Laptop screen showing data entry process code

6 Best Ways to Improve the Data Entry Process

Data entry plays a unique operational role in many organizations. On the one hand, data entry is typically seen as a low operational priority. While its function is often essential, business managers may view data entry as a process that should “just work” and little attention may be paid to ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the data entry process. On the other hand, however, businesses that leverage data to drive and support business processes and decision-making may have discovered that ensuring accuracy and efficiency of data entry can help organizations make better decisions and earn more revenue.

From our point of view, both of these perspectives can be correct. In a perfect world, data entry would function in real life as if it were being done by a computer – fantastic speed, minimal wait times and near-100% accuracy. In reality, however, data entry teams don’t produce those kinds of results unless organizations take the proper steps to set them up for success.

At IIMI, we know a thing or two about how to create success in data entry. With over 3500 employees delivering data entry services to our clients with a guaranteed 99.999% accuracy rate, we’re excited to share the tips and best practices that we’ve used to get the most out of our data entry personnel and improve the data entry process.

Train Employees Intensively on the Importance of Quality Data

If managers in your organization view data entry as being of little importance, imagine how your data entry operators must feel about the significance of their roles in your organization. New survey data from the United Kingdom indicates that up to 37% of workers believe that their jobs contribute nothing meaningful to the world – are these workers that you would want conducting data entry for your organization?

To combat this, work to educate your data entry operators about the importance of accurate data entry – tell them what it means for your organization, the difference it makes for your customers, and why data entry accuracy is absolutely essential to ensure the success of the company. At IIMI, our data entry operators understand the essential role that data entry plays in our client’s organizations from day one.

Create a Productive Work Environment

A data entry process may be effective, but it may not produce the intended results if deployed in the wrong environment. While you may have established a reliable process from a technical standpoint, there may still be an opportunity to optimize the work environment to improve worker satisfaction and create the conditions that lead to more accurate data entry. Follow these simple tips to optimize your work environment for results:

  • Invest in ergonomic supports for workers. Data entry operators can be subject to repetitive stress injuries that affect their happiness and job satisfaction as well as the quality and accuracy of their work. Comfortable ergonomic chairs and wrist supports can help ensure that workers stay healthy to perform their duties. You may also consider providing adjustable desks that permit employees to stand or offering other types of supports on an as-needed basis.
  • Allow regular breaks for data entry operators. Organizations can use metrics to evaluate the accuracy and volume of data that operators enter during each shift, and while it’s important to manage worker productivity, many workers will do better work if they have more freedom to recharge and reset during their shifts.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient lighting in the work area (natural light is best ) to minimize eye strain. Data entry operators will use their computers for hours each shift, and it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible. This helps to increase employee satisfaction, and reduce turnover.

Empty office of a data entry processes company

A comfortable and well-lit office environment supports employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Set Realistic Performance Targets

Every role within your organization should be subject to some kind of performance target or evaluation method. For data entry operators, it is important to set realistic expectations for the quality, volume and accuracy of data that each operator enters during their shift.

Performance targets should help motivate data entry operators to do their best work, but if executed incorrectly, they can actually have the opposite effect. If your operators feel like they can’t meet your standards, they’ll be perpetually dissatisfied with how their efforts are perceived by the organization. Performance targets should be achievable and rewarded.

We challenge our operators each day with performance targets that push the boundaries of what our clients think is possible – view our case studies to see what we’ve achieved!

Offer Bonuses and Incentives for Data Entry Speed and Accuracy

One of the biggest mistakes that we see organizations making when they try to optimize their data entry process is creating the wrong incentives for data entry operators. While the organization may have a clear vision for what it wants to see from the data entry team, it’s important that we get full buy-in from operators if we’re going to bring that vision to life. That means offering attractive incentives that drive operators towards the performance we want to see.

We’ve seen organizations struggling with data entry that begin offering bonuses to their most productive operators. What they don’t realize is that by rewarding volume instead of accuracy, they’re actually encouraging operators to cut corners and sacrifice the quality of their work to meet bonus requirements for their next pay check.

Organizations need a system for measuring and validating the accuracy of data and for measuring the productivity of each worker. Incentives and bonuses awarded for excellent data entry performance should require a specific volume but award accuracy – after all, accuracy is the name of the game in data entry.

Build Accuracy into the System

Here’s a technical tip to help you reduce the number of human errors produced in your data entry process. When operators are entering hundreds or thousands of lines of data into a computer system, there are two common types of errors that tend to appear:

  • Transcription errors include typos, repeated entries, or entries that are left out. These errors mean that the operator has missed entering a piece of data into the form.
  • Transposition errors mean that the information was entered in the wrong order – for example reversing the digits in a phone number or another identifier.

One of the easiest ways to reduce the number of data entry errors is to create a system that prevents operators from submitting erroneous data. Software that detects repeated entries or identifies typographical errors can alert your data entry operators that an error was made and prompt them to correct it before it gets overlooked. You can also use customized data entry fields that only accept correctly formatted inputs.

Customizing your data entry process in this way streamlines the data entry process and can improve productivity for data entry operators while reducing errors.

Clearly Communicate Ethical Standards and Values

Organizations need to clearly communicate the importance of strong ethical practices when it comes to data entry. Strong ethical practices include accurately entering data into the system, reporting and addressing errors whenever they are found and understanding the role of accountability procedures such as individual metrics in assuring strong data entry performance within the organization.

Data entry operators should take pride in their ethical approach to managing one of the organization’s most critical assets – its data. At IIMI, we focus our employee training on our optimized data entry processes, the expectations of our clients, and the importance of our confidentiality, quality and reliability pledge.

White Ipad displaying data entry processes data

Organizations may have legal requirements to share accurate data with shareholders, regulators or the public. Data entry operators should be aware of their role in ensuring the accuracy of data through ethical business practices and professional conduct.


Organizations should make it a priority to improve their data entry processes and optimize their business results and decision-making, and there are several avenues available for improving the data entry process. Organizations should train staff on the importance of accurate data entry, offer their a productive work environment that promotes job satisfaction and set realistic, motivating performance targets for operators.

Organizations can build accuracy into their data entry process by leveraging software solutions that use customized data entry fields to prevent operators from entering incorrect data. Any incentive program aimed at operators should include requirements for accuracy and volume – not just one or the other. Finally, employees should learn about their ethical obligation to provide accurate data to the business, knowing that it could be used for strategic decision-making, or for legally required submissions to regulators and other stakeholders.

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