Outsourcing Data Entry
There are various issues involved in outsourcing data entry. Safety of information, boring work conditions, and the ability to hire specialized staff.
By outsourcing data entry and data storage, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities and risks. What if the data entry company compromises you data and sells it (oh my god!). Or, what if your data is guarded with the best technology available to human kind with your new outsourcing company, but your data is not so secure at home with the mother company (hmmm). These are interesting points to consider. Any sensitive information has to be treated with the utmost of care. Servers need backups, and backups need customer service that is responsive, otherwise what good is it? Companies might seem good at first, and then a year later you might have a problem and it might take days to get a half-witted response from them about your critical data!
The main point is to pursue the issue of security of outsourcing data entry with a positive viewpoint: i.e. how can I put outsourcing on the table as an option to consider as a potentially more secure and better way to store and process data? If you are considering a particular company, its wise to ask as many questions about their security measures as possible and interview various employees to double check whether the information is really policy, or just a nice sounding story.
Data Entry jobs can be boring. I personally can only do two hours of data entry per day without wanting to take a three week vacation. If you have in-house workers do this, you have to deal with their boredom, attrition, perhaps even carelessness. By outsourcing data entry jobs, this problem gets transfered to a foreign country, far away. For all you know, they think its fascinating doing data entry and they can’t wait to go to work. Or maybe the work is boring, but their co-workers are fun, plus the samosas and chai served three times daily make the day pleasant. Work conditions are very different on the other side of the ocean.
Its quite a job double checking everyone’s work, making sure they have a low rate of errors. In America, that type of work can be stressful. But, in India, there are many who like keeping tabs on others. Its part of the national culture in many ways. The job you hate might be a dream come true for someone else.
Data Entry jobs might have high attrition rates. But, if someone lives in another country where this is their only means to make a decent living, they will be less inclined to quit on a whim. The job market in India changes so much, one year people will cut their left arm for a job, and a few years later, they will go job surfing and change jobs several times per year at great expense to the employer.
The Manila Bulletin stated on Aug 29th, 2010, that the attrition rate for data entry operations in the Philippines was only 14% which was lower than other industries. Attrition for data entry jobs might be high in America and India, but not in the Philippines.
A company that specializes in outsourcing data entry jobs can hire very specialized staff that a company who is not specialized in data entry would not be able to hire full time. Its a trend these days to focus on core competencies, and outsource the rest to other companies in your country, or in other countries. A company that specializes will also have the knowledge of how to hire the best staff since they know their business intimately, and less specialized companies wouldn’t be as sharp.
Pools of experts.
Sophisticated data entry companies will have a pool of experts who have an in depth business lexicon and technical know-how so that the company can easily deal with even the most challenging assignments. A company who doesn’t have the right mix of skilled employees, will stumble when faced with a similar data entry project.