Data entry might seem like something that can be foolproof but when there is a lot of different forms changing hands with potentially illegible handwriting it can be a real issue. Once mistakes are fed into a computer system from a paper-based data collection it can become a nightmare to untangle the mess.
By using electronic and mobile forms, you are able to bypass and avoid a lot of these common errors as there is no room for individual shorthand or writing that only they can read to cause any problems. All you will have is a perfect database that you can trust.
1. Transcription errors
These types of errors occur when information is input the wrong way and tends to be more common when transcribing words rather than numerical data. You will often see this kind of error in the form of typos or deletion or omission of important data. By having an electronic system in place you will be able to avoid most typos through an inbuilt spell checker. Also, the forms can have mandatory fields so that the form cannot be submitted until all of the information has been input.
2. Transposition Errors
This is when usually numbers are input in the incorrect order or with too many or too few zeros. This kind of mistake is usually very hard to spot as once the client’s address has been entered into the system how is anyone else supposed to know that they live at 101 Main Street and not 110 Main Street. You can cut down on the chances of making an error like this by simply cutting out the transposition of the paper-based forms. By using electronic forms the data is input instantly.
3. Train your employees on the correct process
If you are looking to make the switch to an electronic form system then you should set aside some time to train them on how to operate the new technology. Many will be enthused by the opportunity to make their day to day much easier. This will have a knock-on effect of increasing the efficiency of the workplace.
4. Ask for feedback
There might be ways that the process of data capture that you’re currently using can be improved but you don’t know anything about it as your employees are keeping this information to themselves as they don’t think that you will listen to their concerns. By asking for feedback across all areas of your business you may find that some of the information on the form is not needed, or that the design of the form can be simplified a great deal. What works, in theory, doesn’t always work in practice so be ready to adapt.
5. Efficiency is good but it should not be the goal
Any changes that you make to a process should be to make it more efficient. You should avoid losing sight of your overall business goals. Any changes that you make to how you capture and process the data of your customers and staff inputs should be worked back to a net improvement in overall performance. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.
6. Speed is good, but accuracy is essential
Electronic form submissions will speed up the process of data capture significantly. Which is a great thing, one thing that you are hoping to see a huge improvement in is the accuracy of the data that you capture. If you are able to achieve both of these things then the decision to switch to an electronic form system will have been well worth it.