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When VLOOKUP is Not Enough!

January 14th, 2016 by Tanbir Leave a reply »
     




BigParser_SearchEasilyIf you are working on Excel spreadsheets, then you would need certain information on how to tackle a few problems that you find when using it. One such popular Excel feature is explained in detail in this article and that is the VLOOKUP function. Let us take an example of how to look up for a value on one Excel worksheet and to use the same in another Excel spreadsheet. This might seem to be a bit confusing for a new Excel user. But, with the VLOOKUP feature, you can do it easily.

I had to make use of this popular function when I had to do some analysis of a voter registration data.  The voter’s party is shown as an alphanumeric value (Pcode) and the code was not instinctive. A coding D was for American independent party and not for Democratic Party, as some conceived. An easy way to solve this problem was to create a new worksheet with Pcode and its translation and make the Excel to use the VLOOKUP function to get the party name. Adding a column Political party on the main Excel sheet will help to reveal the information from the lookup table.

If you are a proficient Excel sheet user, then you can create the lookup table on the worksheet itself. The values you like to include like the Pcode and its translation in the form of a political party can be included in the table. First, create the lookup table where the first column will be for party code and the next column will be or the political party names. You will have to enter the unique codes that were given to political party names in the new lookup table for the VLOOKUP function properly.

To lookup the value using this function, add a column on the worksheet to display the details from the lookup table you created. This is the place where you will insert this Excel function. In a blank cell in this column, place the cursor and from insert menu, opt for function and in the search box, type VLOOKUP, click Go. Highlight VLOOKUP and then click ok.

The function arguments of Excel will show up and give you the option to define four values. =VLOOKUP () will be seen in the chosen column field and the necessary data will be seen between the (). The lookup value field will be your starting point and click on the needed cell to fill the value in the dialog. This way, you will request the Excel spreadsheet to take the value of the cell that displays as the Pcode and find its matching political party’s name form the lookup table.

There are many apps these days that helps you to carry out search across the spreadsheets event through your mobile devices. You can make use of the app to search anything across your uploaded Excel spreadsheets and to get the results of the search to be downloaded on your device. The VLOOKUP function is a key feature of Excel worksheets and can be used regularly to create better data.

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