Outsource Forms Data Entry

Outsource Forms Data Entry : How to Control Costs

Cost controlling is an integral part of all projects. This is true even for outsourced data entry projects. Various factors govern costs both on client and vendor end. We will try to highlight some of the important factors.

Factors affecting client-end costs

Pre-scanning stage

Some clients prefer to segregate documents into batches based on certain criteria before scanning. This is basically not a requisite and can be done away with. Segregation into batches can be done by the vendor after data entry is complete on the same criteria. It is a small task with no or very low cost since a database has already been created for all the images and is just a question of sorting the database.

Scanning Stage

Scanning to high resolution images results in increased file size and consequently higher bandwidth usage for transmission. An optimum resolution has to be found to scan the images. The images should be clear visually so they can be data entered. Ideally a resolution of 150-300 dpi is preferred. When OCR needs to be run on the images a higher resolution up to 600 dpi maybe required, for best results.
Grayscale/BW images generally work for data entry and there is no need to scan as "true color". True color images are larger in size and only increase costs for both the client and vendor.

Image Transmission

Images should be uploaded to a secure FTP server. This action can be performed overnite and does not require supervision.

Detailed specifications

The job specifications should be prepared with care as this is the basis for data entry personnel to work on. Before start of the live job by the vendor it should be ensured that there are no misconceptions and the vendor has clearly understood all aspects of the specifications. Having the vendor work on a few images and reviewing the sample file would give the client a fair idea whether the vendor's team have understood the specifications or not.


If the outsourced project is of a fairly long duration then the client should review each batch of data received from the vendor and send them a feedback on the quality. Based on the feedback from the client the vendor would make changes to their processes. This would ensure that the client receives quality data and there would be no need for rework.

Factors affecting vendor-end costs

Data Entry Software

The data entry software is an important tool which can help increase efficiency. For form based data entry the placement of the fields in the front-end is crucial for ease of the operator. The field layout should follow the form, as far as possible. This will make data entry easier for the operator.

Training Operators

Operator training is one of the most crucial factors which increases productivity and reduces costs. All aspects of the client's specification should be explained to the data entry operators.

Reviewing Data

After live project has been started the quality check team should review small portions of data generated by each operator. This will give the quality check team a fair view of the operator understanding of the specifications. If any operator's data is inconsistent the concerned operator should be retrained.

Maintaining Proper Records

Detail records should be maintained by the team of each file which has been worked on by an operator. This will help the quality check team to isolate operators whose data is inconsistent. The operators should be shown the inconsistencies so that they do not repeat them.
CyberData India, established in 1996, offers data entry solutions. We have worked on several projects which required us to enter data off forms both printed and handwritten. These could be in English or non-English as long as they used the Roman font.

We consult with each of our customer's prior to project inception in order to provide them with a cost effective strategy. We provide unique solutions to suit every customer's needs. Partnering with our expertise in information management will allow you to concentrate on your core business, eliminate processing overhead and provide your company with results from a proven document processing company.