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Definition: Data entry is a broad term that encompasses a number of occupations. These include electronic data processors, typists, word processors, transcribers, coders and clerks. Additionally the way that data entry jobs are performed may vary, with data entry operators working for microlabor outfits that use crowdsourcing techniques or more traditional data entry companies, which are often business process outsourcing firms.

In essence, data entry means to operate equipment, often a keyboard, that inputs (alphabetic, numeric, or symbolic) data into a company’s system. The data entry operator may be required to verify or edit data as it is entered.

And while many of the data entry positions listed above fall under the data entry umbrella, jobs that are advertised as “data entry jobs” usually require the least skills and in turn pay the least (Read more about what and how data entry jobs pay.). Specialized data entry positions, like medical transcription or medical coding, require more training and/or certification. And even among general transcription jobs, there are many different types of transcription, which may take more experience and speed than your typical data entry job.

Though many companies only allow those who have been trained in-house to work offsite, data entry can often be done from home. However, many online ads for work-at-home data entry jobs are actually work-at-home scams. For more on scams, see How to Spot a Data Entry Scam.

Also Known As: information processing, data processor, data keying
Alternate Spellings: data-entry
Common Misspellings: dataentry
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