Data entry clerks update, maintain and retrieve information held on computer systems. They prepare source data for computer entry by compiling and sorting information, process customer and account source documents by reviewing data for deficiencies and verify entered customer and account data.
Data entry clerks typically do the following:
- Transfer data from paper formats into computer files or database systems using keyboards, data recorders or optical scanners
- Type in data provided directly from customers
- Create spreadsheets with large numbers of figures without mistakes
- Verify data by comparing it to source documents
- Update existing data
- Retrieve data from the database or electronic files as requested
- Perform regular backups to ensure data preservation
- Sort and organize paperwork after entering data to ensure it is not lost
The following job titles also refer to data entry clerk:
data entry officer
payment entry clerk
data entry operator
data entry clerks
data entry inspector
Data entry clerks usually need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Courses in using computer applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, may be helpful for those who aren’t already familiar with them.
Data entry clerks usually learn their skills while on the job. Their training typically lasts up to 1 month and may include instructions on office procedures, proper phone etiquette, and the use of office equipment.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Data entry clerk is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Data entry clerk career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to data entry clerk.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of data entry clerk. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of data entry clerk with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of data entry clerk.
- Documentation types: The characteristics of internal and external documentation types aligned with the product life cycle and their specific content types.
- Database: The classification of databases, that includes their purpose, characteristics, terminology, models and use such as XML databases, document-oriented databases and full text databases.
- Resource description framework query language: The query languages such as SPARQL which are used to retrieve and manipulate data stored in Resource Description Framework format (RDF).
- Query languages: The field of standardised computer languages for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of data entry clerk.
- Apply statistical analysis techniques: Use models (descriptive or inferential statistics) and techniques (data mining or machine learning) for statistical analysis and ICT tools to analyse data, uncover correlations and forecast trends.
- Perform data cleansing: Detect and correct corrupt records from data sets, ensure that the data become and remain structured according to guidelines.
- Apply information security policies: Implement policies, methods and regulations for data and information security in order to respect confidentiality, integrity and availability principles.
- Maintain data entry requirements: Uphold conditions for data entry. Follow procedures and apply data program techniques.
- Process data: Enter information into a data storage and data retrieval system via processes such as scanning, manual keying or electronic data transfer in order to process large amounts of data.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of data entry clerk. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Optical character recognition software: The software that electronically converts printed and typed images into machine-encoded text so that documents can be electronically stored, edited and digitally displayed.
- MDX: The computer language MDX is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information. It is developed by the software company Microsoft.
- XQuery: The computer language XQuery is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information. It is developed by the international standards organisation World Wide Web Consortium.
- SPARQL: The computer language SPARQL is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information. It is developed by the international standards organisation World Wide Web Consortium.
- ABBYY FineReader: The computer program ABBYY FineReader is software that electronically converts printed and typed images into machine-encoded text so that documents can be electronically stored, edited and digitally displayed.
- Information confidentiality: The mechanisms and regulations which allow for selective access control and guarantee that only authorised parties (people, processes, systems and devices) have access to data, the way to comply with confidential information and the risks of non-compliance.
- Ldap: The computer language LDAP is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information.
- Data storage: The physical and technical concepts of how digital data storage is organised in specific schemes both locally, such as hard-drives and random-access memories (RAM) and remotely, via network, internet or cloud.
- LINQ: The computer language LINQ is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information. It is developed by the software company Microsoft.
- OmniPage: The computer program OmniPage is software that electronically converts printed and typed images into machine-encoded text so that documents can be electronically stored, edited and digitally displayed.
- N1QL: The computer language N1QL is a query language for retrieval of information from a database and of documents containing the needed information. It is developed by the software company Couchbase.
- Data models: The techniques and existing systems used for structuring data elements and showing relationships between them, as well as methods for interpreting the data structures and relationships.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of data entry clerk. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Manage ICT data classification: Oversee the classification system an organisation uses to organise its data. Assign an owner to each data concept or bulk of concepts and determine the value of each item of data.
- Normalise data: Reduce data to their accurate core form (normal forms) in order to achieve such results as minimisation of dependency, elimination of redundancy, increase of consistency.
- Establish data processes: Use ICT tools to apply mathematical, algorithmic or other data manipulation processes in order to create information.
- Implement data quality processes: Apply quality analysis, validation and verification techniques on data to check data quality integrity.
- Manage data: Administer all types of data resources through their lifecycle by performing data profiling, parsing, standardisation, identity resolution, cleansing, enhancement and auditing. Ensure the data is fit for purpose, using specialised ICT tools to fulfil the data quality criteria.
- Manage data collection systems: Develop and manage methods and strategies used to maximise data quality and statistical efficiency in the collection of data, in order to ensure the gathered data are optimised for further processing.
- Apply organisational techniques: Employ a set of organisational techniques and procedures which facilitate the achievement of the goals set. Use these resources efficiently and sustainably, and show flexibility when required.
- Implement data warehousing techniques: Apply models and tools such as online analytical processing (OLAP) and Online transaction processing (OLTP), to integrate structured or unstructured data from sources, in order to create a central depository of historical and current data.
ISCO group and title
4132 – Data entry clerks
- Data entry clerk – ESCO
- General Office Clerks : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Data Entry Clerk job description template | Workable
- Featured image: Photo by Centre for Ageing Better on Unsplash