How to Learn Data Entry

How to Learn Data Entry

Data entry is not a complicated field to get into, however, it is a competitive one, and so, if you think a career in data entry could be for you, you can give yourself a head start by improving your relevant skills.

We’ve written this guide for those who want to know how to learn data entry. If this is you, read on.

But first, let’s take a brief look at exactly what data entry is…

What is data entry?

Data entry is the process of moving data, from its original, or incomplete form, to a format that is more usable.

Note: We have a full guide explaining exactly what a data entry clerk does that is worth reading after this one.

For instance, you may be making notes at a meeting, proofreading, and correcting them, then adding them to a searchable database. Or your job could involve taking telephone orders for a store and adding them to an e-commerce system.

There are so many different facets to data entry, and the requirements for each business will be unique, but there are some skills that will be of benefit to any data entry specialist.

If you learn these skills or improve the abilities you already possess, you’ll have the best possible chance to impress with your resume and secure that dream data entry position.

What skills should you develop?

Data entry can cover quite a varied set of skills.

Let’s take a look at the key qualities that are likely to be useful for most data entry jobs and how you can give your skillset a boost in order to stand out to a potential employer next time you’re applying for a data entry job.

Computer skills

Pretty much all data entry work is going to involve a computer, so general computer skills are a basic requisite of the job.

You’ll need to be able to find your way around a computer and be able to undertake standard tasks such as file management, sending emails, and using the Internet proficiently.

When it comes to data entry, speed is often a key factor, so you’ll need to be able to work fast and efficiently.

If you feel you lack confidence when it comes to using a computer, or you’re keen to learn even more tips and tricks to improve your skills, you’re sure to find some courses either online or at a local college.

These will teach you basics, and also more advanced techniques to enhance your abilities and ensure your data entry performance levels are high.

Here are some of our recommended places to start upskilling:

Familiarity with commonly used programs

Data entry can involve using several different platforms or programs.

Larger corporations may have developed their own bespoke system, however, many small to medium-sized businesses will make use of industry-standard software for their data entry requirements.

Alongside database and data analysis software, it’s likely you’ll also be using some programs that you may already be familiar with such as Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, and the like.

If you’re unfamiliar with these often-used programs, now is definitely the time to put them to use and increase your working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software.

For those who already use these systems, you have a head start, but these programs can have a lot of depth, so there’s always something new to learn.

Why not read a tutorial or pick up a book to teach you more?

Get your high school diploma

While most data entry positions won’t ask that you have a college degree, the majority will insist that you have your high school diploma.

Because much data entry work requires a certain level of skill in both English and math, it makes sense to employ workers who have already proven their ability in these fields.

So, if you have not achieved your high school diploma, this is certainly an important step to take.

Get this under your belt, and many more opportunities will open up to you, not just in the field of data entry.

Typing skills

Much data entry work needs to be completed fast. This is where great typing skills come in.

Typing ability is something that you can easily improve by practicing.

You’ll find typing tests online that are free to use and will give you a score based on both your speed and your accuracy.

With practice, you will be able to type faster and without errors. This is a valuable skill for any data entry specialist.

Using and troubleshooting equipment

Data entry can be a fast-paced job. There’s often little leeway for downtime!

Your work could involve using office equipment such as scanners and printers, so you’ll need to know how to use these properly.

In addition, we all know that this type of equipment can have its issues, so understanding how they work, and how to fix common problems can be really beneficial when you’re working to a tight deadline.

Customer service skills

Your data entry job could also require you to speak to, or email customers.

If this is the case, you’ll need both excellent spelling and grammar skills, and a good telephone manner.

It could certainly be beneficial to look into best practices in a customer service environment, and there are many courses out there that teach valuable customer service skills that can be put to good use across many fields, not just the data entry industry.


Many data entry positions are looking for remote workers.

Working from home can be difficult if you’re not highly self-motivated.

When you’re choosing your own working hours, it can be hard for some people to get on with the task at hand.

If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or find yourself distracted by a myriad of chores around your home, it’s time to work on your focus and motivation.

Taking it to the next level

Once you’ve learned all the basic skills, and can perform to the best of your ability, there’s always more you can do to ensure your resume makes it to the top of the pile.

A related data entry certification will make your application stand out from the crowd, so this is something you could consider, and you’ll find part-time courses available that you can fit around your current work commitments.

Qualifications in English or math are useful.

Or perhaps you could pursue a course in business or finance?

Or you may even want to pick up other valuable data entry skills that could enhance your data analysis abilities such as learning a programming language.

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