Our client is a non-political and non-religious registered charity with operations in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and South America.

The organisation tasked Skilled Staff with encoding data from handwritten hard copy to soft copy files in a short period of time.

Data Encoding in Zimbabwe

Handwritten hard copy data was provided by the client and the task of encoding the data to soft copy was delegated to Skilled Staff. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is unable to convert handwritten text to Excel with high accuracy.

Data encoding is the process of converting paper documents into structured data. This process requires accuracy and attentiveness. The advantage of delegating this non-core and routine task is that the client was able to focus on their core organisational functions.

Client Objectives

The main objectives for outsourcing data encoding were to:

  • create a database;
  • ensure that information is easily accessible in a single source;
  • extract and standardise data from multiple handwritings; and
  • meet the organisations deadline.

Data Encoding Process

Skilled Staff assigned the task to efficient data encoders within their team. Data security is of importance to the organisation and all information received is handled in a confidential manner. All employees that acquire and are exposed to information about certain matters are bound by a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Together with the client, Skilled Staff agreed on the required format prior to embarking on the project to ensure that the data was simplified and fit for purpose. Accuracy was implemented through a strict verification process.


Prior to getting off the ground, our team was aware of the potential challenges with data encoding.

Slow Turnaround Time

Some paper documents were not readily available when the project commenced and the team had to wait to receive the complete documents. Once all files were made available to Skilled Staff, an additional Data Entry Specialist was assigned to the project, so it could proceed smoothly.

Illegible Handwriting

The reasons for high error rate vary from poorly trained personnel to illegible handwritten forms. Though illegible handwriting caused delays, our team regularly communicated discrepancies with the organisation who were then able to verify data based on key identification parameters.

High Volumes of Data

Managing high volumes of data can put tremendous pressure on data entry professionals, while also increasing the probability of errors. Therefore, quality checks were an integral part of the data entry process.

Are you looking for data encoders in Zimbabwe?

Skilled Staff has the capacity to handle small to large volumes of data encoding projects. When you choose to outsource the tedious task of data entry, your organisation benefits in the following ways:

  • increased level of productivity and reduced error rate;
  • lowered operational costs;
  • secure data; and
  • reduced risk of dissatisfied and overworked in-house employees.