It happens sometimes when we need to lookup up a value from a table according to the row heading and column heading.
Let’s say if you need to get the values from the above table for a particular month and zone. Here in this situation, you can use a two-way lookup.
Performing a two-way lookup is all about getting a value from a two-dimensional table. That means you can get a value from any cell of a table.
And for this, you need to combine the match function with vlookup.
As you know, a normal vlookup is only able to return a value by looking into a single column at a time.
The reason is, the col_index argument of vlookup is a static value. But if you combine the match function with vlookup you can make it dynamic.
How to Use VLOOKUP + MATCH for a Two Way LOOKUP
Let’s come back to our example. We have a table with monthly sales quantity for four different zones of a company.
Now let’s say, your boss wants to check quantity for a zone for a particular month (For Ex: month Sep and zone North).
And, he doesn’t like to look out on the table for that, and here is the formula:
How does it work
As I already said, we need a match function to make col_index dynamic. This formula works in two parts.
When you select the zone, the match function returns the position of the zone in the heading row.
And, then vlookup use that position to get value from that column.
Every time, when you select month and zone it will return the value which is at the intersection of both row and column.
The thing is, you have a dynamic col_index which allows you to get value from different columns with vlookup.
Whenever you need to get value from a table [Matrix] you can simply use this combination of two functions to get that value.
It’s simple and easy to apply. I hope you found this useful in your daily work. And, please don’t forget to share this tip with your friends.