6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Data Entry Skills

April 16, 2020

Article Link: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/data-entry-skills

Data entry is an expansive field that has differing data entry requirements depending on the role, industry and company.

If you work in a data entry job or are interested in a data entry job, you may consider learning how to develop or enhance your data entry skills. In this article, we discuss what data entry is, required skills, common career titles and tips on how you can improve your own data entry and typing skills for your career.

What is data entry?

Data entry is the process of entering data and updating information into some electronic service or database. An individual that enters data does so by directly inputting data into a company database with a computer, mouse, keyboard, scanner or other data entry tool. Here is a list of a few job titles that perform data entry duties:

  • Data Entry Operator
  • Accounting Data Entry Clerk
  • Data Entry Clerk
  • Data Entry Executive
  • Data Entry Engineer
  • Human Resources Data Entry Clerk
  • Insurance Data Entry
  • Medical Records Data Entry Clerk
  • Order Data Entry Clerk
  • Payroll Data Entry Clerk
  • Personnel Records Data Entry Clerk
  • Purchasing Data Entry Clerk
  • Shipping/Receiving Data Entry Clerk

Several jobs have data entry duties that aren’t main functions of their job titles. There are other job titles that may perform data entry as a main responsibility that are not mentioned on this list.

Data entry skills and responsibilities

Accurately processed, entered or archived data is essential to customer or client satisfaction. Therefore, it is important that data entry clerks possess certain skills and are qualified to perform daily responsibilities to do the job well. There are many responsibilities and hard and soft skills that may be required by those in data entry job fields. Here are a few skills and responsibilities that data entry personnel should have and perform:


  • Entering account or customer data from documents
  • Complying with data entry deadlines
  • Sorting data information to prepare for computer entry
  • Scanning documents and other files, when needed
  • Reviewing data for errors
  • Correcting necessary data items
  • Assisting with building data management systems
  • Maintaining confidentiality according to company policies and regulations
  • Generating reports and performing backup operations, as needed


  • Basic software skills: Individuals in data entry need to have basic software skills because they work with word processors, databases, spreadsheets and related software on a daily basis.

  • Efficient written and verbal communication skills: Data entry professionals must communicate often with inside and outside teams and provide feedback on any issues they may encounter with incorrect data or other database issues. It is important that they also employ active listening so they can enter and sort data the way a company prefers.

  • Fast typing speed: This skill is essential to the success of individuals in data entry since they will likely need to perform large quantities of data entry within a limited period of time. Many employers expect an average typing speed of 30 to 40 words per minute.

  • Proficient typing skills: Beyond fast typing, it is also important to type accurately. 

  • Self-motivation: Data entry is often performed remotely or with little supervision or team effort. It is important that a data entry professional has a strong self-motivation when repeating often mundane and repetitive tasks.

  • Attention to detail: Details are the priority in a data entry job.

How to improve your data entry skills

There are many ways to improve data entry skills on your own, with the help of a computer system or with classes in a structured environment. Here are a few tips you may find helpful to improve your data entry skills:

1. Enhance current typing skills

Take note of your current typing structure and body language. Check to make sure you are using the proper posture and hand positioning for optimum accuracy and comfort. This way you won’t need to shift positions or get up as often, which should increase your typing speed skills and efficiency.

2. Improve desk space

Data entry requires you to sit and type on a computer for extended periods of time. Sitting for long periods of time may be linked to certain health issues and it is important to rework your desk space to be more ergonomic. The best way to do this is to have comfortable chairs with lumbar support that can be swiveled and have height adjustments. 

Computer monitors should be at eye level with minimized glare and the monitor should be placed near the mouse. Dual monitors may also help with fact-checking, data entry speed, efficiency and productivity.

3. Make use of online typing tools

There are several online programs that allow you to test your current typing abilities so you can identify areas for improvement. These typing tools allow you to practice and increase your typing speed and efficiency. You may also try viewing online videos that demonstrate the basics of data entry computer software to improve your basic computer and software knowledge.

4. Master data entry hacks

There are many shortcuts that can be used with certain software programs to save a sufficient amount of time. For example, you can use the TAB and ENTER key in Excel to enter information that has been written before. Many spreadsheet and keyboard hacks can be found online or you may try asking your supervisor for other recommendations.

5. Block distractions

When you work in data entry, it may be a challenge to stay focused on the tasks you are performing. Try forming a strict schedule and blocking your time by splitting tasks up by their priority. It may also be helpful to place your phone out of reach and put it on silent during working hours to limit distractions.

6. Allow time to proofread

Mistakes may happen throughout your workday and it is important to have time to review your work before you submit it. If you do not have access to an editor or anyone that is available to proofread your work, then it may be helpful to try stepping away from a project. This way when you come back to it to proofread it yourself, your eyes will be fresh.

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