# How to Do a VLOOKUP in Excel

Excel is an indispensable tool for anyone who works with data. It is widely used by business analysts, accountants, and data scientists to organize, analyze, and visualize data. One of the most useful features of Excel is VLOOKUP, which allows you to quickly look up and retrieve data from a table. If you're not familiar with VLOOKUP, don't worry - it's easy to learn and use. In this article, I will show you how to do a VLOOKUP in Excel.

## Step 1: Understanding the Basics of VLOOKUP

Before we get into how to do a VLOOKUP in Excel, let's first understand the basics of VLOOKUP. VLOOKUP stands for "vertical lookup" and it is used to look up a value in a table and return a corresponding value from the same row. The VLOOKUP function has four arguments or inputs:

• Lookup value: The value you want to look up in the table
• Table array: The range of cells that contains both the lookup value and the value to be returned
• Column index number: The column number in the table that contains the value to be returned
• Range lookup: A logical value (either TRUE or FALSE) that indicates whether you want an exact match or an approximate match

With this basic understanding of VLOOKUP, let's move on to how to do a VLOOKUP in Excel.

## Step 2: Setting up the Data

Before we can do a VLOOKUP in Excel, we need to set up the data. For this example, we'll use a simple table of sales data. The table has three columns: Product, Salesperson, and Sales.

Now that we have the data set up, we're ready to do a VLOOKUP.

## Step 3: Writing the VLOOKUP Formula

To do a VLOOKUP in Excel, you need to write a formula that uses the VLOOKUP function. Here's the formula we'll use:

``=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, range_lookup)``

Let's break this down:

• lookup_value: This is the value you want to look up in the table. In our example, we'll use "Product A".
• table_array: This is the range of cells that contains the lookup value and the value to be returned. In our example, this is the range A2:C5.
• col_index_num: This is the column number in the table that contains the value to be returned. In our example, this is 3 since we want to return the sales column.
• range_lookup: This is a logical value (either TRUE or FALSE) that indicates whether you want an exact match or an approximate match. In our example, we'll use FALSE to get an exact match.

Putting it all together, our VLOOKUP formula looks like this:

``=VLOOKUP("Product A", A2:C5, 3, FALSE)``

Now let's see the result of this formula.

## Step 4: Getting the Result of the VLOOKUP Formula

Now that we have our VLOOKUP formula, let's see what it returns. Here's the formula in action:

As you can see, the formula returns the sales for Product A, which is \$1000. Now let's do one more example.

## Step 5: Doing a VLOOKUP with Multiple Criteria

In some cases, you may need to do a VLOOKUP with multiple criteria. For example, let's say you want to look up the sales for Product A for Salesperson B. Here's how you would do that:

``=VLOOKUP("Product A"&"Salesperson B", A2:C5, 3, FALSE)``

Notice that we use the ampersand (&) to concatenate the two criteria. This formula returns the sales for Product A and Salesperson B, which is \$250. And there you have it - a VLOOKUP with multiple criteria!

## Conclusion

Now that you know how to do a VLOOKUP in Excel, you can use this powerful tool to quickly look up and retrieve data from a table. Whether you're a business analyst or a data scientist, VLOOKUP is an essential tool in your Excel toolkit. So go forth and use VLOOKUP to your heart's content!