Best Data Capture Methods for Your Business

Faulty data capture process leads to several business risks and inefficient processes. This article highlights a few effective methods of data capture that you can deploy for capturing data accurately.


The rapid growth of information technology brings before businesses the challenge of handling the ever increasing volume of data. Though the majority of the data is stored or transferred as document files, electronic forms, PDF files, web content and mails, we can also find data in manual forms, letters and other written documents. Since there is a wide variation in the sources of data, we need multiple methods to effectively capture the data scattered across these sources.

Data capture enables an organization to transform the information available from all sources into an analyzable format that supports in-depth analytics and increased operational efficiencies. The right methods of data capture ensures a higher degree of accuracy and reduces the business risks involved in using the wrong information.

Keep reading to learn about the various data capture methods available and identify the best ones that fit your requirements.

9 effective methods to capture data

Depending upon the process of collecting information, we can use the following data capture techniques.

  • Manual data capture – In this method, the data is entered manually by the data entry professionals using devices like touch screen, keyboard, mouse etc. into Excel or any word processing program. The method is time consuming and laborious with more possibilities of human errors.
  • Automated data capture – The automated method depends on computer technology to capture data accurately. The initial investment is usually high because of the need to purchase the latest technologies and hire skilled labour. But the operating costs are significantly lower and cover up the higher investment. Most companies are using automated data capture methods like OMR, OCR, and ICR due to its advantages of accuracy and speed. The following are the popular automated data capture techniques used by the majority of the companies.
    • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – The method helps to convert the various machine-printed documents like image files or PDF files into editable format.
    • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) – This method is helpful in capturing handwritten or printed characters that are present in image files. It is less accurate when compared to other techniques and is more complicated. However, since it is a self-learning technology, the accuracy increases as more samples are processed.
    • Optical Mark Reading (OMR) – This technology is capable of differentiating the marked and unmarked boxes in forms and surveys and effectively captures the manually marked data in the forms.
    • Magnetic Ink Character Recognition – This method can recognize the special characters that are printed using magnetic ink. It is widely used in the banking sector to process cheques and similar documents.
  • Smart cards – These pocket-sized cards have integrated circuits embedded in them and are useful for personal identification, biometrics, authentication, etc. When the card comes in contact with a reading device, it automatically transfers the information.
  • Web-data capture – This method involves the capturing of data from the internet or intranet using various electronic forms. It is useful to collect information about the customers or generate leads.
  • Voice-recognition – It is an advanced method of data capture where speech is converted into text and is widely used in dictation systems, controlling systems, and word-processing.

Summing it up
An effective data capture method increases the volume of data an organization can analyze and utilize. A proper data capture strategy reduces errors and improves the business processes by using the correct digitization techniques.
You must select a suitable method for your organization after understanding the source, quantity, and depth of the data. SBL is a professional data capture service provider and can help you improve the accuracy and quantity of your data in the most cost-efficient manner. Reach out to our BPO division for further information.

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