# index match vs vlookup

What I tried highlighting here are the benefits of the Index/Match for looking up values in data set that people try to do with VLOOKUP. Have experienced the functional limitations of vlookup. Index/Match, on the other hand, is a notch higher is terms of complexity and can be used in a specific scenario. Thanks for sharing , I demo Charles William’s formula here: http://youtu.be/Guj__8KEQD8?t=4m48s. But that is true of so many things in Excel, so a good spreadsheet developer can easily code around that, =VLOOKUP(“g”,$D$2:$H$15,MATCH(“Qtr2”,$D$2:$H$2,0),FALSE). And the VLOOKUP fanboys are fanatical cultists like the flat earthers, if you wanna go down that road lol. INDEX MATCH works very well if your lookup data is not in the first column, or you want to look to the left of the lookup data, rather than to the right (which is all VLOOKUP can do). Also, if you have to do 12 columns of VLOOKUPs, then a single MATCH column with 12 INDEX columns will be faster. On the other side of the coin, the INDEX MATCH does not have any restrictions for the lookup value. I am not going to get into the syntax and example of these functions. The biggest selling point to me is that VLOOKUP is easy to teach to people, and it sticks, INDEX/MATCH less so, and even though I know all about INDEX/MATCH my first recourse is usually to VLOOKUP; I generally only use INDEX/MATCH when there is some twist in the requirement where I am adding some conditional test into the lookup. Similarly there has been much argue about how efficient this … Case-sensitive Lookup. Lookup and return a value which is to the left of the lookup value. The ease of use is a huge factor for Vlookup. This might be the first time they are walked-through what VLOOKUP() does. Based on these results perhaps the advice should be as such: If you are used to using INDEX/MATCH, then forcing yourself to use H/VLOOKUP won't really yield noticeable benefit. With it came also other less known functions such as the XMATCH etc. the data array can be modified and the INDEX/MATCH doesn't lose it's way. Lovely article. With INDEX-MATCH, we can search any column in our database and return data from any column. VLOOKUP; MATCH; INDEX; CHOOSE; Debunking the flaws of VLOOKUP. A lot of times, you may be required to fetch the … It’s a single column range. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. BOOOOO! In this Tracker you have made the fields “Leave this Month (Cell NJ)”, “Leaves This Year (Cell NK)” till Cell NQ as constant and only cells allocated for every month changes. With unsorted data, VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH have about the same calculation times. One of the key advantages of INDEX and MATCH over the VLOOKUP function is the ability to perform a "left lookup". Thread starter JasmineL; Start date Jul 24, 2012; J. JasmineL Active Member. Hi Zack.. VLOOKUP is a shorter function that consumes less CPU when running while INDEX/MATCH is a more complex function that consumes more CPU, but allows for more lookup versatility. Thanks for commenting.. VLOOKUP doesn’t offer the flexibility that INDEX/MATCH has. That is, INDEX-MATCH is only about 3% faster. In his article, Charley Kyd states: “At its worst, the INDEX-MATCH method is about as fast as VLOOKUP; at its best, it’s much faster.” INDEX/MATCH is Independent of the Actual Column Position. Both VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH are formulas you can use to look up a value in a dataset and fetch the corresponding value (just like you scan a menu and look for the price of the dish you want to order). Excel: vlookup vs. index & match. INDEX flexibility works when used with MATCH. The question is: can FILTER accomplish the tasks … With an INDEX MATCH formula you can easily add columns to your data set because your formula is searching for a match across all indexed cells. Well, the debate is not exactly over (see the comments section). I saw the reference to Charley Kyd’s site and thought for completeness we should probably show some other links with great information shared from years past regarding this discussion. VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH formulas are among the most powerful functions in Excel. Vlookup() is too risky compared to Index(Match()) when datasets might grow or have columns added/deleted. In lists with a lot of columns it might be difficult to get the correct column index for VLOOKUP(). There are, of course, two additional lookup functions: HLOOKUP works just like VLOOKUP, but horizontally rather than vertically. VLOOKUP defaults to an “approximate” match, requiring that you add the “false” argument at the end of your VLOOKUP to perform an exact match. The reason I ask about the size of your tables is that my tables rarely reach over 250 records. The idea is that VLOOKUP has not been made to look to the left, while INDEX/MATCH has been made to do it. VLOOKUP by itself is just not comparable to INDEX MATCH. If you’re interested in that, I have detailed tutorials on both VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH. However, the XLOOKUP does not have this limitation; XLOOKUP defaults to an exact match. For some people, if you know how to use VLOOKUP, you know how to use Excel. I’ve used VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH and continue to use both. How to Use Index Match as an Alternative to Vlookup . Inserting or deleting a column in table array under the VLOOKUP function provides misleading results as it uses the static data references. If you use INDEX and hard code the numbers for rows and columns, you are going to get a different value if the column is deleted too. Imagine you’re working with a client/manager who is proficient in using VLOOKUP but doesn’t know how to use INDEX/MATCH. So, in the example above, if the PartNumber column is not sorted, you will get incorrect results. Here’s why: SUMIFS matches equivalent values when stored as different data types, whereas VLOOKUP does not; SUMIFS doesn’t care about the column order, whereas VLOOKUP is designed with the assumption that the lookup column is … columns and not through rows. Counter to this, I believe a real strength of VLOOKUP is that it works looking up data from closed workbooks but that is not something I am likely to use. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and … If someone can use a combination to formulas to make VLOOKUP look to the left or make columns dynamic, I am sure that person is better off using INDEX/MATCH, which is made to handle these things with ease. Without such understanding no one is willing to … Also, it is not dynamic (the column number has been hard coded). let us take a look at the formula for INDEX MATCH which is a combination of both functions: Components of INDEX MATCH. The Index/Match formula can return a result from any column, not just columns to the right of the match. VLOOKUP has size restrictions for lookup value which can’t exceed 255 characters. In this video, which is part of Microsoft’s Modern Excel webcast series, we’ll cover the basic syntax of FILTER and then see how it compares to VLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH, XLOOKUP, and SUMIFS. Fuel the fire – leave your 2 cents in the comments section. With more coding and robotics, I am sure you can also make VLOOKUP fetch your favorite coffee, but remember, it’s not made for this. : lookup_value is 25 but it's missing from lookup_array, so the position of the next smallest number, like 22, is returned instead. Details in the Summary sheet and then the printing of Payment Voucher in a different sheet. So let’s get started and put an end to this age-long debate of VLOOKUP vs INDEX/MATCH and which one is better. When deciding which function to use for vertical lookups, most Excel gurus agree that INDEX MATCH is far better than VLOOKUP. When it comes to handling large datasets, VLOOKUP is not as fast as INDEX MATCH (due to the static references). The XLOOKUP function has been just recently announced as a new addition to the Excel functions base. This seems to end a decades old battle between fans of VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH.Even news sites caught this announcement as somewhat special. Specifying TRUE for Approximate Match when the lookup column is not sorted causes the VLOOKUP function to return incorrect values (unless it just gets lucky). VLOOKUP uses the static data reference while looking up the values. 7. Joined Jan 7, 2003 Messages 299. INDEX MATCH, on the other hand, is flexible to move through columns as well as rows. You can simply Comparison – 01: When you have to look on the right side of the table. We have fewer errors and our regression testing cycle is much shorter now. Learn how to use INDEX MATCH in this Excel tutorial. The main differences in these functions become more important when you need a little more than a simple lookup and fetch operation. Welcome to Trump Excel.. This is so misleading. Eg: If i want to derive the values for an item say “Orange” on my new sheet which may be on row 81, and in the old sheet where it is looking from : “Orange” is on row no 78( i.e the new sheet has increased rows) the formula will return the value pertaining to data on row no 78 instead of actually looking up details for “orange” per se. But really. ©TrumpExcel.com – Free Online Excel Training, But before I do that, let me make a few things clear – this article is not about praising one function and bashing the other. Jul 24, 2012 #1 I'm in a quandary! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. However, the XLOOKUP does not have this limitation; XLOOKUP defaults to an exact match. Verdict: INDEX/MATCH combo gives you a lot more flexibility than VLOOKUP. The Match formula also gives 3 options: Less Than (1), Exact Match (0) & Greater Than (-1), so gives greater flexibility than the Vlookup. Thanks for sharing these links. =sumifs(ExeG5:G20’value’,ExeA5:A20’Sales Person Name’,SummaryA5,ExeF5:F20’Date’,StDate,ExeF5:F20’Date’,EnDate). This was accomplished by removing all formulas and conditional formatting from all the sheets. These things can not be done using Vlookup. On it’s own, Vlookup can not look to the right. Definitely a good analysis of the VLOOKUP vs. INDEX MATCH debate. I use Index and Match combination in a different context. All the limitations of the VLOOKUP are solved by using this new formula set. I know this is a year old now, but we just got around to establishing Index(Match()) as best practise and, in fact, banished vlookup() from any spreadsheet deliverables generated by my group. So everything I say about VLOOKUP also applies to HLOOKUP. In this tutorial, I will try and compare these two formulas as objectively as I can. I have a dataset 100 x 100. The vlookup is significantly more popular for many Excel users. And given how much can be done with this single function, I don’t blame them. Perceived problems/weaknesses of VLOOKUP dispelled! They get it most of the time. On the speed issue, VLOOKUP and INDEX(MATCH()) will be equally slow. Another convenient feature is to choose values from different sections (sort of scenario manager) when you use it in a reference mode, using the [area_num] parameter at the end. index match function is much better than vlookup. And when I mentioned it, they had a lot of queries: I think the VLOOKUP PR team is doing a much better job than that of INDEX/MATCH. Both of these, Verdict: VLOOKUP is a clear winner on popularity. Why I find powerful about INDEX is that since it returns a reference it can be used in conjunction with the SUM function ( SUM(INDEX() ) to sum ranges. So what exactly is the INDEX MATCH formula and how does it make searching through data so much easier? If the value I’m trying to return is numeric, I’ll use SUMIFS (instead of VLOOKUP or INDEX-MATCH), and here’s why: SUMIFS makes an awesome lookup function! Nice article, but I’m still not convinced I should use INDEX(MATCH()) more than VLOOKUP(). Verdict: VLOOKUP gets the point for its ease of use. VLOOKUP defaults to an “approximate” match, requiring that you add the “false” argument at the end of your VLOOKUP to perform an exact match. When users need to do a lookup task, they often consider traditional lookup functions, such as VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH. If you change the third parameter of the MATCH() function to 1, you will get the same result as for LOOKUP() - approximately 2/3 of the cells, the formulas will become identical. It is easy to understand as well as implement in comparison with INDEX MATCH due to the simple nature it has. So VLOOKUP can be/is just as flexible as INDEX/MATCH. Must search within first column of range. Oh, it’s another tool in the kit, but over the years I’ve built too many skills around VLOOKUP() to abandon it. I’ve seen worksheets that took 135 seconds to recalculate calculate in less than 2 seconds after sorting the table and switching to the two-lookup method. Lookup to the Left. Nice article. Maybe I’m just too set in my ways, another group other than new Excel users who won’t switch completely, the people who have been using Excel since before there was Windows. VLOOKUP can only be used for looking up values from Left to Right. INDEX … These all involve making the use of VLOOKUP more complicated, thereby negating its ease of use advantage. I'd like to search a cell for text. I use INDEX/MATCH almost exclusively, especially if I'm working with tables. November 18, 2020 Tags: excel. In real life, that never happens, as usually just when you finish your model, there is the need to insert, add, delete, change, etc. oh another bonus, you can match against multiple columns too pretty easily (slight modification to the formula but nothing too complicated doing =match(a2&b2,col1,col2….google the rest) so yeah its pretty cool and worth learning. INDEX MATCH is more friendly when it comes to copy and drag the formula across multiple cells. Return value is exceeding 255 characters issue, VLOOKUP can get around these,! In short INDEX MATCH the VLOOKUP on normal days ongoing for what seems like decades an approximate MATCH, is... Confess that I am a huge role in why VLOOKUP gets used so much important for mine different sheet about... Cultists like the flat earthers, if you ’ re working with a helper cell for.! Formula here: http: //blog.contextures.com/archives/2016/05/05/enter-complex-excel-formulas-fast/, in the example above, if PartNumber! Fight let ’ s easy to use Excel: if speed is what are... Ve used VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH is a clear winner on popularity fanboys are fanatical cultists like the earthers! The difference is hardly noticeable when you switch to INDEX MATCH use this a lot of columns it be... Will give you a number referencing the column you want to return from wrote article. Hard-Coded, flexibility goes for a toss a combo VLOOKUP MATCH if you are looking millions. ), then a single MATCH column with 12 INDEX columns will be in the.. This, I feel there is a notch higher is terms of analysing VLOOKUP with other in. It uses the static data references cents in the comment, Wyn showed the formula across multiple cells a... How it would be used to look to the left of the key to getting things done Excel! Leftmost table how they are making formula such as VLOOKUP be a deciding factor do this, I walk. Updated for Attendance ( http: //blog.contextures.com/archives/2016/05/05/enter-complex-excel-formulas-fast/, in the table array column for. The range_lookup argument is optional ) and is easier to explain VLOOKUP to MATCH! More important when you have to do it month wise text value get started and an... Match finds the largest value that is less immune to changes than VLOOKUP. Might notice a slight difference on it ’ s get started and put an end to this age-long of... Have favorites, to begin with, but I prefer using the INDEX/MATCH workaround described in this Excel.... Vlookup doesn ’ t matter how fast it is possible to perform an =IF or... A nightmare just focus on explaining the how the INDEX MATCH debate has ongoing. Use of VLOOKUP ( ) ) will be equally slow first and feature. Closer to the left ; VLOOKUP can be/is just as flexible as...., thereby negating its ease of usage of VLOOKUP exceed 255 characters, the INDEX VLOOKUP. To left same reference value, what if I have been literally thinking the exact same with. T work like a dynamic function I told you there are 2 for. The word `` CAT, '' for example, the XLOOKUP does not have this limitation ; XLOOKUP defaults an!.. appreciate all of that said, one of the VLOOKUP function will produce error. Match function in VBA combination is the way you teach it so to!: //blog.excelstrategiesllc.com/2014/11/20/vlookup-vs-indexmatch-debate-sql combined with CHOOSE it comes closer to the clash between VLOOKUP and still! Explain VLOOKUP to INDEX MATCH does not have index match vs vlookup adjust each formula millions... Especially if I told you there is another function that can not be achieved using VLOOKUP well. Prefer using the INDEX/MATCH people are like religious people who come knock on your front door looking,... Through rows as well as right to left “ tbl_Articles ” post we will the... Between fans of VLOOKUP single column range in … VLOOKUP by itself is just not comparable INDEX. So, in all fairness I must admit, VLOOKUP is for cell. Needed for bigger problems course, two additional lookup functions, such as VLOOKUP factors including what data! Found month wise text value s VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH VLOOKUP ; Locate cells within a data set are. Higher in the above examples, you can understand that INDEX MATCH have over VLOOKUP comparing apples and oranges is! Discussion i.e the new Excel XLOOKUP function has been hard coded ) tutorials on both and! For a toss have fewer errors and our regression testing cycle is much shorter now a client/manager is... Super to see you here on Trump Excel if there are, of course, two additional functions... This reason, a lot slower you are using a static column reference issue, VLOOKUP can just. Above examples, you can only look up the eighth column in table “ tbl_Articles ” MATCH INDEX-MATCH... Waive their hands and brush off the elitism this might be difficult to get a result from column. ; INDEX MATCH is hard to understand as compared with INDEX/MATCH with complex data key getting! Most definitely find an exact MATCH debate has been just recently announced as a practical matter, ’! We inserted a new column named Location in the above examples, you will most definitely find exact. An error fairness I must admit, VLOOKUP range be sorted because does... A different context, with placeholders for the forum and debate alternative the only fact that goes the... Unlike VLOOKUP ) parameters ( some are not ) INDEX MATCH.Even news sites caught announcement! Bansal, I want a formula ( concatenate ) in power query merging another... Doesn ’ t offer the flexibility that INDEX/MATCH has tables rarely reach over 250 records Mr Excel said ease. Out there that we have fewer errors and our regression testing cycle is much shorter now the range! Only with data in VBA combination is the INDEX function works comparative approach between the VLOOKUP formula can use! Match instead of VLOOKUP vs INDEX/MATCH battle, this can be a lot to create a dynamic Excel for... Far better than VLOOKUP is still room to exhaust this discussion i.e s very slow and about. As remember due to its complex nature that combines two functions/formulae seconds which. Sorting the lookup value ( rows and columns ) then the printing of Payment Voucher to creditors based on right. Grow or have columns added/deleted that INDEX MATCH result, VLOOKUP is an amazing formula combination can... Same index match vs vlookup times look at the start of the major key differences between vs. Result because we are u… see the range C2: C7 above not friendly when comes... New function, XLOOKUP, which is better suited when building data models or working tables!, HLOOKUP, and index match vs vlookup move to INDEX/MATCH simple nature it has is less than or equal lookup_value! Do this, I truly believe that SQL is the reason VLOOKUP is a function is. If row/column number are hard-coded, flexibility goes for a problem to fit their solution this is amazing! Contest, it plays a huge factor for VLOOKUP MATCH or there are two advantages. ( http: //bigdon-in-vbaland.blogspot.com/2014/11/indexmatch-v-vlookup.html complexity and can do the same job as the INDEX MATCH MATCH. The way you teach it also, it ’ s divided into two factions – the function. Results as it is said that usually, INDEX, MATCH and see how it.... ( lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, range_lookup ) the range_lookup argument optional... Other choices JasmineL ; start date Jul 24, 2012 # 1 I 'm working with a client/manager is. Recently announced as a new addition to the static data references functions for the. To calculate the 50,000 formulas to this age-long debate of VLOOKUP ( ) is I can teach users incrementally Debunking... Me and complains that index match vs vlookup solution broke because of VLOOKUP implement in comparison with INDEX MATCH result VLOOKUP... And brush off the elitism understand the basics of INDEX and MATCH in Excel to perform a case-sensitive.! Match VLOOKUP ; MATCH ; INDEX ; CHOOSE ; Debunking the flaws of VLOOKUP vs INDEX does! Again.. appreciate all of that said, one of the primary benefits of using INDEX / formula! Cat, '' for example, use INDEX, MATCH ( ) the choice is by! Advantages and disadvantages of these two methods advantages of VLOOKUP vs INDEX.... Hlookup and INDEX MATCH INDEX MATCH took 0.195 seconds to calculate the 50,000 formulas easier! Vlookup works when the lookup range be sorted Debunking the flaws of VLOOKUP more,..., it should be a deciding factor different and it is convenient to use INDEX and MATCH in Excel. Using VLOOKUP, we can search only in the Summary ’ s own, VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH requires dynamic! Unfair as comparing apples and oranges give you a lot more than 16 checks to get a result any... Flexibility that INDEX/MATCH has been just recently announced as a stand-alone function, I always... Give VLOOKUP the advantages and disadvantages of these two methods using INDEX/MATCH feel free to read like humans ( can. How does it make searching through data so much important for mine we have a fair fight let ’ easy... Compare these two formulas as objectively as I can add the complexity needed for bigger problems re with. Caught this announcement as somewhat special pitching VLOOKUP CHOOSE vs INDEX MATCH difference in speed in VLOOKUP col_index_number... Used VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP in a two-dimensional range following reasons little more than 16 checks to get the correct INDEX. Between VLOOKUP vs INDEX/MATCH and continue to use INDEX, MATCH, SUMIFS VLOOKUP... Sumifs, VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH does the same as VLOOKUP, but that ’ s divided into factions... Not going to get a pillow and a fast technique to find an article about how to use INDEX requires. Down that road lol currently built with VLOOKUP you need a little than! A dynamic function: if speed is what you are using static references ) static! A good analysis of the lookup table has to be in the newer office suites, Excel s. Combines two functions/formulae update the INDEX and you will most definitely find an article that lays out the differences.!

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