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Difference Between Data Entry & Data Input

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Once upon a time, data entry clerks were responsible for keeping handwritten records. These days, the field of pen-and-ink data entry is all but obsolete because companies have shifted to the speedier and more efficient world of keyboard input and digital storage. In many cases, the terms "data entry" and "data input" are used interchangeably. Some employment agencies, however, do distinguish between entry and input to communicate the precise nature of the work they can supply.

Forms Input

When a company specifies that they can provide "data input," it usually means it provides workers who can transfer information from forms, such as surveys, questionnaires, suggestion cards and applications. Form processing is often outsourced to employment agencies whose providers can perform fast and accurate data input on a temporary basis. Many companies possess software that can upload typed data from forms, but it often takes a human or specialized software to decipher and transfer handwritten forms.

Transcription

businessman analyzing annual business report with using laptop at office desk

Another form of data entry is audio transcription. Journalists, historians, investigators and many others record hours and hours of audio as part of their profession. Rather than use precious time listening to and transferring these files to readable form, professionals can use an in-house data entry specialist or outsource a transcriptionist. Transcription work could entail word-for-word data input or more skilled input services such as file cleanup, filtering, revision and real-time recording.

Scanning Services

Businesses have made use of physical document storage spaces for decades. Companies like Iron Mountain, for instance, use climate-controlled caves and other spacious environments to house documents. Although many companies continue to store data physically, it is increasingly possible to convert physical documents to digital formats. Some data input work entails the scanning of reams and reams of documents -- from invoices to customer feedback cards to addresses and beyond. Once the data is uploaded to a database or other storage service, data entry clerks can either convert the data into usable documents or make use of software to transfer the information into the desired format.

Duplication Checking

The sheer quantity of information that companies require to carry on daily business activities can be overwhelming. Data entry services like duplicate checking can save companies time and money by eliminating redundancy. Even though duplicate checking does not, by definition, entail either the entry or the input of data, it is part of the collage of services a data entry specialist must offer.