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Data entry is the process of entering some form of information or data into a computerised database or spreadsheet; for example, the process of entering hand written data obtained from questionnaires into a computer programme. Data entry is most often done by an individual typing on a keyboard although it can be done electronically by a machine entering the data. The person entering the data is known as a data entry clerk, database administrator or a typist.
Types of data which might be transcribed include hand written documents, information which has been taken from spreadsheets, names addresses and telephone numbers, number sequences and computer codes. Data entry is a procedure that allows collected data to be stored, viewed and analysed relatively easily and it can involve recording, classifying, calculating, summarising, sorting, disseminating and storing. It is an important role because the information kept is only valuable if it is accurate, up to date and useable.
While there are no set entry requirements, if you wish to work in data entry you will need to be computer literate and able to type quickly and accurately. You also need to be able to work to deadlines. Keeping a schedule of tasks that need completing, along with the date limit is a good way of ensuring that you do not miss a deadline. You should also show good attention to detail; information entered incorrectly is worthless.
Companies hiring data entry employees usually have a minimum keystrokes per minute (kpm) requirement and they usually want typists who are excellent at 10-key typing - this uses the 0-9 number keypad found on the right hand side of computer keyboards. Before you are offered work, you may be tested to ensure you can type well.
Whilst online data entry jobs will never make you rich, they can be one of the best ways to work from home, but you do need to exercise extreme caution when searching for employment. This is because there are, unfortunately, many scams and illegitimate sites out there. Never pay an initial registration or membership fee in order to access job offers and steer clear of sites which offer jobs that appear too good to be true. These are usually a scam. You do not need to buy an e-book which tells you how to find data entry jobs and guarantees you employment, these too are scams. There are legitimate sites on the internet, but you should always remain sceptical and you need be prepared to take the time to do your own extensive research on any specific data entry jobs which take your interest.
By doing an internet search using a heading like 'how to find legitimate online data entry jobs', you will find advice and some posts from people who also give the names of legitimate companies. However, because there are not enough online data entry jobs to go round, there is often a 6-12 month waiting list these companies before you get offered any jobs.
To find a local data entry company, look up data entry services for your area and see if there are any. If you find a company which interests you, then you can send them a copy of your C.V. You can also include a short covering letter attachment, detailing your typing skills and qualifications if you have any and ask for a contact name and telephone number to ring. This way you can do a check on the company to see if it is registered and legitimate. You can then ring them and ask if they are hiring home contractors.