Data encoding is an essential part of the modern record-keeping process, and encoders (also referred to as data keyers) spend long hours transcribing highly confidential information for government agencies, educational and financial institutions and private companies. Data encoders must possess excellent computing skills and must understand how to use data management programs and other computer software.
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Sensitive information management
Organising and managing confidential information is a data encoder's main responsibility. Data encoders receive data in paper format, as Microsoft Office documents and as PDF files. Their role is to transfer vital information from these forms by typing them into the required fields of a data management program. Government passport offices, for example, employ data encoders to transfer date of birth, citizenship and residency information from paper to computer programs to preserve the data.
A data encoder's role goes beyond passively typing personal information into a computer system. Data encoders must maintain a high level of accuracy and good judgment, particularly when the information they are working with seems incorrect or confusing. For example, a data encoder employed by a large university must work with tens of thousands of student files, including transcripts, final exam grades, course schedules and admission applications. If a professor submits a final grade that is not properly formatted, such as a percentage value instead of a letter mark, the data encoder must be able to make the appropriate correction and reformat the data for the computer.
Hardware and software management
Data encoders play a key role in hardware and software management by saving data on various output media. Data encoders must use cryptographic software to decode and transcribe sensitive text that has been encrypted by the author for greater privacy and confidentiality. Whenever a problem arises with office equipment of software, data encoders must immediately detect and report this to their supervisor, or to the company's informational technology team, to avoid delaying the fast-paced data input process.
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