Select Data (ModelBuilder)


The Select Data tool selects data in a parent data element such as a folder, geodatabase, feature dataset, or coverage.

The tool allows access to the data stored inside a parent container, such as feature classes or tables inside a geodatabase.

Learn how Select Data works in ModelBuilder


  • This tool is only available from ModelBuilder for use in models. The tool is not available from the Geoprocessing pane or from Python.

  • Selecting the child from the parent using this tool enables you to continue processing after performing a task where the output data is a container, such as a feature dataset, and the next tool in the model requires a feature class.

  • The tool's output always includes the full path to the child dataset.

  • When building models where the input to Select Data does not exist, the name of the child data element may need to be typed in.


LabelExplanationData Type
Input Data Element

The input data element can be a folder, geodatabase, or feature dataset.

Data Element; Composite Layer
Child Data Element

The child data element is contained by the input data element. Once the input data element is specified, the child data element control contains a drop-down list of the data elements contained in the input data element. For example, if the input is a feature dataset, all the feature classes within the feature dataset are included in the drop-down list. A single element is selected from this list.


Derived Output

LabelExplanationData Type
Child Data Element

The derived child data element.

Data Element; Layer; Table View


This tool does not use any geoprocessing environments.

Licensing information

  • Basic: Yes
  • Standard: Yes
  • Advanced: Yes

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