What Is Data Entry?
Data entry refers to the act of transcribing data of any kind into another form. Data entry usually refers to entering data into a database, like a spreadsheet or other computer file.
Computers are ubiquitous tools both at home and at work, and there is a huge demand for the collection and presentation of data-based documents in everything from doctor’s offices to school administration and even the accounting field. People who are good at data entry are excellent typists, especially typists who are skilled at using the “10-key” section of the keyboard to enter numbers. To qualify for a job in data entry, you should have fast (and accurate) typing skills as well as lots of 10-key ability.
People who work in the field of data entry are should also be able to read longhand (even the worst handwriting such as that of doctors) as well as typewritten documents. Obviously, accuracy is key in the field of data entry. In data entry, the wrong letter, number, or symbol can ruin an entire document, especially if that document is meant for computer programming or another technical field. Even in simple spreadsheets typos can be embarrassing and damaging to an office setting.
What Kinds of Data Are Transcribed with Data Entry?
Some different kinds of data that people might transcribe are handwritten documents in a doctor’s office, spreadsheet info, long sequences of patternless numbers that go toward building a computer program, or the simplest of data like names and addresses for an accounting firm. You may find yourself working a job that is almost exclusively data entry, while others fields that require data entry skills could spend most of their time away from the keyboard — it depends on the job.
Skills to Learn for Data Entry Jobs
By now it should be obvious that a job in the data entry field will require the ability to focus on the most menial of tasks for long periods of time making few errors. This kind of work can be mentally and physically exhausting, so a personal desire to complete a serious challenge is a good trait.
Remember that data entry work demands you type for hours at a time, so you must pay attention to your posture, and remember that you should type in an ergonomically appropriate position to avoid wear and tear on your back, arms, hands, fingers, and other parts of your body. Regular breaks from typing are important to your physical health — your eyes and hands simply need rest from time to time. Your typing speed needs to be really high to make up for the fact that you need to take a break from data entry at least once every hour. You need to be able to make up lost time when resting.
When looking for a job in data entry, be aware that there are plenty of “scams” out there aimed at data entry professionals. The most obvious scams are those that promise data entry work if you pay a simple up-front fee. Remember — never pay a fee just to get a job.
Most data entry jobs (especially without experience) pay between $10 and $15 per hour, depending on experience and the nature of the job. If you have a specialty, like medical transcription, you can make a lot more cash if you work in that field.