Aside from fighting off guard dogs, hiking seven miles a day and navigating backyard death traps, entering accurate data into a computerized device played a key role in meter reading. I should know since I did it for about four and a half years for one of the largest utility companies in the world. It served as my first taste of data entry, but it wouldn’t be my last.
To this point, in my case study series, I’ve discussed a sort of data family: database administration, data mining, data mapping, and data analytics. When people think data, they think data science. What people forget is the importance of good, clean, accurate and efficient data entry. Entering accurate data into a system is an essential task. And I’ve seen far too many get it wrong, whether at the corporate or government level.
When I started working at an investigative firm as a data entry associate, I was met with a curve ball: it wasn’t just data entry. It was comprehensive data entry. I had to comprehend the request I was being asked to enter into the online database. In other words, typing speed was pointless. Accuracy, speed, and thoroughness was everything.
So, I did what I knew best: I asked a ton of questions. I researched the insurance industry. I learned the ins and outs of claims. I broke down “referrals” according to case type, and ultimately developed my own system for maintaining accuracy and speed.
Within a week, I was already hitting double digits a day when the goal had been eight. It wasn’t long before I set records for most done in an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, and a lifetime for speed and accuracy. I wrote the training manual on the department I wound up supervising for a spell.
I was never the fastest typist. Nor was I the most experienced in insurance. I simply worked my tail off in order to completely transform how an entire department operated.
Never be afraid to take a task others find unimportant and tedious to new heights. Work hard. Stay strong. Set records. Be faithful in the little things. And lay down solid foundations.