Data Entry: Definition and Skills

Quick Navigation:

Data entry is a great career for individuals with computer skills and excellent attention to detail. If you’re interested in a data entry job, it’s important to consider what this type of job entails and what skills and qualifications are needed to succeed in this role. This article will outline what data entry is, what skills you should have, what you should look for in this type of position and more.

What is data entry?

Data entry, also known as keylogging, refers to the job of entering data or information into an online or electronic system through the use of various computer software programs. For the most part, the general requirements for data entry roles are the ability to type with accuracy, a high school diploma and the ability to read and write in the language you’ll be working with. 

Types of data entry jobs

There are several types of data entry jobs including the following:

  • Transcriber
  • Translator
  • Clerk
  • Online survey taker
  • Captioning
  • Online form filer
  • Typist
  • Coder
  • Email processer
  • Data entry keyer
  • Electronic data processor

It’s worth noting that some data entry jobs are remote, which can allow you to work from home, however, the pay for these positions might not be as high as full-time office positions. 

Skills needed for data entry

Here are some of the common skills that can help you perform more efficiently in a data entry profession:

Organizational skills

If you’re working in data entry, it’s important to be highly organized so as not to confuse the information you’re inputting into electronic databases or software.

Attention to detail

It’s imperative that you input the correct information when working in a data entry role. Having strong attention to detail involves your ability to stay focused on the task you’re currently performing and avoiding any potential errors. This skill will also help you work more efficiently.

Typing and transcription skills

If you’re hoping to work in data entry, it’s important to have solid typing and transcription skills since your day will involve a great deal of computer work. Being able to type and transcribe quickly and efficiently will make your job infinitely easier.

Communication skills

It’s important to have good verbal and written communication skills in this profession since you’ll be working with a wide variety of text and information on a daily basis. Spelling or grammar errors could greatly impair the quality of your work.

Multitasking skills

If you’re working in data entry, it’s important to be able to multitask. It’s possible that along with data entry, you’ll be asked to answer phones or other tasks that you’ll need to juggle throughout the workday.

Customer service skills

Depending on your position, you may need to have customer service skills. Many customer service roles involve some form of data entry.

Computer skills

If you’re working in data entry, you should have good computer skills. This involves not only being able to type but also understanding the software your company uses. You should also have the ability to learn the necessary software as it pertains to your role.

Time management skills

If you’re working in data entry, you should have strong time management skills since you’ll be expected to complete a lot of work in a limited time frame.

What to look for in a data entry position

Here are some things to consider when looking for a data entry position:

Adequate pay range

Though some people might prefer a data entry job as supplemental income, it’s important to consider the pay you’ll be receiving. Some companies may disclose the pay range in the job posting. Determine whether or not the pay or salary a company offers is what you’re looking for.

Required skills and qualifications 

When you look for a data entry position, it’s important that you meet the necessary qualifications. This can include having the required skills and experience level to perform the job well. For example, some companies will require you to be a good typist and have strong organizational, communication and multitasking skills. You might also be required to understand the company’s software. Make sure you meet the necessary qualifications when you look and apply for a data entry position.

Company credibility

Before accepting a data entry job, you should determine the company’s credibility. Within the realm of data entry, there are several scams you could encounter. This includes scams that ask for money, those appearing to send you money, and job posters who want a large amount of your personal information before hiring you. When you look for a data entry position, make sure the company you’re working for is credible and verifiable. Do your research, check out the company’s website and determine whether or not this is a credible position and workplace.

Working onsite or offsite

Thanks to the growth of technology, more remote data entry jobs have become available. Working from home in this profession provides you with greater flexibility and can be appealing to those with busy schedules. Check the job description or ask the hiring manager to determine whether the position offers the option to work from home.

Tips for performing data entry from home

Here are some tips for performing data entry from home:

Keep in mind what you’ll be paid 

Many data entry positions are available through independent contractors who are not required to pay you the minimum wage. Therefore, if you choose to do data entry from home, you’ll likely see a smaller paycheck than if you worked in an office. It’s also likely that you won’t see benefits in a remote profession. The same is the case if you’re a data entry freelancer. 

Do data entry as a side job

If you choose to do data entry from home, consider doing it as a side job that can supplement your income instead of it being your main source of income.

Determine the company’s credibility

Before accepting a remote data entry position, you should also determine whether or not the hiring company is credible. Make sure you verify the company before giving them any of your personal information.

Set a consistent schedule

Though working from home has its perks, it’s important to get yourself in a set schedule that will help you perform your job more efficiently.

Avoid distractions

It’s also important to avoid any distractions since you’ll need to have strong attention to detail. Make sure you have a designated area to work that is free from excessive noise.