If you haven’t lived under a rock for the last 20 years, you know what Excel is. The name combines images of complex charts, main tables or extended graphs, bar graphs running on a data-filled table for most people. But if you’re part of a data entry team, Excel can mix emotions and long nights to create the perfect database for each department.
However, with over one billion MS Office users worldwide, Excel is the go-to software for most companies that don’t have to deal with big data. The software is very flexible and provides users with many features for data processing and handling.
However, even the most powerful Excel can not give accurate results when working with hacked data! It means that the first step of inaccurate data analysis is data entry. However, the process is extremely tedious and frustrating when done manually, opening the door to errors.
Today, we will focus on making the data entry process smooth, fast, and error-free.
Use External Tools
Excel allows importing data from a wide range of data formats (such as CSV, TXT, or Access Access Database), but not in the case of PDF files. However, most companies use PDFs to send large amounts of data (reports, business analytics, and more) because it is a format that is easy to compress without losing quality and structure. Learn more about advanced excel and VBA tools here.
Use The Data Entry Form.
If data needs to be submitted manually, it is best to use a standard data entry form. It will create a popup form that will allow users to enter new records into an existing data set while initial data integrity is being checked. If the new data does not comply with the rules, it will not accept the recording and add it to the dataset.
For instance, if the user doesn’t follow the specified format for the phone number, he will be asked to correct his error.
In addition, this type of model makes it easier for operators to add records to large datasets with multiple fields.
Sometimes, some data becomes redundant or requires additional formatting (such as adding point decimal numbers), which slows down the process (which leads to frustration and fatigue).
Fortunately, Excel has some great tricks available that allow data entry operators to reduce their time on monthly and repetitive tasks. Here are some of the most used:
- CTRL + D to copy/paste – The command copies, formats, and pastes data in the selected area.
- Automatically insert a decimal point – this is the option available in File -> Options -> Advanced. Here, you need to specify the number of decimals (usually 2), and Excel will automatically place the last digit as a decimal.
- Control + semicolon (;) – Enter the current date in the cell.
- ALT + DOWN ARROW – Provides you with a list of all the unique entries in that column. This option is ideal when matching the same values (such as when entering the position of a particular element).
Excel may not make good progress in the age of big data, but it still has much value for small businesses and individual users handling light data sets. It is precious for creating visual analytics that can increase the value of your presentation or sales presentation.
In short, even though getting the correct data into a spreadsheet can be a little stressful, it’s still a task to do.