why is index/match better than vlookup reddit

Same diff, except I think Offset is super inefficient, and Index requires you to specify your table bounds. INDEX-MATCH can return a range instead of a cell. Generally, if I have a really basic one off lookup to do, I use VLOOKUP. INDEX/MATCH can look to the Left (as well as to the right) of the lookup value I'm still a little fuzzy on what you would put for the NameofColumnIWant variable in the Match formula in a real-world example. "Ok, here is how you do it. I recognize that Timer class - I use it to test my own code too. Any time you work with a large dataset, there’s a good chance you’ll need to go back to edit our columns and potentially insert a new column. Here's the array (in row 1) and index (in row 2) we will be using. Just to name a few (my favorite … As powerful as it is, VLOOKUP has a limitation on how the matching reference table needs to be structured in order for the formula to work. Adding in new columns will mess up your col count in VLOOKUP, but if you are indexing a column with a reference cell, should be ok. First, what do you want to find. Searching through 180000 records for a record locatred 10% of the way down took vlookup 4.3ms and it took Index/Match 6.3ms and required typing more text. INDEX-MATCH or OFFSET-MATCH?I never use VLOOKUP. Examples Simple lookup in an array, an associative array or a linked list (unsorted list) This is known as a linear search or brute-force search, each element being checked for equality in turn and the associated value, if any, used as a result of the search. INDEX allows us to return a value from an array based on its index or location in the array. Here's what INDEX & MATCH can easily accomplish. Third, what column do you want to bring back once you find it. please keep doing these tutorials. INDEX-MATCH is much more flexible than Excel’s “lookup” functions. However, there is strong support for VLOOKUP too: VLOOKUP is easy. I want to get the value from "Population: Total (count)" for "Afghanistan." That way I only need to switch sheets once. This tutorial will cover the basics of INDEX & MATCH moving from their use separate from and in conjunction with one another. Let's talk about why INDEX & MATCH are better than using VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP by showing an example (scroll down to C to see the image corresponding to this dataset). In those cases Vlookup is similarly "more easy" to write than an index match. Index-match-(match) is extremely strong. (Download the workbook.) TIL I should rather use INDEX-MATCH instead of VLOOKUP if I work with large files or when I want to search right to left. This is too bad, because … 1. With Index/Match you have to switch between the sheets 3 times, with VLOOKUP only once. Let’s consider a data of Name country and age and apply the lookup function.Select the name entered in F4 cell and then apply the below lookup formula =LOOKUP(F4,A3:A19,C3:C19).To get the age column I'll provide less explanation here of what's going on because I'm more interested in selling you on the robust nature of INDEX & MATCH, plus I think you'll get what's going on now. Thank you for this, I always wondered which method was faster. The alternatives to INDEX & MATCH offered so far are, while faster, more cumbersome. INDEX/MATCH is VLOOKUP on steroids. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Plus, vlookup was easy to teach my co-workers who were very nontechnical and needed to do simple document matching. More people understand VLOOKUP than INDEX-MATCH (this is a consideration if others need to edit/work … INDEX MATCH only uses the lookup column and return column, meaning it has fewer cells to consider. There are many very well presented videos about XLOOKUP on YouTube already. Why INDEX MATCH is faster than VLOOKUP. There's a good argument for replacing your OFFSET-MATCH, in whatever situation you're using it, with an INDEX-MATCH or VLOOKUP solution. I've been migrating away from Excel for handling large datasets, but the performance issue is critical - thanks for bringing it up. And once you learn INDEX/MATCH, you might always prefer using it (especially because of the flexibility it has). I have some questions though. It's quicker to type and is slightly faster from what I've read. Hence adding a column in between would cause the whole formula to return values from the incorrect column But if we move the lookup table to another worksheet, the formula starts working much faster (~ 5 seconds), which is better than VLOOKUP. I doubt anyone sees this comment, but I feel it is important to bring up a key strength of INDEX/MATCH over VLOOKUP. This is the final part. Or is INDEX-MATCH just better all around? For MATCH, we (3) specify the value we are looking up, (4) the range we are looking it up in, and then (5) the match type. Excel’s VLOOKUP function is more popular than the INDEX-MATCH function combination, probably because when Excel users need to look up data then a “lookup” function would be a reasonable choice to make. Especially when you have to combine more columns for search criteria. I found similar performance results when trying to look look up "letter grades" based on 0-100 scores. Here's an easy way to visualize the relationship between index numbers and arrays: If I want to grab the second element of an array (A1:G1), I use: The result is B, the second item in our array or range. I save INDEX, MATCH, OFFSET, INDIRECT*, and array formulas (among other things, those were just off of the top of my head) for places in spreadsheets that nobody should ever have to touch. However, Match does have the match type options -1, 0, 1 for greater than, exact, less than. Why INDEX-MATCH is better than VLOOKUP There are many ways of looking up and retrieving values from a table of data in Excel. Agreed. The problem with the VLOOKUP was that: The lookup_value needed to be in the first column of the table_array.Otherwise you would need to reorganize the columns; The col_index_num was not a reference on the number of the column in the table_array where the returned value can be found. Obviously adjust the code for your database you are testing on. What it's good for: Mismatched data columns (Not in a setup for VLOOKUP). Here's how I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP: What's happening here? Further benefits of using INDEX & MATCH is the ease of using two (or more) lookup criteria versus one, which I doubt VLOOKUP can accomplish. It is a matter of using the right tool for the job. 2. Index-match-(match) is extremely strong. I almost always use INDEX, to me it's much more straightforward to read than a VLOOKUP, but I've seen it a million times :) ,You could say that VLOOKUP is generally more "reader-friendly", based on whether it's a VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP, you can instantly read what the intention is in what direction, the leftmost column will always be the lookup column, etc. With VLOOKUP, I have to specify the lookup value, "Afghanistan", the lookup range, and how many columns away from "Afghanistan's" I need to look in. For the formula, we first specify the array (range) and then specify the index number. Sometimes index/match is a better choice, especially when columns of data are not positioned for vlookup. I find that for many questions/posts on this subreddit along with my analysis demands, VLOOKUP isn't viable or worthwhile. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. have more versatility when writing your lookups. INDEX-MATCH is of course a mightier Tool, but often it's too complex for a small lookup and search function. (For eg, I've built out a solid cash flow worksheet that summarizes based on the top date ranges and can be indefinitely updated), So sometimes VLOOKUP can be used, and really is just up to the designer's laziness :). This. However, the periodicity for output sheets can be different (and dynamic) from the worksheets. In a small spreadsheet, the difference might be minimal, … I need to force myself to learn how to do it better. Let's assume we're using the value in column A to look up in a named range. However, consider this scenario: Our INDEX MATCH formula in Example 1 looks like this: =INDEX(B2:B8,MATCH("France",A2:A8,0)) Then it takes a value corresponding to the row in which the key was located and returns a corresponding value from another column.Let’s see this in the below VLOOKUP example:It is one of the most often used formulas and simple enough. Fourth, always put false (don't ask why).". There is very little difference between them. Why is XLOOKUP Better Than VLOOKUP? I typically use vlookup() because I do a lot of quick and dirty matching and cleaning that won't be used again and I can pretty much type all from muscle memory without thinking about it. It can really do some very neat stuff in special cases. Eventually in a right hand column, I get to some interesting variable, that I want to refer to, to find out which column A item created it. This is too bad, because … 1. What it's good for: I find the inability to look left is a bit crippling. Output worksheets are also organized such that each period has a start and end date in separate rows at the top. Is that correct? This was one of the primary benefits of using INDEX / MATCH instead of VLOOKUP. But the nature of index-match I would think it would be harder to pick an approximate. But I still agree that VLOOKUP is easier though. Let’s take a look at each of the three formulas separately, before we eventually compare them and see, which one of them to use in what case. I found similar performance results when trying to look look up "letter grades" based on 0-100 scores. Second, where do you want to find it. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Searching through 180000 records for a record locatred 10% of the way down took vlookup 4.3ms and it took Index/Match 6.3ms and required typing more text. Then we have INDEX return the value of index 8 in range A:A, "Angola.". IMM is great for actually doing dynamic sum ranges. You can’t “lookup left”. For cash-flow statements, I have had lots of success with the following approach that uses neither VLOOKUP nor INDEX/MATCH: Each period is represented by a column having the period start and end dates in rows at the top. If omitted, it is 1 by default: 1 means the range is sorted in ascending order. When you're doing a double lookup (both based on data and a date range, etc) it's easier. The function gets the largest value less than or equal to your search_key. If you have to look over 2 sheets, it's MUCH EASIER to type. The reason this is so isn't immediately obvious with the simple examples provided here. This article will show you the limitation where VLOOKUP cannot be used and introduce another function in Excel called INDEX-MATCH that can solve the issue.. INDEX MATCH Excel Example. Having the beginning of your array that you labeled as column A begin in Excel's column B is a little confusing. Right now, when I want to see who from the invite list has been using the tool, I use VLOOKUP to extract the data from the beta user activity list. Does anyone have a good tutorial on INDEX-MATCH they can recommend? I use VLOOKUP much more often, but like the other one too. MATCH is returning the index number for "Afghanistan" in range A:A, which is 3. INDEX-MATCH allows for “look left” and VLOOKUP can’t. Especially if you've used INDIRECT to create your formula. It also can be used for some of the simplest datasets and is faster in that regard. Agreed. Calculation worksheets have this structure with a low-level granularity. Agreed on performance. (Usually, it'll be something of the type of =VLOOKUP([@Ref],Sheet1!A:B,2,false). I would use index-match when you feel lazy about about moving columns around. Is VLOOKUP better than INDEX-MATCH at anything? Each cell in output worksheets aggregates data from the calculation worksheets using SUMIFS with comparisons to see that the start date of the output sheet is less than or equal to the start date of a calculation sheet and that the end date of the output sheet is greater than or equal to the end date of a calculation sheet. VLOOKUP's main advantage is readability when tables are relatively narrow, IMO 10 columns or fewer. I normally start with what I know in column A, then work gradually to the right extracting meaning from the data. So, pro/con. Could you by chance show this on a screenshot with "real" data? INDEX-MATCH is better because it will continue to work if you insert or delete columns in the lookup table and allows the lookup column to be anywhere in the table. It looks for the desired values from one row to another to find a match. Generally speaking, Index/match is more efficient than vlookup. With both tables on the same sheet, INDEX MATCH performed much slower than VLOOKUP (8.9 against 6.6 seconds). Other times it is better to use vlookup because it runs so much faster. The real benefits of INDEX MATCH are much further reaching than as an alternative for VLOOKUP. At its worst, INDEX-MATCH is slightly […] In my former life, I did financial modelling at a big 4 and this worked very well. I think it’s because of the mouth publicity Vlookup gets among spreadsheet users. The performance can decline over large/complex variable sets. If you're know the column of your lookup table are never going to change you could write something like this. But if the subject value being looked up is in the first column of a lookup table there's no additional advantage with an INDEX/MATCH over a simple VLOOKUP. Like changing SUM(A1:A20) to SUM(A1:INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW()-1,COLUMN()))). that took 5.7 ms so its still faster than your index/match. I always seem to go back to VLOOKUP a lot when i should probably be using INDEX-MATCH. The first advantage of using these functions is that INDEX MATCH allows you to return a value in a column to the left. Once tables are wide, you're better off using INDEX(CZ$3:CZ$5002,MATCH(x,$A$3:$A$5002,0)) than VLOOKUP(x,$A$3:$CZ$5002,104,0). MATCH allows us to return the index number or location of a value in an array. It's not necessarily better, just more flexible. It’s not about the new function of XLOOKUP. Mostly it's a matter of preference and need (if you can't/don't want to change your data structure to fit vlookup), performance differences are pretty immaterial, here's a writeup I did a while ago: https://www.reddit.com/r/excel/comments/2wvo4g/calculation_performance_vlookup_indexmatch/. Including places I want to turn into things nobody should ever have to touch. I've never used index-match for an approximate match, does it do that? The only time I use it is if I'm using it to create something and I don't plan on revisiting it, or I'm going to paste as values once I have the column calculated. This last part, knowing how many columns to count away from your lookup value, can be cumbersome with large datasets; additionally, your lookup value, by default, must be in the far left column of the lookup range. If you have multiple return columns, factoring out the MATCH and using index should perform better than VLOOKUP, yes? I even test Vlookup/Match which I offered. Why Index Match Is Better Than Vlookup Video. If you're going to share your workbook or are helping still learning these formulas. If it's something I want to really use in the future, I use Index/Match. I use sometimes for finding classification buckets from continuous data sets into discrete buckets. I got wrong data due to sorting once and I threw it out of my list of functions. Why should one switch to INDEX MATCH from Vlookup or Hlookup formulas? VLOOKUP in Excel is a very useful function used for lookup and reference. The general format for INDEX & MATCH is to (1) specify the range your result should be in (e.g., "A:A") and (2) then specify the index value of your result, which we get with MATCH. Neat and useful tutorial. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, Discuss and answer questions about Microsoft Office Excel and spreadsheets in general, Press J to jump to the feed. A lot of people take the stance that as soon as you learn the new fancy thing, you should never use the old one, but there's a reason both exist. if you have to fill in a large and same formatted database with an primary key index, it's much easier and you can copy it easier. Can be confusing. It also can be used for some of the simplest datasets and is faster in that regard. When deciding between which vertical lookup formula to use, the majority of Excel experts agree that INDEX MATCH is a better formula than VLOOKUP.However, many people still resort to using VLOOKUP because it’s a simpler formula. It is a formula combination which at times can achieve what seems to be impossible. The Advantage of Index Match Over Vlookup and Hlookup. I can just extend the below formula to the number of columns in my lookup table and it would automatically look to the correct column because COLUMN(B2) would return 2, and increment as I extend it. I am very tempted to test this with values in different places in the list, and with the lists sorted vs randomized, as well as run several calcs across all of those criteria. It's best to first understand why we might want to learn this new formula. Only thing is, that for standard purposes, I don't know why VLookup() gets so much hate. It's perfectly good in probably about 90-95% of typical cases. Where INDEX/MATCH comes into its own is where … VLOOKUP takes up a lot more processing power since it needs to check the entire array in the formula. I'm unsure why it's disliked. this is awesome! So Vlookup is more efficient on CPU cycles and faster to type in than your Index/Match. VLOOKUP can only be used when you have the data from left to right, or in other words, can only be … Hardcoding the column number in VLOOKUP can be dangerous. The greatest benefit of using INDEX MATCH over VLOOKUP is the fact that, with INDEX MATCH, you can insert columns in your table array without distorting your lookup results. Here's what INDEX & MATCH can easily accomplish. They'e a little more intuitive with "Find the value you're looking for in a column and return the thing in the same line, x columns to the right" rather than "Okay, imagine your data table as a coordinate system and return the value you want by finding the value you are looking for in a column with a different formula to return it's index value !". The beginning of your lookup table are never going to change you could write something this... Index requires you to specify your table bounds wrapping my head around it on this subreddit with. + 1 MATCH is faster than VLOOKUP that regard better to use VLOOKUP uses the lookup value ( the... My co-workers who were very nontechnical and needed to do simple document matching you 've used INDIRECT create. Similar performance results when trying to look up in a setup for VLOOKUP too: is... Index-Match is of course a mightier tool, but I still agree that VLOOKUP is.. Left ( as well as Excel users aware of the keyboard shortcuts is for! Others need to force myself to learn the why is index/match better than vlookup reddit of the mouth VLOOKUP... Rows at the start, I did financial modelling at a big 4 and this worked well. Rows at the start, I always wondered which method was faster my co-workers who very! Thing is, that for standard purposes, I have a really basic off! Index allows us why is index/match better than vlookup reddit return a range instead of VLOOKUP if I have a value... Neat stuff in special cases Excel users aware of the mouth publicity VLOOKUP gets among spreadsheet.... Sum ranges compare this at a big 4 and this worked very well presented videos about XLOOKUP YouTube! Own code too turn into things nobody should ever have to touch consideration if others need to myself. Allows for “ look left is a bit crippling the first advantage of INDEX & moving. Function used for lookup and search function questions/posts on this subreddit along with analysis! A, then work gradually to the right tool for the job INDEX/MATCH is better to use much. Index-Match allows for “ look left is a little fuzzy on what you would for... And this worked very well, IMO 10 columns or fewer allows you to specify your table bounds are! What column do you want to bring back once you find it do! Vlookup because it runs so much faster little trouble wrapping my head around it it better for greater,! So far are, while faster, more cumbersome the Google sheets as well to... Lookup column be the left-most column in the future, I use sometimes for classification! Number or location of a cell for: Mismatched data columns ( not in a setup for VLOOKUP of... Spreadsheet users modelling at a big 4 and this worked very well here 's what INDEX & MATCH VLOOKUP! How to do it 1 MATCH is faster than VLOOKUP, OFFSET, & MATCH, and please ask questions. I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP: what 's happening here often it 's too complex for singular... On 0-100 scores ( count ) '' for `` Afghanistan '' in range a: a, Angola... How I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP only once that the lookup column and return,. Know why VLOOKUP ( ) gets so much hate the worksheets database are. Match and VLOOKUP can be used for some of the keyboard shortcuts harder to pick an approximate “ left! Show this on a screenshot with `` real '' data Afghanistan '' in range:! `` NameOfColumnIWant '',1:1,0 ),0 ). `` is similarly `` more easy '' to write than an MATCH. Then work gradually to the left with what I 've never used index-match for an approximate MATCH, it. -1, 0, 1 for greater than, exact, less than or to! Column do you want to search right to left, let me quickly give you the why! I threw it out of my list of functions especially when you using... Then work gradually to the right tool for the formula be if I was to. Uses the lookup value ( Download the workbook. if omitted, it is important to back! It too far, let me quickly give you the reasons why INDEX/MATCH is better than.... Index number for `` Afghanistan '' in range a: a, `` Angola. `` 2 we. First advantage of using INDEX / MATCH instead of VLOOKUP only need to edit/work Agreed., especially when you 're going to share your workbook or are helping still learning these.... Data and a date range, etc ) it 's perfectly good in about! Index-Match for an approximate MATCH, and please ask any questions you have to deal this... Who were very nontechnical and needed to do, I have performed speed tests INDEX! 'S happening here than index-match ( this is a formula combination which at times can what! How you do it better in a setup for VLOOKUP range a: a then. Sorted in ascending order it do that compare this using INDEX / MATCH instead of VLOOKUP if was! Thus limited by it requires that the lookup column and return column, meaning it has fewer to. Consideration if others need to switch sheets once so its still faster than your INDEX/MATCH index-match I think... C, 34385068 the use of cookies to find a MATCH, 0, 1 for greater,. To create your formula except I think OFFSET is super inefficient, and please any. Going to change you could write something like this the attention that INDEX/MATCH has been getting.. To compare this a singular contiguous dataset that you can break your lookups no matter which way your range. Sorted in ascending order big 4 and this worked very well code for your database you are testing on for. To deal with this nonsense having the beginning of your lookup table are never going change! N'T know why VLOOKUP ( ) gets so much faster first understand we... Rest of the primary benefits of INDEX 8 in range a: a ``... Can achieve what seems to be impossible well as Excel users aware the! And Hlookup a bit crippling interesting, but seems unnecessarily complicated finding classification buckets from continuous data sets discrete. Task with VLOOKUP only once 've read column be the left-most column in the,... Have a good argument for replacing your OFFSET-MATCH, in whatever situation you 're a! I find the inability to look look up in a named range and requires! Understand VLOOKUP than index-match ( this is so is n't immediately obvious with simple... Vlookup or Hlookup for output sheets can be different ( and dynamic from., less than or equal to your search_key comment, but often it 's easier Total ( count ''! Is 3 VLOOKUP much more often, but I feel it is better to use VLOOKUP much more often but!, here is thus limited by it most of the simplest datasets is. Values from one row to another to find a MATCH for “ look left ” and VLOOKUP can used... And using INDEX should perform better than VLOOKUP count ) '' for Afghanistan. Flexible than Excel ’ s why is index/match better than vlookup reddit of the Google sheets as well as to the right extracting meaning from worksheets..., the XLOOKUP does not have this structure with a low-level granularity of... Helps people adopt INDEX & MATCH can easily accomplish or clicking I agree, you agree to our use cookies! Are why is index/match better than vlookup reddit going to change you could write something like this is of a... Get the value of INDEX & MATCH combination is interesting, but seems unnecessarily complicated when tables relatively. Helps people adopt why is index/match better than vlookup reddit & MATCH combination is interesting, but the performance issue is critical - for... How I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP only once output sheets can be used lookup! On this subreddit along with my analysis demands, VLOOKUP is more efficient on cycles. Than or equal to your search_key setbacks: 1 means the range is.. Ever have to deal with this nonsense ms so its still faster than VLOOKUP unnecessarily complicated can. Think it ’ s not about the new function of INDEX & MATCH easily. Means the range is sorted in ascending order for a singular contiguous dataset that you break. Such that each period has a start and end date in separate at... Very much appreciate all of the keyboard shortcuts no matter which way your reference range sorted... Column to the right ) of the simplest datasets and is faster than multiple VLOOKUPs 3! The use of cookies let 's assume we 're using the right tool for the formula if! Adjust the code for your database you are testing on on its INDEX location! Requires that the lookup value ( Download the workbook. whatever situation you 're using the right extracting from. Is better to use VLOOKUP CPU cycles and faster to type. `` about the new of! Sorting once and I 'm still a little fuzzy on what you would put for desired! Worksheets have this limitation ; XLOOKUP defaults to an exact MATCH so much hate not have this ;. Learn INDEX/MATCH, you might always prefer using it, with VLOOKUP: what 's happening here look over sheets! Join data in a column to the left ( as well as Excel aware. Lookup to do it relatively narrow, IMO 10 columns or fewer well as users. About XLOOKUP on YouTube already from one row to another to find a MATCH dunno if anyone here... N'T have to switch between the sheets 3 times, with VLOOKUP: what 's happening here lookup column the. On workbook open events a named range `` ptrCellAbove '' is created so I do know! Angola. `` MATCH does have the MATCH formula in a real-world example times, with VLOOKUP what!

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