Is it time to start outsourcing your data entry?
Data entry certainly isn’t everyone’s favourite task. It’s repetitive, it’s time-consuming and, some may go as far as to say, quite boring!
Luckily, our data entry team at The Edwards Company love nothing more than getting stuck into organising a data set. But how can outsourcing your data entry to a Virtual Assistant impact your business?
Outsourcing your Data Entry
Here at The Edwards Company, we offer a range of data entry services designed to make your life a little easier:
- Updating your online address book – keeping your online address book up to date is vital for successful communication. If this is neglected, you may mislay important information and an important connection may be lost. Our data entry experts will regularly update your online address book to ensure you have all the information you need for successful communication on hand at all times.
- Generating an online database from a hard copy version – we all know how time-consuming this can be. In a world full of short cuts, this is one thing we’ve yet to find one for. While outsourcing this to a Virtual Assistant won’t reduce the time it takes to complete the task, it will mean that it won’t be your time you’re spending on it. Our data experts will transfer the information quickly and accurately, ensuing your online database is set up and ready for use as soon as possible. You’ll also eliminate the risk of mistakes – our experts are sticklers for details!
- Entering product codes to generate PODs and postage labels – another time-wasting admin task. It has to be done, but the time it takes to do it could be used to focus on other, more important aspects of your business. Outsourcing this task to a Virtual Assistant ensures it gets done to a high standard without taking precious time away from other things that need your attention.
- Entering data to generate invoices and statements – when it comes to data that involves money, making mistakes could be detrimental. Outsourcing data entry tasks like this to a Virtual Assistant ensure mistakes are avoided and your customers are invoiced correctly.
- Entering addresses and customer data to generate letters – you’ve gone to the trouble of writing letters to send out customers, which is time-consuming enough in itself. If you then need to add addresses to customer data, it could add at least another few hours onto the task. Hours that you don’t have. Outsourcing this to a Virtual Assistant literally cuts this task time in half.
- Analysing data and collecting relevant points for your reports – having an expert analyse your data may identify trends, patterns or points that you simply wouldn’t have had time to look for. Our Virtual Assistants are able to analyse data in detail and pull out the most relevant information to form reports that are meaningful and accurate.
Outsourcing your data entry is a great way to reduce your to-do list. Not only will you no longer have to complete time-consuming tasks integral to the success of your business, but you’ll also be able to rest assured that the tasks you’ve outsourced are being completed to the highest possible standard.
However, one concern business owners tend to have when considering outsourcing their data entry is privacy and security. How can they trust a Virtual Assistant to adhere to GDPR guidelines and keep their data as safe as possible?
Luckily for you, The Edwards Company has the answer.
Keeping your Data Secure
How will my VA use my sensitive data?
In short, we, as Virtual Assistants, are data processors, an external organisation providing data entry support for your business. Data processing involves collecting, recording, storing, using, analysing and disclosing data, and pretty much anything else you can do with a dataset!
When you require us to support you with data entry tasks, we’ll only do what you ask us to with the data. You’ll be able to give us access to the datasets you want us to work with while restricting access to others. Where our different services are concerned, like credit control, for example, we will require access to personal data for making calls, sending out emails, and raising invoices. Again, this data will only be used for this purpose and nothing more.
If you require us to store your data, it will be done so securely and in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). If you don’t require us to store your data, it will be disposed of in the appropriate manner.
When you provide The Edwards Company with data of any kind, you can rest assured that it will be handled with the utmost care and be kept secure no matter what.
Do I need to come to a Data Processing Agreement with my Virtual Assistant?
Absolutely. A Data Processing Agreement ensures that everyone is on the same page and aware of what they can and cannot do.
As Virtual Assistants, we strongly advise that you provide us with any already drawn-up data security policies to familiarise ourselves with how you use the data you have obtained. We can then mimic this in our own work, ensuring the exact same procedures are followed, and mistakes are avoided.
If the data tasks you’ve asked us to work with is particularly sensitive or just needs an added security boost, we can draw up confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements that will be signed by each Virtual Assistant assigned to your tasks.
I’ve heard of VAs being ICO Registered. What does that mean for my data?
The ICO is the supervisory authority for data protection here in the UK. They can offer advice and guidance to services like ours on data security best practice and consistently monitor breach reports, conduct audits, monitor compliance, and take action where necessary.
Being ICO Registered is another added level of security to our data processing services. In addition to adherence to the General Data Protection Guidelines, it ensures that the correct data processing procedures designed to keep your data secure are being implemented correctly at all times.
I need to give passwords to my Virtual Assistant. Is this safe?
Of course, there will be times when you need to give your Virtual Assistant access to certain digital areas of your business to enable them to carry out their role effectively. This may be access to a database for data entry or credit control tasks, or it may be something less invasive, like access to a website or social media for content creation.
Again, this kind of data security comes under the General Data Protection Regulations, meaning any use of areas of your business that require password-protected access must be dictated by you. It is then our lawful duty to keep both the password and data secure. In some instances, you may want to provide your Virtual Assistant with their own password, within which you can control access and restrictions. This will give you peace of mind that only the parts of your business that you want to be accessed can be accessed.
However, most of our clients at The Edwards Company don’t feel that this is necessary. They know that we want the best for their business and will therefore go above and beyond to ensure their data remains secure at all times.
If you’re still unsure about handing over passwords, there are some tools out there that allow you to do so with added security. Take LatePass for example – this tool allows you to give password access to your Virtual Assistant without them seeing the password itself. Check out their Team Password Manager for more details.