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Data is everywhere. The human body sends 11 million bits per second to the brain for processing. Humanity has surpassed a zettabyte, an almost incomprehensibly large number, in the digital universe.

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, the ability to access and process high-quality data will undoubtedly continue to reshape economies.

In 2019, the annual revenue of the global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry was valued at $26 billion and estimated at a valuation of a whopping 92.5 billion dollars. It’s no surprise data entry BPOs are one of the largest slices of the pie.

The following article will explore how enterprises can save capital, time, and focus by outsourcing data entry services. Plus, they can use remote work monitoring to make sure the work is done correctly, and within agreed-upon timeframes.

The Data Entry Landscape

Despite much greater access to international talent for outsourcing, many businesses still tend to spend an excessive amount of valuable in-house time sifting through hectic lists of data, causing them to waste precious resources.

For tens of thousands of companies who depend on data to power their business, data entry BPO providers are a godsend. But, with the sensitivity of data, their adoption does take careful consideration.

If you’re considering outsourcing your data entry to a data entry BPO or simply want to learn the best practices of business process outsourcing there are a few questions to ask yourself: 

1. Have you experienced quantifiable inefficiencies in daily operations due to the repetitive and time-consuming nature of data mining and data entry? 

2. Do you have the proper software stack to scale your business operations?

3. How valuable is enhancing operational effectiveness to your business?

Business process outsourcing, lets you fry the bigger fish while adding competitive advantages across the board.

Explore and Exploit Wage Arbitrage

The ability to work with anyone worldwide means businesses have access to extremely qualified talent, often at a fraction of the price of local talent. Many companies even fully outsource most of their non-critical business operations to data entry BPOs in India, China, the Philippines, and Ukraine. 

For example, data entry in the United States can cost around $25-$35 per hour, whereas offshore options can cost around $5-$15. Since data entry is so process-oriented, the results are generally the same.  

The most successful businesses tend to have a deep understanding of which activities are their true competitive differentiators that must remain in-house, and which mostly serve as a function to facilitate those mission-critical functions. These businesses tend to outsource the latter.  

Reveal Productivity Insights Otherwise Left in the Dark 

Every business has its bottlenecks that prevent them from scaling as efficiently as possible.

Data entry, being one of the more rote and repetitive tasks, is one of the most popular business processes to be outsourced. By simply doing so can remove company-wide bottlenecks and free up critical resources 

However, it isn’t simply outsourcing the data entry process that gives an enterprise a competitive advantage. Sure, that’s a start. But the outsourced process needs to be accompanied with an understanding and ability to leverage productivity insights linked to the processing of data, to maximize overall performance. 

Data Processing Efficiency Via Accountability

The value of data lies in its quality. Simply put, if there are inefficiencies in the way it is mined, analyzed, and interpreted, its value diminishes.

This is where the helping hand of technology comes in.

Data entry monitoring software gives organizations a tangible means of building accountability into their outsourced data processing. 

Remote work monitoring companies like Insightful offer data entry monitoring software that analyzes exactly how agents use company time, allowing enterprises to highlight top performers and get a more intricate view of how their high-level data entry processes are capable of being executed. 

The Feedback Loop Flywheel

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” 

-Elon Musk, Tesla CEO

The power of productivity insights lies in their ability to close the feedback loop. User activity monitoring weeds out costly inefficiencies and allows company leaders to make more strategic decisions with their resources. 

Analyzing feedback loops leads to a faster implementation of processes, and, ultimately, a better-executed product. In the case of data entry, it’s incredibly straightforward to analyze how efficient an individual virtual assistant or BPO agency is at whatever activity you send their way.

As businesses expand in the digital ocean, it’s important to be mindful of how your time and budget are being spent. An entirely virtual business poses some unique challenges, and without the proper means of analyzing performance, resources can quickly slip through the cracks.

Ask the Right Questions to Find the Right Data Entry Provider

Don’t be afraid of applying pressure and putting your potential data entry BPO on the hot seat. 

Here are a few good questions to ask:

  1. Why would they be the right fit for you? How will they manage your projects? What software do they use? Can you communicate easily in different time zones? Is there a language barrier? These are all great questions when vetting out your possible team.
  2. Ask if you can see examples of previous work, especially those specifically related to your company’s projects. If their portfolio mirrors your current projects, they’re likely a better fit than not. 
  3. How do they handle the security of your data? One of the most significant considerations when seeking out someone to handle your data processes is how they handle the security of your data. 

It’s also important to consider emergency protocols. Specifically, what disaster data recovery and backup processes does the provider offer?

Without a robust disaster recovery plan, your data could be at risk in the face of external threats. Discuss strategies with the provider to make sure your data won’t be compromised in the worst-case scenario.

Ensure Data Security and Compliance

If you’re considering outsourcing your data entry or data scraping, it’s worth asking yourself this: what makes your data set more valuable than someone else’s?

Simply put, because it’s yours. 

Often, data is the core competitive advantage of a business. The data you collect can be extremely valuable, and it should be protected as such. 

Further, if the data is confidential and you may be exposed to legal risks if it is leaked, security simply must be a priority, not an afterthought.

If you’re dealing with highly sensitive data, make sure you get your data entry BPO provider. 

To prevent data breaches, companies must implement multiple strategies to ensure security standards. Encryptions are particularly critical when protecting the identity of your business. Data must be stored on a cloud drive with encrypted security, or securely on premise on your secured network.

For example, Insightful offers customers the option between a cloud-based solution using Google Cloud infrastructure, or a dedicated on-premise solution

Each storage option is protected with a specific key that lets your system see and process user data while preventing rogue system administrators from taking advantage of it. 

Measuring ROI on Outsourced Data Entry

If you’re wondering whether outsourcing data entry will be a good idea, there’s only one way to alleviate your concerns: a tangible way to measure success.

As with core business processes, it’s essential that you use performance metrics to gauge whether or not the activity is yielding the right results. Outsourcing data entry without clear metrics for success can be a futile exercise, as you’ll have no clear way of knowing if you’re getting a high ROI.

Here are some examples of metrics you can track to measure ROI on outsourced data entry:

  •  Saved costs
  •  Increased productivity and efficiency 
  •  Error rates
  •  Response times

Final Thoughts

Working with a data entry BPO can save your in-house team from performing tedious and repetitive work, which is enough of a strategic advantage in and of itself, but there’s more. 

Modern technology offers enterprises specialized tools to scale individual data entry processes, optimize organization-wide workflows, and derive more value from the data collected 

But remember, offloading the data processing task alone isn’t sufficient. The results of your data outsourcing endeavors will be limited without insights that allow you to close the feedback loop between instruction and execution. 

It’s critical to track data entry services with the proper software stack to analyze your performance and marry productivity metrics to the execution quality.

When you do, you’ll empower your team with more valuable data that unlocks new potential across your business.

Updated: September 22, 2023

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