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What Is the Difference Between Data Capture and Data Entry?

December 11, 2017

In business, surveys and feedback forms are excellent ways to get to know more about your customers and even your own staff. But what happens when you gather all of this data together? Sometimes it can become too much information for one or even a group of people to wade through in order to extract the vital pieces of information needed to know how to be better for your clients and what they really want.

So you might have contemplated outsourcing the service instead. Outsourcing data capture and data entry saves a lot of time, hassle and usually gives you back truly excellent results that are presentable and easily understandable. But there are differences between data entry and data capture that you need to know, whether you already have your forms back with you or you are thinking about how to set out the form itself.

Thankfully you don’t need to be too specific about how to set out the form, but from a monetary and time perspective you should probably consider the differences between capture and entry.

It might seem straight forward but often these things can overlap and then you’re not truly sure what you’re getting but here are the fundamental differences between data capture and data entry.

Data capture is a service in which data is captured via tick or check boxes and other items where areas are filled in with simple lines or shapes in order to get the right answer. These are usually multiple choice answers or the may be yes or no questions. Essentially that is what a data capture service would offer, the ability to extract data from particular text boxes in order to gather the most and least popular responses. Once this is done it can be extracted into documents such as Excel files and can be displayed as graphs or pie charts. Data capture is also known to be fairly cheap in comparison with data entry as most of the capturing process can be automated via intelligent software usually developed by the company themselves. In turn, it is also acknowledged to be quicker to get responses back because of the nature of how the data is extracted for you.

Data entry on the other hand is almost always manually entered text, copying exactly what the person who filled out the feedback form has written. Unfortunately at this point, it is not possible for computers to completely automate handwriting and this can be a somewhat more costly procedure. A lot of companies that do this kind of work tend to outsource the work to other countries such as India and China where it is cheaper to get the work done, thus passing on the savings, but as a manual job it is always going to cost more than an automated computer system. However data entry can give a much higher insight into what it is you’re looking to find out. The written word is always considerably more useful than someone who checks a box as you get a vital look into what the returner is thinking and feeling about your product or service. And because there is manual work involved the time difference can often be quite a while.

These two services are worth considering when you look into setting out your form when it comes to how much it will cost you.

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