The Smart Crowd (Formerly VirtualBee) Work-at-Home Company

What You Should Know About The Smart Crowd Data Entry Work

Young happy businesswoman working on laptop in the office.
••• BraunS/E+/Getty Images/Getty Images

The Smart Crowd is a crowdsourcing company formerly known as VirtualBee. The company uses a workforce of home-based independent contractors to securely enter client data. The flexible work schedule is designed for people who prefer to work on their own terms. Whether you choose night or day, two hours or six, you control your schedule.

Types of Work-at-Home Opportunities at The Smart Crowd

Data services involve typing, data cleansing, digitizing data, updating data, and data tagging. Home-based data entry operators log on to The Smart Crowd system and choose data entry tasks offered to them in their areas of expertise. Workers see an image of the data and then must enter it accurately.

Qualifications and Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to work for The Smart Crowd. A score of 97 to 100 percent on the evaluation test is the main qualification for the job.

The company hires worldwide. However, the company divides its workers into two groups—one for those who reside in the United States and the second for individuals who live in all other countries. Workers must maintain an uninterrupted presence in their country of residence throughout the duration of their work for The Smart Crowd.

Working for The Smart Crowd requires a home computer with a high-speed internet connection and a web browser with JavaScript enabled. Basic skills include:

  • Ability to type quickly and accurately
  • Good spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills
  • Ability to work quickly
  • Good comprehension of text you read

Applying to The Smart Crowd

Click "Join The Smart Crowd" at the bottom of The Smart Crowd website and fill in the short form with basic information about yourself.

Next, answer questions about your demographics, education, areas of expertise, and language skills. The company uses this information to match you with tasks that are appropriate for your background. Based on the information you enter, you are offered one or more placement evaluations. You must complete at least one placement evaluation before you can be considered for any work. Depending on how well you do on your evaluations, various small jobs may be offered. The higher you score, the better chance you will be offered work.

You are only allowed to work on tasks related to your areas of expertise.

Pay and Benefits

All data-entry keyers are hired as independent contractors. There are no benefits and, because it is piecework, no guarantee of a minimum wage. While the pay may seem low, if you understand how and what data entry companies pay, you'll see it is in line with other companies. Payment is on a per-piece basis, and different types of data entry pay at different rates. Expect the per-piece rate to work out to about $5 to $6 per hour.

The Smart Crowd does not list pay rates on its website, stating only that it is "competitive." According to Real Ways to Earn Money Online, pay for some tasks in 2016 ranged from 20 cents per 1,000 keystrokes to 60 cents per 1,000 keystrokes. That many keystrokes amount to a little more than 200 words on average, so someone who types 50 words per minute would earn between 20 cents and 60 cents for every four minutes of work, or between $3 and $9 per hour.

The Smart Crowd pays weekly, but the minimum payout amount is $30, so until you accrue that much, the earnings are held in your account. Hours are always flexible, but you may find that work is not available during certain days of the week or periods of the year.

Similar Work, Similar Pay

The Smart Crowd is one of many crowdsourcing opportunities available online, and most of them have pay rates that add up to just a few dollars per hour. The Atlantic in 2018 cited several examples of the kind of work and the typical pay to be found through crowdsourcing services. Amazon's Mechanical Turk offered 80 cents for a task that could take up to 45 minutes and $1 for another that could take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, according to the report. Other services, like CrowdFlower, ClickWorker, and Toluna offer similar tasks for similar amounts of money.

Gathering accurate statistics on how many people earn an income from crowdsourcing is difficult because it stretches across so many industries, and so many people who find work through crowdsourcing are doing so only to supplement their income. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has put together data on what it terms "contingent jobs," which includes people earning money through crowdsourcing. As of May 2017, 3.8 percent of workers (5.9 million people) in the U.S. held such jobs.

Independent contractors accounted for 6.9 percent (10.6 million people) of workers. The difference between contingent workers and independent contractors is that contingent workers have no contract and do not expect their jobs to last.