Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Data Entry

When did data entry become a profession? In the 21st century, we really should have graduated beyond this lowly task. What data can be written down in a form that is beyond the ability of a computer eye to decode, but still within the abilities of a human eye. Scanners and OCR have come a long way, but not nearly far enough. I have to manually enter data for a 100 X 13 matrix of company financial data for DMGT725. That is crazy. Certainly, the data owners are within their rights to decline to provide the digital version of the data. But, HP should have long since created a scanner that will rip this data off of the paper and slap into a format that I specify. Where is this technology. Please save me from performing yet again a task that the lowest of literate people have been performing for centuries.

I should be able to slap that paper on my scanner, outline the text with a matrix of boxes, and command it to read the numbers and place them in a table or spreadsheet in that form. What is so hard about that? If I were still a programmer, I think I could write a program to do that myself.

1-800-Hewlett-Packard – “Hello this is me your customer base. Please invest a little money in saving me from this task. Thank you.”

So why am I entering this data manually? The S&P COMPUSTAT data is for sale if you want to buy it. The Industrial Research Institute buys the data and published a list of the Top 100 companies that invest in R&D. However, S&P will not allow them to release the digital version of the data. Of course, that makes perfect sense. I don’t expect anything different. But, I do expect HP to hear about this and create scanner software to serve me. I am their customer not S&P.


Post a Comment

<< Home