Double key verification is the second keying of data by a different human operator than the first, for the purpose of ensuring the highest rate of accuracy. The benefits of going this route all relate to quality of the output.
Firstly, consider the fact that all data resides in different types of formats. It could be contained within paper forms, in electronic files – whether text based or image, or audio format. Furthermore, just considering one type of form, such as paper as an example, not all data within a paper document is valuable. This means the data that is needed must be extracted. Without single-use paper forms, there will never be an electronic solution that fits all circumstances. Double key data entry allows for the flexibility needed to adapt to any data extraction and electronic conversion scenario.
Purely electronic forms could be an answer to this problem of accurate extraction and placement of data into the type of output that is most useful to an organization. This will not happen though until every individual interacts with information in a solely electronic manner. Even then, electronic forms must be designed in such a way that validation is built into them. Consider some standard electronic form validation checks below.
- Presence checks – a process that validates that there is data entered into a field. These fields cannot be left blank
- Length check – field length must equal a certain value or fall within a range
- Format check (aka data type check) – only certain types of data can be entered into the field. Example: strictly numeric
- Fixed value check – value choices are stated and must be selected from
- Character check – preset characters must be included such as @ in an email address field
- Cross field check – a validation check that considers existing values of another field. An example would be date information and placing 31 in the day field when the month field has February in it
- Verification – forcing the entering of the same information twice, where the second entry must match exactly to the first
*Note: there may be multiple validation checks in a single data field.
As can be seen by all of these validation checks, the goal is to force the accurate entry of data into the respective fields, minimizing the chances for errors in the output. In this case, an electronic validation process is built in as a check on the data entered by an individual. In addition, output data must be able to fit whatever system it is to be used in.
When double key data entry is performed in a good system, these types of validation checks can be built into the process where relevant. This not only reduces errors but greatly speeds the entire data capture process. Accurate data (99.9% or greater) can be output and then loaded into almost any system. The result is data that is workflow ready.