Data Entry is the process of transcribing data into another format which is generally a computer database. Forms typically transcribed include handwritten documents, spreadsheets (in another format or program), sequences of numbers, letters, and symbols that build a program, or simple data such as names and addresses. Some jobs specialize in data entry while other jobs involving programming or administration might have occassional data entry.
There are various types of transcription oriented data entry including: academic transcription, audio transcription, business transcription, conference transcription, interview transcription, legal transcription, medical transcription, seminar transcription, and verbatim transcription. Each type of transcription has its own skill set requirements and the output of the transcription can vary too.
Academic transcription is for the purpose of creating materials that are in a format suitable for putting in a text book, or learning materials. Legal transcription involves a lot of knowledge about legal terminology, while medical transcription involves a lot of knowledge about medical procedures and terms. Transcriptions are a huge part of Data Entry.
Many types of data entry jobs involve taking mailed, faxed, or emailed documents and manually inputting the information into standardized forms on a computerized database. There are many fields on a database and it would be too complicated for a customer of a company to know how to format all of the information, not to mention that they might make omissions.
Other times, two or more databases need to be merged, but the number of fields, and the formatting of the databases is different which might make the automated transfer of data impossible. This necessitates the hiring of a data entry clerk, (data entry keyer) to manually transfer all of the data from one database into a new database with a slightly different format.