What Makes a Good Data Entry Specialist?

What Makes a Good Data Entry Specialist

Are you looking to move into a data entry career? Or perhaps you’re an employer searching for the perfect data entry specialist.

Whichever side you’re on, it’s good to have a clear understanding of the particular skills that make a data entry specialist stand out from the crowd.

If you’re job searching within the data entry field, this list could provide you with some food for thought as to where your skillset may be lacking, and give you some ideas for boosting your abilities so you can score the most lucrative data entry positions.

If you’re looking to employ data entry specialists, then read on to find out the key skills you should be looking for to ensure the workers you choose are the very best fit for you and your business.

What Makes a Good Data Entry Specialist?

A proven educational background

A data entry specialist deals with content that may well need to be fact-checked or proofread to ensure accuracy.

While a degree in rocket science is not required, a data entry specialist does need a certain level of education, with key skills in English and math being very important.

A high school diploma is a good minimum requirement to ensure that a basic level of achievement has been reached, or completing an online data entry certification course.

Strong typing skills

Most data entry positions rely heavily on being able to type fast, with a high level of accuracy.

There’s no room for error when it comes to important data.

Applicants can take an online test to discover their words per minute and accuracy scores. This can then be entered onto a resume as an indication of ability for a potential employer.

Typing skills can easily be improved upon, so it’s a good idea for anyone scoring low, to keep practicing their skills.

There can be a lot of time pressure in data entry, with copious quantities of data and tight deadlines, so being able to type fast while not compromising on data quality is a valuable skill.  

Knowledgeable about the latest software and equipment

Data entry can be fast-paced, so a candidate for a data entry job will be more appealing if they don’t require a great deal of training.

Having a good working knowledge of the most commonly used software and equipment will put any applicant in good stead.

Focus on platforms and packages that are most used in the industry such as Microsoft and Google spreadsheets and word processing tools.

Any applicant for a data entry job will need to be familiar with communication and file-sharing tools, alongside office equipment such as scanners, printers and photocopiers.

While ultimately, much of the data ends up in a digital format, data entry specialists often have to deal with data in other formats, from written notes to audio recordings.

Excellent time management

When you’re up against deadlines with a heavy workload, and you work from home, time management becomes an essential skill.

It’s all too easy to become distracted, your phone pings up a notification, you fancy just one more coffee before you start work, or you stop to do some jobs around the house and time can disappear before you know it.

An important ability for data entry specialists is being able to effectively manage time.

Working efficiently, ensuring all tasks are completed on time with an elevated level of accuracy, and being available when needed, while allowing time for much-needed breaks. 

Attention to detail

Perhaps the most important skill of all for data entry personnel is an eye for detail.

You need to be able to work fast, without allowing any errors to creep in.

You may also be responsible for picking up on errors in the data you’re dealing with. This may be typos in written text or mistakes in calculations.

An outstanding worker will also use their common sense to pick up on contextual errors and have the knowledge of how to make corrections and alterations when necessary. 

A great communicator

Understanding tasks, dealing with co-workers and managers, and sometimes also dealing with clients and customers, it’s important that a data entry clerk has excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Good spelling, grammar and punctuation will be put to effective use in this field, to ensure professional communication that is clear and free from mistakes and not open to misinterpretation.

Performs well under pressure

Until you’re in the industry, you may not realize just how pressurized data entry work can feel at times.

When you’re dealing with massive quantities of data, or there’s a really strict deadline, and the work feels repetitive and you’re tired, it’s easy to become irritable.

While this job can be extremely rewarding, and it certainly has its benefits with regard to flexibility, it can be stressful, and it does require a huge amount of constant concentration.

With accuracy being an integral part of the job, there’s simply no room for a half-hearted data entry specialist who’s distracted or not fully paying attention to the task at hand.

Not cracking under pressure and having the mental skills to relax and unwind during a break, to return focused and enthusiastic is a true skill.

A positive attitude

Similar to the ability to perform well under pressure, having a positive outlook is a vital skill for any data entry specialist.

Understanding the value of the data and seeing the part played in the bigger picture can really be of value.

A data entry worker with a positive attitude will be a better communicator and team player.

They will see the positive sides to this work that can be both rewarding and demanding, and because of this, they will be the most productive.

Overall take

There are many skills that make a data entry specialist stand out from the crowd.

From interpersonal skills, and the ability to be productive in a remote working environment, to being a fast and accurate typist with excellent proofreading abilities.

Many of these data entry skills can be learned or improved upon, and of course, keeping up to date with the latest industry developments is always wise.

Keep your skillset relevant and give priority to your personal growth and development in all areas, to become a highly sought-after data entry specialist.

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