Businesses of all sizes rely on data to make informed business decisions. With the right data, a company can improve their operations and track their growth and success. On the flip side, improperly managed data is essentially unusable. But few entrepreneurs started their businesses to spend hours on data entry and management each week. And as a result, the demand for a support team with data entry specialist skills is on the rise.
Finding the right data entry specialist can significantly impact your operations and productivity. Businesses now have the opportunity to hire remote data entry professionals. These specialists possess the necessary skills to handle data entry tasks effectively.
In this article, we will explore the essential data entry specialist skills you should look for when hiring. We’ll also discuss and how you can access fully managed data entry specialists through Wing Assistant.
Essential Data Entry Specialist Skills
For small or medium-sized businesses, hiring a dedicated data entry professional might be a novel idea. But outsourcing tedious tasks like this is necessary if you want to grow! Here are a few essential skills to look for when hiring a data entry specialist:
Typing speed and accuracy
When working with high volumes of data, typing quickly and accurately is a must. We recommend hiring someone with typing experience who can meet the following criteria:
Minimum typing speed requirement
A data entry specialist should possess a minimum typing speed. Companies typically work with a lot of information. So, specialists must work through that data as quickly as possible. They must also strike a balance between speed and accuracy.
If the data is not properly recorded, business owners cannot properly use it. Specific typing speed requirements may vary depending on the nature of the business. Generally speaking, 50 words per minute (WPM) or more is a good a benchmark.
The accuracy of a candidate's typing is equally as important as speed. Suppose someone is able to type 70 WPM, but if it’s full of typos and errors. In that case, the data won’t be usable anyway. Seek candidates that have a proven track record of error-free typing to ensure your insights are reliable and based on valid data.
Attention to detail
Data is all about the details. Even one wrong number or character, and the entire dataset is thrown off. Here are a few ways to identify a data entry specialist's attention to detail:
Understanding the context of documents
A skilled data entry specialist should have the ability to understand the context of the documents they are working with. This includes recognizing key data points, understanding the purpose of the document, and accurately inputting information accordingly.
Ability to detect and correct errors
Inevitably, errors may occur during data entry. And that’s completely normal. What matters is that your hire has a keen eye for detail and are able to identify and rectify their mistakes promptly. When someone can self-correct it minimizes data inaccuracies.
Working with data can be complex, and knowing how to manage time properly can help your specialist complete their job tasks to your satisfaction. Here are some of the ways to measure time management skills:
Ability to meet deadlines
Meeting deadlines is crucial for maintaining smooth business operations. Data entry specialists should have a proven ability to work efficiently and complete tasks within given timeframes.
Data entry specialists often juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Data can come from a variety of different sources and often needs to be managed, recorded, and organized in different places. Hire someone who can prioritize tasks effectively. They must know which tasks should receive attention first.
These days, nearly all data is digital. So, one of the most important data entry specialist skills you should look for is computer literacy. An expert who is proficient with the use of computers will require less training and time spent on onboarding.
Knowledge of basic computer software
Any data entry specialist should have an understanding of word processing programs, and spreadsheets, and other basic tools. Familiarity with the tools your business uses allows for seamless data entry and reduces the learning curve.
Ability to use data entry software/database
There are a variety of different types of data entry software and databases available. And while you can’t necessarily expect a data entry specialist to have worked with every single one out there, look for candidates who have experience working with similar systems. Many data entry databases have similarities in the way they function, so a specialist who has the ability to utilize them will be able to jump in and adapt easily.
Every business has different needs when it comes to their data. One business might be collecting data to help them find new customers, while another business could be using a database to organize their inventory. These are wildly different forms of data, so it’s essential that a data entry specialist possesses good communication skills, which will enable them to understand your needs and produce the outcomes you desire.
Ability to communicate effectively with team members
While data entry specialists often work independently, effective communication with other team members is crucial to ensure that operations progress seamlessly. Look for candidates who can communicate clearly and efficiently for smooth collaboration and understanding of project requirements.
Ability to follow instructions
Following instructions precisely is vital to maintain consistency and accuracy in data entry tasks. Candidates should demonstrate a strong ability to comprehend and execute instructions properly to avoid wasted time or inaccuracies.
More Must-Have Data Entry Skills
On top of the essential data entry specialist skills mentioned above, there are some more you may want to look for based on your industry or specific requirements.
Medical data entry skills
If your business is in the medical field, then you may want to seek out a few additional medical data entry skills like the following:
Knowledge of medical terminology
Candidates with knowledge of medical terminology can be invaluable for businesses dealing with medical or healthcare-related data. Understanding medical terminology will help to ensure accurate data entry and reduces the likelihood of errors or misinterpretations by those who aren’t familiar with these, often complex, terms.
Understanding of HIPAA Regulations
Healthcare data is highly sensitive and governed by strict privacy regulations. Hiring a data entry specialist who understands the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations will help with compliance and safeguards the confidentiality of patient information.
Legal data entry skills
If you’re an attorney or lawyer or operate a business in the legal field, then it’s helpful to have a data entry specialist that has a few of these additional skills:
Understanding of legal jargon
Legal jargon can be complicated for even the most adept data entry professionals. So, if your business is in the legal industry, hiring a data entry specialist with a solid grasp of legal terminology is invaluable. This skill allows for the accurate entry of legal documents, contracts, and case information, which is essential when dealing with data that, if misinterpreted, can lead to unfavorable consequences.
Familiarity with legal document formatting
Legal documents often have specific formatting requirements. Look for candidates who are familiar with legal document structure, including headings, paragraphs, citations, and other elements, so that legal documents remain consistent and adhere to legal standards.
Financial Data Entry Skills
Businesses in the financial industry handle a lot of data, and a lot of numbers. And for that type of data, it’s highly beneficial to work with an expert who possesses specialized skills like the following:
Understanding of financial terminology
If your business deals with financial data, hiring a data entry specialist with a good understanding of financial terminology is crucial. This skill enables accurate entry of financial transactions, reports, and statements, to keep financial records error-free.
Ability to work with financial software
Many businesses use specialized financial software for data management and analysis. Seek candidates who are familiar with financial software tools to help optimize their performance and reduce necessary training.
How to Evaluate Data Entry Specialist Skills
If you want to hire top-notch data entry professionals, it's essential to have an effective evaluation process in place. Use the following methods to assess your potential candidate’s skills and qualifications.
Before you even speak to a candidate, the first step is the evaluate their resume to determine if they have the skills and experience you’re looking for.
Look for relevant work experience
Review candidates’ resumes for any past data entry experience, especially in roles that align with your industry or specific data entry requirements. Any experience in similar working environments helps to demonstrate their ability to handle relevant tasks effectively.
Check for education and training
While experience is always valuable, consider educational backgrounds and any relevant certifications or training they may have received. This information provides insights into their level of knowledge and also how dedicated they are to their craft. Those who have proactively taken further training are often motivated to continue to learn and grow.
Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate candidate resumes and pick out some top contenders,, we recommend having them complete a skills assessment. This will enable you to give them tasks that will showcase any required skills you’re looking for.
Administer a typing test
Conduct a typing test to evaluate candidates' typing speed and accuracy, which will be highly essential in their data entry role. Several online platforms provide standardized typing tests that measure WPM and error rates. Assessing these factors helps gauge a candidate's proficiency in data entry.
Give a data entry task to assess accuracy and attention to detail
Provide candidates with a sample data entry task or scenario and assess their ability to accurately input data, while still maintaining attention to detail. This exercise simulates real-world data entry situations to help you determine how they will perform if they are selected to work with you.
If you are satisfied with a candidate's resume and skills assessment,, the next step is to move them through to the interview stage, where you can speak to them directly about their experience and the role.
Ask about past data entry experience
During the interview stage, inquire about candidates' previous data entry experience. Ask them to share specific examples of challenging projects they've handled and how they ensured accuracy and efficiency in their work.
Inquire about software and computer skills
Assess candidates' proficiency in relevant software and computer skills. Ask about their experience with data entry software or databases and their familiarity with the software tools you use in your industry.
Hire Top Data Entry Professionals from Wing Assistant
Hiring a skilled data entry specialist can have a huge impact on the success of your business. Their expertise ensures accurate data entry, reduces errors, and enhances overall efficiency.
Instead of spending your valuable time on tedious data entry tasks, you can offload tasks to a VA whose sole focus is to optimize and organize your business date. And this leaves you free to focus on high-level tasks for the growth of your business.
By leveraging virtual assistance services like Wing Assistant, you gain access to a pool of highly qualified and experienced data entry specialists who possess the necessary data entry specialist skills discussed in this article.
Wing Assistant offers tailored virtual assistance solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses, providing skilled data entry professionals who can seamlessly integrate into your operations. All our specialists are dedicated, meaning they’ll work on tasks from just one client. You’ll also have access to a customer success manager who will respond to your Wing-related concerns.
Streamline your data entry processes, focus on core business activities, and achieve higher productivity. We offer a variety of pricing options to fit your budget, starting as low as $549 per month, with plans customized to your needs and volume of work (so you only pay for what you actually need).
Kandice is a content writer & strategist with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing. She specializes in SEO-optimized content for the SaaS and tech industry. She’s a digital nomad, currently based in Mexico, and is passionate about helping other business owners and freelancers increase their productivity when working remotely. When she’s not behind her computer you’ll find her at the beach snorkeling, playing volleyball, doing yoga, or cooking up a delicious vegan meal.