Data. Big data. Metadata. Businesses, governments, and organizations collect mountains of data of various types every day. Data provides the means required to make wise decisions. Data entry jobs are the bridge between data collection and organizing the information so it can be interpreted.
The outlook for data entry jobs in India is favourable with 80% of outsourcing firms in the United States and Europe putting India at the top of their list of destinations for IT and IT-related work.
A growing opportunity
With the IT industry in India expected to swell to $350 billion USD by the year 2025, the opportunity for data entry jobs will also be on the rise.
The type of data entry jobs that are available covers a wide array of work opportunities that include data processing, transcription, survey results, “copy & paste”, data conversion and more.
For the purpose of this article, we will be taking a look at data entry jobs where you can make ₹100,000 per month or more.
Do I need a degree or any special skills?
A degree is not needed, however, there are some skills you should have for data entry jobs.
Here is a list of some of the skills that will give you the competitive edge in landing a job in the data entry marketplace.
Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Open Office, Microsoft Access and other databases, as well as CRM (customer relationship management) systems is important.
A basic understanding will get you a foot in the door.
Being a fast learner will be your fast-track to the advancement and making more money.
Data entry jobs require the ability to quickly enter large amounts of data. Having a fast typing speed is very important.
Accuracy is also needed.
Attention to Detail
A misplaced comma, a misspelt word or name can have a negative impact on the data being entered.
Attention to details, being certain to “dot every i” and “cross every t”.
This is especially important if you are doing transcription work.
Being able to clearly and concisely communicate is a key skill needed for data entry jobs.
In the area of written skills, being able to use correct spelling, sentence structure and grammar matter.
In regard to spoken communication, you will be collaborating with co-workers and presenting projects to every tier of management.
Being able to get your ideas across in such a way as to engage people and so that you are clearly understood is a “secret” to success in every line of work.
Organizational skills and time management are valuable skills for data entry jobs.
With the amount of work that needs to be completed within a short period of time, the ability to prioritize your tasks in order to establish an efficient workflow is a skill that will set the stage for increased earnings.
Being fluent in English has a big advantage in landing data entry jobs with a good pay scale.
Many companies in the US outsource a lot of data entry work to India, so having a good command of the English language will be important.
Is special equipment required?
Data entry jobs can be performed in an office, a data centre or online at home.
If you need to report to work at an office or data centre, the employer will have the equipment needed to perform your job.
If you are working online from home, typically all that is needed is a laptop, an internet connection and a mobile phone.
Data entry jobs are great for people who want to work online from home.
For transcription work that you are doing online, you will need a couple of additional pieces of equipment such as a headset, a USB or Bluetooth foot pedal and software that will enable you to playback and “rewind” audio files.
There are several different kits from online suppliers.
Where do I find data entry work?
If you have decided that data entry jobs are the right choice for you, where do you find data entry work?
That is a great question, and here are some options for you to explore.
It might seem obvious, but a search on Google (or other search engines) can bring up a wide range of data entry job opportunities.
From hiring agencies, outsourcing agencies and freelance platforms, the choices of where to find data entry jobs stagger the imagination.
Simply enter data entry jobs as the search term and you will be presented with options that are almost as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Include your desired salary range in the search to narrow the focus to data entry jobs that fit your needs and requirements.
The type of data entry work available on Upwork covers a broad range from finance and legal to IT and more.
Upwork is free to sign up.
You can earn ₹100,000 to ₹150,000 per month by lining up steady work through clients.
Guru.com, by their own admission is the leading freelance site for data entry jobs.
It is free to sign up and create your profile.
Employers post a description of their project and the rate of pay.
Some pay by the project or by the piece. Others pay by the hour.
Jobs can be a one-time project or a long-term relationship depending on the needs of the employer.
Guru.com is tailored toward more professional freelancers and clients which keeps the number of “low-ball” job offers to a minimum.
Worknhire offers a broad range of data entry jobs that include bulk mailing, email response handling, fact-checking, HR and payroll, and travel planning, just to name a few.
Sign up is free and there is currently less competition on this site than the other freelance sites, which means there is greater opportunity to land those higher-paying jobs.
Sheroes lists Truelancer.com as the top freelancing site on their list of 17 freelancing sites.
From typing jobs to “copy & paste”, converting document formats, maintaining databases, list compiling and business intelligence, there are bound to be data entry jobs on this site that match your skill-set and income requirements.
Other freelance sites
Other freelance sites worth checking out are freelanceindia.com, peopleperhour.com, flexjobs.com, freelancer.com and The Smart Crowd.
These are all great places to look for data entry jobs.
Online employment agencies
There are a number of online employment agencies that post data entry jobs from companies and outsourcing agencies that are looking to hire data entry workers.
The online agencies will list the employers, descriptions of the work as well as salary ranges.
Just login. enter your search information, filter for location and salary range to find your match.
These are all solid agencies with legitimate employers that include private and publicly traded companies, organizations and government agencies.
Some charge placement fees which are covered either by the person getting hired or the company doing the hiring.
It is important to do your homework so that you are not caught by surprise with a fee that you were not expecting.
Let’s get to the jobs
Now that we know where to find data entry jobs, let’s take a look at a few of the jobs that are available through the various sources.
One of the data entry jobs that is popular and plentiful is working as a transcriptionist.
A transcriptionist is someone who listens to recorded audio files and converts those files to text by typing the audio notes into a word processing program such as MS Word (if Windows-based), Pages (if Mac-based) or Google Docs (for cross-platform).
There are many marketplace sectors that use the service of transcriptionists.
Medical, legal, government, and education are all examples of the types of businesses and organizations that generate transcription work.
Transcriptionists can make ₹100,000 per month or more depending on experience, skill level and location of the employer.
Here are examples of just two of the many jobs covered under the heading of a transcriptionist.
A medical transcriptionist converts the audio notes of doctors, surgeons and physician assistants into formatted documents that make them easy to read, organize and file.
The documents are used for patient records, insurance claims and case studies.
One of the requirements of becoming a medical transcriptionist is being a person who is trustworthy and discreet because of the sensitive nature of each patient’s personal health information.
Other skills would be accurate typing, good grammar, focused listening, familiarity with medical terminology, and accurate spelling.
The job of a legal transcriptionist is often confused with the work of a court reporter.
The two jobs are actually worlds apart.
A legal transcriptionist listens to the audio files of notes (dictation) from legal professionals such as paralegals, attorneys as well as judges and captures those recorded notes in text on forms, documents, memos, contracts, pleadings, briefs and letters.
Having excellent typing skills is extremely important, especially in the area of accuracy because some of the documents produced will be used in court.
Excellence with grammar, spelling, legal terminology and proof-reading are essential to doing work as a legal transcriptionist.
Email processing is one of the data entry jobs that does not require many special skills.
If you have a laptop, an internet connection, know how to use Outlook or other email clients, can type and have a basic grasp of English, that is your foot in the door.
Therefore, it is an excellent gateway to the world of data entry work.
Companies send and receive thousands to hundreds of thousands of emails.
Email campaigns are marketing tools companies use to gain new business.
Many companies, if not most, do not have the number of employees or resources needed to process all of those emails.
As a result, corporations worldwide outsource this work to email processors.
The work of an email processor is fairly simple.
You will receive dozens of emails each day.
You read the emails, and then follow the employer-provided instructions for processing those emails.
Those instructions could include how to respond to those emails, or compiling/recording comments about products or services, performing copy and paste tasks to customize email responses for advertising campaigns, or compiling analytics of purchasing habits.
Email processing is typically piece-rate work with a pay range of $1-$5 USD per email.
This is where speed and an efficient workflow pay off. The faster you can work, the more you will make.
If you can process 23 emails per day at $2 per email you will make $1380 USD or ₹105,135.30 per month.
When applying for email processing jobs, make sure to do your research on the company that is offering the work.
There are some less than reputable individuals in this world who promise the moon and do not deliver on what they promise.
Do your part by checking out the online reviews as well as checking the social media profiles of any company for which you are thinking of working as an email processor.
Reformatting, editing and correction
Reformatting, editing and correction is one of the data entry jobs that requires a strong skill set.
Because this type of work involves the reformatting and correction of documents, having a thorough knowledge of paragraph alignment, fonts, headings, indents, spacing, etc., is a prerequisite of taking on this kind of work.
Work of this nature can include the formatting/reformatting of any type of document.
One area of reformatting, editing and correction work is converting PDF files to MS Word documents.
The process is pretty straight forward. The client sends you the PDF documents as email attachments or as links for cloud-based access through Dropbox or other platforms.
You then download those files and set to work.
Your job is to convert that PDF file to an MS Word document using a PDF to Word converter.
Google Chrome has a free PDF to Word app that is web-based and easy to use.
After converting the PDF document to an MS Word document, you will then have to format or reformat the document with the correct margins, paragraph spacings, headers, footers as well as following any other formatting instructions provided by the client.
This type of work is typically piece work and can be done at home, online or offline.
The more knowledgeable you are with the rules of formatting and the more efficient you are with workflow, the more earning power you will have.
Image to text data entry
Though similar to reformatting, editing and correction data entry jobs, the work of image to text data entry is quite different.
The main difference with image to text is that you receive a jpeg, TIFF, or screenshot of handwritten notes that you then type into an MS Word document (or Pages or Google Docs depending on the needs of the client).
Because a lot of this work is outsourced from the United States and Europe, being able to read written English in both cursive and printed formats are required.
Also, a good chunk of this work involves handwritten notes from doctors, so having an understanding of medical terminology is an important component of being successful in this line of data entry work.
Data entry clerk
The work of a data entry clerk is a general term for data entry jobs that involve the tracking, compiling, managing, organizing, maintaining, and updating of data in spreadsheets, databases and text documents.
Data entry clerks work in every imaginable segment of the marketplace,
Depending on the size of the company or organization, the work can be done by a single data entry clerk for a small company or by dozens for large companies which would have several data entry clerks per department.
The work of data entry clerks varies by industry and department.
Some of the essential duties or tasks would include, maintaining customer/client information in a CRM system, maintaining employee information in an HR system, billing information, payroll, production reports, and putting together statistical reports.
Other duties would include data protection and data recovery, making sure data is organized and accessible by those who need it, using dedicated software platforms and programs, ensuring the accuracy of the data collected, correcting errors, interpreting the data and keeping various departments informed of trends.
Pay range is dependent on experience, education and length of time with a company.
The expanding universe of data
Companies and organizations depend on data for decision-making and for mapping out the path to success.
The ability to track nearly everything through apps, IoT and software programs means the data universe is constantly expanding, which in turn means data entry jobs will be growing in relation to the amount of data collected.
With India being the destination for outsourcing and with no sign of that trend changing in the near future, perhaps a career in data entry might be the opportunity you have been looking for.