are day-to-day end users of systems, that may or may not be mission-critical, but are typically managed and maintained by technicians or...

 working in a call centre
Call centre
A call centre or call center is a centralised office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. A call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing,...

 or a cashier
Cashier
Cashier is an occupation focused on the handling of cash money.- Retail :In a shop, a cashier is a person who scans the goods through a machine called a cash register that the consumer wishes to purchase at the retail store. After all of the goods have been scanned, the cashier then collects...

in a shop. Cost is another reason for the decline. Data entry is labour intensive for large batches and therefore expensive so large companies will sometimes outsource the work to third world countries where there is no shortage of cheaper unskilled labour.