A lot of people use Excel as a tool to maintain records. These could be companies maintaining financial records, stores maintaining sales records, teachers maintaining students scores, etc.
Excel has a lot of great features that makes data entry easy and fast.
In this article, I want to share some cool data entry tips that will help you get the work done faster.
Use Control + D to Fill the Cell Below
If you word involves entering data in a column, you can use this shortcut to copy the content from the cell above.
For example, if you are in cell A2, and you want to copy cell A1, instead of selecting A1, copying it, coming to A2 and pasting it, you can just use the shortcut Control + D.
This would copy the cells above the active cell and paste it in the active cell.
Use Drop Down Lists for Faster Data Entry
If you have to enter data from a fix set of entries, using drop down list in Excel can be a great time saver.
For example, if you have list of 5 items (let's say Item 1, Item 2, Item 3, Item 4, Item 5), and you have to fill a lot of cells with one of the items, instead of manually entering it, you can use the drop down list.
Once you have created the drop down list for the cells where you want this data entry, just click on the drop down icon and select the one you want to enter. This can save you a lot of time and it also makes sure that there are no manual entry errors.
Use Flash Fill
Flash Fill allows you to identify patterns and then complete the data entry for you.
This is an amazing tool when you want to quickly slice and dice your text data. For example, if you have a set of names (first name and last name) and you quickly want to get the First name for all these names, you can use Flash Fill and do this in a snap.
While this can be done manually or by using formulas, I find Flash Fill to be very fast and very accurate.
Autocomplete Using Tab
Excel assists you in data entry by identifying your activity so far and showing you the relevant options. For example, if you are entering data manually and you have to enter the name 'ABC limited' multiple times.
Once you have entered it in a cell, the next time you enter A, Excel will show you the full name 'ABC limited' and you can make that entry by hitting the tab key.
Excel tries to autocomplete the data entry for you based on the preexisting values in that column.
Enter Data in Multiple Cells Using Control + Enter
If you have to enter a value or a formula in many cells at once, you can use this technique.
For example, if you have to enter the same name in 10 cells:
The name would be entered in all the cells.
You can also use this technique for entering formulas as well.
These are my top 5 data entry tips. There are many such tricks in Excel that can really help speed up the work and make you more productive.
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If you work with data in Excel, you're likely to find yourself dealing with the issue of duplicate records or data points.
With small data sets, you can manually scan and try and remove duplicates. But if you have large data sets, doing this manually would take a lot of your time.
The good news is that Excel has an inbuilt feature that allows you to remove duplicate with a few clicks.
In this tutorial, I will show you the steps you need to follow to remove duplicates from your data set in Excel.
Suppose you have a transaction records as shown below:
As you can see, the second and third record are the same.
While you can visually see this duplicate data point in this example, if you have hundreds or thousands of records, doing this manually would be time consuming.
Here are the steps to remove duplicates from the data set shown above:
This will instantly remove all the duplicate records from the data set.
Note that this technique alters your data set. If you want to keep the original data set as is, make a copy of the data set and then perform these steps on it.
Hope you find this technique useful and it saves you some time.
If you want to learn more about this technique and how to use it, here is a tutorial that covers this topic in detail.
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Excel has many features that can help you get a lot of work done faster and more efficiently.
Here is a list of 5 excel features you should master to be super productive:
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Excel functions form the backbone of data analysis in Excel. There are more than 470 functions in Excel that can help you when working with numbers, text, or alphanumeric strings.
You don't need to know all the Excel functions of course. But if you get a grip on some of the important ones, then it can help you a lot in your daily work.
Here I am listing 5 Excel functions that you, as an analyst, must champion.
Must Know Excel Functions
These function will get you started. Once you have a good handle on these functions, start experimenting with other functions.