Manual V/s Automated Data Collection: What is Right for Your Business?

Data is continuously flowing—whether targeting marketing campaigns, tracking data from advertising, prospecting sales, or communicating with customers. According to a recent forecast, the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020 and is further projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025.

Globally, more data is produced now than ever before, which provides numerous opportunities for companies looking to get ahead of their competitors. Businesses of varying sizes and scopes have to collect and analyze a substantial amount of data to make strategic data-based decisions.

However, data collection can be a significantly challenging process—and certainly is for organizations that still rely on manual processes, even though they lose a significant chunk of their revenue every year due to these inefficiencies. For any company looking to switch to sustainable digital solutions or maximize data insights, relying on paper-based manual workflows no longer suffices. Smart organizations understand that infusing automation in the manual data collection process is paramount for achieving accurate insights and making data-based decisions.

This blog post talks of the limitations of the manual data collection process and covers the reasons why automating data collection workflows help ensure your firm is capturing high-quality data for better analysis, insights, and reporting.


Manual Process Limitations

Companies involved in the manual collection and managing high volumes of data are well aware of the limitations and challenges of these processes. Some of these are elucidated below:


  • Expensive & Time-Consuming

On the face of it, switching to automated data entry might seem costly at first; however, it can save thousands of dollars for an organization. On the other hand, manual data collection takes a prolonged period where stakeholders often get outdated information leading to poor decision-making. This also makes it challenging to make up-to-date marketing decisions and create cost-saving strategies.


  • Human Errors

Human error is one of the significant downsides of manual data collection. Given its time-consuming and mundane nature, mistakes are to be expected as employees often get disengaged. Plus, inattentiveness, hard-to-read information, and eye fatigue make it a recipe for errors to occur. Apart from this, manual data collection requires resources in terms of time and money to train employees.


  • Potential Compliance Issues

While delays and errors are problematic within the workplace, such types of issues can lead to issues with industry compliance rules. Manual data collection is outdated and inefficient. If you want to ace your peers and stay ahead in the industry, leveraging automated data collection workflow is critical. You not only save time and money but can better focus on the essential parts of your business.


Data Collection Automation Advantages

Investing in automated data capture solutions offers several key advantages, many of which lead to long-term organizational growth. listed below are the top five key benefits of automation for high-quality and clean data collection:


  • Minimized Human Error

Automating ancillary processes such as data collection has circular benefits. By assigning non-creative tasks to bots, management can free their employees from these tedious manual tasks and increase their cognitive bandwidth. This also eliminates data entry errors as well as the additional time needed to fix them. simply put, minimizing human involvement in the data collection process means that data is automatically error-free and high-quality.


  • Greater Accuracy

Having an automated data collection system in place helps businesses to ensure standardization and quality control over these processes. In automated workflows, data collected from different resources is cleanly and consistently transferred to a CRM like Salesforce. This not only reduces human errors but also enhances the accuracy of data captured and formatted.


  • Increased Efficiency

Your company is capable of handling limited form submissions; but what if the submissions spike? These processes would be impossible to scale without hiring extra labor. For these processes to remain efficient, infusing automation for more complex or large data collection is a smart way out. Irrespective of submission numbers or form complexity, an automated data capture tool can easily process large amounts of data correctly and quickly. Hence, companies can expect more predictable workflows and cleaner data without assigning extra work to administration or IT staff.


  • Maximized Productivity

There are speed constraints that occur when the staff manually enters data. It can be overcome via automated workflows. The speed and accuracy help companies to minimize the resources spent on managing high volumes of data. They also get real-time insights and more accurate analytics. Apart from this, organizations can better focus their productivity and resources on revenue-generating opportunities with clean data at hand.


  • Optimized Costs

Manual data collection might seem less costly than engaging in data transformation services or automated solutions. But there is a greater cost associated with not improving outdated processes. Investing in the latest automated data collection software quickly pays for itself. Apart from improving workflows, automation enhances the quality and security of the information being captured. This assures that the data entering a CRM is error-free and regulatory compliant, both of which involve costly fixes or fines in the event of a data breach.


Final Thoughts

For one, manual processes are quite expensive not only in terms of labor costs—but compliance risks, employee unproductive, paper resources, and human error as well. Repetitive manual tasks make it challenging for organizations to streamline their workflows and scale effectively while not letting the costs spiral up. All these limitations hinder a company from experiencing a full digital transformation and staying relevant in the competitive landscape today. So, the sustainable long-term and growth-propelling solution to these data collection challenges is automation.

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