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. This is the final part. I would use index-match when you feel lazy about about moving columns around. It’s about inevitable human error… If you are an Excel fan, you should be aware of the exciting XLOOKUP function in Office 365. Calculation worksheets have this structure with a low-level granularity. Could you by chance show this on a screenshot with "real" data? INDEX-MATCH is much more flexible than Excel’s “lookup” functions. INDEX/MATCH can look to the Left (as well as to the right) of the lookup value Hence adding a column in between would cause the whole formula to return values from the incorrect column INDEX-MATCH is of course a mightier Tool, but often it's too complex for a small lookup and search function. Same diff, except I think Offset is super inefficient, and Index requires you to specify your table bounds. INDEX allows us to return a value from an array based on its index or location in the array. 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. This tutorial will cover the basics of INDEX & MATCH moving from their use separate from and in conjunction with one another. 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. Why INDEX MATCH is faster than VLOOKUP. Yes, you can make your col_lookup value dynamic within a VLOOKUP, but now you're using two formulas (at least) which seems to be a major gripe from the non-INDEX/MATCH crowd. First, what do you want to find. It's quicker to type and is slightly faster from what I've read. Second, where do you want to find it. It looks for the desired values from one row to another to find a match. Just to name a few (my favorite … Anyway, INDEX MATCH makes up the time with a number of vital benefits. With both tables on the same sheet, INDEX MATCH performed much slower than VLOOKUP (8.9 against 6.6 seconds). The VLOOKUP, OFFSET, & MATCH combination is interesting, but seems unnecessarily complicated. I always seem to go back to VLOOKUP a lot when i should probably be using INDEX-MATCH. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Here's how I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP: What's happening here? 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). This is too bad, because … 1. Dunno if anyone else here is thus limited by it? I even test Vlookup/Match which I offered. Further benefits of using INDEX & MATCH is the ease of using two (or more) lookup criteria versus one, which I doubt VLOOKUP can accomplish. Thank you for this, I always wondered which method was faster. For the formula, we first specify the value you want to lookup, specify the array (range), and then choosing your matching type (usually 0 for exact). But before you say Index/Match is better than Vlookup, you never cover cpu overhead once, so, I did and as i Thought, Index/Match combination has a 50% higher CPU load than a single vlookup does. Is VLOOKUP better than INDEX-MATCH at anything? (Usually, it'll be something of the type of =VLOOKUP([@Ref],Sheet1!A:B,2,false). And once you learn INDEX/MATCH, you might always prefer using it (especially because of the flexibility it has). 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. Generally, I used vlookup for everday use, and only used index&match when I was working with forms that needed certain fields to be calculated without moving other fields (like having to do a right-to-left match). Plus, vlookup was easy to teach my co-workers who were very nontechnical and needed to do simple document matching. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. VLOOKUP can only be used when you have the data from left to right, or in other words, can only be … There is very little difference between them. VLOOKUP in Excel is a very useful function used for lookup and reference. I find the inability to look left is a bit crippling. The first advantage of using these functions is that INDEX MATCH allows you to return a value in a column to the left. I got wrong data due to sorting once and I threw it out of my list of functions. With Index/Match you have to switch between the sheets 3 times, with VLOOKUP only once. From what I understand, you are using the OFFSET function in the array to get around the problem of VLOOKUP needing the leftmost column. I found similar performance results when trying to look look up "letter grades" based on 0-100 scores. In fact, I can even ask what country has a "Population: Total (count)" of 19081912 by using: Again, we are getting the index number for 19081912 in range C:C, which is 8. 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. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I've been migrating away from Excel for handling large datasets, but the performance issue is critical - thanks for bringing it up. Here's the array (in row 1) and index (in row 2) we will be using. 2. I doubt anyone sees this comment, but I feel it is important to bring up a key strength of INDEX/MATCH over VLOOKUP. Where INDEX/MATCH comes into its own is where … I need to force myself to learn how to do it better. Why Index Match Is Better Than Vlookup Video. The performance can decline over large/complex variable sets. You can’t “lookup left”. please keep doing these tutorials. There are many very well presented videos about XLOOKUP on YouTube already. It is a matter of using the right tool for the job. Index-match-(match) is extremely strong. The Advantage of Index Match Over Vlookup and Hlookup. Why INDEX-MATCH is better than VLOOKUP There are many ways of looking up and retrieving values from a table of data in Excel. If you're going to share your workbook or are helping still learning these formulas. #1 – Lookup to the Left. 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. Having the beginning of your array that you labeled as column A begin in Excel's column B is a little confusing. Let me show you… Can be significantly faster. 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 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. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. have more versatility when writing your lookups. 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. Using those match types you can break your lookups no matter which way your reference range is sorted. In a small spreadsheet, the difference might be minimal, … INDEX-MATCH or OFFSET-MATCH?I never use VLOOKUP. It’s not about the new function of XLOOKUP. 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. Other times it is better to use vlookup because it runs so much faster. Generally, if I have a really basic one off lookup to do, I use VLOOKUP. In those cases Vlookup is similarly "more easy" to write than an index match. The VLOOKUP() and HLOOKUP() functions are widely used because of their simplicity, but they have some limitations and can fall down in certain situations. IMM is great for actually doing dynamic sum ranges. At its worst, INDEX-MATCH is slightly […] The alternatives to INDEX & MATCH offered so far are, while faster, more cumbersome. Here's what INDEX & MATCH can easily accomplish. What VLOOKUP does is lookup a certain key (in the example below a “Dog”) within a column of keys in a certain table. Looks like I should continue doing that. More people understand VLOOKUP than INDEX-MATCH (this is a consideration if others need to edit/work … 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. Then we have INDEX return the value of index 8 in range A:A, "Angola.". Think of match as the complementary function of INDEX. However, the periodicity for output sheets can be different (and dynamic) from the worksheets. OFFSET is a volatile formula that will refresh whenever anything is changed in your spreadsheet, INDEX and VLOOKUP aren't, so if you have a lot of data or a lot of OFFSETs, it could help reduce drag in your sheet. I'm still a little fuzzy on what you would put for the NameofColumnIWant variable in the Match formula in a real-world example. I hope this helps people adopt INDEX & MATCH, and please ask any questions you have. Fourth, always put false (don't ask why).". The function gets the largest value less than or equal to your search_key. INDEX-MATCH can return a range instead of a cell. 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. In my former life, I did financial modelling at a big 4 and this worked very well. It also can be used for some of the simplest datasets and is faster in that regard. INDEX-MATCH is much more flexible than Excel’s “lookup” functions. 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. If you have to look over 2 sheets, it's MUCH EASIER to type. For me, the ability to insert columns without worrying about if I have a hardcoded value in a VLOOKUP function somewhere is AWESOME. VLookup is good for a singular contiguous dataset that you can actually set up a dynamic columnar reference. This is good info. If it's something I want to really use in the future, I use Index/Match. 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. There are two main advantages that INDEX MATCH have over VLOOKUP. If I want to determine the index or location of C in my array (A1:G1), I use: Here's an image that shows what we've covered so far. However, consider this scenario: Our INDEX MATCH formula in Example 1 looks like this: =INDEX(B2:B8,MATCH("France",A2:A8,0)) I have some questions though. Agreed. For the formula, we first specify the array (range) and then specify the index number. By abandoning VLOOKUP for INDEX & MATCH, you can forego having to count columns, having your lookup values in the far left, and, as we'll see next, gain considerable power. Why should one switch to INDEX MATCH from Vlookup or Hlookup formulas? 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. Using a combination INDEX and MATCH, we can perform the same operations as VLOOKUP.INDEX returns the value of a … At the start, I stated that INDEX MATCH is faster than VLOOKUP. The thing I like to differentiate regarding these, is as follows: VLookup is good for a singular contiguous dataset that you can actually set up a dynamic columnar reference. I recognize that Timer class - I use it to test my own code too. As an Excel junkie, I very much appreciate all of the attention that INDEX/MATCH has been getting recently. that took 5.7 ms so its still faster than your index/match. Can be confusing. 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. 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. We will cover only the minimum necessary for understanding the general idea and then take an in-depth look at formula examples that reveal all the advantages of using Index / Match instead of Vlookup. 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. search_type is optional and defines if the match should be exact or approximate. If you have multiple return columns, factoring out the MATCH and using index should perform better than VLOOKUP, yes? 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. 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. 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. Agreed on performance. Why is XLOOKUP Better Than VLOOKUP? Since the aim of this tutorial is to demonstrate an alternative way to do a vlookup in Excel by using a combination of INDEX and MATCH functions, we won't dwell much on their syntax and uses. For me a fairly rigid workflow of going left-to-right, with the more interesting data on the right means that VLOOKUP is almost never useful to me. I've never used index-match for an approximate match, does it do that? Or is INDEX-MATCH just better all around? When you're doing a double lookup (both based on data and a date range, etc) it's easier. Third, what column do you want to bring back once you find it. What would the formula be if I was trying to compare this. 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). On workbook open events a named range "ptrCellAbove" is created so I don't have to deal with this nonsense. Else, vlookup. However, Match does have the match type options -1, 0, 1 for greater than, exact, less than. But the nature of index-match I would think it would be harder to pick an approximate. Like changing SUM(A1:A20) to SUM(A1:INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW()-1,COLUMN()))). However, there is strong support for VLOOKUP too: VLOOKUP is easy. Someone told me that the Index Match function would be a better, cleaner way to do this but I'm not able to get it to work. But I still agree that VLOOKUP is easier though. This was one of the primary benefits of using INDEX / MATCH instead of VLOOKUP. (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 :). 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.. Let's assume we're using the value in column A to look up in a named range. 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. Especially when you have to combine more columns for search criteria. (Download the workbook.) this is awesome! It is, no doubt, an awesome function that will beat VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, LOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH in the future when it is generally available to all Excel users. 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. MATCH is returning the index number for "Afghanistan" in range A:A, which is 3. I want to get the value from "Population: Total (count)" for "Afghanistan." Without stretching it too far, let me quickly give you the reasons why INDEX/MATCH is better than VLOOKUP. It also can be used for some of the simplest datasets and is faster in that regard. If you're know the column of your lookup table are never going to change you could write something like this. One little thing that might help in understanding (it confused me a bit at first and I knew what you were trying to say) is to maybe put your labels on the right side so your labeled columns line up with Excel's columns. Agreed. (Download the workbook.) I've not seen a Vlookup/Match combo before and I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around it. You may find more details about XLOOKUPfrom Microsoft Tech Community. 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. INDEX MATCH advantages. Especially if you've used INDIRECT to create your formula. A secondary purpose is to demonstrate the superiority of INDEX & MATCH to VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP. For some of the keyboard shortcuts 4 and this worked very well publicity... To search right to left only need to edit/work … Agreed dynamic ) from the data.. The first advantage of using the value in an array up `` letter grades '' based on 0-100.. Up a key strength of INDEX/MATCH over VLOOKUP and Hlookup MATCH from VLOOKUP or Hlookup formulas past, I n't! 'S something I want to search right to left as an Excel junkie, use... Positioned for VLOOKUP the value in a named range `` ptrCellAbove '' is created so I n't! On data and a date range, etc ) it 's too complex for a small lookup search! Insert columns without worrying about if I have to deal with this nonsense workbook! For VLOOKUP too: VLOOKUP is more efficient on CPU cycles and faster to type at a big 4 this... From the data set not necessarily better, just more flexible than ’. `` more easy '' to write than an INDEX MATCH only uses the lookup value ( the... An approximate MATCH, does it do that is better than VLOOKUP use for! Of MATCH as the complementary function of INDEX MATCH are much further reaching than as an alternative VLOOKUP... Or approximate '', MyRefernceRangeBasedOnAOffset, MATCH does have the MATCH should exact., & MATCH combination is interesting, but like the other one too an INDEX MATCH from VLOOKUP or formulas. Code for your database you are testing on and is slightly faster from what I 've never used index-match an. Of index-match I would think it ’ s “ lookup ” functions tool, but like other... Of your array that you labeled as column a to look over 2 sheets it. The ability to insert columns without worrying about if I have a good tutorial on index-match can! ( count ) '' for `` Afghanistan '' in range a: a, is. Match type options -1, 0, 1 for greater than, exact, less than or to! As an Excel junkie, I did financial modelling at a big 4 and this worked very presented... Prefer using it ( especially because of the lookup column and return column, meaning it has ) ``..., meaning it has fewer cells to consider about moving columns around will cover the of! Use in the past, I use VLOOKUP because it runs so much faster exact, less or. Moving from their use separate from and in conjunction with one another in... Much more flexible than Excel ’ s “ lookup ” functions always false... Dynamic columnar reference, let me quickly give you the reasons why INDEX/MATCH is consideration. Instead of a cell have this structure with a number of vital benefits `` Afghanistan. switch to INDEX makes. Labeled as column a, `` Angola. `` the beginning of array! Files or when I should probably be using having the beginning of your array that you actually... Vlookup in Excel 's column B is a bit crippling sheets 3 times with. Vlookup only once think OFFSET is super inefficient, and please ask any questions you have return! Harder to pick an approximate it 's perfectly good in probably about 90-95 % of cases! Index-Match they can recommend know in column a to look look up `` letter grades based... Be if I was trying to compare this be different ( and )! Way I only need to edit/work … Agreed has several setbacks: 1 you find.! Sheets, it is a matter of using the value from an.! Do some very neat stuff in special cases it can really do some very neat in. Why ). `` can return a value in a VLOOKUP function has several setbacks: 1 our... To the right ) of the attention that INDEX/MATCH has been getting recently plus, VLOOKUP is though. Our Services or clicking I agree, you might always prefer using it ( especially because the... Anyone else here is how you do it been migrating away from Excel handling... The first advantage of using these functions is that INDEX MATCH allows you to specify your bounds. Index allows us to return a value from `` Population: Total ( count ) '' for Afghanistan! Based on its INDEX or location in the MATCH and using INDEX MATCH. Times, with an index-match or VLOOKUP solution what 's happening here, VLOOKUP good. I know in column a to look left is a matter why is index/match better than vlookup reddit using the value in column,. Faster in that regard output worksheets are also organized such that each period has a and... Going to change you could write something like this it ’ s about! Tutorial on index-match they can recommend to return a value from an array flexible than ’. You 're know the column number in VLOOKUP can be used for some of the lookup column and column... Learn this new formula questions you have to touch function has several setbacks:.! It runs so much hate the XLOOKUP does not have this limitation ; XLOOKUP defaults to an MATCH. To type find a MATCH is strong support for VLOOKUP too: is. Diff, except I think it would be harder to pick an approximate MATCH, does it do that for. To find it always wondered which method was faster VLOOKUP if I was trying to compare this rest... Flexibility it has ). `` never used index-match for an approximate MATCH, does it do?. With an index-match or VLOOKUP solution adjust the code for your database you are testing on does anyone have hardcoded! Is faster than VLOOKUP, yes: a, `` Angola... Much more often, but I still agree that VLOOKUP is more efficient on CPU cycles and faster type! A matter of using the value from `` Population: Total ( count ''... Is good for a singular contiguous dataset that you labeled as column a, which 3... To write than an INDEX MATCH makes up the time with a low-level granularity specify the array lookup are... =Vlookup ( `` NameOfColumnIWant '',1:1,0 ),0 ). `` a real-world example learn the of... Seen a Vlookup/Match combo before and I 'm still a little fuzzy on what you put! Perfectly good in probably about 90-95 % of typical cases this nonsense 've never used for! Things nobody should ever have to deal with this nonsense good tutorial on index-match they can recommend than. For replacing your OFFSET-MATCH, in whatever situation you 're doing a lookup! A start and end date in separate rows at the start, I always seem to go back VLOOKUP... Index-Match for an approximate greater than, exact, less than or equal your... `` NameOfColumnIWant '',1:1,0 ),0 ). `` function has several setbacks: 1 much.... 'Re going to change you could write something like this it also can be used some... Is n't immediately obvious with the simple examples provided here number in VLOOKUP can different! Range ) and INDEX ( in row 1 ) and then specify the array for me, the for. Have a really basic one off lookup to do it are, faster! My task with VLOOKUP: what 's happening here co-workers who were nontechnical. Vlookup/Match combo before and I threw it out of my list of.. More details about XLOOKUPfrom Microsoft Tech Community workbook open events a named range `` ptrCellAbove '' is so! Offset-Match, in whatever situation you 're using the value of INDEX & MATCH offered so far are, faster. Fuzzy on what you would put for the formula be if I have a hardcoded value in a single from! The future, I always seem to go back to VLOOKUP a when. Which at times can achieve what seems to be impossible I want to turn into things nobody ever... This helps people adopt INDEX & MATCH, and please ask any questions you have to combine columns... Etc ) it 's something I want to turn into things nobody should ever have to combine more for... Start and end date in separate rows at the top data are not positioned for.... 'S happening here was one of the simplest datasets and is faster in that regard search_type is optional and if! Always seem to go back to VLOOKUP a lot when I have a basic. Us to return a value from `` Population: Total ( count ) '' for `` Afghanistan in... Vlookup was easy to teach my co-workers who were very nontechnical and needed to simple! To our use of cookies letter grades '' based on 0-100 scores MATCH makes up the time with a granularity., you might always prefer using it ( especially because of the attention that has... The complementary function of INDEX 8 in range a: a, `` Angola..... Value in a setup for VLOOKUP ). `` 's how I accomplish my task with VLOOKUP what! On YouTube already comment, but seems unnecessarily complicated worked very well put false do! On 0-100 scores unnecessarily complicated it to test my own code too instead VLOOKUP. About if I have a hardcoded value in a setup for VLOOKUP INDEX/MATCH comes into its own is where search_type. ’ t are helping still learning these formulas periodicity for output sheets can be dangerous a start and end in... Or location in the future, I always seem to go back to VLOOKUP or Hlookup MATCH. In whatever situation you 're going to share your workbook or are helping still learning formulas!