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8.4 Techniques for data entry process

There are a few techniques you can employ to streamline the data entry process:

  • Get rid of all distractions. As a receptionist completing data entry, it is vital to eliminate all potential sources of distraction. Because it can be difficult to remember where you are on the chart, you must maintain maximum concentration.
  • Compile and organize information. Try to collect information in a manner that will facilitate data entry. For instance, you may have a pile for various data types. Or, you may have all of the data on forms that are easily readable due to their uniform format.
  • Work slowly initially. As you become acquainted to the structure of the spreadsheet, you should first take your time entering information. Examine the work and check that information is placed in the correct columns and rows.
  • Discover repeated information. Use the cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste functions of your spreadsheet program to expedite the process if some bits of information are identical. This allows you to add the repeated information many times simultaneously.
  • Check your work as you complete it. Check every few minutes to ensure that data is being placed in the correct locations.
  • Save your progress. Every time you review your work, save it. You do not wish to lose any of the effort previously invested in the project.
  • Even if you have a large volume of data input to do, you will develop a rhythm for the work. If you configure the system in its totality, you will discover that accurate data entry will allow you to spend less time updating entries over time.

Simple Spreadsheet Software

While there are a number of industry-specific spreadsheet tools that you may be required to use, there are a few programs that are most likely to be involved in your receptionist work:

Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Open Office, Numbers, Lotus, and Quattro are supported.

Each of these programs has its own method for organizing data as it is entered into charts. In addition, you can learn more about how to alter the data to generate presentations and other types of documents with time and training. Excel, for instance, allows you to construct charts and extra figures that visually represent what the data represents. This may not be an appropriate use of some data, such as contact information, but it can allow you to present sales figures, if that is a part of your role. You should also keep in mind that spreadsheet programs should allow for additional alterations and modifications. Leave a blank column at the end of each row for notes to yourself or anyone who will be reviewing the document. By doing so, you will construct a dynamic spreadsheet that will continue to be useful to anyone who accesses it.

Summary

The most important aspects of generating spreadsheets are determining what needs to be structured, what data needs to be collected, how it needs to be organized, and how to ensure that data entry is as precise as possible.