With unsorted data, VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH have about the same calculation times. INDEX-MATCH Is Faster Than VLOOKUP It’s very slow and takes about 10 minutes for each small change. When I take Excel training, I would always start by first covering VLOOKUP first. By default, the VLOOKUP function performs a case-insensitive lookup. And to do this, I will compare these two functions on some parameters (some are quantifiable and some are not). : The lookup_array values must be placed in ascending order (e.g., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2; or A-Z;, or FALSE, TRUE. I have a very large data set that are currently built with vlookup. While VLOOKUP is excellent for a lot of applications, using the INDEX MATCH formula set will take your Excel skills to the next level. If you’re interested in that, I have detailed tutorials on both VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH. 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 … How to Use Index Match as an Alternative to Vlookup . The ease of use is a huge factor for Vlookup. For example, use INDEX and MATCH in Excel to perform a two-way-lookup. All of that said, one of the great advantages of VLOOKUP() is I can teach users incrementally. This might be the first time they are walked-through what VLOOKUP() does. But if you have thousands of rows and many columns, this can be a deciding factor. INDEX and MATCH can work with horizontal or vertical ranges You can only use a single column range in … 6. The top tip I came across is from the Contextures blog. I developed an event/employee scheduling system back in the late 90’s using LOTUS 123 which I converted over to Excel somewhere around 2004. I’ll show you what to do with it in a minute. how can I enter a formula (concatenate) in power query merging to another connection…help pls? However, you can use INDEX, MATCH and EXACT in Excel to perform a case-sensitive lookup. Although this is not a popularity contest, it plays a huge role in why VLOOKUP gets used so much. Here we also discuss the VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH key differences with infographics, and comparison table. INDEX/MATCH. The Vlookup vs Index match debate has been ongoing for what seems like decades. These things can not be done using Vlookup. Now this is the reason why we use the INDEX with MATCH, MATCH is to grab both … That’s why it is convenient to use a combo VLOOKUP MATCH if you are going to use Vlookup at all. A combination of the two formulas index and match has one more advantage than the VLOOKUP: It returns the value from any column and not just on the right hand side of the search column. This was accomplished by removing all formulas and conditional formatting from all the sheets. Excel Formula Training. So let’s get started and put an end to this age-long debate of VLOOKUP vs INDEX/MATCH and which one is better. This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. Thanks for sharing these links. Index/Match, on the other hand, is a notch higher is terms of complexity and can be used in a specific scenario. However, when we are using the INDEX MATCH function, it has the flexibility of inserting or deleting the columns inside the table array. During my work, sometimes I need to create a dynamic Excel workbook for clients. BOOOOO! The Index/Match users swear that their method is superior, while the Vlookup-ers waive their hands and brush off the elitism. 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. I’ve used VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH and continue to use both. INDEX flexibility works when used with MATCH. How to use VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH in Excel . In short INDEX MATCH does the work of both VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP in a single formula. Jul 24, 2012 #1 I'm in a quandary! On the speed issue, VLOOKUP and INDEX(MATCH()) will be equally slow. End of story. With VLOOKUP you're stuck returning a value from a column to the right. Many people don’t appreciate the simplicity and control you have with an MS Query to do complex lookup operations together with other data transformation in a single SQL query as opposed to developing complex erroneous formulas or Array Formulas. It will say O.K. ©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. If you’re wondering which one scores higher in the VLOOKUP vs INDEX/MATCH battle, this article will try and answer it. VLOOKUP has size restrictions for lookup value which can’t exceed 255 characters. We have fewer errors and our regression testing cycle is much shorter now. Dynamic column reference. Let me suggest a best-of-both-worlds truce for the warring factions: if lack of speed, brittleness, and lesser flexibility aren’t an issue, use VLOOKUP; otherwise use MATCH-INDEX. That function is a combination of INDEX and MATCH function. VLOOKUP is very poor when we try to drag the formula across rows or columns with the same reference value. VLOOKUP only can lookup through vertical lines i.e. You’re right that it’s a bit unfair. There are 2 syntaxes for the “INDEX” function. I am with you on this. =INDEX(array, (MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])), [column_num]) =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup]) Let’s start understanding them in context of some examples. Before getting to the comparison, I think it’s important to know the basic difference (and more importantly the similarities) between these two functions. In this article, we will learn to use Index Match formula at the place of Vlookup and Match formula in Microsoft Excel. Case-sensitive lookup . INDEX MATCH can look up the values from Left to Right as well as Right to Left. Learn how to use INDEX MATCH in this Excel tutorial. Hi Sumit, Thanks for the forum and debate. Here’s why: Thanks for sharing , I demo Charles William’s formula here: http://youtu.be/Guj__8KEQD8?t=4m48s. INDEX MATCH uses the dynamic data ranges while looking up the values. 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 CERTIFICATION NAMES ARE THE TRADEMARKS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. You can’t “lookup left”. Sorry Don, it must be the way you teach it. VLOOKUP would give a wrong result if you add/delete a new column in your data (as the column number value now refers to the wrong column). VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH formulas are among the most powerful functions in Excel. What is more, I feel there is still room to exhaust this discussion i.e. I used to use vlookup all the time, working with larger data sets I started using index/match, now i’m so used to it I wouldn’t go back, especially useful when you have a lot of columns, just selecting the column rather than working out what column number it is from the index is so much easier, it also requires less memory and doesn’t recalculate every time a cell value changes reducing the processing power the spreadsheet requires, overall much faster and makes you want to hit the keyboard less, I recommend using it if you work with large data sets, if not and vlookup works for you then stick with that. But once i had to delete, insert columns, it became a nightmare.. In the above case, you have created a long formula that can be simplified using Index/Match. On the other hand INDEX MATCH function uses dynamic ranges within the MATCH function (where the lookup happens) which allows it to work more efficiently than the VLOOKUP. Jeff Lenning | October 8, 2020 | 14 Comments | FILTER, INDEX, MATCH, SUMIFS, VLOOKUP. This doesn’t mean that you should not learn about INDEX/MATCH, but if you’re new to Excel and lookup formulas, start with VLOOKUP. I will cover all these in this article. VLOOKUP uses the static data reference while looking up the values. Without reinventing the wheel, here is a post by Charley Kyd, where he clearly mentions: While I have considered this as one of the factors, I believe it’s less important than others. It is an INDEX / MATCH formula, with placeholders for the cell references. Lovely article. Using HLOOKUP() instead of VLOOKUP() is as easy as switching from column references to row references in INDEX(MATCH()). BTW, the assessment that INDEX(MATCH()) can work with horizontally and vertically oriented data and VLOOKUP() cannot is factually true, but it ignores HLOOKUP(). http://www.analystcave.com/excel-vlookup-vs-index-match-vs-sql-performance/. hi, Sumit Bansal, I want a formula of excel. Also, if you have to do 12 columns of VLOOKUPs, then a single MATCH column with 12 INDEX columns will be faster. If the cell contents contain the word "CAT," for example, the return value is 1, otherwise 0. I use this a lot to create a dynamic ranges and drop downs. When you have structured references in Excel tables INDEX()/MATCH() works/looks better because you can see what kind of data is being looked up: =INDEX(tbl_Articles[Price],MATCH([ArticleNr],tbl_Articles[ArticleNr],0)) Looking up field “Price” in table “tbl_Articles”. Let us discuss some of the major key differences between VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH. In this tutorial, I will try and compare these two formulas as objectively as I can. Thanks for pitching in Adam. Comparison – 01: When you have to look on the right side of the table. With VLOOKUP you need to manually enter a number referencing the column you want to return the value from. (You can read more about that powerful function duo on my website.). VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH vs SQL vs VBA – today you are in for the ultimate Excel Showdown. Two-way Lookup. Nice article Sumit! VLOOKUP formula can only look up the values across vertical lines i.e. However, for some users, it still might be the toughest one to tackle in comparison with VLOOKUP due to the complex nature as well as combination Index Match poses. I have to switch to index match, or the entire model would become almost useless!! It allows you to do so much more. INDEX MATCH can lookup values through rows as well as columns. Case-sensitive Lookup. This means, "search until found, find the exact match." Since it can only be used for vertical lookups, it automatically becomes restricted not to be used over horizontal lines (for this we use HLOOKUP). Bill you might consider removing this entire thread. Others have shown how another function can be used to return a dynamic col_index argument to VLOOKUP. The default value for this argument is 1. And given how much can be done with this single function, I don’t blame them. VLOOKUP has a limit for lookup_value size. With INDEX-MATCH, we can search any column in our database and return data from any column. On it’s own, Vlookup can not look to the right. 7. Although as Bill Jelen noticed some parts are a little outdated in the new Excel – with VLOOKUP being able to provide much better performance (when use with the true option). 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. 1. It’s a single column range. So let us straightaway go to the example. Can be significantly faster; Lookup offset; INDEX MATCH … While INDEX MATCH does not have to read like humans. VLOOKUP requires a static column reference whereas INDEX MATCH requires a dynamic column reference. In this video I explain how to use the INDEX MATCH formula as an alternative to VLOOKUP in Excel. Yes, you heard it true! Both parties’ arguments have their merits. VLOOKUP can only be used for looking up values from Left to Right. If there are no falses, it should be a lot slower. Speed: http://www.decisionmodels.com/optspeede.htm http://www.excelguru.ca/forums/showthread.php?132-INDEX-MATCH-versus-VLOOKUP&p=599&viewfull=1#post599, General: http://mrexcel.com/articles/excel-vlookup-index-match.php http://exceluser.com/formulas/excels-vlookup-vs-index-match-functions.htm, Misc: http://www.excelhero.com/blog/2011/03/the-imposing-index.html. I use Index and Match combination in a different context. Never heard of the double vlookup. There are two main advantages that INDEX MATCH have over VLOOKUP. The index and Match will be in the Payment Voucher sheet in reference to the summary’s Numbering system. =VLOOKUP([ArticleNr],tbl_Articles,8,FALSCH) Looking up the eighth column in table “tbl_Articles”. INDEX & MATCH are two separate functions that take three arguments each and should be combined to do a lookup (getting complicated already??). Of course.. all this is my opinion.. to each his/her own. These all involve making the use of VLOOKUP more complicated, thereby negating its ease of use advantage. Every month will automate the printing of payment voucher to creditors based on the numbering system using macro…. Screenshot # 9: Now it’s time to tell you how to use Index Match combination as an alternative to Vlookup and Hlookup formulas. This means if you add another column the VLOOKUP formulas will not update the index and you will have to adjust each formula. INDEX-MATCH combo, on the other hand, is made to handle all these issues. With it came also other less known functions such as the XMATCH etc. Definitely a good analysis of the VLOOKUP vs. INDEX MATCH debate. Inserting or Deleting a column affects the VLOOKUP result. 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. I use INDEX/MATCH almost exclusively, especially if I'm working with tables. Once I have them hooked into VLOOKUP() I can add the complexity needed for bigger problems. So VLOOKUP can be/is just as flexible as INDEX/MATCH. Joined Jan 7, 2003 Messages 299. Apart from these, you can also use Index/Match to return entire row/column, as well as a cell reference (which is useful if you create dynamic named ranges or drop downs). The XLOOKUP function has been just recently announced as a new addition to the Excel functions base. The difference in speed in VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH is hardly noticeable when you have small data sets. Below is the top 8 comparisons between VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH: Excel functions, formula, charts, formatting creating excel dashboard & others. 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. let us take a look at the formula for INDEX MATCH which is a combination of both functions: Components of INDEX MATCH. In such a case, better use INDEX/MATCH. INDEX MATCH is an amazing formula combination which can perform Excel magic. It makes this function more flexible compared to VLOOKUP. VLOOKUP Example. In this article I’ll explain both VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH. INDEX (array, MATCH (lookup value, array, 0)) essentially this is INDEX (answer you want to return MATCH (lookup value, where that value is located, 0)) All fetches were with vlookups and hlookups. If you want to try this tip (and I highly recommend it), then copy his formula. Although I am a huge fan of INDEX/MATCH, in all fairness I must admit, VLOOKUP is still the King. Both Debjit and Bob Phillips have shown how VLOOKUP can be used in combination with another function to return a value from the left. So, INDEX and MATCH is built in protection against having to re-write your formulas or re-specify your function arguments. Index/Match combo is very powerful and can do a lot more than Vlookup. While it is easy and or lazy to grab VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP for a quick fix, you’ll thank yourself if you learn INDEX and MATCH and make it your goto solution for flexible lookups that can accommodate future changes in form and or function of your worksheet. 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! It should not be exceeding 255 characters. Note - Microsoft have announced a new function, XLOOKUP, which does the same job as the INDEX/MATCH workaround described in this lesson. This was one of the primary benefits of using INDEX / MATCH instead of VLOOKUP. 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. I don’t have favorites, to begin with, but I prefer using the INDEX/MATCH combo more than VLOOKUP. 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. Despite that, I think the value they bring to the bloated zoo of Excel functions is not worth their keep. Which Match Type to Use; Match Type: What It Does: Rule: Example: 1: Finds the largest value that's less than or equal to lookup_value. Please it’s so much important for mine. Learn how the new Excel XLOOKUP function can replace VLOOKUP & INDEX MATCH. The idea is that VLOOKUP has not been made to look to the left, while INDEX/MATCH has been made to do it. Learn how the new Excel XLOOKUP function can replace VLOOKUP & INDEX MATCH. Index/match is a more robust approach and is my preferred option. It is possible to perform an =IF(OR(SEARCH formula? However, many people still stay with VLOOKUP, firstly, because it's simpler and, secondly, because they do not fully understand all benefits of using the INDEX MATCH formula in Excel. Looking forward to your opinion. The reason why INDEX and MATCH is quicker than VLOOKUP is because INDEX only records the boundaries of your dataset. With VLOOKUP, most people will input a specific, static number to indicate which column they want to return from. MATCH; INDEX; Both VLOOKUP and HLOOKUPs are used in the same way, so from now on we'll just refer to them collectively as the *LOOKUP functions. You can simply Is the difference in computational load between vlookup and index-match still present in the newer office suites, Excel 2013? INDEX/MATCH is definitely more intimidating than VLOOKUP. 9. However, you can use INDEX, MATCH and EXACT in Excel to perform a case-sensitive lookup. Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. 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. INDEX MATCH does not have such restrictions, it can be used to lookup the values from left to right as well as from right to left. Binary search means the search splits the list in half until it finds a match or there are no other choices. Index Match in VBA. INDEX MATCH is hard to understand as well as remember due to its complex nature that combines two functions/formulae. Also, it’s a very small percentage of the number of people who can actually benefit from the speed improvement that comes with using INDEX/MATCH over VLOOKUP. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. 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. Have experienced the functional limitations of vlookup. How the “INDEX” formula calculates and returns results? INDEX/MATCH can more advanced lookup – such as lookup to the left of the dataset, make row/column value dynamic, etc. That is the point at which the row index it returns may be checked visually. VLOOKUP; MATCH; INDEX; CHOOSE; Debunking the flaws of VLOOKUP. One of the key advantages of INDEX and MATCH over the VLOOKUP function is the ability to perform a "left lookup". When it comes to the Excel world, it’s divided into two factions – the VLOOKUP brigade and the INDEX/MATCH regiment. To compare the speed of each function, I used them to search for zip codes with data from a massive zip code database with over 100k records. Yes, you can create a big complex formula to make VLOOKUP look on the left and make the column number dynamic, but then ease of use goes out of the window. And along the way, I’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of these two methods. but i want to found month wise text value. When it comes to handling large datasets, VLOOKUP is not as fast as INDEX MATCH (due to the static references). While INDEX MATCH does not have to read like humans. The table below summarizes the comparisons between VLOOKUP vs INDEX MATCH: After considering all these points, we can conclude that INDEX MATCH can be used as a flexible, versatile, fast alternative to VLOOKUP function. (rows and columns) Then the MATCH formula will give you a number of where the MATCH is found. 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). 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. This only works if there are false right? VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP are great goto functions for something the will remain static and relatively simple. Then the MATCH function in Excel the match_type argument specifies how Excel matches lookup_value with values Excel! Return both row & column ( unlike VLOOKUP ) same job as the first time they are walked-through what (. Default, the INDEX in the comments section ) under the VLOOKUP function produce. Usage of VLOOKUP the ability to perform a left lookup input a specific, static to. Needs no more than VLOOKUP is very useful in looking up the in. 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