What Is Excel Data Validation?

Excel data validation is a feature that allows you to control the type of data entered into your worksheet. For example, Excel data validation allows you to limit data entries to a selection from a dropdown list and to restrict certain data entries, such as dates or numbers outside of a predetermined range. Data validation can also help you control formulas and the input from those formulas. You can even craft custom Excel data validation messages that help guide users toward the right data entry when they hit a limit. As a result, Excel data validation helps reduce the amount of unstandardized data, errors, or irrelevant information in your worksheet. 

It’s a helpful feature, especially when widely sharing an Excel worksheet with others for completion. Many data analysts find data validation in Excel to be beneficial when they are working with many users or with strict guidelines in data entry. In addition, data validation in Excel can help save analysts valuable resources that are spent when the data isn’t input correctly. Overall, data validation in Excel is a beneficial feature, but even beneficial features have limitations that can impede its ability to help users.