# 7+ WAYS TO LOOKUP NUMBER VALUES

The ability to lookup number values in excel is a must have for all data analysts. Some Excel users just know the basic VLOOKUP function but there are 7 more functions to lookup values.

The more lookup function you know the better you become in retrieving numbers like sales for a certain month, a balance for a customer, a price of a product, production for a certain day etc.

As long as the return value is numeric any of these formulas will work.

Here are the 7+ ways to lookup numerical values:

- SUMPRODUCT
- SUMIF/SUMIFS/SUM
- AGGREGATE
- LOOKUP
- INDEX & MATCH
- MAX or MAXA
- VLOOKUP
- DATABASE FUNCTIONS i.e DSUM,DMAX, DMIN, DGET,DAVERAGE, DPRODUCT
- USE OF SLICERS
- OTHER NUMEROUS

For example, using below data lookup sales values for the month of August

__SUMPRODUCT__

__SUMPRODUCT__

- Syntax = SUMPRODUCT(Array1,Array2,…………,Array30)
- Multiplies parallel values in matching arrays and returns sum of their products.
- Arrays must be of equal size and cannot be a mix of columns and rows
- Treats non-numeric values as zero

__How it works__

=SUMPRODUCT((A2:A13=D2)*(B2:B13))

►(A2: A13=D2) Returns array of TRUE/FALSE which SUMPRODUCT converts into 1/0

► (B2: B13) Returns an array of sales values

The sum of the product of above two arrays equals to sales for the criteria month

__SUMIF__

__SUMIF__

- Syntax
**=****SUMIF(criteria range, criteria, [sum range])** - Sums values in a range that meet a certain criterion
- It can only sum a range that is up to 255 characters
- It accepts Wildcards in the criterion argument
- Sum range is optional, thus, when omitted SUMIF sums the criteria range

__How It Works__

=SUMIF(A2:A13,D2,B2:B10)

►A2: A13 represents our Months criteria range

►D2 represents our criterion month (August)

►B2: B10 represents our sales values to lookup

__AGGREGATE__

__AGGREGATE__

- Can either be in a Reference form or Array form

Syntax for Reference **=AGGREGATE(function_num, options, ref1, [ref2], …)**

Syntax for Array**=AGGREGATE(function_num, options, array, [k])**

**Function_num** a number between 1 and 19 that determines which function to use.

Function 1 to 13 use reference form

While Functions 14 to 19 use array form

**Options** a number between 0 and 7 that determines which values to ignore during evaluation

- It returns a
**#VALUE!**Error if a required 2^{nd}Ref argument is not provided - Works well with data in columns or in vertical ranges

__How It Works__

=AGGREGATE(14,7,B2:B13/(A2:A13=D2),1)

- We are using an array function (number 14—LARGE) and Option 7 which ignores hidden rows and error values
- B2: B13 returns our sales values in an array
- (A2: A13=D2) Returns array of TRUE/FALSE which AGGREGATE converts into 1/0
- By dividing our sales values array (B2: B13) with an array of 1/0 we get an array of errors (where the divisor is zero) and Sales value (where divisor is 1)

{#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;2781.82;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!}

- Since we choose Option 7 which ignores hidden rows and error values, LARGE function returns our sales value

__LOOKUP__

__LOOKUP__

- Looks up a value in a single row or column and finds a value from the same position in a second row or column.
- syntax =LOOKUP( value, Lookup_range, [Result_range] )

**Value**—The Search value

**Lookup_range**—A single row or single column where LOOKUP function searches for the value. NB: Data should be sorted in ascending order

**Result_range**—an Optional single row or a single column of data that contains the value to be returned. NB: Must be the same size as the Lookup_range.

- If LOOKUP can’t find a value in the Lookup_range, it returns the position of the largest/last value in the Lookup_range array that is less than or equal to the value.
- The LOOKUP function then uses this position to returns the value from the same position in the Result_range.

__How It Works__

=LOOKUP(1,1/(A2:A13=D2),B2:B13)

- (A2: A13=D2) Returns array of TRUE/FALSE which LOOKUP converts into 1/0
- 1/(A2: A13=D2) Returns an array of Errors (#DIV/0!) where the divisor is 0 and 1 where the divisor is 1.

{#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;1;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!;#DIV/0!}

- LOOKUP finds the position of 1 and uses this position to returns the value from the sales value range

__INDEX & MATCH__

__INDEX & MATCH__

__INDEX__

- Returns a value in a range given the row or column position. Value in the cell at the intersection of the given row and column
- In case row and column positions are set to 0, INDEX returns an array of values for the selected range.
- Can take an array format (most popular) or Reference format
- Array format Syntax = INDEX( array, row_num, [col_num] )
- Reference format Syntax = INDEX( range, row_num, [col_num], [area_num] )

**Array—**range of cells or an array constant

**row_num**—the row number/position in the selected array from which to return a value

**col_num**—the optional column number/position in the selected array from which to return a value

__MATCH__

- Searches a value in an array and returns its relative position (not the value itself) within the array.
- Syntax
**=MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])**

**lookup_value**—the value you want to return its position

**lookup_array**—the array within which to search for the value

**match_type**—optional numbers between -1 and 1 that specifies how excel searches for the **lookup_value** in the **lookup_array. **The default value is** 1.**

- If no match is found, MATCH function will return the position of the last value in the array
- MATCH function does not return the position of an error or blank value

** **__How It Works__

=INDEX(B2:B13,MATCH(D2,A2:A13,0))

- MATCH(D2, A2: A13,0) Returns the relative position of the Month August in the array of months
- INDEX(B2: B13 Returns the sales figure given the row number by the MATCH function.

# MAX /MAXA FUNCTION

There is not much difference between MAX and MAXA. See this article for explanation

- Returns the maximum number in an array
- syntax = MAX(number1, number2,……., number255)
- It can only evaluate process up to a maximum of 255 numbers
- MAX function will ONLY ignore blank cells, and text or logical values if they are supplied in form of cell references otherwise it includes them in the calculation resulting in a #VALUE error.

**How It Works:**

{=MAX((A2:A13=D2)*B2:B13)} or {=MAXA((A2:A13=D2)*B2:B13)}

The method exploits the fact that Excel recognizes internally the value of TRUE as number 1 and value of FALSE as 0.

►(A2:A13=D2) checks for the August month in the array of months and returns TRUE/FALSE which Excel recognizes as 1/0.

=MAX({FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE}*B2:B13)

►Since only 1 check will evaluate to TRUE, if you multiply them with corresponding sales values, the result will be zeros plus the correct sales value.

`=MAX({0;0;0;0;0;0;0;2781.82;0;0;0;0})`

►MAX function then returns this sales values since it is the maximum in the array.

**NB: **

- This is an array formula, so remember to Ctrl+Shift+Enter
- In case of duplicate months, it will only return the highest sales value

# VLOOKUP FUNCTION

- Most popular lookup function

Syntax =VLOOKUP( lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup] )

- lookup_value–criteria being used to look up
- table_array–table that contains the criteria range and return data range
- col_index_num–the column in the table above that contains the range of data to be returned
- [range_lookup]–optional but a very important logical argument that describes how what Vlookup will return if it does not find an exact match to the lookup_value. If it is omitted, VLOOKUP, by default, does an approximate search which may be the wrong results.

**How it works**

=VLOOKUP(D2,A1:B13,2,FALSE)=2781.82

VLOOKUP uses the exact match criteria to retrieve the sales values in Column 2 of the table ($F$2:$G$8).

# DATABASE FUNCTION

Thanks to Shane Devenshire in a Linkedin Group who pointed out that all database functions can do this single lookup.

If you are not familiar with database functions, you are missing a lot. Start Here EXCEL DATABASE FUNCTION

- these perform
**specific calculations**on a specified field whose records meet specified criteria for data formatted as a database.

Syntax = DSUM(Database, Field, Criteria)

**Database**► Where all records are inclusive of**header**rows. Your data should be structured in a way that Each Row is a Record, Each Column is a Field & Top rows contain headers that identify the fields**Field**► A column that holds**ONE**particular item of data eg Order dates or Order ID**Criteria**► A section in the Worksheet (apart from the database) which holds Criteria.

NB: A **Criteria Area** that should be structured in such a way that for every Field name there is a cell below it where you enter the criterion to be met.

**How it works:**

For example, DSUM

=DSUM(A1:B13,E1,D1:D2)

- A1: B13–represents the Database
- E1–represents the field name of the column containing the data we want to return
- D1: D2–represents our criteria area

Above steps will also work for all below database functions

=DMIN(A1:B13,B1,D1:D2) =DAVERAGE(A1:B13,B1,D1:D2) =DGET(A1:B13,B1,D1:D2) =DPRODUCT(A1:B13,B1,D1:D2) =DMAX(A1:B13,B1,D1:D2)

# USE OF SLICERS

Slicers are a powerful way of filtering data. For them to work, the data has to be formatted as a table.

To format data as a table, Select whole range and press Ctrl+T. The dialog box will appear as shown below. Press OK

Under table tools, click Insert Slicer, click the criteria field and press OK.

Select the Month required.

# NUMEROUS OTHERS

Next time you feel stuck with VLOOKUP as the only option for looking up numbers, remember Excel offers us an *embarrassment* of Lookup-option *riches.*

Check out these comments in a Linkedin Group. Contains some overlooked functions like SUMQ, GETPIVOTDATA, SUMX2PY2, TRIMMEAN among others all of which can be used to look up numbers

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And obviously, thank you for your sweat!

Highly appreciated and thanks for your kind words

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