Friday, August 7, 2009

How to Improve Data Entry Productivity

Deciding to upgrade your data entry front end from Microsoft Access, Word, Paradox, Wordpierfect or some other program to a professional data entry software package will change the way your organization works. Off-the-shelf front-ends work well for small amounts of data, but can slow things down when volumes build up.

But working out what this volume is, and when to make the change, is difficult. An average operator enters 1,500 keystrokes an hour with MS Access. This can be increased to 11,600 keystrokes an hour with professional data entry software. The reason? Professional data entry software uses technology and proven techniques to make keying faster.

Here are some questions to ask: How much data are you entering? There are many ways to measure your data, but the most relevant statistic is the amount of time it takes to key. Working this out lets you quickly calculate your costs and see how long the software will take to pay for itself.

Professional data entry software costs about $1,000 a user. Assume your fullyloaded labor costs are $20 an hour. Divide $20 into $1,000. You must reduce your data entry time by 50 hours an operator to pay for the software.

With typical productivity gains of 30 percent, divide 30 percent into 50 hours. You need 167 hours of keying to recoup the software's cost.

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