According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global data entry outsourcing market was overall valued at USD 3.1 billion in 2017. Then, it is projected to reach USD 5.6 billion by 2024 (which is this year), growing at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2018 to 2024.

Outsourcing has been saving the entire corporate world by offering benefits like cost-effective digitisation, time-saving, lending expertise, the scope for scalability with quality assurance, etc. Overall, businesses know how data entry outsourcing can help in achieving growth. If you want to see its advantages in numbers, check a study by It states that the global data entry market is expected to reach USD 6.82 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.3% from 2021 to 2028.

Here are top five data entry tips that are making this expected growth achievable for outsourcing companies. Now, these are for you to use.

Best Data Entry Tips

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

There are certain keyboard shortcuts that are similar and hence, used in Excel and Google spreadsheets to save time. Here are the top 25 functions used in both.

  • SUM: To compute addition of a range of cells.
  • AVERAGE: To calculate the average value of the selected range.
  • MAX: To find the maximum value in the selected range.
  • MIN: To automatically find the lowest value in a selected range.
  • COUNT: To count cells’ number in a selected range.
  • COUNTA: To count all filled cells.
  • COUNTBLANK: To count empty cells in a range.
  • IF: To check a true or false condition for returning the corresponding value in a cell.
  • VLOOKUP: To speed up searches by finding & returning a value in a table.
  • INDEX: To display the value in a particular row and column of a range.
  • MATCH: To find the exact match within a range.
  • LEFT: To highlight a particular number of characters from the starting of a cell.
  • RIGHT: To return particular characters from the end of a cell.
  • MID: To find the middle characters in a cell.
  • CONCATENATE: To combine two or more text-based strings into one.
  • SUBSTITUTE: To change one text string with another one in a cell.
  • TRIM: To eliminate extra spaces from the starting & ending of a cell.
  • UPPER: To change text into uppercase.
  • LOWER: To change text to lowercase.
  • PROPER: To make all initial letters capital in a cell.
  • DATE: To input date in a series.
  • TIME: To input the serial number of a time.
  • TODAY: To input the current date.
  • NOW: To mention the current date and time.
  • RAND: To create a random number between 0 and 1.

Format Cells Correctly

Formatting cells is crucial in data entry. It typically helps you to present and analyse data in a more organised and visually appealing way. Before entering data, ensure that the cells are formatted correctly. For example, if you’re inputting numbers with decimal places, make sure the cells are formatted as numbers with the appropriate number of decimal places.

Here are the steps to format cells correctly in Excel:

  • Highlight the target cells for formatting by using Ctrl+A or drag the mouse for it.
  • Choose the type of formatting: Click on the “Home” tab in the ribbon, then click on the “Number Format” dropdown menu to choose the type of formatting you want. You can choose from options like currency, percentage, date, time, or custom formats.
  • Adjust the formatting settings: Once you’ve chosen the type of formatting, you can further customise it by clicking on the “Number” button in the “Number” group on the “Home” tab. This will open the “Format Cells” dialog box, where you can adjust options like decimal places, negative number format, and alignment.

Apply Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting spotlights certain values in particular cells to easily identify. It can be used to discover cells that meet certain criteria. Here are the steps to follow for applying conditional formatting:

  • Move to the target cells for formatting & select.
  • Click on the “Conditional Formatting” dropdown menu in the “Styles” group on the “Home” tab. From there, choose from pre-defined rules or create your own custom rule.
  • You can apply cell styles, which provide a quick way to apply multiple formatting options to cells. For it, click on the “Cell Styles” dropdown menu in the “Styles” group. Then, select from pre-defined styles like “Title,” “Good,” “Bad,” or “Neutral.” It also offers custom styles.
  • Once the formatting is applied, you can save it as a custom style or as part of a template for future use. For this purpose, click on the “File” tab in the ribbon. Then, choose “Save As” to save the workbook with the formatting applied.

Use the AutoFill Feature

Use the AutoFill feature to quickly fill a series of cells with the same data. Let’s say, you enter a date in one cell and then, use the AutoFill feature to fill a range of cells with dates.

  • Go to the cell where you need the value to be autofilled.
  • Move your mouse pointer to the bottom right corner of the cell until it turns into a black cross.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse down or across the cells you want to fill.
  • Release the mouse button when you have reached the desired number of cells to fill.
  • If you want to repeat a pattern, such as days of the week, months of the year, or a sequence of numbers, input the required pattern, and use the mouse to drag the autofill handle. It will automatically fill the cells.

How to Use Paste Special

The Paste Special option in Excel is a powerful feature that allows you to paste only specific aspects of copied data, such as values, formatting, formulas, or comments. Here’s how to use the Paste Special option in Excel:

  • Move to the target cell for creating a copy.
  • Right-click on the cells and select “Copy” or use the shortcut Ctrl + C.
  • Click on the cell where you want to paste the copied data.
  • Right-click on the cell and select “Paste Special” or use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + V.
  • In the Paste Special dialog box, you will see various options such as Formulas, Values, Formats, Comments, Transpose, and more.
  • Select the specific option(s) that you want to paste and click “OK”.


Data entry tips can bring several benefits to individuals and businesses. It ensures accurate and efficient data entry, reducing errors and saving time. You can increase productivity and streamline workflows by using automation tools and keyboard shortcuts, conditional formatting, data validation, etc. Overall, these tips can improve overall data quality and consistency, leading to better outcomes and decision-making in various fields.

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