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Did you know that close to 90% of all spreadsheets prepared daily contain errors? Shocking as it might sound, data entry errors are more common than most organizations would want to imagine. When data entry errors occur, your organization risks high-level losses.
Human is to err. With this in mind, it’s essential to identify the specific errors that often arise in the course of data entry. Understanding such errors will ensure that you devise ways of avoiding their recurrence.
Are you wondering what data entry errors are common in an organization setting and how to avoid them?
In this article, we reflect on the most common data entry errors that recur in a business. We also suggest solutions to avoid the recurrence of such errors.
1. Data Entry Errors Due to Ambiguity
Data ambiguity is one of the most common data entry errors that recur in an organization setting. When data entered is ambiguous or hard to decipher, the risk of misrepresentation increases two-fold. It’s worse when the ambiguity leads to a massive difference in value.
Sometimes, due to the failure to double-check entries, you end up with a vague entry in the database. When data is open to varying interpretations, you might end up having two separate entries in a computer system with the same representation.
Data entry ambiguity is more common in the manual entry of names and dates. For organizations that maintain personal records, this error often recurs. One way to avoid ambiguity when inputting in your data is to establish a universal input method for all your entries.
Recent research argues that women, unlike men, rarely make basic errors. While this is debatable, you may consider having a template that every person should follow when entering data in your organization. This way, you will establish consistency in data entry and avoid ambiguity.
2. Value Representation Consistency
Value representation inconsistency is the other common data entry error organizations grapple with every day. The problem with value representation inconsistency is that values can be technically correct but still be undefined. Sometimes, you might have both correct and unambiguous data, which tends to create issues, more so for reviewers.
Value representation consistency refers to scenarios where two different data values entered in a database refer to the same company or individual. If your company’s data entry process depends entirely on human input, then there’s a chance you’ll experience value representation consistency issues.
The best way to deal with such an error is to have a data validation and completeness check in place. The checks alert you in case the data entry process is erroneous. Ensuring you have data validation processes in place will also minimize instances where fields end up empty with no values.
3. Missing Values
When dealing with data and values, you need to be on the lookout to ensure accuracy and validity. Sometimes, data may be accurate but lack validity. When data entry depends on manual input, there’s often the risk that specific important values may end up missing.
When specific data values are missing in a database, you risk having highly inaccurate results. Sometimes empty fields occur due to inadvertent failure to specific input fields. This may be common, more so in cases where the professional hurry through the process of data entry.
One of the easiest ways to correct this error is to counter check entries every time you update the database. You may also need to create a support system that uses keywords to help you identify any missing fields or values each time you update the database.
4. Data Input Related Errors
An unintentional mistype of data can have significant implications on your database. When there’s incorrect data input, your records risk long-term inconsistency, especially if no one realizes this mistake soon enough.
Some organizations have trouble due to incorrect information when inputting data. Even the most experienced data entry specialists, at times, make mistakes when undertaking data entry.
Sometimes a mistake as a minor as putting a decimal point where it shouldn’t be can be detrimental. Unless you have highly reliable data entry software, such errors may be hard to identify. Such errors may cost your business losses in the long-term unless you take proactive steps to resolve the situation.
5. Inaccurate Formatting
Incorrect formatting is a common issue that most businesses encounter when managing data. You might have correct data and information. However, if this data is in the wrong format, you’ll be in trouble.
Some of the most common instances of incorrect data formatting are due to hasty preparation of data. You might end up having a somewhat disorganized database. When correct data is input in the wrong field, it tends to lose its usefulness regardless of whether the values were correct.
Unless you take time to review your database after every update, it might be hard to detect and correct such errors. This is why more organizations are embracing the use of new technology in the entry of data to avoid the recurrence of errors due to improper formatting.
Most times, data entry software is designed to sort and cluster data depending on their specific fields. This article offers additional information on how to use automation to minimize the errors caused by manual data entry.
6. Errors Due to Valid Values
Validity concerns are common in specific fields, such as in the medical sector. Sometimes, this error occurs where accurate values end up represented with unintentional ambiguity. The confusion occurs where mistakes in colors, values, and textures go undetected.
The first step in such cases is to conduct a validity check. Such an assessment helps you detect if the values are valid and accurate.
For a value to meet this threshold, it must be correct and unambiguous. Most people consider data cleansing the best solution in a bid to avoid the recurrence of such errors.
Avoid These Data Entry Errors Today
Data entry errors can cost your massive losses. Without adequate knowledge of such errors and how to avoid them, your database will continue to produce erroneous results.
Are you hoping to find a reliable data entry technique to help you minimize the recurrence of mistakes?
This article presents six common data entry errors and how to avoid them. You can also read additional insightful content in our subsequent blogs on technology, artificial intelligence, software, and web apps. Keep reading for more.