Someone's hand chooses the option to learn more of the difference between data capture and data entry

High demands for data such as customer profiles, emails, and other various structured or unstructured forms can place added responsibility and stress on management staff.

The constant need for staff to access, review, input, and store data can keep your key workers preoccupied, slowing down operation and inflating business process timeframes, which can affect your business. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that data capture and data entry are among the most popular business processes to outsource.

Outsourcing data capture and data entry removes the pressure to collect, capture, and store comprehensive data in an orderly and efficient way. Learn some of the most common methods available when outsourcing data capture and data entry to see if your business could benefit.

What’s the Difference Between Data Capture and Data Entry?

Before getting into different data capture methods, it’s worth noting the difference between data capture and data entry. While the two are commonly confused, they serve different functions.

Data capture is the process of collecting and transforming information from paper or electronic documents into data that can be understood by computers. The data capture process can work well for a variety of document formats ranging from multiple-choice forms to machine-printed documents, and more. On the other hand, data entry is a person-based process that involves manually inputting data from forms or non-electronic reports. Data entry is a better option when handling handwritten and detailed data.

Factors like information style, volume, data structure, and timeline will also influence which service most makes sense for your organization.

Six Common Data Capture Methods

Now that you have an idea of the differences between data capture and data entry let’s shift our focus to the conventional methods of data capture. Good data capture strategies allow organizations to collect and manage useful information about clients and prospects alike. 

However, the specific method may vary between project and industry. Here’s a look at six common data capture methods.

  1. Manual Data Capture: Perhaps the most labor-intensive and time-consuming method, this works best for data that is received in low volumes and utilizes mouse, graphics tablets, keyboards, touch screens, and trackball technology. 

  2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR): A type of automated data capture, OCR can be used to capture low to high volumes of data. This method is used to convert different types of machine-printed documents, including image files, PDF files, or scanned paper documents, into searchable and editable data.

  3. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR): A method that works best for high volume invoice processing and is commonplace in digital mailroom applications. ICR helps identify and capture handwritten printed characters from image files. It can be more complicated and less accurate, but thanks to a self-learning process, it is continuously evolving.

  4. Voice-Recognition: A straightforward automated data capture method that converts speech into text. Voice-recognition finds application in dictation systems and certain processes of data entry and word-processing environments.

  5. Scanners: A high-speed processing method that scans paper documents and forms upon entry then delivers electronically. You need appropriate technology and adequate space to process records through this method. 

  6. Optical Mark Reading (OMR): Used to capture data through boxes that are checked manually on documents such as forms and surveys.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to outsourcing data capture. To choose the best fit for your needs, you’ll want an experienced data capture BPO provider to guide you through the options.

DATAMARK Can Help With Data Capture Outsourcing Services

DATAMARK offers manual and automated data capture services at locations around the world for 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week service.

Our team of experts employs advanced technologies like automation and artificial intelligence to prime collection tasks for efficiency and effectiveness. DATAMARK has provided business process outsourcing solutions for organizations and businesses across various industries since 1989.

Improve accuracy, speed, empower service teams, strengthen customer support, and lower labor costs when you outsource data capture services with DATAMARK. Learn more about our data capture outsourcing services or contact our Business Development Managers

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