There are two different approaches to data keying:
This approach is most commonly used for keying of census forms because of the large volumes of data involved. While entering data, the operator generally does not look at the computer screen, but rather, looks down at the questionnaire on the table or work surface. The objective of heads-down keying is to transcribe to the computer, as quickly and accurately as possible, the data as they appear on the questionnaire. On-line checking is generally kept to a minimum and consistency errors are resolved in a later phase, generally through computer edit programs. Operators do not need to be familiar with the subject matter of the questionnaire. They make very few decisions to resolve data errors. The most important skill is speed and accuracy. CSPro provides operator statistics
to help measure operator speed and accuracy.
This approach is most commonly used for entering data from surveys, due to the smaller number and greater complexity of the questionnaires (as compared with a census). While entering data, the operator often refers to the computer screen as well as to the questionnaire. The objective of heads-up keying is to catch and correct as many errors as possible as the data are being entered. As a result, there is generally more on-line checking programmed into the application. Operators need to be very familiar with the subject matter of the questionnaire. They will make decisions to resolve data errors, and must be properly trained to do so.