How to Use the MATCH Formula in Excel: Three Practical Examples

Excel's MATCH formula is an extremely useful yet underutilized function within Excel's toolkit of formulas.  The reason people underestimate its value is because the MATCH formula's primary objective is fuzzy and ambiguous.  Without the proper context, its usefulness and potential applications are not obvious. The MATCH Continue Reading >>

The Ultimate Guide to VLOOKUP

Learning the VLOOKUP formula is, for most people, the first step taken towards becoming an advanced Excel user.  For me, this milestone actually occurred in 2004 during an internship at Microsoft in the company's Commercial Operations Division.  One of the senior analysts showed me the ropes by teaching me the formula.  While Continue Reading >>

How to Use OFFSET MATCH MATCH

OFFSET MATCH MATCH is the final lookup combination I'll cover among the lookup formula options you have available to you in Excel.  Of all the different lookup options you have to do a two-way lookup, INDEX MATCH MATCH is still probably your best bet and the approach I would generally recommend.  However, OFFSET MATCH MATCH ... Continue Reading >>

How to Use the VLOOKUP HLOOKUP Combination Formula

VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP are two of the most popular formulas in Excel and using them together is one of the first formula combinations that people learn.  While using INDEX MATCH for vertical lookups and INDEX MATCH MATCH for matrix style lookups are superior approaches, it's still a good idea to learn this formula combination and ... Continue Reading >>

Top Mistakes Made When Using INDEX MATCH

INDEX MATCH Not Working?  The following article provides the most likely causes of your problems with using INDEX MATCH. If you're an advanced user of Excel, you've likely already made the switch from VLOOKUP to INDEX MATCH because of the several advantages that INDEX MATCH provides.  Within Excel, INDEX MATCH is one of the most Continue Reading >>

How to Use INDEX MATCH MATCH

If you're using Excel and you’ve already learned how to use INDEX MATCH, you’re well on your way to becoming proficient with Excel lookups.  What INDEX MATCH MATCH offers you is a more powerful version of the formula.  Instead of just a vertical lookup, INDEX MATCH MATCH allows you to perform a matrix lookup, which ... Continue Reading >>

Why INDEX MATCH is Better Than VLOOKUP

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.  One major driver of this problem is that most people still don’t fully understand the benefits of switching ...

How to Learn Excel

Instructor with Students in Computer Lab

The majority of people who are really good at Microsoft Excel will tell you that they gained their knowledge simply through experience.  When I was a management consulting analyst, I’d frequently be given tasks that I thought were impossible with a spreadsheet; the process of coming up with an Excel solution was what really established ...

Tutorial: How to Decide Which Excel Lookup Formula to Use

The Complete Guide to Excel Lookup Formulas One of the most common tasks in Excel is the process of looking up specific values within a data set.  In a simple database, this process would be completed by writing a “query” for a specified “table.”  For Excel, you complete this task by using a “formula,” with specific ...