[MUSIC]

The VLookup is one of the core functions in Excel,

and one of the most frequently used.

The VLookup allows you to look up a value in a data table and

pull a specific attribute corresponding to that value, to a new table.

For example, let's say I have a data set with a name on it.

Now imagine I also have a data set that started with the same name,

followed by a series of attributes related to that name.

VLookup is going to allow me to lookup the name in the second data set,

and then select which attribute or

attributes I'm interested in pulling into my new data set.

VLookup's work best in structured data sets,

and your lookups range always needs to be all the way to the left of the table.

The V in VLookups stands for vertical.

There's a separate formula called HLookup which stand for horizontal lookup.

Which allows you to lookup the data horizontally.

Where the vertical lookup, the VLookup, looks vertically across the selection.

Generally, we see VLookups more frequently than HLookups

due to the way data is normally structured.

However, HLookup is a good tool to have in your pocket.

The syntax for VLookup is fairly straightforward.

It starts with a lookup value.

Essentially, what am I trying to lookup?

The next input is the table array.

Where am I trying to lookup this information?

And next, is the column index number.

How many columns from the matching value do I want to look over and

bring into my data set?

The last piece in brackets is an optional field called the range_lookup.

This is asking whether I want an exact match, or a partial match.

Most of the time we want an exact match,

but it is a leading practice to specify true or

false, something we need to be sensitive to as we go forward.

Some other things to keep in mind are the VLookup is always going to take the first

match that it finds in the data set.

It stops looking once it finds a corresponding match,

even though there may be multiple matches further down.

Second, if Excel cannot find a match, it is going to come back with an error.

We will learn how to deal with both of these problems

as we become more familiar and we practice using the VLookup.

So, let's now shift actually playing with VLookup within Excel.

Why don't we start with basic VLookup problem?