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Paper-Based Data Entry

Paper-Based Data Entry is the process of entering data that was collected via a paper form into a computer.

Historically, paper forms have been the primary way to collect customer data and signatures in the insurance, banking, and healthcare industries. However, with the advent of mobile devices and online surveys, paper-based data entry is becoming less common.

Paper-based data entry methods

Manual data entry

Manual data entry is the most common method of paper-based data entry. In this method, a person manually enters the data from the paper form into a computer. This can be done by typing the data into a word processing document or by using a software program designed for data entry.

OCR (optical character recognition)

OCR (optical character recognition) technology can be used to automate the data entry process. OCR software converts images of text into digital text that can be read by a computer. This can be used to scan paper forms or images of paper forms.

ICR (intelligent character recognition)

ICR (intelligent character recognition) technology is similar to OCR, but it can also recognize hand-written text. This makes it useful for data entry from handwritten forms.

There are several benefits to paper-based data entry, including:

  • Data can be collected offline
  • Data can be collected in a variety of formats (handwritten, typed, etc.)
  • Data can be collected in a variety of languages

There are also some challenges associated with paper-based data entry, including:

  • It is time consuming to enter large amounts of data
  • It is easy to make errors
  • Data might be illegible
  • Data might be missing
  • It is an impediment to automation

Phasing out paper-based data entry

Due to the  drawbacks of paper-based data entry, many organizations are phasing it out in favor of electronic data entry which is typically faster, more accurate, and easier to automate.

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