What Do Data Entry Clerks Do?

What Do Data Entry Clerks Do?

What do data entry clerks do?

Data entry being a pervasive activity in today’s world, everyone perhaps has an intuitive understanding of the term data entry as well as expectations from a data entry operator. And they are all, most probably right.

However, called upon to provide a definition, or a formal explanation of the duties, we will all perhaps struggle. This is not because we do not know, but because the duties of a data entry operator are so basic and commonplace that they are almost assumed to be a given without the need for a definition or formal articulation.

Do their duties vary by industry? What do data entry clerks do in a bank that they do not do in an insurance company, or an airline, or a telecommunications company, or a non-profit organization?

Do their duties vary by function? What do data entry clerks do in Human Resources that they do not do in Marketing, or in Legal, or in Administration or in Accounting and Finance or in Sales?

What we will find is that they don’t. The responsibilities of a data entry person do not differ based on industry or function. It could well be one of the more uniform jobs across the industry and function spectrum.

With a leadership team with over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry, oWorkers is able to deploy data entry resources most effectively, based on their skill and experience.

With a large number of technology companies as clients, including unicorn marketplaces, oWorkers has access to the latest technology and tools. This enables our staff to use the most current technologies for client work.


Job Description of a data entry clerk

If you are not the first human to consider employing someone to do a data entry job for you, it is always instructive to look at job descriptions that are being used for the same purpose. Many others have thought about the issue and offered solutions. Let us leverage their collective wisdom for this purpose. Of course, should we wish to make changes before issuing our requirements, it remains our prerogative.

The Job Description we perused listed the responsibilities of a data entry operator as follows:

  • Entering customer and account data from source documents within time limits.
  • Compiling, verifying accuracy and sorting information to prepare source data for computer entry.
  • Reviewing data for deficiencies or errors, correcting any incompatibilities and checking output.
  • Maintaining information on our company databases and computer systems.
  • Collecting and entering data in databases.
  • Maintaining accurate records of valuable company information.
  • Maintaining accurate, up-to-date and usable information in our systems.
  • Inserting customer and account data by inputting text based and numerical information from source documents within time limits.
  • Compiling, verifying accuracy and sorting information according to priorities to prepare source data for computer entry.
  • Reviewing data for deficiencies or errors, correct any incompatibilities if possible and check output.
  • Researching and obtaining further information for incomplete documents.
  • Applying data program techniques and procedures.
  • Generating reports, storing completed work in designated locations and performing backup operations.
  • Scanning documents and print files, when needed.
  • Keeping information confidential.
  • Responding to queries for information and accessing relevant files.
  • Complying with data integrity and security policies.
  • Ensuring proper use of office equipment and addressing any malfunctions.

Quite a handful, don’t you think? But, hopefully, it gives us an answer to the question: “What do data entry clerks do?”

And this is only at the functional level. At the industry, or vertical level, while the job description might remain the same, there would be additional complexities and requirements that would need to be learned for effective execution.

Work may need to be done online or offline. It might involve working with insurance policy issuance or it could require working with municipal birth records. It might ask for handling and uploading name cards collected by a sales leader or it might need translation of a document. The operator may need to data enter manually scribbled notes in the margins of a book or enter invoice related information.  

However, despite the apparent complexity, what makes it possible for data entry jobs to be performed effectively is that most of the time the focus will be on one or two of the functional requirements, not all. And that particular task will need to be done again and again. That might create its own set of challenges but that, and how to handle it, is a discussion for another day.

Regardless of the job profile, on account of its close connections in local communities, oWorkers is able to attract a constant flow of walk-in talent throughout the year, eager to work for us. This helps us in keeping our hiring costs low, which eventually reflects in our pricing. Our clients regularly report savings of upto 80% when compared with pre-outsourcing costs.

This also enables us to cater to peaks and troughs in volumes, without asking clients to bear the cost for the full year. We have the flexibility to hire upto 100 additional heads within 48 hours.

Our employees have an additional skill, that of languages. oWorkers supports clients in over 22 popular languages of the world.


Skills needed for the job

Defining “what do data entry clerks do” is one part of the story. The other is the doing part. Someone needs to get all this work, that we defined earlier, done. Who is the person who is going to do this work? What kind of person is needed for the job to be done? What is the profile? What skill sets do we expect the person to offer?

Educational background

The considered view of managers who hire for data entry jobs is that data entry capability is not aided by any prior educational attainment. The only requirement as far as education is concerned is more of a hygiene factor. The person should be educated enough to be able to understand and execute on requirements. She should have familiarity with basic application software as well as working with devices like laptops and printers. Beyond that, she should possess the basic human skills of being able to work with people and in a team of people and be socially comfortable. Beyond that they can be trained on the requirements of the job.

This is perhaps the reason why supply exceeds demand and wages are low. Most people, who may not be able to qualify for other jobs, can aspire to become data entry operators. On the flip side, since the entry requirements are low, data entry can be a great method to get more people form less than privileged backgrounds into formal employment from where some of them might be able to work their way out of poverty. This is why political leaders often provide support to data entry businesses as they see it as a means of getting more people employed.

Typing skills

Almost everything that will get done in a data entry business, will get done with the help of a keyboard. Maybe a mouse that goes along. Hence, it stands to reason that aspirants for data entry roles should make an effort to brush up their typing skills. One correct answer to the question, “what do data entry clerks do?” is “they type.”

Typing skill is the combination of typing speed as well as typing accuracy. It can be nobody’s case that the operator types fast while making a lot of errors.

An input provided to a computer by means of keypad is very specific, and cannot be mistaken for anything else. This helps the computer in processing data as opposed to inputs it has received that are not specific, an image for example, that it cannot do much with.

Familiarity with application software

Typing interfaces on computer keyboards have evolved from the typewriter, widely used in the pre-computer days to convert the informality of handwriting into the formality of typed information. Though typing skill would mean familiarity with the typing interface of computers, an additional requirement is familiarity with application software.

Application software refers to the software of a program that information will be keyed into. In many cases these are standard software programs like MS Word and MS Excel which can be used for a variety of requirements. It is expected that aspirants looking for data entry jobs come armed with this knowledge. In today’s day and age, it has become a bit like knowing how to type or knowing how to speak English. Of course, in many cases the application is a custom software used only by that company. This will require some training to be imparted to the data entry operator.

Language Skills

Nothing much will happen if two human beings cannot communicate. Communication skills form the basis of all human interaction. And language is the bedrock of communication. Humans have evolved communication skills to the point where we make some sounds from our throat/ mouth that are understood by other human beings. They respond by taking out more sounds from the throat/ mouth which we understand equally well. This is language.

Language could be used casually and informally in a social setting. It becomes more structured and formal, and even precise in a business setting, which facilitates the process of work. Apart from the task, language skills are also important for interacting with colleagues, customers, vendors, and everyone else, both verbally and in writing.

Behavioural Skills

Apart from language, the other equally important part of communication skills is what we convey through our actions and body language and eyes. Just like a ‘picture speaks a thousand words’ a non-spoken gesture conveys more than the spoken word. It is often considered to be the truer of the two. While it is possible to use words different from what you are feeling, as it is a deliberate action, since the body and its parts respond in a natural way to stimuli, there is less room for them to be artificial. This is, of course, true for a workplace setting where people work in close physical proximity, but it is relevant in virtual work as well. True feelings can be conveyed through body language and eye movements.

A person with good behavioural skills will add value to the team, whether to one that does data entry or anything else.

Internet and Research Skills

Taking the computer argument a step further, if it is a computer it must be connected to the internet, the all-pervasive network that connects all computing devices in its embrace, one way or another. Thus, if a data entry person has to work on a computing device, she should be familiar with the internet and possess the ability to do what is called ‘research’ in support of the data entry work she needs to do. Many data entry jobs are done across the world wide web, with data going into a central server instead of being accumulated in small servers around the world and then accumulating as a subsequent step. With bandwidth greatly increasing, most people are now able to work smoothly on systems across the internet.

Another correct answer to the question, “what do data entry clerks do” is “they do research on the internet.”

Number skills

These are an essential part of the make-up of a human being, like communication. Date entry operators don’t need to know differential calculus, but need to have the innate comfort with numbers to identify obvious errors and issues that they come across. Numeracy helps in recognition of patterns. If an operator comes across a date of birth which is, say, 1960, while the hundred he input before this belong to 1990 to 1995, a numerate operator might notice and question and enquire and validate before he goes on, while a non-numerate operator might not. Essentially, it is the ability to handle numbers with ease.

Soft skills

Some use the term soft skills to refer to behavioural skills that we have covered earlier. We have used the term to refer to the other innate skills required by a data entry operator to be successful in a work environment, not merely the ability to get along with other people and communicate with them. These may not be specific to data entry but are equally important for the job. Ability to prioritize, in a multi-task environment, is an important skill, as is time management. These are skills rarely taught, or even specified, but always expected. Soft skills also include an awareness of the organization and its goals and direction and the ability to use them as the Pole Star when you come to a fork in the path and need to take a decision all by yourself, when you are operating virtually and perhaps working late at night.

oWorkers uses a variety of assessment tools at the time of hiring, including typing tests and IQ and EQ tests, to ensure that they are suitable for the data entry job. Our training teams continue to work with frontline staff to ensure that their skills are polished and current. Refresher programs are held for continuous skill building of staff.

As we deliver on client contracts with the help of employed staff and not freelancers, it becomes our responsibility to manage the growth of our staff. Their skills are evaluated and they are assigned to different tasks with the objective of skill-building as well as avoiding boredom in a monotonous job.


The oWorkers advantage

oWorkers has been identified as one of the top three providers of data services amongst all BPOs globally. It is GDPR compliant and ISO certified. It has centers in three separate geographies, offering the possibility of business contingency to clients if they so need. The work you outsource helps us employ more people from disadvantaged communities around the world. We know “what do data entry clerks do.”

The True Cost Of Manual Data Entry in Healthcare

The True Cost Of Manual Data Entry in Healthcare

The True Cost Of Manual Data Entry in Healthcare

An error in processing information can be a nightmare for organizations. Several studies have estimated that the cost of fixing an error is many times the cost of prevention. In other words, extra cost incurred in preventing the error works out cheaper than making the error and then trying to fix it. Whether this is organizational karma or otherwise, the mistake keeps getting made again and again. The more critical the process, the greater the cost of the error?

It is not that organizations make errors knowingly. Obviously not. It is nobody’s case to contend that errors are wilfully made.

So, why do errors happen?

The simple answer is – because of manual processing. Human beings are the smartest beings on the planet. Human intelligence has brought us far ahead of other species to a point where we stand alone. In fact, human intelligence has brought us so far ahead that thanks to the tools we have created, self-annihilation is a real possibility.

Though man has consistently made efforts at automating manual processes, there are many beyond the scope of automation where human intelligence becomes essential. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) based applications are being developed, they too, are a mirror of human intelligence, and not an intelligence beyond.

An automated process can keep doing the same thing, exactly as the one before and the millions before, without fail. It does not think, has no need to aspire for a better life, does not wonder what would happen if it were to do something slightly differently, does not get tired and is not angling for a bonus for processing more transactions. While a human processor might.

Human intelligence, then, comes in the way of manual processes being error free. Of course, we must not forget that humans perhaps are assigned the more difficult parts of processing, the parts that cannot be automated. While elimination of errors will always be the goal, it should also be recognized that that might be a utopian ideal. Of course, we need to take the steps to get closer and closer to that ideal.


Cost of manual healthcare data entry

In a sensitive field like healthcare, data entry errors can be prohibitively expensive.

Treatment related

Time is often of the essence in the treatment of serious and critical conditions. Medical practitioners are trained to take on-the-spot decisions on the basis of information that is available to them at the point of treatment, like in an Operation Theatre (OT).

While many professions are aware of the GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) concept, it takes a sinister turn in the case of healthcare, as lives depend on the data that is going in. The information could be based on tests and physical examinations and would also capture past treatment. If this information is incorrect, the diagnosis is bound to be incorrect. What chance does the treatment have based on a faulty diagnosis based on incorrect data?


Clearly the cost arising out of incorrect treatment is the most significant cost. There are other costs as well, that could be similar to the costs faced by many other industries. For example, date entry takes time away from patient care, the reason for the existence of healthcare systems. Errors could originate also because people not qualified for data entry jobs are having to do it. Essentially, higher costs with lower productivity from the data entry process.


Need for data entry

What exactly does healthcare data entry entail?

The healthcare system generates a huge amount of data. Hospitals, medical centers and medical practitioners who interact with seekers of medical care, need to maintain records regarding the condition of the seeker, treatment advised and progress. There would also be information about diagnostic and other procedures the patient has undergone. Related data could include the billing history and insurance information, at the minimum.

While it may still not be exhaustive, this list might provide an overview of the size, variety and complexity of the task:

  • Hospital records
  • Prescription history
  • Diagnostic and lab tests
  • Radiological reports, films, files
  • Surgical treatment records
  • Medication records
  • Charting of key parameters
  • Account and billing details
  • Medical insurance claim forms
  • Demographics entries
  • Patient interaction records

The data entry would need to be done in various formats like text, numeric, handwritten documents, printed files from other systems, images, etc. To make it even more complex, many of these pieces of information could be sitting inside different systems. Some of them might be able to talk to others, some not.


Outsourcing – the solution for Healthcare Data Entry

But an organization has to operate and deliver the [products and services it was meant to deliver. A hospital cannot stop treating patients because the billing needs to be done on a software. A doctor cannot stop consulting with patients because the medical stores cannot understand her handwritten prescription. They need to continue their mission while trying to handle the related items, some of an administrative nature, in the best manner possible.

One of the best solutions that has presented itself is the emergence of data entry outsourcing as a service. BPO companies, like oWorkers, have been doing data entry for clients for many years. They have done work for clients in different industries enabling them to gain an understanding of the industry and an appreciation of what it takes to succeed in the process. One such industry is healthcare, which can now leverage the resources of these providers and go back to focusing on the activity they were trained for, which is healthcare. 

What can healthcare providers expect from a BPO company that is providing healthcare data entry services to them?

Quality and Accuracy

This is really non-negotiable. We have already seen the costs that are associated with poor quality and accuracy. This continues to be the greatest challenge and perhaps is the one area outsourcers can expect significant improvement. The discipline of ‘process management’ uses the term ‘fatal error’ to refer to a very serious error. Techopedia defines it as “an error that causes a program to terminate without any warning or saving its state. A fatal error, upon occurring, aborts the application currently running, and may cause the user to lose any unsaved changes made in the program.”

In software and engineering the term is used to denote a serious error with a bad outcome, but in healthcare, the error could be fatal in the truest sense of the term. Lives are at stake.

With a track record of over eight years and an experienced management team, oWorkers has consistently met and exceeded client expectations in accuracy. Monitoring transactions, coaching agents who are making errors, providing feedback, are all parts of the normal processing that is done by oWorkers to deliver the highest standards of accuracy.

Turnaround Time/ Speed of Delivery

Though it eventually depends on client need and costs associated with speed, committed providers make it possible for the data to be available to the people who need it soon after it becomes available for data entry. They have great flexibility in their operations and are usually able to adapt their methods to suit those of the client. They are even able to operate from the client premises, if that becomes a key differentiator.

oWorkers runs 24×7 operations in all its three centers around the world. Every minute of the day, and night, is available and can be leveraged for furthering the objectives with which the outsourcing arrangement has been set up. The business being global, clients might even be able to take advantage of the time zone differences and find fully baked data in the database that has been processed while they were asleep.


As it is a commercial engagement you will be entering into, of course there will be a cost implication. However, it should be viewed as a replacement cost and not an additional cost. What this means is that it will be incurred in lieu of a cost that was being incurred elsewhere in the organization for doing the same work, which will now no longer be incurred. Right? It might even make the job of the Finance people easier by being able to more accurately define a budget for it.

We are not even including the savings that might accrue as a result of better decisions resulting from accurate healthcare data entry. Or the level of healthcare services improving when staff are not involved in activities like data entry.

oWorkers clients regularly cite savings of 80% when they outsource to oWorkers. The pricing mechanism is transparent. It includes a dollars per hour rate and a dollars per unit of output rate, along with committed service standards and SLAs. Clients can choose the one they believe will be beneficial for their business.

Data Security

Cybersecurity is a growing concern in today’s world. Advancements in technology also put more powerful tools in the hands of mischief makers. While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to provide many solutions to us, it can also be harnessed by cyber criminals to mount attacks on networks and data systems, one of the main objectives being to steal client and customer information.

Being GDPR compliant, maintaining data securely is a requirement for oWorkers. Requisite checks and balances have been put in place for both digital as well as physical security. With its ISO/IEC 27001 certification, oWorkers is committed to following best practices in technology.


The BPO business is also referred to as an ITES, or Information Technology Enables Services. This is because the business, in a way, has come into existence as a result of advances in digital technology. Leveraging appropriate technologies to advance one’s business interests, therefore, is a given. Notwithstanding, each industry has its own rhythms and its own unique applications. Some common ones used in healthcare being IDX, Medisoft, Hypersoft, Medic, NextGen, Lytec and Eclipse. The partner’s familiarity with applications will facilitate a smoother transition.

With its wide setoff partnerships with technology companies, oWorkers accesses and uses the latest technologies for client requirements and is not limited to a set of pre-defined technologies. oWorkers is also well positioned to offer business continuity to clients in the event the primary delivery site is affected on account of local issues, from any of the three global delivery locations it operates from.

Multi Lingual capability

The world is shrinking and businesses are becoming global. Businesses operate across countries, time zones and languages. The support engine of a business needs to be able to cater to a variety of languages in order to cover its geographical spread. The organization should not need to look for yet another vendor for each language.

When you outsource healthcare data entry to oWorkers, you get a provider with proficiency in 22 languages commonly spoken around the world, across the three delivery centers it operates from. Whether you are a local business or a global behemoth, oWorkers has the solutions for you.


Data entry is work that takes a toll on people, as it is very repetitive. From the organization’s perspective, this means needing to hire almost continuously to fill the gaps when people leave. Besides, since the work is repetitive and does not require too much by way of educational qualifications, the pay is low. So, the employer needs to have access to channels through which such hiring can be done.

oWorkers is a preferred employer in all the communities it works in. This gives us access to a steady stream of walk-in candidates interested in working for us, giving us choices whilst keeping our hiring costs low. Besides, we work on an employment model, not freelancing or contract like some of our competitors. While this places greater responsibility on us for development of staff and their careers, we are happy to do that as it also brings greater loyalty as well as flexibility in deployment.


While most large organizations work on projected budgets, it is not possible to be accurate beyond a point. All businesses go through unexpected and unplanned variations in volumes, true for healthcare data entry as well. This sometimes requires either hiring in a hurry or letting the opportunity slip by if one is not able to do it fast enough.

The hiring capability of oWorkers also provides us the leverage to be able to hire for peaks and troughs. We can hire an extra one hundred people within 48 hours, if required, reducing the burden on the client to carry staffing at peak volume levels through the year.

Management Commitment

It goes without saying that the management should demonstrate their keenness and desire to take on the contract. There is no specific parameter or tool to look at for ascertaining this, but the ability to work together generally can be established during the pre-contract interactions. A business contract will only work if there is something in it for both parties.

oWorkers has a transparent process of delivery and pricing. We commit what we can do and do what we commit. Our leadership team will engage with you from the time you initiate the discussion and continue to oversee delivery.


oWorkers for your Healthcare Data Entry

oWorkers is a pure player, specialising in Data and Content services. It has been identified as one of the three best providers in the world in its area of specialization. Our leadership team comes with over twenty years of hands-on experience in the industry and are engaged on an ongoing basis with clients and the project teams.

In brief, oWorkers should be your partner of your choice.

Data analysis vs data categorization: what’s the difference?

Data analysis vs data categorization: what's the difference?

Data analysis vs data categorization: what’s the difference?

A common understanding of ‘data’ is essential before progressing to the data analysis vs data categorization prior to joining the discussion to understand their differences.

Data is defined as “factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation,” by the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Data is also understood as pieces of information or content that is stored in that particular manner for a specific purpose. Any piece of information that can be placed in a context and leveraged for extracting some future application can be considered as data. Numbers are data, as are characters of the alphabet arranged in sequences. Images of enemy territory are data, as is a video of an engineer following a sequence on the shopfloor.

Though data is also defined as ‘units of information,’ the terms ‘data’ and ‘information are often used interchangeably. However, there are many who use them to mean different things. In general, data is just data, a lot of information that may not have much meaning or use for anyone. When it starts being placed in a context or reviewed with the objective of application, it starts being information that is of use to the owner of that data.


The oWorkers advantage

With its talented pool of resources who have a deep understanding of data, oWorkers retains the ability to go beyond the data analysis vs data categorization discussion and delve deeper into all nature of work that require working with data. We have been awarded as one of the three best data services providers in the world on multiple occasions.

The rich talent pool oWorkers has access to is a result of our relationship which emanates from the deep engagement with the communities we work in. This includes a steady stream of walk-in applicants interested in a job with oWorkers which gives us a choice of talent for all our projects. Whatever the aspect of data they need to work on, our training team is equipped to polish them to deliver in the target process.

A related benefit of access to a continuous talent pool is the ability to provide for short-term ramps in client volumes arising out of planned, expected or unexpected events. Our deep supply pool enables us to meet these short-term requirements. This is a huge cost saving for clients who would normally need to hire resources on a long-term basis despite the work requirement being only for a few days or weeks in the year.


Data analysis vs data categorization: what they mean

Let us look at what data analysis and data categorization mean.

What is Data Analysis?

Data analysis can be understood as the process of making sense of information that is available, with a view to gaining knowledge and understanding about it as well as the underlying variables that have created that data, with a view to applying the learnings for the benefit of the company or individual doing the analysis.

Sounds complex, does it?

When something is put across as a formal statement, it might look daunting at first. However, if you think for a moment, data analysis is a natural process that we do all the time in our personal lives.

When you go to a doctor with an ailment, what does she do? She will look at and understand the symptoms, perhaps ask some questions, correlate the information with your past medical history as well as ailments that might be common at that time of the year and prescribe a cure. What she is doing is data analysis.

When a youngster is exploring courses and universities so that he can make up his mind on which ones to apply to, what is he doing? Isn’t he doing analysis of data? He will look for information on which universities are offering a course of his interest. He will check out their intake criteria and if he will be eligible. He will probably also check the financial requirements and establish which ones he will be in a position to afford. He is analysing the many different pieces of data that will facilitate his decision.

When I am playing tennis, I look at my opponent’s position, try to project his likely movement, and then play a shot with the intention that it is either a winning shot or is a build-up to the winning shot. What did I just do? I analyzed data.

Of course, all these elements of data analysis are perhaps one subliminally, without being called data analysis.

The same process becomes more formal when it is done in a formal setting, like that of a company, and is called data analysis.

What is data categorization?

In the modern enterprise, data is critical. This is not to suggest that data was not critical in the pre-modern enterprise, but with the growth of population and consumer franchises of global corporations, the generation and collection of data has assumed mammoth proportions. Besides, as the world has become increasingly competitive, with democratic, free-market societies becoming the norm, corporations would like to leverage every bit of data at their command to eke out an advantage over their rivals and assume dominance in the marketplace.

Generation of huge volumes of data creates a need for storing it in a manner that it can be accessed by the people and teams who need it for their requirements and are authorized to do so. Categorization of data becomes essential for its future application and useability. Categorization enables data to be stored in a manner where items to be retrieved for a particular requirement can be identified and, hence, retrieved. An organization could drown in the mass of data it has generated if for every single requirement it has to go through the entire data it has collected.

Data categorization could be defined as the process of collecting, sorting and storing data in a manner that will enable easy retrieval when needed as well as access for retrieval, editing and deleting only to a defined set of personnel, or positions, based on the policy of the company.

The oWorkers advantage

By employing the staff needed for its projects, oWorkers creates permanence in project delivery, as opposed to some competitors who choose to rely on freelancers or contract staff. In this context, data analysis vs data categorization ceases to be relevant as we can handle either with equal aplomb, the result of two-way trust built between the employer and staff. The staff trust the employer to monitor and manage career progression while the employer expects staff members to deliver their best on client contracts.


Data analysis vs data categorization: their purpose

Data analysis

Data analysis is a key input process for business leaders. They expect the collective wisdom of past experiences to be distilled out and used as the bedrock for future decision-making and direction.

It can provide key insights about customer behavior, the reason for the existence of the business. The business not only gets information on buying behavior, but also a wholesome view including what the customers are saying about you.

It serves to measure the efficacy of initiatives like marketing and promotional programs; which ones are working and which ones are not, and take decisions on the fly.

It can even serve as a barometer for internal evaluations based on key metrics of the business, either for teams and departments, or for individuals.

In short, data analysis serves as a key input for managerial decision-making.

Data categorization

The main aim of data categorization is arranging data for easy access to authorized users. The stored data becomes easy to understand once categorized and improves its utility manifold. It also serves as an input for data analysis as it would be impossible to analyse raw data that is unstructured and undifferentiated. The exercise also serves as a validation of the data by ensuring that it fits into one of the expected categories, based on characteristics of each individual piece.

Data categorization also serves the purpose of regulatory compliance. Many jurisdictions have laws pertaining to storage, searchability and retrievability of data.

With several unicorn marketplaces as longtime clients, oWorkers understand the challenges of this work and is equipped to handle them. With centers in three of the most sought-after delivery locations in the world, oWorkers employs a multicultural team which enables it to offer services in 22 languages.

Our leadership team comes with hands-on experience of over 20 years in the industry. They lead the company on its various projects and ensure client requirements are fulfilled. Through an Internal Quality (IQ) team that serves as their eyes and ears, they stay abreast of developments on the shop floor and are able to intervene when the requirement arises.

The IQ team also leads improvement initiatives and keeps a check on output to ensure the client does not receive sub-par quality. They monitor transactions and provide feedback and inputs to the operating units.


Data analysis vs data categorization: how they are done

Data analysis

It is difficult to put a boundary around how data can be analysed. There are many different ways of looking at data analysis methods. At the highest level, one school of thought is to break data down into qualitative and quantitative sets.

Qualitative data, as the name suggests, is data that is anecdotal, like visitors at an exhibition showing interest in one product and not the other, or textual, like comments on a feedback form, or verbal, which is like an unwritten version of textual data. As it cannot be numerically measured, there is some amount of subjectivity in drawing conclusions from it. Though some people are chary of handling unstructured data, as conclusions can be questioned, it is an important source of information for decision-making.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is often numbers, or at least surrogate numbers that can be processed through standard mathematical or statistical techniques. While average and deviation might be the most common, a host of other techniques like Conjoint Analysis, Cluster Analysis, Regression, Factor, Time Series and Cohort Analysis and many others come into play.

Of course, it is not a simple exercise of finding a tool and passing data through it. The analysis is contextual and needs to be done keeping in focus the objective of the organization as well as what it expects from that analysis.

Data categorization

Categorization of data can be done on a variety of parameters.

Traditional data categorization systems were driven more by the need for securing data based on its sensitivity. Data tended to be placed into categories such as ‘Restricted,’ ‘Confidential,’ ‘Classified,’, ‘Public,’ ‘Sensitive’ or ‘Private.’

Thought processes have evolved. The preference now is towards multidimensional tagging that can categorize a particular piece of data on multiple parameters at the same time. Of course, data storage in digital formats also facilitates multi-dimensional categorization that could be affixed as tags. Once this is done, the level of availability of data and access rights can be determined.

Some common types used by complex organizations:

  • Based on value
  • Based on usefulness timeframe
  • Based on information type
  • Based on who it pertains to – clients, employees, etc.
  • Based on requirements to refresh
  • Based on retrieval rights

The oWorkers advantage

oWorkers is GDPR compliant, ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified and operates from super secure facilities in each of its three delivery locations. oWorkers has also emerged stronger from the global emergency created by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been amongst the first to create an environment for their staff to work from the safety of home in times of the epidemic, as and when required. With our technology, all staff can operate fully either from home or office, as dictated by the unfolding situation. In addition to trained human resources, oWorkers is able to access the latest technology tools suitable for this activity, thanks to its enduring partnership with leading providers of technology. Data analysis vs data categorization ceases to be relevant when we can operate with equal facility on both.

The Best Alternative To Upwork Data Entry

The Best Alternative To Upwork Data Entry

The Best Alternative To Upwork Data Entry

Data entry is recognized as one of the most pervasive requirements in white-collar work, work that does not require physical labor. Most people and organizations, at one time or another, have had or will likely have, a need for some kind of data entry. It could emanate from a business need or a professional need, but it would need to be fulfilled.

Like most other tasks that need to be done, at the first level of decision-making, you could choose to do it yourself (or inhouse if we refer to a business) or get it done by another person or entity, for a reasonable and agreed compensation.

While people and organizations with bulk requirements could possibly possess the resources to look for professional providers, or could even create a pool of suitable, qualified resources who could do the task for them, for people and organizations with ‘retail’ or small requirements, it would be a more arduous task. Where do they go? Where do they find a provider of such services?

In a free market, each requirement is expected to throw up providers and a method of connecting the customers and the servers. And the numbers of each keep sifting and adjusting for the other side. If there was only one person out of 7 billion who had the need for a service, it might not exist as providers would not find it worthwhile to set it up for the sake of that one opportunity. But if data entry was a requirement which many people had from time to time, providers would, hopefully, emerge. And find a way of connecting with clients.

Without going too far back, in a previous era, perhaps a generation, or two, back, the concept of trade directories had emerged. It would provide a listing of providers for different types of services, like data entry. Depending on the business model of the publisher, a service could get a free entry into the directory or may need to pay for it. A provider would pay for the entry if it saw the potential of generating enough business as a result. Similarly, on the consumption side, depending again on the model, the consumer would get a free copy or may need to pay for it. A consumer would pay for if she saw adequate value in the form of potential saving of time and hassle in looking for a provider of certain services.

In the present day, information is widely available. The shoe is a bit on the other foot now; there is so much information available that many times one cannot find what one is looking for. Anyone can search for anything with the help of search engines and the internet. Of course, there is no assurance that he will find what he is looking for.


Emergence of platforms

In the context of data entry, the digital age has witnessed the rise of platforms for many services, and data entry is no different.

A platform is like a virtual marketplace, where the two parties that are required in any transaction, typically a buyer and a seller, will meet virtually and consummate a transaction if it suits both of them. Like Monster.com, a marketplace for jobs. Recruiters post their requirements for the people they are looking for hire, with relevant information, and jobseekers apply with relevant information. The platform may also have a ‘mirror’ section where jobseekers put up their credentials and what they are looking for, and recruiters looking for resources will parse through this database and identify suitable candidates.

Data entry and related work is classified under ‘freelancing’ type of work and platforms that promote freelancing work are the place to look for buyers and sellers. The usual method of engagement is for clients to put out, or post, their requirements for data entry and for interested, suitably qualified candidates to respond with their interest, in the form of a bid, usually specifying why he is suitable for the work, as well as the price point. This is then followed by the client making a selection from amongst competing bidders.

While individuals are the regular providers on these platforms, ‘agencies’ that usually are a bunch of providers of a similar service acting together, or even businesses that provide the service, are allowed listings as providers.

The ‘mirror’ side of the business is also available on most platforms. Here the service provider posts details about the services he offers. Clients who have a need for that service might trawl through the database, identify a few suitable providers, and reach out to them for a more detailed discussion.

That being said, as business usually follows the ‘money trail,’ the process where the client puts up the requirements seems to be the more popular one.


Upwork data entry

One of the major marketplaces where data entry services are sought and offered in Upwork. About two decades in the business, Upwork has worked with the mission of creating economic opportunities for people, for both clients, by facilitating them getting their requirements fulfilled so that their business can keep running, as well as providers, so that they can keep finding jobs that best meet their skills and continue to be gainfully employed ding work that they like. They have a wide variety of services that clients and providers can choose from, as well the flexibility of adding new ones. Engagements can be one-time, or continue over multiple years. And, in the digital world, the client as well as provider, could be located in two different corners of the world. Freelancing platforms have, inadvertently, served as tools that bring people across the world together and help them know more about each other. Why would a client restrict his options for the best talent to a specific geography when he can choose from the best from around the world?

Upwork data entry is a popular service on this platform. Not only does the platform bring the two sides together, it also facilitates the financial part by providing the security of the platform for the exchange. For time-based contracts, it provides its own tool through which the provider can track the hours spent on a job and raise the necessary invoice. It tracks individual transactions and provides detailed reports at the transaction level.

On Upwork, if you type the words ‘data entry’ in the search box, you get over 13000 results. They have been put in from across the world, including South Africa. USA, New Zealand and Pakistan. Data mining, data conversion, research, form filling, transcription, medical transcription, data compilation, data scraping, typing, reconciliation, order taking, are only a few of the vast variety listed under the broad category of data entry.


The best alternatives to Upwork data entry

Upwork is used here to represent platforms in general.

That the emergence of platforms has created a democratization in the data entry world, cannot be argued. It has created a mechanism through which people with retail (not bulk or large volume) requirements could find vendors and get their job done. Individual providers could also join the platform and find work.

But challenges remain. Especially for clients with bulk requirements who could justify, based on the scope of value creation possible, to look for a better suited team or individual, as well as customized tools, that will aid their work. This way, they are also not confined to the rules and regulations of the platform which are no doubt created with good intent, but could be limiting for some.

Business Process Outsourcing companies have been in existence from before the emergence of platforms, and continue to grow. One of the key services they offer is data entry. Organizations have used BPOs for their requirements when platforms did not exist and continue to do so.

Here are some reasons why BPO providers could be the best alternatives for Upwork data entry, especially those who have bulk requirements:

Skill set can be specific

On a platform, a client has limited ability to influence the skill-sets that are needed form best results. They can specify, but nobody is going to go looking for them. If they are available, some of them may notice the job, while a smaller subset still may be interested and apply.

With a BPO provider, it can be expected that they will seek out the most suitable resources required for the job and leave no stone unturned to get them. Once they have contracted to do a job, it becomes a shared interest.

With its deep roots in local communities, oWorkers is a preferred employer in most, and attracts walk-in traffic of people looking for jobs. This places oWorkers in a position where they can pick and choose the skills that are required, at a low cost. Since the hiring is for a client project, eventually the client gets the benefit of specific resources.

Technology solutions can be customized

In Upwork data entry, freelancers will, in general, have access to standard application software, like MS Excel, or MS Word, or Google docs. They will, in all likelihood, not have access to the specialized tools that many data entry jobs will probably require. Even relatively basic ones that may be able to read characters and convert to a digital format. This can be limiting.

When they look for a BPO provider, clients can be specific and choosy. They can specify exactly what type of technologies are needed for their work and only shortlist and select vendors who can fulfil those requirements.

oWorkers has partnerships across a wide range of technology companies. This enables us to access their technologies, the latest versions, in pursuit of our own goals. Eventually, our job being to work on client projects, clients will benefit from our access to a wide range of technologies.

Seasonal ups and downs

Businesses often experience cycles. Some are periodic and recurring, like the sale of snow-skis might happen at the start of the winter season, continue for the next 4 months, and then go into dormancy for the next 6 to 8 months. In a freelancing arrangement, if volumes drop off, he could lose interest and take on other work. When the client wishes to scale up again, he may not have enough capacity. It is difficult to hire resources and keep them idle on a platform. More likely the outsourcer will need to hire all over again when volumes pick up.

In a one-on-one arrangement with a BPO, it is possible to set expectations at the start of the contract regarding seasonality and peaks and troughs. Only suppliers who are interested and can meet that requirement will make a bid. Once awarded, in normal circumstances, they can be expected to live up to their side of the bargain.

oWorkers, with its community connect, is in a position to offer short-term hiring capacity of almost a hundred resources in 48 hours. This just-in-time hiring saves our clients a lot of money in the form of idle resources during lean periods.

Business continuity

Freelancing arrangements work on a task basis. In Upwork data entry, a task completed gets paid for and completed and both parties move to the next task. From a client’s perspective, there is some risk in this arrangement as the supplier may not accept a subsequent task. It could leave them exposed.

If the engagement is with a provider that has a back-up plan in place, dependence on individuals can be avoided.

With three centers in three geographical regions of the world, oWorkers is well placed to provide business continuity. Not merely at an employee level but at a center or site level as well. Our centers are equipped to operate 24×7, this catering to business from any part of the world. Together, we can cater to over 22 languages across the three centers.

Data security

When you get work done by an independent party, some amount of information needs to be shared, or access to systems provided, to enable that party to operate. This information is shared over open networks. Moreover, the client does not have any visibility into how the information and access rights will be used by the provider. Hence, for organizations, this can limit the tasks that could be handled.

When you sign up with a BPO, there is a detailed evaluation carried out, including that of logical and physical security, in order to get confidence that information will not be misused and its systems are resistant to external data security threats.

oWorkers is GDP compliant and ISO (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certified. Employees also sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to confirm they are aware of the data security requirements and will comply with it.

Prior experience and collective wisdom

Experience of having executed a similar job in the past is a standard way of establishing the suitability of a provider for any new job. That is done whether the supplier is a freelancer or a BPO company.

A BPO, since it forms the experience set of the organization, would endeavour to retain learnings from such prior experience that can be applied each time a similar job comes by in future.

Clients get the benefit of learning from prior similar experiences that oWorkers possesses, so that each subsequent task is executed better than the last. oWorkers also boasts of a leadership team with over 20 years of hands-on industry experience that is leveraged for the benefit of superior client delivery.


In Conclusion

In its chosen area of specialization, data entry related BPO work, oWorkers stands out. It has been identified as one of the top three providers in the world, on multiple occasions. Clients consistently mention savings of almost 80% after outsourcing to oWorkers. Our pricing is transparent and we offer rates per unit of output as well as per unit of time. Our employees consistently rate us more than 4.65 on Glassdoor on a scale of 5.

oWorkers is the best alternative to Upwork data entry.

Engaging a partner for data categorization within an enterprise

Engaging a partner for data categorization within an enterprise

Engaging a partner for data categorization within an enterprise

Data is critical to the modern business enterprise. That is not to say that it has not been important in the past, but, in a free market, as the level of competition keeps rising in successful and sunrise sectors, the need for leveraging every bit of competitive advantage becomes more important to survival and success.

The business enterprise collects and stores large volumes of data. Every decision maker in the company ought to know and understand the data that is available with the company so that it can be put to the right use as and when the time comes.

This is the starting point for data categorization within an enterprise.

There could be regulatory reasons too. A new regulation designed to protect privacy of individuals may mandate enterprises to delete the Social Security number of all customers that they have so far been collecting. Even though regulatory changes cannot be anticipated, the systems that house data need to have the adaptability to respond in reasonable ways to them.

‘Data categorization’ is often used interchangeably with ‘data classification.’ Then there are others who seek to make a distinction between the two, using ‘data classification’ to refer to the overarching strategy for data which leads to the slotting of different pieces of data into ‘data categories.’ For the purpose of this discussion, we will consistently use the ‘data categorization’ to refer to all aspects of the activity.


Principles for effective data categorization within an enterprise

There is always a starting point for all efforts of an enterprise. In addition, there can be many reconsideration and review points. An existing policy or decision can be changed at any point of time if it is not working for the benefit of the business.

Business need should be paramount

Since this discussion is in the context of a business, or enterprise, it stands to reason that the need of the business overrides other considerations. While it may sound obvious to some, for others this may need articulation.

It, perhaps, also stands to reason that the people most conversant with setting the direction of the business should be involved, since one of the key goals of the exercise is to ensure availability of data for taking business decisions in future.

There will be many partners in the effort, including the IT team, since the modern enterprise relies on technology to process and store information. However, the direction should be provided by the business leaders.

Creation of a policy

When a company is small, it is possible to spread messages easily across the small, committed, start-up teams involved at that stage. However, once it acquires enterprise scale, informal communication channels cease to be effective and formal channels need to be introduced. This usually takes the shape of policies that are created and made known to all or impacted constituents so that they may be able to comply with the expectations of the leadership.

Data categorization within an enterprise should be the subject of one or more policies that lay out the various aspects of the subject for the knowledge and compliance of the larger team.

Who should have access to the hush-hush competitor study done with the help of a consultant?

Should the marketing strategy of the company be circulated company-wide?

How can it be ensured that staff members can access the information they need for carrying out their day-to-day activities?

These might be some of the questions the policy needs to address, but, once in place, should make it easier to operate.

Categorization of data

Defining the categories that are relevant for the enterprise will, of course, remain the key focus of the exercise. There are many ways, or parameters, or axes, on which data can be categorized. We are no longer limited to a two or even a three-dimensional mapping of each item. Thanks to modern computing systems, each item can be placed in multiple categories at the same time, while remaining in its place. Thus, data can be classified based on:

  • Sensitivity – This is perhaps the most basic requirement, and also one of the objectives. It will depend on the need of the organization to secure the information.
  • Business area – Relevant for diversified enterprises in multiple business or product lines.
  • Function – Is HR the owner of the data or is it Sales?
  • Constituency – Whether it pertains to clients, employees, vendors, etc.

Of course, there can be many others, based on the unique requirement of each company doing it.

Access levels and rights

The placement of data into categories will also lead to defining who has access to what information. Access to employee data, for example, being the personal information of staff, may only be permitted to selected staff in the HT team, while the unaudited financials may only be available to the Finance team. At the same time, once the Balance Sheet has been published, the contents of the document would then become public and open to all.

The IT systems of the enterprise play the role of an ally in data categorization within an enterprise.

Employee personal information may be permitted to the HR team for viewing but information about their compensation may be restricted to the few members of the Compensation and Benefits team.

Though viewing may be permitted, changes to the information may only be allowed with the authorization of the HR Head.

There are many such permutations and combinations that become possible thanks to the technology that is available to everyone. However, the company needs to be clear on its policies regarding data management. All else will follow from there.


Should a partner be engaged to support the process?

Finally, data categorization within an enterprise needs to be done. It will not get done merely by having conceptualized a need for it. Enterprises are busy hives of activity, with moving the many parts that need to be moved to ensure the success of the company.

Dedicating resources to this task, or even getting people to work part-time on this requirement are possibilities that may work in some places, but many organizations have found it worthwhile to engage an enabling partner. This approach has the following advantages:

  • Allows staff to focus on their jobs, and ensuring the business can carry on uninterrupted
  • Brings many more ideas on the table that may be beneficial, while the management still retains the right to veto or overrode any of them

Should you go down this path, here are some pointers that may be useful when you select a partner for this work. Each outsourcer needs to find a partner that will add value. The perception of value could differ from one to another, as will its provision by different potential partners. A holistic view, in the best interest of the enterprise, will eventually be needed.


Criteria for partner selection

Prior experience

For most business processes, quality and accuracy are non-negotiable. Speed and Pricing are important considerations, but not at the cost of accuracy. An incorrect entry on a GIS system could send a traveler in the wrong direction, or lead to the abortion of a rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral.

oWorkers, has a track record of 8 years in the business, having served multiple global clients. We have repeatedly delivered over 99% levels of accuracy across engagements, despite the differences in scales and measurement systems and criteria used by different clients. Feedback of existing clients as well as performance data are both available for verification.


This refers to the turnaround time or the speed at which work is handled. With ‘just in time’ gaining currency with companies, wherever possible, it is expected that vendors should be able to handle assigned work with great efficiency, reducing the turnaround time to a minimum. This, in turn, enables the principle to operate with greater efficiency and produce better results in its business.

All centers of oWorkers are fully equipped to handle client operations on a 24×7 basis. This ensures that work is handled on the fastest basis. As our clients come from different parts of the world, very often the difference in time zones alone is adequate for overnight delivery of work. If that cannot serve the client requirements, then the 24×7 operation will.


This is the third corner of the operations triangle, apart from quality and efficiency. It is also a necessary part of all commercial engagements; the consideration for providing products or services.

The risk, often, is that undue weightage can be given to pricing during the evaluation process. This apparently happens because pricing is a number, and transparent, while other criteria may be subjective and hence could be called into question based on different beliefs. Hence, a lower price is considered to be a safe recommendation while a higher price, with subjective justification of other reasons, is considered to be unsafe, as the decision could be questioned by higher authorities and motives questioned.

A mature company will make the effort to ensure that pricing is only one of the criteria, and not necessarily the most important one. 

A transparent mechanism of pricing, that offers clients a choice between a dollars per hour rate and a dollars per unit of output rate, along with committed service standards and SLAs, enables oWorkers to satisfy all client requirements. Clients note savings of almost 80% after outsourcing to oWorkers, compared to their inhouse costs. This is true for most clients from the US and Western Europe.


This is the backbone on which services have become global, whether it is for data categorization within an enterprise or any other requirement. This is the reason the BPO industry has also been known as an ITES, or Information Technology Enables Services. Having the right technology for the job is often the difference between success and failure.

oWorkers has forged a wide set of partnerships with owners of technologies. This positions us to make use of the latest versions of their technology, depending on the requirements of the project. Our clients gain from this arrangement as the use of these advanced technologies, eventually, is for their work.

Business continuity

While mankind continues to pursue a relentless agenda of development and progress, there are many variables that are not in control that keep impacting lives and businesses around the globe. Political strife, violence and bloodshed can cause havoc, as can freak weather events attributed to global warming that are causing greater and greater damage. Or, the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept through the world like a wildfire. When such events happen, the ability of a business to function can be impaired. However, business continuity options, if available, can be a great benefit, as they enable companies to operate despite the circumstances, and can differentiate them from competitors while giving them an aura of permanence and reliability.

oWorkers is well positioned to offer business continuity to clients in the event the primary delivery site is affected on account of local issues, from any of the three global delivery locations it operates from. In addition, we have been among the first to implement work from home solutions for our staff. Today, we are able to operate at full capacity either from the workplace or from home, depending on the unfolding Covid-19 situation.

Secure environment

Data is a valuable currency for companies and one they want to protect from misuse. It is imperative for a vendor to demonstrate adequate measures to protect client data, especially since they may be doing similar work for other clients, which is what gives them the advantage of experience in that field. Watertight separation of digital spaces for processing is a must, as is physical segregation through access control technologies.

oWorkers is GDPR compliant, as well as ISO/IEC 27001 certified, and committed to following best practices in technology and data security.

MultiLingual capability

As the world shrinks and businesses become global, the ability to understand multiple languages becomes important in keeping the plates spinning. Also, one does not want to seek out a new provider each time the business grows to another geography with another new language. It could become a deterrent for business growth. What one needs is a partner who is able to handle the language requirements that may come up as a result of growth; in other words, a partner who will enable, not hinder, growth.

Along with its presence in three distinct geographical regions of the globe, oWorkers actively practices multicultural and multi-ethnic teams because of which it now possesses the ability to support clients in 22 languages.

Access to resources

The nature of the business is such that it requires hiring to be done almost continuously because many employees drop by the wayside fairly early in the game. Also useful is the ability to adjust hiring volumes to match peaks and troughs in client volumes.

The ability to hire requires presence in the local ecosystem and acceptance as a contributing member of the community, that oWorkers has established in ample measure in all its delivery locations. As a result, we get a steady stream of walk-in applicants that enables us to hire resources based on their suitability for different projects. In addition, it gives us the flexibility to staff for peaks at short notice, without asking clients to bear the cost of these resources for the rest of the year.

Internal Quality

A unique feature of BPOs has been the reliance placed on a team that is external to the delivery team, yet a part of the organization, that keeps tabs on the performance of operations. This is known as the Internal Quality (IQ) team.

oWorkers has structured its IQ team to report directly to senior management. This way, the leadership team stays informed on delivery related developments and can intervene as and when required. Besides, the IQ team is engaged in leading improvement projects as well as monitoring the performance of operations and giving feedback to frontline workers.

Management Commitment

A business contract will only work if there is something in it for both parties. That is how the leadership team becomes interested in delivering on a contract. The same applies to data categorization within an enterprise. While there is no specific parameter or tool to look at for ascertaining this, experienced business people can ascertain this aspect during the pre-contract interactions.

With a leadership team that has hands-on experience of over 20 years in the industry, oWorkers remains committed to the highest standards of performance in all projects it takes on.



Being a pure player in the space of data services, oWorkers is a specialist in its chosen area of work. It has been recognized among the top three providers of data related BPO services in the world on multiple occasions.

In brief, oWorkers should be your partner of your choice, as it is for many leading technology companies as well as several unicorn platforms.

Significant advantage of Medical Billing Data Entry Services

Significant advantage of Medical Billing Data Entry Services

Significant advantage of Medical Billing Data Entry Services

Businesses and organizations could be excused for not estimating the full implication of running a business or organization when they set out to create one. Someone with a vision for starting a scooter rental service could hardly be expected to know about the challenges in hiring people for various roles. Someone else interested in starting a medical center may not know about the financial compliances enjoined upon the business to fulfil every quarter and every year.

While these cannot be excuses, and a business and organization person should make the effort to know everything, the point being made is that the focus and interest is likely to be on the area of work, the scooter service or medical center in this example.

Thankfully, help is at hand. There are a wide variety of providers

What could be the benefits of engaging a provider for medical billing data entry?


Focus on the patient

When you opted for a career in healthcare, it was probably with the objective of working with patients and helping them get better, whether you are a doctor or a nurse or a clinical technician. The objective would not have been to fill forms, bank checks, track unpaid bills and maintain records. Of course, we understand that every job and every industry has an administrative component, but that should not be the one driving our lives. It should be a relatively minor component of our professional lives.

Outsourcing medical billing data entry services enables you to do just that; focus on the people who seek medical care and support from you.

oWorkers has been providing BPO services to global clients for over eight years. In their chosen area of focus, data based services, they have been repeatedly identified as one of the top three providers in the world. Engaging them as a partner will give you the space to focus on your core constituency, the patient seeking medical attention and care.


Medical billing data entry leads to a reduction in errors

This can also be expressed as an enhancement in accuracy.

Errors entail a cost for every business. There is a cost of lost business. There is a cost of checking and control, There is a cost of rework. In healthcare, that cost can be magnified, as it deals with the health and well-being of human beings. Incorrect information could lead to wrong diagnosis and treatment, with the worst outcomes being the impact on a human being.

While healthcare might wish for less, the very sensitivity of the industry engenders the need for greater control, which creates the need for more forms and keeping track of more information.

Engaging a professional organisation for doing this work can go a long way in reducing errors that lead to disastrous outcomes in the form of human impact.

oWorkers employs a full-time Internal Quality team. This is made up of Quality Analysts (QAs) whose job is to track the work being done by the delivery organization and ensure errors are not creeping in. They are also constantly exploring methods of improving processes so that accuracy can be enhanced and time taken reduced. They report directly to the senior management. This keeps the leadership informed about shopfloor happenings, allowing them to jump in as and when they see the need.


Better systems, applications and processes for medical billing data entry

Data entry not being a core activity for a healthcare organization, the interest in investing in it with the purpose of improving the systems and processes is limited. It is something that somehow needs to get done. They would rather work on improving the medical systems which will enable better care and support to the seekers of medical services. And that makes perfect sense, does it not? That is why they are there. That is the reason for their existence.

However, what happens is that the support systems fail to keep pace with the advances that take place in other parts of the core organization. In fact, they could often become the stumbling blocks, the reason why the organization cannot do more or cannot do better. Hence, whether we like it or not, at some stage they start crying for attention.

Engagement of a specialist can prevent this issue and ensure that the support systems keep pace, and sometimes lead, the rest of the organization. This is because the partner has an interest in doing the job more efficiently. Moreover, if they do similar work for multiple organizations, the combined heft in terms of volumes enables a much more justifiable case to be made for investments in improvement.

The partnerships oWorkers has forged across a spectrum of technology providers enables us to access the best technologies for solving client problems at all times. Many of our clients are IT firms who also ensure that we are current as far as technologies are concerned.


Cash Flow management

Money is the proverbial blood that courses through the veins of an organization. It is the common denominator in which all its activities can be expressed. It is what they earn when their services are taken up by their clients and it is what they spend when they need to procure the supplies and pay for services that keeps their ship afloat. And this is not just about commercial organizations. Non-commercial organizations, and some hospitals may be run by nonprofits, need to manage money as well. Their sources of getting money may not be client billings, but there will be a source. It could be government funding or it could be private donations. They still need that money because they need to pay salaries and buy the supplies for providing their services.

A professional partner doing medical billing data entry keeps the wheels turning. Bills go out faster, payments can be tracked and received faster, while reducing the ones that get forgotten or lost. They may even have the knowhow to introduce processes that result in additional revenue-generation strategies like combination offers, which may be useful for patients as well.

oWorkers has enabled many clients to save money. Clients from the US and Western Europe report savings of upto 80% after outsourcing to oWorkers. This does not include the financial discipline that comes about resulting in quicker billing and realisation.


Compliance with regulatory requirements and industry practices

In a dynamic world a lot keeps changing. Regulations can change, as can industry standards and practices. Non-compliance of regulatory stipulations could have implications, mostly financial. Support services not being anyone’s favorite child, could translate into an inability to keep pace with changes taking place, which could lead to financial implications.

Outsourcing to a specialist can secure you against such eventualities. A specialist’s interest lies in tracking regulation and practice and ensuring compliance. They are aided in the exercise by the fact that they could be doing the same work for a number of clients. Hence, the cost of a miss in their case will be steep.

With the support of the communities we work with, oWorkers is able to source and hire people with not only data entry skills, but also skills and capability in supporting clients with their accounting, finance and HR requirements.


Hidden costs get exposed, budgeting becomes accurate

Support functions, as they are often not tracked as stringently by management, have a tendency to hide costs and inefficiencies in their dark recesses. Handing them over to a vendor serves the purpose of airing them out and hanging them to dry in bright sunlight. All dampness gets sucked out and a bright light shines on every part of the process. Endemic inefficiencies of the system now have no place to hide. Once outsourced, inefficiencies, if any, would be handled by the vendor, whose business interest lies in doing the work most efficiently.

All organizations operate on the principles of budgeting whereby a financial projection is made for the accounting period and the actual performance, as it happens, mapped against it. Outsourcing medical billing data entry will serve to make the budgetary process more accurate by making the costs associated with it transparent and defined, apart from ironing out earlier inefficiencies.

The outsourcing organization will get this benefit when they outsource to oWorkers.


People Management

One of the greatest challenges in running an organization is managing people. People are intelligent. They think. They have feelings and emotions. They have different styles of working. They have good and bad days and periods. They have expectations. All the traits that make human beings the most intelligent species on the planet also make them a challenge to manage. Much organizational time and energy is consumed in managing people related issues and setting policy for them. Manual processing organizations, as the term indicates, rely on people for their work, and could have lots of employees. As would the processing sections in a healthcare organization.

Outsourcing the data entry manual processing section shifts the manpower management responsibility to the vendor. The client no longer has to worry about getting the work done if someone goes absent, or hiring in a hurry if someone leaves. These are cares that will be handled by the vendor who, incidentally, has much greater expertise and experience in doing so, as it presumably does the same for other clients whose projects are also staffed by resources that are similar in background.

Being a preferred employer gives oWorkers the benefit of a continuous flow of walk-in candidates interested in a job. This keeps our hiring costs low as we don’t need to advertise for hiring. Moreover, in an industry notorious for attrition, it enables us to hire replacements in a short time. We engage employees the traditional way, as employees, and not as freelancers or contractors as some of our competitors now do. It enjoins greater responsibility on us, of paying social taxes on their behalf, of managing their careers and growth, but we are happy to do that for our staff



All businesses and organizations face uncertainty in demand and supply against projections. While at times one may need to keep ide; resources at hand to cater to sudden spikes in demand, it is never a preferred option. The organization would rather create additional capacity at short notice and cater to sudden spikes.

Outsourcing data entry can relieve the client of the pressure of at least one type of resource if demand rises suddenly. This can be built into the arrangement with the provider. A provider, with the benefit of multiple projects of a similar nature running simultaneously, can possibly align resources for a short period such that the peak is catered without a significant impact on others. Of course, with larger combined volumes, they can also keep hiring arrangements in place that enable them to hire at short notice and for short periods.

oWorkers provides the leverage to be able to hire for peaks and troughs. It can hire an extra one hundred people within 48 hours, if required, reducing the burden on the client to carry staffing at peak volume levels through the year.


Timeliness of work

Though speed depends on the nature of work, the speed of work in a support system in a healthcare environment might not always be a priority. Priority is likely to be reserved for healthcare related work, and even more preferentially, work with patients. 

Though it depends on the nature of work, BPO providers doing data entry provide great flexibility to clients. Some might come at an additional cost, though. They can provide overnight turnaround for clients on the other side of the globe. They can run an operation 24×7 if the work so demands. They can even operate from the premises of the client, if that is a critical requirement. All in all, they are willing to go the extra mile to make it work for the organization.

In all its three centers around the world, oWorkers has the capability of running 24×7 operations for clients who need it and are willing to pay for it


Multi Lingual capability

The world is shrinking and businesses are becoming global. Businesses operate across countries, time zones and languages. The support engine of a business needs to be able to cater to a variety of languages in order to cover its geographical spread. The organization should not need to look for yet another vendor for each language.

When you outsource medical billing data entry to oWorkers, you get a provider with proficiency in 22 languages commonly spoken around the world, across the three delivery centers it operates from. Whether you are a local business or a global behemoth, oWorkers has the solutions for you.

How to Create a Data Entry Form in Excel

How to Create a Data Entry Form in Excel

How to Create a Data Entry Form in Excel

MS Excel might be one of the most used software applications since the computing age began. Some might even say abused, considering that it has been put to many ‘unnatural’ applications, word processing to name one. 

It may not have been the first software application to present spreadsheets and workbooks full of cells to users, with many magical possibilities, but it certainly has been, overwhelmingly, the most popular and widely used one. To some extent, it also benefited from the explosion in computing devices based on the Microsoft Windows operating systems.

A simple definition of MS Excel is provided by reference.com: “Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application designed to perform basic and complex mathematical computations and functions. In addition to performing arithmetic operations, Excel allows users to create graphical displays of data, forms and pivot tables. It is also routinely used to sort information and assist users in identifying data trends.”

Not just numbers, MS Excel can perform logical functions on textual data as well. It can identify the third character in a text string. It can also remove the first three characters in a text string and put the cut portion and the remainder from the original in two separate cells. But we are getting carried away. Excel does not need any support. It is well known and liked and used around the world.

oWorkers is a BPO that focuses on data related services, including data entry. Our employees have the skill to perform data entry for clients across various applications. We have been counted amongst the top three data based BPO companies in the world on more than one occasion.


Excel Data Entry

For the rich features of Excel to come into play, date is needed on which they can operate. Data can either be created through the process of data entry or it can be uploaded into Excel from some other compatible formats. In case of an upload, the date would possibly have been entered into the other application from which it is now being uploaded into Excel. So, a fundamental process is that of data entry to create data.

In our daily usage of Excel, most of us, while doing manual entry, do so directly into the target cells of the spreadsheet. Of course, for best results, we know that the contents need to be arranged neatly in some sort of order, as rows and columns.

Once data has been created in rows and columns, it becomes a database. The most common organization of data is for each row to represent a record with different pieces of information pertaining to that record while a column will contain values for one of the pieces of information across the different records. Thus, a row could have the name of a student in the first column, and their scores in different subjects in column two onwards. Column two will contain scores in one particular subject for all students.

This arrangement resembles a database. 

One of the main differences between a database application, such as MS Access, and Excel is that a database application processes information record by record, or row by row if we compare it with Excel, while Excel is not limited to processing information row by row and can accommodate functions across any row or column. While this makes it a much more flexible and powerful application, it limits the amount of data it can handle as reaching out across rows and columns requires a huge amount of memory. A database application can handle virtually any amount of data as it processes one row at a time. 

This brings us to one of the other differences between a database application and an Excel sheet. In a database application, the information in the database is hidden from the user. It is not something a user can directly access and tamper with. In an Excel sheet, on the other hand, the entire spreadsheet stretches out in front of the user, warts and all. The user can go to, touch, see, amend, delete, any part of the data in any of the fields. 

While this makes Excel very easy to operate and visualize, it also makes Excel more vulnerable to errors and unintended changes and careless mistakes. The database application, on the other hand, since the database is not accessible, is safe from such issues. The user provides the inputs through a data entry form that acts like a portal to the database. It is done one record at a time. You don’t suddenly decide to update Literature marks for Susan and then jump to History marks for James before you come back to Math for Susan.

How do we secure the information in an Excel spreadsheet?

Database applications give us a good model. How about replicating a similar process for the Excel workbook the data in which we are trying to secure?

But is that possible?

In fact it is. Excel data entry can be done through a similar ‘arms-length’ relationship between the data entry and the database. It allows us to create a form for data entry so that the user is not directly interacting with the database, in this case the spreadsheet, when data entry is being done. Most Excel users being ‘light’ users may not need this separation. But where the database is large or where it is used for some critical functions, it would become important to protect its integrity.

So, how does one do it?

By creating a data entry form that will make the process faster and less prone to errors. 

With its close connections in the local communities, oWorkers is able to hire people with relevant skills for various jobs. Owing to our walk-in volume of jobseekers, we are also in a position to cater to peaks and troughs, by as much as 100 people in 48 hours. This gives a significant cost advantage to our clients as they don’t need to retain staff at peak levels.


Excel data entry form

Continuing with the example shared earlier, this is what our database might look like:

































The teacher needs to enter the marks for another student, Leslie. The commonly followed process is that she would directly go into the database and add information for that student. This process, as we have seen, carries risks. To eliminate, or reduce, the risk, we can protect the database from being accessed by her and instead give her a data entry form to achieve the same objective.

The form might look like this:












After entering the information, the teacher clicks on ‘Add record’ and it will get added to the database, presenting the blank form yet again to the teacher, as above, where she can add information for another student. 

While this should be the preferred way of entering information, it requires some effort in setting up. It is not something that will present itself as the natural option when you open an Excel workbook. You will first need to add it to the Quick Access toolbar.

Adding ‘Data Entry Form’ to the Quick Access toolbar

  1. Right click any of the icons currently in the Quick Access toolbar.
  2. Click on ‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar.’ In some versions, you will need to click on ‘Customize Ribbon’ with the Quick Access Toolbar option available at the next step.
  3. Choose the ‘All Commands’ option from the menu in the dialog box that opens up.
  4. Choose ‘Form’ from the list that now presents itself in the dialog box.
  5. Between the ‘Add’ and ‘Delete’ buttons that now appear, choose ‘Add’ since we want to add an Excel data entry form followed by ‘OK.’

Following the above steps should result in the ‘Form’ icon being added to your Quick Access Toolbar.

Creating the Data Entry Form for your spreadsheet:

After the Form icon has been added, you can click on any cell in your database (where you want to make entries through the new form), followed by the Form icon.

Caution: The data in your spreadsheet should be organized as an Excel Table. Convert it to a Table by clicking the ‘Format as Table’ icon or keyboard shortcut ‘Control + T.’

Understanding the new Data Entry Form

Here is a quick explanation of the new form that you have for excel data entry:

New – Clears form data and presents a blank form ready for you to enter data into

Delete – Deletes the record that has been pulled up on screen

Restore – If you have not clicked either ‘New’ or ‘Enter’ pressing this button will restore the information earlier in the form

Find Prev – Find the previous record

Find Next – Finds the next record

Criteria – It is like a search option that allows you to pull out records meeting defined criteria

Close – Closes the form

Scroll Bar – Use it for going through the database, record by record. 

oWorkers keeps abreast of the latest technologies with the help of its partnerships with various technology companies. Many of our clients are IT companies, including several unicorn marketplaces. We are GDPR compliant and ISO (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) certified.


Simple Steps for Common Functions in an Excel Data Entry Form

Creating a new record

  1. After selecting any cell in the Excel Table, click the Form icon in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. The form will open up.
  3. Enter data in the form fields.
  4. Hit the Enter key (or click the New button) to enter the record in the table.
  5. The table fields become blank, ready for the next

Going through the existing database

Pulling up one record at a time can be an easy way of navigating and editing the database, especially if there are a lot of columns requiring scrolling left and right. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Select any cell in the Excel Table followed by a click on the Form icon in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. The Form will open up.
  3. Use the ‘Find Next’ and ‘Find Prev’ buttons to go to the next or previous entry.
  4. To edit, simply make the change in the data and hit enter. 

To revert to the original entry (if you haven’t pressed ‘Enter’ yet), click the ‘Restore’ button. You can also use the scroll bar to navigate through entries one-by-one.

Criteria based navigation

This feature is useful when the database is large and one needs to look at records of a specific type. This could be considered somewhat equivalent to the Filter function. Steps to follow for a search to identify students with more than 80 marks in History:

  1. Select cell in the Excel table, followed by clicking the Form icon in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. In the Data Entry Form dialog box, click the Criteria button.
  3. In the History field, enter ‘>80’. 
  4. Use the Find Prev/ Find Next buttons to navigate through the entries where the History marks are more than 80.

You can even enter values in more than one field to lock in faster on the desired records, if that is the requirement.

For example, if you want to check out students who have scored more than 80 in all subjects, you need to enter ‘>80’ in all the Subject fields. 

Deleting a Record

Deleting is a simple process:

  1. Select any cell in the Excel table and click the Form icon in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. Bring up the record you want to delete through scrolling or criteria based search
  3. Click the Delete button.

The leadership team of oWorkers comes with over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry. They guide and lead the project teams in delivery, supported by a team of quality analysts who report directly to the management. They are able to ensure the right quality is being delivered before the client gets a chance to find it out. 


Creating data validation rules to ensure database integrity

Excel data entry done manually might be the only solution in many cases but it also presents the greatest opportunity for errors. Errors made in a large database can be difficult to detect and compromise the sanctity of the entire database. As far as possible, errors should be eliminated at the point of entry into the database.

Forms give us the opportunity of creating validation rules that can be checked by the system which will eliminate certain types of errors.

If, for example, you have a field where you record a date, you can create a validation that will check for the entry being a date or not. Of course, we need to understand that it will not be able to check whether the date you have entered is correct or not.

How can you do this?

  1. Select the cells (or even the entire column) where you want to create a data validation rule.
  2. Click the Data tab, followed by the Data Validation option.
  3. In the dialog box, within the ‘Settings’ tab, select ‘Date’ from the ‘Allow’ drop down. Various other types of validations are possible, like checking for decimals, text length, etc..
  4. Specify the start and the end date. Entries within this date range would be valid and rest all would be denied. If the objective is to merely check that the entry is in a date format, you can keep the start and end dates wide enough to allow for all dates.
  5. Click OK.

After creating the validation, you will get an error message if you try to enter an incorrect date through the data entry form.


The oWorkers Advantage

Our clients consistently report savings of 80% when compared with their pre-outsourcing costs, whether it is Excel data entry or any other service. With our capability of serving in 22 languages and our three global centers operating 24×7, oWorkers offers a compelling proposition for outsourcing any data or back-office related service.

How much do you need to pay for data entry?

How much do you need to pay for data entry?

How much do you need to pay for data entry?


Data entry is everywhere. It is being asked for and offered on platforms that bring freelancers and clients together. BPO providers like oWorkers offer data entry services and are always on the lookout for suitable clients. Unbeknownst to the formal data entry services being sought and offered, there is a lot of informal data entry work happening around us all the time. Yes, almost counter intuitively. While we will expect the volume of manual data entry work to reduce in a digitized society, would we not, data entry services are being sought and offered in volumes never before witnessed.

Contrary to its placement in the lower part of the organization’s food-chain, data entry is a task on which the success of many other parts of the organization is built. The principle of GIGO, Garbage In Garbage Out, is well understood by people in business. If the input is bad, you cannot expect a good outcome. Data entry, hence, assumes great importance. Also, it takes myriad shapes and forms. Almost anything can be data entry. Working with patient admission records could be data entry just as working with insurance claims or climate data might be. Keying information on invoices received from suppliers could be data entry just as digitization of municipal birth records might be. Transcribing handwritten prescriptions of medical doctors might be data entry, just as keying in information on name cards received at a business event into the company’s sales database might be.

So, anything could be data entry.

Data entry is the process of converting information that is available ‘offline,’ or on ‘manual’ media like paper, into digitized formats. The objectives are several. It will help in safekeeping of information. Manual records, especially paper, on which most information has been maintained, is subject to spoilage, deterioration and tearing. Digitizing the information is expected to increase its life to, maybe forever. It is expected to save storage space. Entire shelves of books and files can be stored on a digital drive as small as your thumbnail. Thirdly, it is expected to facilitate the process of adding to our knowledge by yielding its store of secrets. This is through analysis of the data and slicing and dicing it with the help of suitable applications. Maybe even juxtaposing it with other pieces of information to compare. So far, extraction of information was slow, hence either not done or limited to the specific requirement. With manual extraction no longer being required, it will lend itself more easily to analysis and data extraction.

One of the questions that many people seek an answer to is, “How much do we need to pay for data entry?” This is from the perspective of a client who seeks a provider to do data entry work. If you flip the picture, there is a related question that is also asked, “How much does data entry pay?” This, as one can imagine is from the perspective of the person providing the service or doing the data entry work.


How to price a service

Before we get to data entry pay, from either side of the equation, we will make an effort to understand pricing strategies for services as a whole.

As a starting point, pricing is a key business decision. And, for a small business, all decisions are key decisions. Pricing decisions need to be taken to enable the business to succeed, eventually making a profit by delivering services that customers are willing to pay for and buy. That is true for the business taking on data entry work from clients and true for the individual operator who either takes on work directly from clients or agrees to be hired by a data entry business who in turn takes on clients.

The good and bad part of pricing is that there is no definitive formula that helps you arrive at a point. Your understanding of the environment surrounding the business, a sort of a gut feel, is perhaps as important as some of the variables that should be considered. There is no doubt subjectivity that is involved in the decision.

Moreover, you also go through what might be called a ‘price discovery’ phase, especially in case of a new service. You don’t want to charge a price that keeps customers away, but you also don’t want to charge a price where you are leaving money on the table. The price discovery phase leads to the gap between the two, the customer’s willingness to pay and your desire to charge, reducing.

These are some standard ways to arrive at the pricing of a service:

Cost Plus

In this method, you need to total up the costs that you incur in delivering a service and base the price on that. While the method does not provide an answer to what the price should be, it puts information in the hands of the decision-maker. The decision-maker can take other inputs into consideration, like is theirs a new business or an established one. A new business might want to price low to attract clientele. On the other hand, a new business might want to price themselves high in order to create a ‘premium’ positioning.

While simple to understand, as you go deeper you have to answer questions like, “should we only recover the direct cost or the indirect cost as well?” Again, the answer depends on the entire set of variables being considered by the decision-maker.

oWorkers is able to keep its operating costs low, which is shared with clients through the pricing. For resource hiring, a significant cost for BPOs, oWorkers benefits from the deep connects it has in their local communities. This makes oWorkers a preferred employer which leads to a constant flow of walk-in applicants desirous of jobs. This helps us keep our cost to attract candidates low, and also gives us the flexibility to hire for handling short-term peaks and troughs of clients, otherwise a significant cost if they have to carry idle resources for the rest of the year.

Pricing of competitors

As the name suggests, for commoditized services, such as data entry, one could take the price being charged by competitors as a benchmark and price their service around it, based on their evaluation of the customers’ perception of the value being provided to them by the two services. Competing on price with competitors is to be guarded against as it could snowball out of control and lead to a downward spiral in the fortunes of all incumbents.

In our chosen area of data-oriented projects, that includes data entry, oWorkers stands apart. We have been recognized as one of the three best providers in the world on more than one occasion.

Value perception

What does the customer think of your service? And there is no easy way to do this. Many companies run surveys where they ask customers to rank and rate them against competitor products or services. If such surveys have provided definitive answers it would be difficult to know since they have not taken over the world. Eventually even surveys will provide information, not answers.

oWorkers influences its clients’ businesses in many ways with their experience and capability. We are able to offer services in more than 22 languages across our three centers in three different geographies. Our centers are equipped to operate 24×7 to fulfil client needs.

We need to remember that our business will not become successful simply by our deciding on the price point. There is a customer on the other side of the equation who has to take a similar decision; how much should we pay for a particular service? They will perhaps have similar considerations and criteria when they evaluate your quotation; how much do competitors charge? At this price point will it add value to our business? Is this service better or worse than competitors in terms of quality? Data entry pay will be influenced by all of them.

A related decision is on the charging mechanism of the price. Should it be based on:

Per unit of time? – Say $5 per hour or $1000 per month. The resource will be committed to the work of the client for the committed or required duration. Might be suitable when a specialist’s time is the critical resource.

Per unit of output? – Say $20 per consultation (for a medical doctor). There will be some specifications around what the client could expect from that output unit.

Per project? – This is similar to the ‘per unit of output’ model. In this case, the output unit is larger, the entire project.

Retainership? – Lawyers and consultants often operate on the basis of a retainer fee. This is a model used in knowledge and expertise-based engagements like lawyers and management consultants. 

oWorkers offers transparent pricing to its customers and offers a choice between rate per unit of time and rate per unit of output. Many of our customers have reported savings of upto 80% after outsourcing data entry work to us.


How much does data entry pay?

While ‘it pays as much as you can get it to pay’ may be a correct response, it does not make the seeker any wiser.

At the same time, since data entry is a global activity, it cannot be funnelled down into a single response that is applicable universally. Both clients and providers can come from any part of the world. Would we pay the same to a data entry operator working from Plovdiv in Bulgaria as we would to another operator doing the same work in Hyderabad, India? Would we pay the same to transcribe the recording of a video conference as we would to enter the names, addresses and phone numbers on name cards collected at a business conference; both done by the same person?

Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t. Probably we don’t have enough information to be able to take a clear decision on how much it pays. What we will do is lay down some of the considerations that should be borne in mind when a recruiter (organization) decides on a specific data entry pay scale. These considerations will also be valid to a large extent on the flip side because a person seeking the role will also evaluate suitability for herself. Like any other financial consideration, each party wants the best for the lowest cost.

For the most part, when a person switches her job, the most common method of the new organization to fix her salary is by using the existing salary as a benchmark and then adjusting it for relevant variables. For a new role, an effort can be made to divine salaries for similar roles in other companies. Salary benchmarking is a common practice even for existing roles in an organization. Over and above this basic consideration, adjustments will likely be made for the following:

Educational qualifications

While it is usually used for determining suitability, whether a person qualifies to be considered for the role or not, educational qualifications can also be used to adjust salary levels, on the assumption that a better qualified person will deliver better results. For data entry pay as well, educational qualifications could have a bearing.

Prior experience

This is relevant in case of jobs where the impact of an individual expands with the experience she gains. Even for roles where additional experience does not necessarily translate into better performance, some companies may choose to give credit for it through higher pay.

Nature/ complexity of work

This is perhaps the most relevant part of the decision; the nature and complexity of work. The greater the complexity, the required educational qualifications and experience will slide up automatically in many cases. The greater the complexity of work, suitable resources are also expected to be difficult to find. Hence, even the demand-supply equation will push up salaries for complex work. The flip side could be that people qualified to do complex, specialized jobs may need to compete for only a few of them at any point in time.

Availability of resources

This is the traditional demand-supply equation of economics. Greater demand pushes up prices while greater supply depresses them.


This could be seen as a corollary of resource availability, though not in isolation. Many competitors could be offering a similar service. That might suggest a struggle for resources that could uplift prices. However, it is also possible that the competition is for a low-skill role for which there is adequate availability of resources.


Cost of living varies from place to place and influences salary levels. Data entry pay offered in New York is likely to be higher than what is offered for the same work in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Very often these differences are also used as inputs to determine the location of a certain facility.

Labor laws

Most geographies have labor laws that define the basic salaries levels that need to be paid to employees in certain categories of jobs. However, that being applicable to all competitors is more a matter of adherence than decision-making.


oWorkers for data entry

oWorkers operates from secure facilities. We are GDPR compliant and ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified. Our management team comes with over 20 years of hands-on experience and are directly involved in all our projects.

Many large technology companies, including unicorn marketplaces have chosen oWorkers as their partner. They trust us to handle data entry pay and other aspects related to delivery of the service. We hope you will, too.

4 Ways To Automate Data Entry Processes

4 Ways To Automate Data Entry Processes

4 Ways To Automate Data Entry Processes

It is a strange conundrum that data entry, a process that seeks to digitize information in a manner that it could henceforth be accessed with ease, digitally, should be a manual system. We have not been able to devise a method through which the end goal of digitization and automation can be met by automation at the first step itself.

Then again, maybe it is not so strange. The reason for the existence of data entry in the human world, as an activity for which money gets exchanged for one side to do, and the other side to get done, data entry and related work, is perhaps that better ways do not exist. If there were better ways, human beings would be deploying them.

As all things manual, manual data entry has limitations. Data entry automation is an ongoing effort on part of humans to find more efficient and less error-prone processes for data entry.

Benefits of data entry automation

Automation is a journey. It is a change of status quo. An effort at automation means that currently that particular process is not automated. There is an intent of automating the process, partially or fully, in an effort that some value is released for the business that seeks to automate.

Data entry is no different. If there are ongoing efforts to achieve automation, it means that there is some value that will be released if it were to be achieved. It means that there could be limitations with the way it is being handled at present and that if the same were to be changed it could result in some benefits.

As a leading provider of data services, oWorkers works with partners on varying processes and tools for data entry, creating new knowledge and processes that will benefit everyone involved. We have been identified as one of the top three data service BPO companies in the world on more than one occasion.

Let us make an effort to understand the benefits of automating the data entry process.

Reduction in errors

For human beings every action is deliberate. It is a result of a force that motivates us to do something while being guided by our thoughts, emotions, moods and all the other elements that constitute a human being.

As a result of the complexity of their being, they will come across as different creatures from time to time. Motivated and alert at some times, sullen and lethargic at others. Happy and involved at some times, sad and aloof at others. As a result, their performance also varies. Human beings are prone to making errors. They are not machines who, given a constant input, will always produce the same output. Leo Messi might shine in one game of football but be totally off color in the next. A call center executive might wow a customer on one call but manage to completely put off the caller in the next one.

Recognizing this aspect, organizations built checks and balances to ensure that errors are caught and corrected. They have various methods of doing so, the most common ones being to either get two different people to do the same work and pass it if it is identical and catch it if not, or to have a quality checking system that does either a full audit of the data entry or based on samples. Both these methods entail cost of the organization.

Data entry automation is expected to result in a reduction of the errors being made in human data entry. Not just reduction, but elimination of errors in the parts that can be handled through automation.

Many of our clients from the US and Western Europe testify to the quality they receive from oWorkers, which is at least as good as their pre-outsourcing quality, while enabling them to shave almost 80% off the processing cost.

Quicker processing

Human beings will work at human speed. Sequentially. If a good typist can type fifty words in a minute, most human typists will be typing at similar rates, with some exceptional ones going to maybe sixty and a few poor performers struggling at around forty, with all others in between. This is the rate at which they are able to type, regardless of the situation and requirement. Attempts to type faster could result in a greater number of errors. If the volume of work goes high, more typists will need to be engaged to finish it in a given time or the work will take longer to finish compared to a smaller volume of work. Human beings also need time for rest and rejuvenation and sleep. All these activities reduce the time available to do productive work.

Machines, or computer programs, have no such constraints. They can work day and night. Their ability to type is much faster than humans. The constraint they face is that they are not as smart as humans. However, if the data entry can be done based on defined rules and the software can be programmed on how to do it, a much greater volume can be processed in a much shorter period of time.

Our leadership team, with over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry, are constantly pushing all project teams to deliver optimum outputs.

Employee can move up the value chain

Being the thinking, sensing beings that they are, human beings have a preference for activities that provide a challenge, mentally or physically. Data entry often provides neither. That is why many types of data entry jobs are considered as monotonous, dull and repetitive and are often placed closer to the bottom end of the organizational hierarchy. Doing them day in and day out is a source of mental fatigue and burnout for humans. It could also be the cause of various other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain and neck-related issues. This, in turn, becomes a cause for further errors.

Data entry automation can deliver human beings from the drudgery of certain types of data entry work and enable them to move up the value chain where they can be more mentally challenged by the work they need to do. With the plain data entry work done by machines, humans can start essaying roles that require thought and some amount of decision-making.

With a model of employment, as opposed to freelancing and contracting adopted by some competitors, oWorkers is constantly exploring avenues for enriching the jobs of our colleagues.

Lower costs and greater value

Development of automation is an investment. It takes time and money. Often, during a research and development cycle, it is not certain how long it will take for the investment being made to be recovered. Or, indeed, if it will be recovered at all.

However, once developed, it will take a much lower cost to run as compared to a human, who needs to be paid all the time so that he can be fit for the job that he needs to do. Thus, each day or hour that automated data entry is done, it will be saving money as compared to the manpower-driven model. Further, by accumulating these savings over a period of time, a point will come when it will exceed the amount of money spent in building the solution. That would be the day when payback would have been achieved.

oWorkers understands the need for manual data entry and supports many clients in the same. As a preferred employer in the communities we work with, oWorkers attracts a constant flow of talent interested in working for us. This enables us to hire throughout the year while keeping our costs low. The benefits of low cost are shared with our clients. For all manual data entry requirements, oWorkers is a great cost-effective option.

Data entry automation

Now that we understand that there are benefits that will result if we are able to automate the process, let us explore how it could be done.

Make no mistake; this is not a low hanging fruit. The low hanging fruits are gone. Data entry is a mature industry. Any advancement today has to be based on deep thought, intelligent effort, and investment of resources and money.

There are some emerging technologies that hold promise of revolutionizing data entry processes.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is the process of digitally converting information in a format that is not machine readable, such as a typed, printed or handwritten document, and transferring it to a format that can be understood by machines. This is the objective of most manual data entry too. This technology has been in use since the nineties and has developed over time to become more accurate.

An early popular use of OCR technology was in banking where clearing cheques, which already had the bank’s sort code pre-printed on them, with amounts encoded by the presenting bank, would be sorted by the reader-sorter device of the clearing house and debits and credits between banks resolved, instead of manually sorting each cheque and adding up values. However, that early use was based on the characters to be read being formed and placed in a defined manner. Data entry requires characters in any shape and form, placed anyhow, to be read and understood, which is where the focus is now.

OCR has played a big role in digitizing historical information, like old newspapers, into formats that can be easily stored, searched and accessed.

With its high standards of data and information security, compliance with GDPR regulations and ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certification, we work with leading as well as developing technologies such as OCR on behalf of our clients.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

The discipline of NLP operates at the intersection of linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence. Human beings are a part of the mix as well, since it is their language that is being deciphered and decoded. The objective of NLP is to understand and make sense of the human language, usually the spoken word or words. Once that is achieved, other, related objectives could emerge, talking back to humans being one of them. Many of us have experienced Alexa and Siri. Their responses to our verbal inputs are the result of NLP engines working in the background. NLP is expected to be one of the stepping stones to data entry automation.

What makes this challenging is the complexity of human beings and their language. While it is reasonably easy for humans to learn and master a language, it is not the same for a computer. There are nuances that are complex. “Really!” could be an enthusiastic confirmation of a person’s query, “Did Usain Bolt really run the 100 meter sprint in 9.58 seconds” or it could be a sarcastic “Really?” in response to the person saying “I ran the 100 meter sprint in 9.58 seconds today.”

With services in 22 languages across our three main sites, language processing has been an area of strength as well as interest for oWorkers. We are taking it to the next level with participation in NLP projects with clients and technology providers.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is a form of automation through which I machine, a software program really, learns to mimic human actions and is able to carry them out in future transactions of a similar nature. Left to themselves, these ‘bots’ are able to perform the assigned tasks much faster and with greater accuracy. From the data entry perspective, a human being might be able to read a few words on a page at a time and transfer them to a digital medium, in a few seconds. An RPA ‘bot’ on the other hand, might do it one character at a time, but it will be done in a flash so that it would have finished several pages before the human finished with the first set of words. And flawlessly, based on the instructions it had been given. The human, despite instructions, could make mistakes.

The human will only have an advantage where the input content deviates from the defined rule and some thinking is required. Here the ‘bot’ will fall short and either make a mistake or wait for guidance from its human master. Thankfully!

oWorkers has worked out flexible tie-ups with technology companies that allows us to access their cutting-edge technologies to be deployed for client work. Through our network of IT partners, we access the latest technologies like RPA.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for data entry automation

AI is the buzzword in technology. At least one of the buzzwords.

AI is the name given to a technology that seeks to enable a machine or a software program embedded in the machine, behave like a human and handle inputs accordingly. Formatted text has been intelligible to machines for a long time, as long as software programs have been in existence, as this was the method programs were created that allowed computers to process. However, unformatted text, and other formats in which information exists, like unformatted text, a doctor’s handwritten prescription for example, or images, or audio, or video, has been beyond the scope of machines.

With the help of AI, and its sister discipline Machine Learning (ML), machines are learning to understand and process unformatted information as well. Not only that, once the initial training has been done, many algorithms even permit the program to keep learning from the additional information that they keep receiving once they have been ‘deployed’ and keep adjusting their output accordingly.

oWorkers has been actively engaged with clients as they have built their AI models. Data annotation, tagging and labelling are areas where we have worked with a wide set of clients from around the world.


While the new technologies make headway in data entry automation, there are some steps that we can take even today that will facilitate the process. These will probably be useful even when we deploy one of the evolving technologies.  These can be achieved through a simple ‘eyeballing’ of the information which does not take time. Once input incorrectly, it will take a lot more effort and time and money to retrace steps and redo. These are:

Standardize the process – this will create consistency in form filling and manual operators will know what to expect

Ensure data consistency – Already filled information, if eyeballed, can reveal inconsistencies, if they exist, at a glance, and save much rework later

Periodic review to eliminate redundancy – To ensure redundant information is not being taken, like DOB as well as Age, and removing fields no longer relevant

Create logical checks in input forms – Checking for DOB format or no. of characters in the mobile number field

Guide on how to outsource Invoice data entry

Guide on how to outsource Invoice data entry

Guide on how to outsource Invoice data entry


Like each individual, each business is also unique. And inter-dependent.

In our business or line of work we need to rely on many others, both businesses and individuals. The businesses and people we sell our products and services to are our clients or buyers. If there were no clients, we would not have a business. The businesses and people we source inputs in the form of raw materials and services from are our suppliers or vendors or contractors. Even the employees of a business are suppliers in a way; suppliers of expertise, skill and labour that enable the business to create a product or service of value that its clients will pay for.

In a commercial transaction, products and services are obtained for a consideration, or value. The consideration or value is paid by a buyer based on an Invoice that is issued by the seller which provides the details of the product or service that has been purchased and how the total amount has been arrived at.


Invoices Data Entry Solutions

We understand what an Invoice is.

But what is Invoice data entry?

Simply stated, Invoice data entry is the process through which information provided on an Invoice is entered into a software application so that it gets converted to standardised data that can be accessed, retrieved and processed in a uniform manner.

The software application could be a simple application software like a spreadsheet, or it could be one with the specific purpose of Invoice management. 


The case to outsource Invoice Data Entry

All businesses are unique. That we already know.

What we perhaps also know is that each business operates with the help of a unique combination of processes and technologies.

What does this have to do with Invoicing and Invoice data entry services? Let us take an example.

Say Business A buys a product from Business X.

Business X will send the product to Business A, while Business A will send an amount of money representing the value of the product, to Business X. This will be done based on an Invoice issued by Business X to Business A.

Business X will issue the Invoice from their own system or application that is used for issuance of such Invoices. It will be their own unique format and might be sent physically as a paper Invoice or electronically through an email, even though, in many cases, the fields of information on an Invoice are quite standard. An Invoice will usually mention:

  • Purchase Order Number
  • Date of Invoice
  • Invoice Number
  • Number of Units
  • Product Description
  • Amount
  • Payment terms (like 50% on Order, balance of delivery)
  • How to Pay
  • Tax Payment (GST / VAT)
  • Shipping/ Delivery Dates and Details
  • Name and Contact Details of buyer & seller

Whichever way it is sent, it will still be an extrinsic artefact for Business A. In other words, it will not be a part of any of their applications (systems).

Now imagine Business A receives a hundred such Invoices form a hundred vendors from their hundred unique systems in a month. Any time any information needs to be retrieved from the Invoices it would become a manual exercise. And an onerous one as the number of Invoices keeps multiplying with time.

Invoices data entry solutions is the process through which information on such Invoices is transferred to a software application such that it gets converted to standardised data that can be accessed, retrieved and processed in a uniform manner.

This process, where a business processes Invoices received from a supplier, is a part of the Accounts Payable function of the organisation.

The contra process, where the organisation issues its own Invoices to its clients, which is a part of the Account Receivable process of the organisation, may also have a need to outsource Invoice data entry, though usually to a lesser degree, since the Invoices are issued from their own application and they should have all the information in an accessible, retrievable and processable format.

The following benefits can be expected:

  • Freedom to focus on core business activities
  • Access to cutting edge process and technology
  • Accuracy and improved turnaround times
  • Updated MIS and data visibility
  • Enhancement of productivity
  • Cost saving (or value addition)


Selecting a Vendor to outsource Invoice Data Entry

In any business process outsourcing, selection of the outsourced partner is a key decision. This can be evaluated in two parts:

  1.       Capability of the vendor in Invoice data entry services and terms of engagement
  2.       Organisational capability and support


Capability of the vendor in Invoice data entry services and terms of engagement

This part of the evaluation is about the vendor’s capability in the process sought to be outsourced. The evaluation process should consider:

Prior experience – Have they done similar work for any other client? Prior experience of the vendor shortens the learning curve and will help you achieve a steady-state faster.  

Client testimonials – External validation is always helpful, particularly from other clients.  

Knowledge of Accounting and standards – This process is typically a part of the Accounts Payable process of an organisation. At times, there will be a need to interface with the Accounting systems. Knowledge of accounting and commonly followed standards will make the interface easier.

Familiarity with Enterprise financial management systems – Similarly, knowledge of systems like SAP and Peoplesoft used by businesses for handling their finance and accounting, is a plus.

Multilingual capability – Relevant for businesses that do business in multiple geographies, or hope to expand to them. You cannot go looking for another vendor each time you want to expand. A vendor should be an aid to expansion, not a roadblock.

Handling different data sources – The vendor should have the ability to handle data entry from a variety of different sources housing different elements of the information:

  •         Scanned image of hard copy invoices
  •         Credit and debit notes
  •         Sale and purchase invoices and pro-forma invoices
  •         Time sheets
  •         Claim forms
  •         Electronic payment channels

Expertise in related services – Would it add value if the vendor were to provide additional services that may be closely related to Invoice data entry services? Like:

  •         Invoice scanning
  •         Data entry into client systems
  •         Indexing and sorting of Invoices

Industry familiarity – Just like each company is different, each industry is also different from others. Retail is different from Aerospace, Transportation from Staffing, Software from Hotels and FMCG from Pharmaceuticals. Though they would all have a need to issue and pay Invoices if they are in business.

As each industry could have its own peculiar requirements and processes, it is helpful if the vendor has familiarity with your industry as that can enable them to hit the ground running when the contract begins.

Technology and data security – The vendor should be using technology that is current and demonstrates a willingness to upgrade as technology evolves and changes. Technology is the backbone of the outsourcing world. It is often referred to as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). And do so in a secure environment that protects client data from unauthorised access.

Turnaround time – The partner should be equipped to deliver the required service speedily. It could be a 24×7 working facility, or it could be a different time zone which facilitates overnight processing, or another suitable arrangement.

Free Trial – For most data entry outsourcing arrangements, this serves to bring the outsourcing client onboard and builds confidence. Even more so where the outsourcer is a small business owner.

Pricing – Of course, pricing can never be an unimportant consideration in any commercial arrangement. It needs to be ensured that the pricing adds value to the business.

Scalability – No organisation wants to turn away business because it could not process fast enough. The vendor needs to be able to ramp up and down, within agreed parameters of course, when required as required by business volumes. 

With services in over 20 languages, super secure facilities & protocols for data security with ISO certifications (27001:2013 & 9001:2015), a 24×7 workforce already handling thousands of Invoices on a daily basis, and the ability to scale up or down by 50% within 24 hours, Oworkers should be your natural choice for outsourcing your Invoice data entry work.


Organisational capability and support for Invoices data entry solutions

As the outsourced business process will operate under the larger umbrella of the contracting organisation, it is equally important to evaluate those parameters where the larger organisation will play a role in ensuring effective delivery to your process.

Financial health of the organisation is essential to ensure continued delivery. If compromised, it will cut corners, leading to delivery issues and the possibility of a sudden stop.

Hiring is done at the organisational level. This is normally the case since hiring is an activity that interfaces with the external world. Organisations like to maintain uniformity in their external face. Besides, it is more efficient and economical. The organisation’s hiring engine should be well established and regarded in the community to provide this support. 

It should provide a quality monitoring support that is external to the processing unit but internal to the organisation. This acts as a check before an issue becomes either a contractual issue or a client issue.

Facility Management, to ensure people have a clean and hygienic workplace and access to the physical location where the work is being done, is access controlled, in order that client data is secure.

There are many other services that the organisation needs to provide in order that your work can continue smoothly. Like Legal, that ensures compliance with required regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Like Workforce Planning, that ensures all processes are adequately, but not inefficiently, staffed and is able to project future requirements to head off challenges early. Each of them should be evaluated based on the need of the hour.

As an established player in this space, with three global delivery centers in two continents, and a strict protocol in place for GDPR compliance for sensitive data, Oworkers’ Invoices data entry solutions are ideally equipped and ready for you when you decide to outsource your Invoice data entry work. With several clients across multiple industries, Oworkers has the expertise that will enable you to get the benefit of accuracy and speed. Oworkers relies on employed staff for delivering on its contracts, and not contractual. It is a desirable place of work in all its locations, with a consistently high Glassdoor rating.


Process to outsource Invoice Data Entry

Selecting the right vendor is a great starting point but a lot more remains to be done. The actual work. And, even before that, the migration of the work to the vendor. In other words, equipping the vendor to do a good job which, eventually, is in your own interest.

Outlined here is a recommended process that will enable you to engage a vendor when you decide to outsource, or even when you have started to think about it. It is possible that at the start, as you evaluate vendor capabilities and suitability for your requirement, you could be engaging with more than one potential vendor. It is also possible, depending on the volume of your work, you engage more than one vendor, which also serves as a back-up arrangement for you in case one of them is unable to operate for one reason or another.

Identify Requirement

Many business deals do not succeed because the client (buyer) is not clear on the requirements. What are they buying? Why are they buying? What problem will it solve? What value will it add? Identification of your need is a good starting point. Additionally, some clarity on success (or failure) criteria will be even better.

Advertise requirement to outsource Invoice Data Entry

Once it is clear that you would like to consider outsourcing as an option, you would need to make known to the prospective vendor community about it. This can be done in many different ways:

  • Reaching out directly to vendors who may be providing similar services to competitors.
  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.
  • Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) which is like a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you are looking for in each proposal.
  • Looking up prospective vendors online or through directories like Yellow Pages and informing them one by one of your requirements. They will respond if interested.

Shortlist vendors

By now you would have hopefully received some interest from prospective vendors. If you have been flooded with responses, at this stage, based on information received, you should shortlist down to a few, perhaps two or three, with whom you can engage in a more detailed manner. A B2B engagement is a time-consuming affair. The larger the shortlist the more of your time it will require.

Detailed discussion

This is where the detailed discussions will happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing.

Shortlist down to 1

After detailed discussions with the shortlisted few, which might require multiple discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels, you will shortlist down to the most suitable vendor to whom you will offer contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage. The others will not be rejected at this stage as they may still need to be called upon if this one does not work out for some reason.

Finalise terms and sign contract

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

Trial Run

If a Trial Run has been agreed this would be the time to initiate it. The contract would define the success criteria for this step and the rights of the client and vendor based on various outcomes possible.

Implementation Project Plan to outsource Invoice Data Entry

If this has not been done at the contracting stage, the parties will develop and agree on an Implementation Plan which defines the steps each of them need to take to reach a steady state. In other words, reach a point at which the activities envisaged in the contract are running at the expected level. The timelines are also defined in the Implementation Plan.

Vendor to Identify team, and gear up

The vendor will need to identify the team that will support activities under this contract. The various supporting teams will be informed about the new contract and they will begin to play their roles, like the hiring team will source people, the IT team will work towards a technology handshake with client systems, etc.

Initial training and hand-holding

You will probably need to do the initial training to familiarise the vendor staff on your systems and processes and ensure there is an alignment of objectives. Generally, future training requirements, either on account of replacement of staff or hiring additional staff to cater to increased volumes, will be handled by the vendor.

Begin work, test and then go full steam

Work begins. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes.

This is an indicative sequence of steps and not mandatory. Not all steps will be needed in all cases. In some cases, the sequence could also change, like a Trial Run could happen before a contract is signed.

Oworkers provides comprehensive support to clients seeking to outsource Invoice data entry. With experience in the area with clients from different industries, Oworkers is well placed to act as a Consultant right from identification of need and building a case for it, providing information on contractual formats, through to the trial phase, ramp phase and eventual settling down of the process and realisation of investment through delivery on agreed SLAs.