Arch Global Solutions is dedicated to offering quality information to both our current and potential clients. We believe that accurate information is the greatest tool in selecting a great vendor and an important key to receiving the highest quality results possible.
The purpose of this Wiki is to share information, we gather the majority of the information from people like you!
Question: “I am not sure what questions I should ask a potential data entry vendor. What do you suggest?”
Answer: There are lots of choices available when selecting a vendor. The ultimate goal is finding the vendor that is right for you. Here is a list of basic questions I would suggest starting with. Depending on the answers you receive, I am sure more questions will come to mind.
- How big is your company? Do you specialize in any particular type of data entry? And how many projects have you worked on?
- Has your company done or are currently working on projects similar to mine?
- Do you make client references available?
- What resources and software do you have available and use?
- Will my data be safe and kept confidential?
- Where is your work done? Do you offer domestic and offshore options?
Question: “Is having my project completed offshore a good idea, or should I pay more for domestic work?”
Answer: There are several factors to keep in mind when making the decision between having your work completed domestically or offshore. Cost aside, project accuracy is the most important factor.
The type of information you wish to have collected is an important factor in your decision. For example, projects that are verbiage heavy (surveys, questionnaires, forms with several open ended questions, etc.) generally are viewed as good candidates for domestic work. This is not to say you will not receive good results offshore, but data entry operators who speak the language natively will typically have greater success in collecting the data more accurately. The reason is simple, those who are fluent in the language will view the text word by word instead of character by character. On the other side of the coin, projects in which single response questions (check boxes or select a, b, c or d questions) are the majority question type, either domestic or offshore service can be a good choice.
The best way to make this decision is to talk openly with your service provider. A quality vendor will list out the pros and cons for you and help you make the decision that will make sure the highest quality results are returned to you.
Question: “I recently received my first invoice from my new data entry vendor and I noticed a charge for “clerical activity”, is this normal?”
Answer: The question I have is, did your vendor notify you of this charge prior to the work being completed? You should NEVER have charges on an invoice that you were not expecting. More importantly a vendor should discuss with you about clerical charges upfront and give you examples of why it may be necessary.
Clerical activity can sometimes be necessary, especially if the work is received in a “not ready for keying” condition. Our belief is that it a vendor should always notify a client if additional charges are necessary before starting a project.
Question: “I like that you share information, especially the Q&A section. Do you allow people to share blogs on here?”
Answer: At this time we do not allow people to post blogs to our site, but if you have specific information that would be helpful to people looking for services associated with our industry, we are happy to add the information to our Wiki page.
Common Terms and Definitions:
The process of using an input device (keyboard, scanner) to gather information from an original format such as paper or image and transferring the information to a digital format such as a database or spreadsheet.
The manual or automated process of gathering information from one media type (image, paper, online, database) and transferring it to different media type.
The steps involved in collecting data from one format (text file) and transferring the data into a new and unique format (image file).
The process, usually manual, of transferring written or printed data from one media (paper, image) to a new media type (spreadsheet, database)
Data Standardization / Normalization
The process of modifying data to meet the requirements of a specific set of rules.
The process of reviewing data for accuracy. verification can occur through the use of a second unique process or from using the original process a second time.
When associated with data entry service: the process of taking original documents and ensuring they are ready for processing. The task is usually completed by a clerical team and can include task such as removal of unwanted items (staples, paperclips) , sorting and batching.
Domestic Service (data entry)
when the completion of data entry services in done in the native land of the original document. Example: Work originating in the USA, being completed in the USA.
Double Blind Keying
The process of data being keyed by two separate data entry operators and evaluated against each other for accuracy.
An electronic book (also e-book, ebook, digital book) is a text- and image-based publication in digital format and is readable on computers or other digital devices.
The process of reading and processing the contents of a form, to achieve a desired result for another person or company.
ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition)
Technology based system that allows handwritten characters to be learned by a program, designed to increase processing accuracy.
The process of adding information (dates, photographer name, subject matter) to an image, through the use of specialized software and manual keying.
Key and Verify
The accuracy verifying process, where data is collected and keyed then reviewed in a separate process designed to improve the accuracy level.
Key From Image
The process of capturing desired data, where the keying operator uses an image of the source document instead of a paper document.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
Technology based system that allows machine printed characters to be collected by a program, designed to increase processing accuracy.
The process where data collected from source documents or images is completed in a country other than the originating country.
OMR (Optical Mark Recognition)
The technology of converting pen or pencil marks on areas of a form into data values based on positions of pre-defined boxes, circles (bubbles) designed for a specific form.
The process of completing data entry via a web based application.
The collection of data, where the data is only keyed once and no verification process is used.
The process of converting spoken words into a written format. The process is very popular in the medical and legal fields.
The process of collecting data from internet sites. Usually a client will provide a list of sites where specific data is required to be collected.
Comment: “I have been using the services of data entry vendors for over 20 years. I have learned that one way to make sure a vendor can accommodate your projects needs is by performing a test run. Some vendors will offer a free test, while others will not. I have also found that almost all vendors will run a test only if the project volume is large enough”
Response: Nice comment, we will add this to our Wiki page. Yes, a “test run” is a good idea. It is true that most vendors will offer a test if the volume is large enough. Also, I suggest requesting a test (if it is not offered) where the project is difficult by nature, or if it will help in the cost evaluation process. Thanks again for the your input!
Comment: Blogs, Q&A, definitions………..lots of information. Not sure why you offer it all free, perhaps you should spend more time selling your services. I don’t mean to be rude, but are you a service provider or information resource?
Response: Thank you for your comments. We feel that a good service provider should also provide good information. We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, and we take all comments seriously and look to them as resources to improving ourselves.
Comment: “HI!” Just wanted to say, I like your blog postings. I found them informative, without being too self-serving.”
Response: Thank you for your kind words. We always accept compliments. Please share our information with anyone you feel can benefit from it.
Comment: “while reading through a different data entry company’s website I noticed the terms near shore and offshore. I am confused as to what the difference is. I attempted to ask the other vendor but never received a response.”
Response: Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your question. Referring to the data entry profession, near shore refers to work that is not completed domestically (in our case the USA) but instead is completed in a country that shares a border (for example in our case using workforce in either Mexico or Canada). Offshore on the other hands refers to the usage of labor forces in a country other than those considered “near shore” (using AGS as the example, offshore would refer to us using labor in countries such as India or China). Thank you again for the great question, I hope I answered it to your satisfaction.