Just been having a conversation with a client. I’m going through several worksheets of a spreadsheet of information they were given for a new mailing list.
When I looked at the spreadsheet, whole addresses had been put into one column, not split up into street, suburb, state, postcode, country and on the last worksheet it had been spread over 4 rows, not columns, so I couldn’t copy and paste the information into a new worksheet row by row. I had to print it off and retype it.
I explained to my client that this job should have taken me about a half hour or so if I could have done quick sorts on the columns by state and then copy and paste to the new sheet – they wanted me to separate their state from all the rest of the addresses. However, because the person or persons who entered this data did not think through what might be done with it, it wasn’t entered that way.
That’s when I found out they’d been referred to someone in another country at a cheap rate to do all the data entry. I explained to them that unfortunately anyone can do data entry but not everyone is capable of thinking through what might be done with that data to ask the right questions or even set it up correctly. Often these people are employees who do what they’re told, but they’re not business owners like professional Virtual Assistants who know what questions to ask relating to the end product and what their plans are.
I think they started to get the picture. Reality is they’re now paying me for a much longer time period than they thought because the data had not been entered into the spreadsheet in any useful way to manipulate and make further use of. It would have been cheaper to get me involved from the start to set it up correctly.