Businesses frequently outsource data-related tasks to an offshore provider not only because they want to save costs but also they want to make sure that operations will continue throughout the night and during weekends. Some routine data mining tasks, such as collecting emails and phone numbers from the web, can be done through the use of the software. But, other jobs that require analysis such as interpretation of statistical data will definitely need human intelligence. If you’ve been looking for an outsourcing company that provides data entry and cleansing services but don’t know where to start, then the following tips should help you in your search. Select the right provider based on the given criteria.
#1 Find providers of data entry services either through word-of-mouth recommendations or based on positive reviews on the web.
Asking your friends or family members for their recommendations is a good idea. It will be a short list but the choices have been vouched by people you trust. Increase the number of your prospects by doing a quick online search of positive reviews by other people. Be aware, however, that strangers provided these reviews and there may be no way to verify whether they’re telling the truth or not. The purpose of this exercise is to improve your chances of finding a service provider that’s reputable but not too expensive.
#2 After you’ve gathered a good number of prospects, go through your list and check out the most relevant information about each provider.
You don’t need to check the Alexa and Google rankings of each company’s website or even their domain’s age and Whois information. What you need to know most of all is, among other things, testimonials from their clients and any case study they may have done. These are direct feedback from people who have considerable experience in working with these service providers. While user-generated reviews on the web have some value, testimonies and case studies have greater weight in terms of truthfulness and credibility. They also leave a stronger impression compared to any media-driven hype about these companies.
#3 Ask your prospects what their data entry and research methods are, and how they’ll ensure everything is valid.
Chances are you’ll be outsourcing general data entry work that will also require some mad web research skills and verification procedures. Data will only be useful to you when the information is current and valid. Ask your prospects directly about their procedures for gathering and validating information from different sources. Request for additional information on the methods and tools they use to gather data in the most efficient way.
#4 Consider the cost-effectiveness of the data entry services provided by the outsourcing company.
Look at the rates of each company and see how much you’re willing to spend vis-à-vis the savings you expect to gain when you outsource. A good service provider can help you save 30% to 40% of your costs. A reputable company will have to charge mid-range rates that can cover overtime and holiday payments, hardware and software upgrades, and the dynamic costs of electricity and other utilities. This way you won’t be caught unprepared by additional charges that were not discussed before you signed the contract.
#5 When the tasks you want to outsource require specialized knowledge and skills, choose companies that provide customized data-related services.
The data entry niche has two camps: one group depends on volume-based work which does not require complex thinking while the second group makes use of knowledge specialists to do complex data analysis and similar tasks. The first group may hire a hundred employees to mine and sort the data, but the second group will need data scientists to take all that big data and extract meaningful information from it.
So, when outsourcing to an offshore provider don’t ask how many data entry workers they have. Instead, ask them about the qualifications of their employees, their years of work experience, the breadth of their knowledge and skills, and whether or not they are certified.
Because they provide custom solutions for their clients, these service providers will likely have streamlined their processes. Check whether your prospect service provider uses the latest in data entry software and technology.
Ask about the security procedures they’ve implemented to protect your data and how they intend to keep whatever proprietary content you shared with them confidentially. Did their employees sign a non-disclosure agreement? Are flash drives and external storage devices prohibited in their premises? Are there surveillance cameras installed around the office? Questions like these are critical to alleviating your data security concerns.
Once you’re confident that a prospect outsourcing provider has met your criteria, ask whether they offer a trial option. Most companies let you work with them for a month, but this is too short a time for you to substantially evaluate the effectiveness of your outsourcing efforts. On average, you’ll need to work with your provider for three months to see a significant change in your operations.