How to Find & Remove Duplicates in Excel Quickly

How To Find & Remove Duplicates in Excel (Step by Step , Video Tutorial)

With thousands of rows in today’s spreadsheets, it is virtually impossible for anyone to spot a duplicate value or duplicate row in Excel visually or manually. But you’ll be getting the wrong picture, and your analysis will be wrong until you remove the duplicates. So it is extremely important to De-Duplicate your Data carefully in the Excel sheet, before you begin your data analysis.

Fortunately, since Microsoft Excel 2007, it has been extremely easy to find Duplicates, and Remove them in a single click.

In this step by step article, and a tutorial video on How to Find Duplicates in Excel, and How to Remove Duplicates in Excel Sheet, you’ll learn a couple of hidden gems of Excel features and functionality.

With Office 365, and all the way back to Microsoft Excel 2007, there has been steady enhancements in different Excel versions in terms of finding and tracking duplicates, and even removing them.

Now it is extremely easy to spot duplicates, and there are multiple ways to find duplicates or eliminate duplicates from your Excel workbooks and worksheets.

Let’s look at How to Find Duplicates in Excel first. Then we will see how to remove duplicates in Excel sheet. And we will also show you Excel formulas to remove duplicates. Use any of these methods to quickly remove duplicate cells in Excel.

Step 1: Spot a duplicate value, and get it to change its color automatically

In this simple and easiest method to find duplicate rows in Excel, we make use of Conditional Formatting in Excel, available on the Home Tab.

  • Simply select the data range where you want to spot any duplicate values, and then click on Conditional Formatting. A drop down menu of choices appears. Select the first choice – Highlight Cell Rules. Then select the Last option –Duplicate Values. The short cut key combination is Alt +H L H D.highlight_cells_duplicate_value

Step 2. Select your favorite color to highlight the duplicate values.

Here I have chosen the Light Red color.duplicate_values_popup

 

Step 3. Both the duplicate values are now highlighted.

finding duplicate values in Microsoft Excel

There you are. A quick and nifty way to find the duplicate values in any column, quickly.

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This method uses the EXACT duplicates to highlight.

If you want to show partial matches in terms of duplicates or similar to duplicates, you can use another interesting technique.

Using Conditional Formatting in Excel to Find Partial Matches

Here we use the “Text That Contains” setting under Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules >

With this setting, and keying in any value, it will be able to find Partial Matches of values.

Conditional Formatting - Text That Contains to Identify Partial Matches
Conditional Formatting – Text That Contains to Identify Partial Matches

I am searching for names that contain the word “Ram”.

Partial Match in searching for Duplicate Values in Excel
Partial Match in searching for Duplicate Values in Excel

As you can see, Ram Kumar was highlighted, due to Ram, but Krish was also highlighted, because the full name contains the word “ram” in the last name, Venkataraman.

This way, you can pick partial matches to be highlighted in Excel, using Conditional Formatting technique.

And if you want to do it again and again with different values to find, it is better to set a cell to the value being found. Then set the Conditional Formatting to search for the value in that cell.

I have demonstrated this in the video on How to Find & Remove Duplicates in Excel. Click to watch it and see how this is done properly. This guided video will help you in identifying and eliminating duplicates easily.

How to Remove Duplicates in Excel?

We will talk about another nifty way to eliminate duplicates in Excel, once for all, in the next article.

If you were to head to the Data Tab, and look under the Data Tools group, you’ll find the “Remove Duplicates” button hiding there. Some versions of Excel show a small icon, others show the full word, and some versions have a huge icon, and the words “Remove Duplicates” visible in full.

Check carefully to identify the button in your version of Excel. But all Excel versions since Excel 2007 have this button to Remove Duplicates.

STEPS TO REMOVE DUPLICATE ROWS IN EXCEL

With this option, simply select the entire data range, and then click on this “Remove Duplicates” button. It will identify rows that are EXACT DUPLICATES, and simply remove them.

Then Excel will notify you that X number of rows containing duplicates were found, and Removed.

However, this Remove Duplicates button click WILL NOT show you which records were removed. ūüôĀ

Some people find this feature a bit of a risk. Thus, it is better to use Conditional Formatting technique described earlier to SEE the Duplicates visually, BEFORE REMOVING them.

With these 2 techniques, you can FIND the Duplicates, SEE them visually, DOUBLE CHECK that the correct ones are highlighted, and then only REMOVE the Duplicates.

Better Safe than Sorry!

How to Compare Two Excel Sheets for Duplicates and Highlight the Duplicate Data

Comparing two Excel sheets for duplicates and highlighting the duplicate data can be done using a few different methods. Here’s a step-by-step instruction for a couple of common approaches:

Method 1: Using Conditional Formatting in Excel

  1. Open Your Excel Workbook: Make sure both sheets you want to compare are in the same workbook.
  2. Select the Range in the First Sheet: Click on the first cell of the range you want to compare and drag to select the entire range.
  3. Go to Conditional Formatting: On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click on ‘Conditional Formatting’.
  4. New Rule: Click on ‘New Rule’.
  5. Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to Format: Select this option.
  6. Enter Comparison Formula:
    • Suppose you are comparing Sheet1 to Sheet2. The formula will look something like this:
      =COUNTIF(Sheet2!A:A, A1)>0

      This formula assumes you’re comparing column A of both sheets. Adjust the range (e.g., A:A or B:B) and cell (e.g., A1, B1) to suit your data.

  7. Set Format: Click on ‘Format’, choose a highlighting color under the ‘Fill’ tab, and click OK.
  8. Apply and OK: Click OK to apply the conditional formatting. Duplicates will be highlighted in the chosen color.
  9. Repeat for the Second Sheet: Now, do the same for the range in the second sheet you’re comparing.

Method 2: Using Excel’s ‘Remove Duplicates’ Feature

  1. Copy Data to a New Sheet: If you want to keep the original sheets unchanged, copy the data from both sheets into a new sheet, one below the other.
  2. Select the Combined Data: Click on the first cell and drag to select the entire range.
  3. Data Tab: Go to the ‘Data’ tab on the ribbon.
  4. Remove Duplicates: Click on ‘Remove Duplicates’.
  5. Choose Columns: In the Remove Duplicates dialog box, choose the columns you want to check for duplicate information, then click OK.
  6. Duplicates are Removed: Excel will remove duplicate rows and show a message indicating how many duplicates were removed and how many unique values remain.
  7. Highlight Original Data: You can then manually or using conditional formatting (as described in Method 1) highlight these duplicates in your original sheets.

Using Excel Formulas to Find Duplicate Data in Excel Sheets

The VLOOKUP, INDEX, and MATCH functions in Excel can be very useful for identifying duplicates across sheets or within a sheet.

However, it’s important to note that these functions can identify duplicates, but they don’t directly remove them. You should generally use these functions in combination with conditional formatting to highlight duplicates or with other Excel features to remove them. Let’s go through how to use each function for identifying duplicates in Excel Sheets:

VLOOKUP to Identify Duplicates

The VLOOKUP function searches for a value in the first column of a range and returns a value in the same row from a specified column.

  1. Select a Cell for the VLOOKUP Result: Click on a cell where you want to display the result (e.g., next to your data).
  2. Enter the VLOOKUP Formula:
    • Example formula: =VLOOKUP(A2, Sheet2!A:A, 1, FALSE)
    • This formula checks if the value in A2 of the current sheet exists in column A of Sheet2.
  3. Copy the Formula Down: Drag the fill handle down to copy the formula to other cells.
  4. Identify Duplicates: If VLOOKUP finds a match, it will display the matching value; if not, it will show an error. You can use conditional formatting to highlight cells where VLOOKUP doesn’t return an error, indicating a duplicate.

INDEX and MATCH to Identify Duplicates

The combination of INDEX and MATCH is often used as an alternative to VLOOKUP. MATCH finds the position of a value in a range, and INDEX returns a value at a given position in a range.

  1. Select a Cell for the Result: Choose where you want the result to appear.
  2. Enter the INDEX-MATCH Formula:
    • Example formula: =INDEX(Sheet2!A:A, MATCH(A2, Sheet2!A:A, 0))
    • This formula searches for the value in A2 of the current sheet in column A of Sheet2 and returns the corresponding value.
  3. Copy the Formula: Drag down the formula as needed.
  4. Highlight Duplicates: Use conditional formatting to highlight cells where INDEX-MATCH returns a value, indicating a duplicate.

Removing Duplicates Using a Formula

While there’s no direct formula to remove duplicates cells in Excel, you can use a combination of functions to create a list that excludes duplicates. One common approach is using the IF, COUNTIF, and an array formula.

  1. Create a New Column: In a new column next to your data, you’re going to enter a formula that will flag duplicates.
  2. Enter the Array Formula:
    • Example formula: =IF(COUNTIF($A$1:A2, A2)=1, A2, "")
    • This formula checks if the current value in column A has appeared before. If it’s the first occurrence, it shows the value; otherwise, it shows an empty string.
  3. Enter as an Array Formula: After typing the formula, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead of just Enter. This converts it into an array formula.
  4. Copy Down the Formula: Drag the fill handle down to apply this to your entire data set.
  5. Filter or Sort: Now, you can filter or sort this new column to separate unique values from duplicates.

Remember, these methods will help you identify and segregate duplicates, but to actually remove them from your data, you might have to do some manual data management or use the “Remove Duplicates” feature in Excel that we discussed earlier.

And this brings us to a close of this article. I hope that with these techniques, you can pick up duplicates in your data in Excel or remove them, as you wish.

PRO TIP: Do remember to watch the Video, for how to identify values that start with a particular Text, or End with a particular text. It is highlighted in the Video in detail, and can be very handy.

Do you have a Duplicates related question in Excel?

Simply write to us, and our Excel experts will try to help you out. Write to us at the Contact Us page on this website.

You may find these resources useful:

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash,
Founder of ExcelChamp.Net & Master Trainer for all Excel Courses at ExcelChamp.

Visit our ExcelChamp Channel on YouTube for more Excel Tips & Tricks.

Vinai is passionate about maximizing Excel to improve everyday productivity. He conducts Excel workshops in Singapore, Australia, Middle East. If you would like to engage him to train your staff in maximising Excel, do contact us.

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Master Excel Lookup Functions like VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, OFFSET

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Top 12 Most Important Excel Functions You Must Master

Top 12 Most Important Excel Functions & Features You Must Know

In this Excel tutorial, we highlight the Top 12 Most Important Excel Functions and Features that can help most users in getting the basics right, and improve productivity and efficiency drastically.

12 Most Important Excel Functions and Features YOU MUST LEARN & MASTER

Learn the most important formulas & features of Microsoft Excel. I have listed them below for your learning pleasure.

Must-Know Excel Functions for Productivity & Career Enhancement

  1. Average,
  2. Sum,
  3. Count,
  4. Countif,
  5. CountA,
  6. CountBlank,
  7. Sumif,
  8. Concatenate,
  9. Proper,
  10. Round,
  11. Vlookup, and
  12. Creating Dropdown lists in Microsoft Excel.

With a sound knowledge of these 12 Most Important Functions and Features of Excel, you will be on your way to Excel Mastery. You have to take one step at a time.

Learn one Excel function and master it. You come closer to victory with each step, each new function, each new formula learned. Some of these are basic Excel Formulas and Functions than are the easiest to master.

Using the AVERAGE Function in Excel

How to use the Average Function in Excel

The Average Function is pretty easy to use.

It adds all the numbers in the provided range, and then divides the grand total by the count of the numbers provided.

You can only Average Numeric Values.

Syntax of Average Function in Excel:

=AVERAGE(number1, number2, number3)

=AVERAGE(Range_of_Cells) like =AVERAGE(A1:A10)

When do you use the AVERAGE Function in Excel:

Managers and business owners often ask executive about the Average Sales, or Average Revenue, or Average Salary, or Average Number of Tickets Resolved, or Average Time Spent on Calls.

All such measures can be easily calculated with the Average Function, which is pre-built into Excel, and is one of the most popular excel functions.

Using the SUM Function in Excel

How to use the SUM Function in Excel
How to use the SUM Function in Excel

The Sum Function adds all the numbers in the provided range, and then provides the Grand Total in the resulting cell.

You can provide numbers, refer to multiple cells, or select a range of cells to sum the numbers easily.

The SUM function only works on Numeric Values. It is considered the most basic excel formulas and functions.

If you provide a non numeric value (text value), it will result in a #VALUE error to be displayed in the Grand Total cell.

Syntax of Sum Function in Excel:

=SUM(number1, number2, number3)

=SUM(Range_of_Cells) like =SUM(A1:A10)

When do you use the SUM Function in Excel:

Managers and business owners often ask their staff about the Total Sales, or Total Revenue, or Total Salary for the company or department, or Total Number of Tickets Resolved, or Total Time Spent on Calls, or Total Expenses.

All such measures can be easily calculated with the SUM Excel Function, which is pre-built into Excel. This function is the most common, and most popular excel functions.

This function can be invoked from the Home Tab, by clicking the Sigma Icon. If the grand total cell is next to a range of data, it will auto populate the SUM formula, without writing anything. This is a handy trick that you should practice and get used to.

It will help you a lot to get the Grand Total, and is one of the most important function in Excel, and the most commonly used function in Excel too.

If you want to summarize data in Excel easily, check out this detailed article and video tutorial.

Using the COUNT Function in Excel

How to use the COUNT Function in Excel
How to use the COUNT Function in Excel

The COUNT Function counts all the numeric numbers in the provided range, and then provides the Total Count in the resulting cell.

You can provide numbers, refer to multiple cells, or select a range of cells to Count the numbers easily.

The COUNT function only works on Numeric Values.

If you provide a non numeric value (text value), it will NOT BE COUNTED in the final count.

Syntax of COUNT Function in Excel:

=COUNT(number1, number2, number3)

=COUNT(Range_of_Cells) like =COUNT(A1:A10)

When do you use the COUNT Function in Excel:

It is common in the management, and executives to count the number of rows of data.

For example, managers often want to know the total number of Headcount, the total number of  transactions, or Total Number of Tickets Resolved.

All such measures can be easily calculated with the COUNT Function, which is pre-built into Excel. This function is the most common.

This function can be invoked from the Home Tab, by clicking the drop down arrow of the Sigma Icon.

If the grand count cell is next to a range of data, it will auto populate the COUNT formula, without writing anything.

This is a handy trick that you should practice and get used to for counting the number of rows or transactions easily in Excel.

It will help you a lot to get the Total Count, and is one of the most important function in Excel, and one of the most commonly used function in Excel too.

SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE are the basic Excel formulas and functions that everyone should know at the bare minimum. But there are several more important functions in Excel also.

Using the COUNTIF Function in Excel

How to use the COUNTIF Function in Excel
How to use the COUNTIF Function in Excel

The COUNTIF function is amazing. It can conditionally count values, based on a criteria. This is one of the most popular logical functions in Excel.

This COUNTIF function can count the number of people in a particular department, count the number of products in a particular category, count the number of values that exactly match a particular value to name a few.

Countif can be also used to count non numeric values. This is a Big Plus for people wanting to count text values, based on a criteria.

Syntax of COUNTIF Function in Excel:

=COUNTIF(numbers in a range, criteria)

=COUNTIF(A1:A100, “=Oranges”) will count the number of rows in cells A1 through A100, which contain the word “Oranges” exactly.

=COUNTIF(A1:A100, “>5000”) will count the number of rows in cells A1 through A100, which contains values that are greater than 5000.

Interestingly, you can use this to count values that are greater than or lesser than a particular value too.

You can use Greater Than (>), Lesser Than (<), Greater Than or Equal To (>=), Lesser Than or Equal To (<=), and Not Equal To (<>) signs in the COUNTIF function.

Check out the Multiple Ways to Count in Excel.

When do you use the COUNTIF Function in Excel:

If your client wants to know how many big orders, above 10,000 were received today, or how many products of the Electronics category were sold, you could use the COUNTIF Excel function easily.

=COUNTIF(A1:A100, “>10000”)

=COUNTIF(A1:A100, “Electronics”)

=COUNTIF(A1:A100, 500) shows the number of entries where the value equates to 500.

Additional Resources: How To Count Cells With a Certain Value in Excel

This is one of the several logical functions in Excel. Other logical functions in Excel include IF, SUMIF, AVERAGEIF etc.

Some people consider COUNTIF to be an advanced function in Excel. Nonetheless, it is extremely useful, and I consider it to be an essential Excel formula to know and use.

Using the COUNTA Function in Excel

How to use the COUNTA Function in Excel
How to use the COUNTA Function in Excel

The COUNTA Function counts all non blank values in the provided range, and then provides the Total Count in the resulting cell.

You can provide numbers, text, refer to multiple cells, or select a range of cells to Count the non blank cells easily.

The COUNTA function works on Numeric & Non-Numeric Values. Thus, it can count Text value cells too.

The A in COUNTA actually stands for Alphanumeric values. So that’s why it can count text as well as numbers.

If you provide a non numeric value (text value), it CAN BE EASILY COUNTED in the final count.

Syntax of COUNTA Function in Excel:

=COUNTA(number1, number2, number3)

=COUNTA(Range_of_Cells) like =COUNTA(A1:A10)

When do you use the COUNTA Function in Excel:

It is common in the management, and executives to count the number of rows of data. If the data being counted is numeric, you use COUNT, but if you are counting names, or departments, or Products or Categories etc., it is better to use COUNTA, as it counts text values too.

For example, managers often want to know the total number of Employees, the total number of  Customers, or Total Number of Tickets Resolved.

All such measures can be easily calculated with the COUNTA Function, which is pre-built into Excel.

This function not known to many people. Learning to use this function well will improve your productivity and efficiency in Excel.

Additional Resources:  Counting Text Values in Excel

Using the COUNTBLANK Function in Excel

The COUNTBLANK Function counts all the blank values in the provided range, and then provides the Total Count in the resulting cell.

You can provide cells, refer to multiple cells, or select a range of cells to Count the Blanks easily.

The COUNTBLANK function works on Any kind of cells.

If you provide a range of Numeric or Non-Numeric cells to the COUNTBLANK function, then these will not be counted.

This function only counts empty cells.

CAUTION: A common issue with the COUNTBLANK function is that if a cell contains a space, it does NOT get counted.

This may make the CountBlank total not seem to total with the visible blanks. But this is because it is difficult to see a space in a cell.

Syntax of COUNTBLANK Function in Excel:

=COUNTBLANK(cell1, cell2, cell3)

=COUNTBLANK(Range_of_Cells) like =COUNTBLANK(A1:A10)

When do you use the COUNTBLANK Function in Excel:

You may be wondering why you may want to count blanks. But this efficient function definitely has its uses.

For example, office managers often want to know the total number of Products without a price (price is blank), count the number of Products that didn’t get a looked up value from a VLOOKUP operation, or count how many employees don’t have a valid cost center code.

All such things can be easily counted with the COUNTBLANK Function, which is pre-built into Excel.

The COUNTBLANK function is a life saver when checking counts and it helps to find the illusive missing or empty value.

It will help you a lot to get the Total Empty or Blank Count, and is one of the 12 most important function in Excel, and one that is not so commonly known.

Using the SUMIF Function in Excel

The SUMIF function is amazing. It can conditionally SUM values, based on a criteria. SUMIF is another one of the most popular logical functions in Excel, along with COUNTIF.

This SUMIF function can SUM the total Salary in a particular department, SUM the total Sales in a particular category, Sum the amounts that exactly match a particular value to name a few.

SUMIF can be also used to sum based on a Criteria that is a non numeric value.

This is a Big Plus for people wanting to SUM Numbers, based on a text value criteria.

Syntax of SUMIF Function in Excel:

=SUMIF(range, criteria, [sum_range])

In this formula, the criteria is the second argument. If the range meets the criteria, and the range is a numeric range, it can be summed up directly.

But if the range is a Text based Range, and it matches the criteria, you can provide a third, optional argument, which would then sum up the corresponding values from the sum range, where the range matches the criteria.

=SUMIF(A1:A100, “>1000”) will sum all the number cells A1 through A100, which contain a value that is greater than 1000.

=SUMIF(A1:A100, “>5000”, B1:B100) will sum the number¬† in cells B1 through B100, which contains a values that are greater than 5000 in the cell range A1 through A100.

You can use Greater Than (>), Lesser Than (<), Greater Than or Equal To (>=), Lesser Than or Equal To (<=), and Not Equal To (<>) signs in the SUMIF function.

=SUMIF(A1:A100, 1000) will sum all the amounts that are exactly equal to One Thousand in the range A1 through A100.

When do you use the SUMIF Function in Excel:

If your client wants to know the total sales for a particular category, like total sales amount in the Electronics category, you could use the SUMIF function easily.

=SUMIF(A1:A100, “Electronics”, B1:B100)

=SUMIF(A1:A100, “=1000”) will give the total of the values that are exactly 1000 in cells A1:A100.

Once you learn COUNTIF & SUMIF, you know two of the most important excel Formulas and Functions. These are the basic Excel formulas and functions that everyone should know.

Using the Concatenate Function in Excel

Combining Text, or Concatenating Text is frequently required.

No doubt that the CONCATENATE function, now also called as the CONCAT function is one of the Top 12 Most important functions in Excel.

The concatenate function helps you to combine two or more items into a single string.
The most common use is to use it for combining people’s first and last names.

SYNTAX of CONCATENATE Function in Excel

CONCATENATE(text1, text2, text3…)

For example, if you want to concatenate and combine two string, you get this

=CONCATENATE(“Hello”, “World”)
Result: HelloWorld

As you notice, there is no space between the two words.

This is because concatenate does not add any additional spaces in the combined text. Nor does it remove any spaces.

So if you want to add a space between the two strings, you will have to hard code the space in the concatenate function.

=CONCATENATE(“Hello”, ” “, “World”)
Result: Hello World

If the values to be combined are in separate columns, you can also use the Concatenate function

=CONCATENATE(A2, ” “, B2)
Result: Mickey Mouse

Now you can drag the formula or copy and paste it into the cells below, to get all the other names combined.

Note: Concatenate is best suited for combining Text Values. If you use it to combine numbers, you will get strange results.

=CONCATENATE(5, 6)
Result: 56

Concatenate can be used to combine separate Day, Month, and Year to resemble a date too.

=CONCATENATE(5, “-“, “Dec”, “-“, 2024)
Result: 5-Dec-2024

Using the PROPER Function in Excel

It is often required to display names of people, Categories, Departments to appear nicely in Excel, with the first letter of each word appearing in a Capital Letter.

While we have Excel functions like UPPER() & LOWER(), which can convert every letter to uppercase or lowercase, they are not so handy.

Because customers often want to see only the first letter capitalized, and the remaining letters to be in small letters.

Syntax of PROPER Function in Excel:

=PROPER(text_value)

=PROPER(“mickey mouse”) would result in Mickey Mouse. Notice that we supplied the “mickey mouse” in lower case. But the returned value had the first letter of each word capitalized.

When do you use the PROPER Function in Excel:

Whenever you want to capitalize the first letter of each word, you can use Proper function in Excel instantly.

I consider this to be one of the most useful and important functions of Excel.

Additional Resources: Learn the Text Functions in Excel

Using the ROUND Function in Excel

Whenever you divide two numbers, the resulting answer can be a large fraction. For example, dividing 100 by 3 gives us 33.333333333.

But business users may not want to use so many decimal points. Thus, the ROUND function comes in handy.

It can be used to round any fraction to any number of decimal points.

Syntax of ROUND Function in Excel:

=ROUND(number1, number_of_digitits_to_round_of)

=ROUND(33.33333333, 2) will result in 33.33 being the answer.

=ROUND(33.333333, 1) will result in 33.3 being the answer.

=ROUND(33.333333, 0) will result in 33 being the answer.

When do you use the ROUND Function in Excel:

The business managers, finance managers often ask to present the numbers rounded. For example, they may ask the Profit margin to be displayed in 2 decimal points.

Sometimes, a business user may want to round the values up or down, based on the business case.

So ROUNDUP(100/3, 2) will result in 33.34

And ROUNDDOWN(100/3, 2) will result in 33.33.

With multiple Rounding functions available, you can fulfill every user’s needs and requirement around Rounding.

So ROUND, ROUNDUP or ROUNDDOWN, and help each and every user with one of the most useful Excel functions.

Using the Vlookup Function in Excel

VLOOKUP is considered one of the Most Useful Functions of Excel. It is used to benchmark the skills of interviews often.

If you know VLOOKUP and can use it well, with its optional settings, then you are considered an Advanced User or an Experienced User of Excel.

Heck, some people also consider you to be an Excel Guru if you have mastered the VLOOKUP Function.

Learning and Using VLOOKUP is quite easy.

The use of this function in almost every corporate spreadsheet, and its amazing use cases have raised it to the Top of the Most Important Excel Functions of all times.

However, don’t think that it is difficult to use or that it is complex.

Let’s understand what is VLOOKUP first, and then we understand its syntax and usage.

VLOOKUP is used to lookup any value in a table, and pick a corresponding value from the other columns of the matching row.

Syntax of VLOOKUP Function in Excel:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, column_index_number, [range_lookup])

=VLOOKUP(“James Bond”, employee_Table, 2) will find the second column of the employee_table, where the first column of the employee_table is set to “James Bond”.

In this example, we maybe looking for the department or salary, or employee code of the employee named James bond. Depending on the table, if the second column after the employee name is Department, we get the department.

If the third column is Salary, and we need the salary, then we can modify this formula slightly.

=VLOOKUP(“James Bond”, employee_Table, 3) will find the third column of the employee_table, where the first column of the employee_table is set to “James Bond”. Now we can get the Salary of James Bond.

When do you use the VLOOKUP Function in Excel:

Whenever you want to lookup one value, and pick another corresponding value from the lookup table, then the VLOOKUP function will be the most appropriate.

Managers and business users often use the VLOOKUP function to lookup product cost, employee salary, product attributes from the Product Master table, or the employee Master Tables.

The interesting thing is that the lookup table can be on another sheet in the same Excel file, or it could be in a completely different Excel file.

The Looked up table can come from another file in another folder or directory.

This makes it very powerful, and one of the most powerful and useful functions of Excel.

Once you master these most important functions of Excel, you will improve your level of expertise in Excel, and with it you will also raise your competency, and understanding of Microsoft Excel

Creating Dropdown lists in Microsoft Excel

To avoid data entry errors, and to provide a basic level of data validation, it is often desired that users don’t key in arbitrary values, which are difficult to debug, could be full of spelling mistakes, and a single typo can make the Lookup on that value fail.

Thus, business users often want the data to be of a good quality. One simple way to improve data quality is to avoid typing in values in cells, and instead pick the correct value from a drop down list.

For example, you could display a drop down list of Customers, Products, Countries, Departments, Cost centers, Accounting GL Codes, to name a few. This way,

When do you use the DROPDOWN Data Validation Feature of Excel:

Whenever you want to limit user entry to only a few select values, it is appropriate to setup a dropdown data validation list. It is fairly easy to setup. In fact, Microsoft already provides you with a few standard list, like the Days (Monday, Tuesday, etc.), Month Names, Areas (North, South etc.).

And the good thing is that you can always define your own custom list in Excel. I have a detailed article on how to setup a Drop Down list in Excel. Check it out!

There you have it. A roundup of the most essential excel formulas in Excel. Consider them the Most important Excel Formulas and Functions to Master first.

Conclusion: Top 12 Most Important Functions of Excel

The tips, tricks and all the 12 Most Important Excel Functions and Features  work in every version of Microsoft Excel.

most important excel functions

These are the list of most important excel functions that every professional or analyst must know.

Knowledge of these must-know excel functions for productivity and career boost is mandatory for every professional and Excel enthusiast.

Additional Resources & Video Tutorials from ExcelChamp Vinai Prakash

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These tips work in every version of Microsoft Excel. Just give it a try, and if it helps you, remember to give it a Thumbs Up, and Like the Video.

Cheers,

How To Freeze Top Rows & Columns in Microsoft Excel

How to Freeze Rows and Columns in Microsoft Excel Easily

Microsoft Excel can contain thousands of rows. As you scroll down, or across on any Excel spreadsheet, you may often lose track of which column or row were you working on.

The header of the column, or the first column, which often contains a product or employee name is hidden out of sight as you scroll down or across, creating a sense of loss, specially on large datasets.

It is extremely easy to stay in focus by keeping the top row, or the first column or two always visible.

This way, you won’t be lost, and you can always get a bearing of the current row or column heading.

Check out the easy steps to freeze or unfreeze rows or columns in any Microsoft Excel workbook.

Freeze Panes Menu in Excel under the View Tab

Freeze Panes Menu in Excel to freeze the columns and rows in Microsoft Excel

How to Freeze Top Row in Excel

To Freeze the top row, simply go to the View Tab, and find the Freeze Panes Command.

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Top Row

Freeze Panes Menu in Excel under the View Tab
Freeze Panes Menu in Excel under the View Tab

You will see a thin Grey line between Row 1 & 2. This marks the header row as the fixed, frozen row, and all the column headers will stay in position as you scroll down.

How to Freeze Top Two Rows in Excel

To freeze the top two rows in Excel, you can click on cell A3 (the first cell of the third row). Then go to the Freeze Panes option on the View Tab.

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes

Freeze Panes with Top 2 Rows Frozen in Excel

The thin grey line will appear just below the second row. This denotes that the first 2 rows are now frozen in Excel.

How to Freeze Multiple Rows in Excel

To freeze multiple rows in Excel, we can follow a similar procedure. Identify the number of rows to freeze. Go to the next row, after the number of rows to be frozen.

Then go to the View tab, and pick Freeze Panes.

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes

The short cut key is Alt W F F

The thin grey line will appear just below the second row. This denotes that the first 2 rows are now frozen in the Excel sheets.

So to freeze the Top 5 rows, go to cell A6. Then Freeze Panes.

And to freeze the Top 10 rows, you will go to cell A11 before freezing the panes. Hope you get the idea!

How to Freeze First Column in Excel

Freeze First Column in Excel

To freeze first column in Excel (Column A), you can select cell B1 (the first cell of the second, B column). Then go to

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze First Column

The thin grey line will appear just after the first column, between column A & column B. This denotes that the leftmost column (column A) is now frozen in Excel. A frozen Column won’t move as you scroll horizontally.

As you move to other columns and scroll further, the first column is always visible.

How to Freeze First Two Columns in Excel

To freeze the two left most columns in Excel, you can click on cell C1 (the first cell of the third column). Then go to the Freeze Panes Drop-down menu.

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes

The thin grey line will appear just after the second column, between col B & col C. This denotes that the first 2 columns are now frozen in Excel.

As you move to other columns and scroll further, the first two columns of A & column B stay put.

How to Freeze Rows and Columns in Excel

It is extremely easy to freeze specific Rows and Columns in Excel. Simply click on any cell, even in the middle of data. Go to the Freeze Panes Menu under the View Tab in Excel. Then choose Freeze Panes.

Then go to View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes.

The cells above and on the left of the currently active cell are frozen. As you move down, or across, the top left section of the frozen cells stays in place, and does not move. The frozen rows are all on the top of the thin grey line. Cells on the right of the column will be able to scroll.

How to Freeze Top Row and First Column in Excel

When you have a lot of data analysis to do in a Excel file, it is a good idea to freeze the Column headers in the first row in Excel window. To Freeze the top row (first row) and the first column, simply go to

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Top Row.

View > Freeze Panes > Freeze First Column.

These two commands freeze the top row with the column headings and the first column (Column A) instantly.

How to UnFreeze the Top Row in Excel

Unfreeze Panes in Excel

A frozen pane can be unfreezed easily too. To unfreeze the top row in Excel, simply go to View > Freeze Panes > Unfreeze Panes

The first row is no longer frozen. You can now freely move to any row or column in Excel.

How to Unfreeze the First column in Excel

To unfreeze the first column in Excel, simply go to

View > Freeze Panes > Unfreeze Panes

The keyboard shortcut key is Alt W F F.

The first column is no longer frozen. Test it out.

TIP: If you format your data set as an Excel Table, you will automatically get a table where the top row is always visible.

Excel does this by promoting the column Headers to the Column Letters. Amazing features of Excel help in data management.

It is even available in previous versions of the Excel spreadsheet application, and even on Excel online.

With these simple tips available in the amazing Excel Feature set, you can freeze the top row, the first column, any number of rows on the top, any number of columns on the left, and similarly unfreeze rows and columns in large spreadsheets.

Freezing and unfreezing panes feature makes it a breeze to navigate easily in Excel.

Hope this step-by-step guide helps you in working with extensive datasets in Microsoft Office files.

Do remember to subscribe to our Excel Newsletter, and our ExcelChamp YouTube channel to be notified of useful Videos and Articles, as they are released.

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash
Founder, ExcelChamp.Net

How to Refresh Pivot Table in Excel Manually or Automatically

4 Ways To Refresh a Pivot Table in Excel

If your pivot table is created in Microsoft 365, Excel 2021, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010 or Excel 2007, you can refresh it quickly and easily with just a few clicks, or even automatically.

Excel Pivot table Refresh is extremely easy. There are multiple ways to refresh a pivot table in any version of Microsoft Excel. And they can be used without writing any VBA code too. Today I’ll show you 4 ways of how to refresh pivot table.

Excel Pivot Table - How to Refresh
A Pivot Table is Created

Why do you need to refresh the pivot table?

When you create a pivot table in Excel, Microsoft reads the entire data into its memory in a Pivot cache. This pivot cache is then used to build a summarized version of the report from this compressed source data. The pivot cache is actually stored internally within the Excel file and is read into memory whenever you open that Excel file.

Unfortunately, this pivot cache is not automatically refreshed every time you edit the original data.

Key Reasons Why You may need to Refresh a Pivot Table in Excel

  1. A refresh of the pivot table is necessary when the underlying data changes,
  2. A source data value is corrected or updated at a subsequent time,
  3. Additional Rows are added in the raw pivot table data source,
  4. Existing Rows are deleted in the original data used as a source for the Pivot Table, or
  5. When the day, week, month or quarter changes, new data arriving from the sources (SAP, ERP, upstream data sources) changes.

So when you create a pivot table to analyze data, and then after a few days or weeks, the data has changed, you do not need to re-create the Pivot Table. You can simply refresh it.

As you can see, there are several instances when data changes, and we need to refresh the Pivot Table. Any or all of these use cases make it necessary to refresh the pivot table – manually or automatically.

The key way to do this pivot table refresh is to prod Excel into refreshing the pivot table manually, or automatically, depending on your choice. The options to do this in many ways is listed in this article, in detail.

First of all, you must create a Pivot Table in any version of Excel. Then you can summarize data, group it, and analyze it your way. Actually, there are more than a dozen things you can do with Excel pivots, that will truly transform your data.

As mentioned, all of these versions are supported: Microsoft 365, Excel 2021, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010 and Excel 2007. You can refresh the pivot table in any of these Excel versions.

4 Methods: How to Refresh a Pivot Table in Excel

Method 1 to Refresh Pivot Table Manually: Existing Data Values change, but there is no change in the number of rows of data:

In this method to manually refresh the pivot table in Excel, you can make any changes to the data first.

Then go to the Pivot Table. Right-click inside the Pivot, and choose the Refresh option from the right-clicked menu. (See screenshot below for the Refresh option in the Pivot Table Right click menu).

The Pivot Table is refreshed immediately. Use this easy way every time the source data changes. To use this method to refresh a pivot table manually, your cursor must be inside the pivot table. It can be anywhere inside there.

You can also click on the Refresh All button in the Excel Ribbon, on the PivotTable Analyze menu.

Refresh Pivot Table Using Right Click Menu inside a pivot table
Refresh Pivot Table Using Right Click inside the pivot table

Method 2 to Refresh Pivot Table Manually when New Data Arrives: There is a change in the size of the data in Excel:

New rows or columns are added to the data set, and this new data is not reflected inside the pivot table. In this case, we need to redefine the data range source used for the pivot table, to include the latest data rows & columns. There are a couple of ways to do this.

a. If your pivot table is based on data from a range of cells, like cells A1:G100, you need to expand this range to include additional rows and columns.

The easiest way is to go to Pivot Table Analyze Tab in the Ribbon and choose the Change Data Source option button. The current source data range is highlighted. Go ahead and reselect the new data range, and click the OK button in the dialog box.

Change Data Source in a Excel Pivot Table
Change Data Source in the Excel Pivot Table.

Once the data source is updated to reflect the newly added data, the Pivot table is refreshed automatically too. If you wish, you can click on the Refresh button on the Pivot Table Analyze tab again at any time.

Pivot Table Refresh under Analyze Tab
Pivot Table Refresh under Analyze Tab

Once this is done, then you can click on the Refresh All button, and the pivot table  is refreshed from the newly selected rows/columns, and updated in the pivot. The pivot table has been refreshed instantly.

b. If your pivot table is based on a Table, like Pricing_Table, Table1, and has been converted into a Table, the job is much easier.

c. All you need to do is to click on the Refresh button under the PivotTable Analyze Tab, and the pivot table is refreshed automatically.

Using a Table as a data source for the Pivot Table is a good practice you should use more often. It uses the entire Excel table when creating a new pivot table, and any extra rows added or removed later on will automatically be considered as part of the Pivot Table. Thus, whenever you add new rows or remove rows from the underlying table, and then click the Refresh button, it will automatically refresh a pivot table.

Method 3 to Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon Opening the File: Simyly Set the Pivot Table to Automatically Refresh every time the Excel file opens:

This is the best option because you do not have to remember to refresh the pivot table at all. The pivot table is refreshed automatically every time the Excel file is opened.

Go To Analyze Tab, and select the Pivot Table Options
Go To Analyze Tab, and select the Pivot Table Options

To refresh the pivot table automatically upon opening the Excel file, go to the Pivot Table Analyze tab, and look for Pivot Table Options button.

Refresh Pivot Table Automatically upon opening the Excel File
Refresh Pivot Table Automatically upon opening the Excel File

When the above popup opens, go to the Data tab, and then select the third check box “Refresh data when opening the file”. (See Screenshot above).

This will ensure that every time you open the Excel file, the Pivot table will refresh automatically.

But be careful, if there are large amounts of data, or uses an external data source, the data is stored externally in a shared drive, the initial opening refresh may take some time. During this time, it may seem that Excel is not responding.

So just be patient for a few moments, and once the refresh is complete, you are good to begin your analysis of the latest, refreshed data.

Also, at the time of running this automatic refresh, you must have access to the data source. This means that the person opening the file must have access to the shared file path, and have the associated permissions to open the source file to read, update and consume it.

That’s it. We have successfully refreshed our pivot table in Excel. If you had created any custom calculation in the Pivot table, that custom calculation will be automatically updated too.

With these methods, you can refresh a pivot table manually or automatically.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Refresh the Pivot Tables in Office 365, Excel 2019 & All Other Excel Versions

Once you are inside a pivot table, you can click ALT + F5 keys together to force a manual refresh of the pivot table using this keyboard shortcut.

If you want to refresh all pivot tables using keyboard shortcuts, you can click Control+Alt+F5 keys together. This will refresh all pivot tables on the Excel file. This is a good option if you have multiple pivots, and do not want to refresh them manually, one by one.

How To Refresh a Pivot Table in Earlier Versions of Excel

If you are using an earlier or outdated version of Excel, you can still refresh the pivot table by using the step outlined above, with some minor changes to the menu or options inside the Pivot Table.

How to Refresh Pivot Table in Excel 2016:

  1. Right-Click inside the Pivot Table & Choose Refresh.
  2. Redefine the range of the source data by clicking on the Change Data Source button.
  3. Use a Table as a source of data. That way, when the data increases, the Table will expand, and all you need to do is to click  Refresh on the Analyze Tab.
  4. Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon opening by setting the Pivot Table Options under the Analyze Tab.

How To Refresh Pivot table in Excel 2013:

  1. First, make the Pivot Table.
  2. Right-Click inside any single Pivot Table & Choose Refresh.
  3. Redefine the range of the source data by clicking on the Change Data Source button. This is available under Pivot Table Options or the Pivot Table Analyze tab. Different versions patches may show you a different option.
  4. Use a Table as a source of data. That way, when the number of rows increases, the Table will expand, and all you need to do is to click  Refresh on the Analyze Tab in Excel 2013.
  5. Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon opening by setting the Pivot Table Options under the Analyze Tab.

How To Refresh Pivot Table in Excel 2010:

  • Make the Pivot Table.
  • Right-Click inside the Pivot Table & Choose Refresh.
  • Redefine the range of the source data by clicking on the Change Data Source button in Excel 2010.
  • Use a Table as a source of data. That way, when the data increases, the Table will expand, and all you need to do is to click¬† Refresh on the Analyze Tab.
  • Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon opening by setting the Pivot Table Options under the Analyze Tab.

How To Refresh a Pivot Table in Excel 2007:

First, make the pivot table by clicking on the source data to select it.

  1. Then Click Insert > Pivot Table. Click OK to select the entire data.
  2. A new pivot table is created in a new Sheet in Excel 2007.
  3. Check the Category columns to go into Rows. Check the Numeric values you want to summarize in the Values Area.
  4. Then go to the pivot table by clicking anywhere inside the Pivot.

Now to Refresh the Pivot Table created in Excel 2007.

  1. Right-Click inside the Pivot Table & Choose Refresh. The data in the pivot will be refreshed.
  2. Redefine the range of the source data by clicking on the Change Data Source button from the Pivot Table Options Tab of Excel 2007.
  3. Use a Formatted Table as a source of data. If your data is not set as a table, go to Home > Format as Table.  Your source data will convert to a table. Now when the data increases, the Table will expand, and all you need to do is to click  Refresh on the Pivot Table Options Tab.
  4. Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon Open by setting the Pivot Table Options under the Pivot Table Options Tab.

To Refresh a pivot table in Microsoft Excel 365:

  1. Right-Click inside the Pivot Table & Choose Refresh.
  2. Redefine the range of the source data by clicking on the Change Data Source button.
  3. Use a Table as a source of data. That way, when the data increases, the Table will expand, and all you need to do is to click  Refresh on the Analyze Tab.
  4. Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table upon opening by setting the Pivot Table Options under the Analyze Tab.

Best Practices for managing pivot tables in Excel

When managing pivot tables in Excel, it’s crucial to maintain efficient and organized data sources. This includes regularly cleaning and structuring your data to ensure the pivot table functions correctly and efficiently. Frequent updates to your pivot table are essential to keep data accurate and relevant. This can involve setting up automatic refreshes or reminders for manual updates.

Customization and formatting are key to making your pivot tables more readable and impactful. Utilize Excel’s formatting options to highlight key data and make your tables more intuitive. Additionally, be mindful of performance, especially with large datasets. Employ strategies to optimize pivot table performance, like reducing the use of complex calculated fields or unnecessary data.

Finally, familiarize yourself with common troubleshooting issues. Knowing how to quickly resolve common problems with pivot tables can save time and reduce frustration. This might include fixing broken source links, dealing with incorrect data aggregation, or addressing performance lags. By following these best practices, you can ensure your pivot tables are both effective and efficient.

In Conclusion

With all these versions of Excel created by Microsoft, it is possible to refresh a pivot table manually or automatically. And it is almost similar or identical in the different versions. Once you master it, you can do the refresh in any version of Excel.

Hope this helps you.

Do share it, and subscribe to our ExcelChamp Newsletter to be notified of new tips and tricks in Excel to make you super awesome in utilizing Excel in your everyday work!

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash

Join the next cohort of Excel Data Analysis MasterClass

Suggested Reading: Additional Excel Pivot Table Tips

Power Query: The Hidden Feature of Excel To Clean Dirty Data in Minutes

Learn how Power Query, a tool embedded in your current version of Excel can help you to clean dirty data that is made up of multiple levels, but without any headings or format.

It only takes a few clicks to clean this data and then we can analyze it using a Excel Pivot Table.

A Quick and simple step by step tutorial on using Power Query in Excel and then Pivot Tables to Analyze the data, and Slice it using Slicers.

How To Clean Dirty Data With Microsoft Power Query within Excel & Power BI

Presented by Vinai Prakash, Founder of ExcelChamp.Net

Practice Excel File for Your Benefit 

This video demonstrates Power Query in Microsoft Excel 365, Excel  2019, Excel 2021, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010.

The key data cleanup tools within Power Query that are demonstrated are:

  • ¬†How to Transpose the data in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Change the Name of a Query in Power Query
  • ¬†How the steps of the cleanup are recorded within Power Query
  • ¬†How to Rename Columns in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Promote the First Row as Headers in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Fill Down Values from the rows above in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Unpivot Other Columns in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Save & Load the Cleaned up Data in Power Query
  • ¬†How to Create a Pivot Table in Microsoft Excel
  • ¬†How to Filter Data in a Pivot Table
  • ¬†Limitations of the Filter Section in an Excel Pivot Table
  • ¬†How to Add a Slicer in Excel Pivot Tables
  • ¬†How to select multiple values in a Slicer, and
  • ¬†How the Slicer is superior than a Filter in Excel

The Power Query features shown in this video work exactly the same way in Microsoft Power BI also. So you can use this video steps for Power Query within Power BI.

Do like the video, subscribe to our channel, and Give our video a Thumbs Up.

We’d love a comment about how this video helped you. I reply to all comments personally.¬†Thanks!

What is Power Query?

Power Query is a data transformation and data preparation tool available in Microsoft Excel. It is designed to help users import, transform, and combine data from various sources for analysis and reporting purposes. Power Query provides a user-friendly interface and a wide range of data manipulation capabilities, making it easier to clean, reshape, and combine data from multiple sources.

Here are some key features and functionalities of Power Query in Excel:

  1. Data Import: Power Query allows you to import data from various sources, including databases, Excel files, text files, CSV files, web pages, SharePoint lists, and more. It provides a seamless way to connect to and retrieve data from external sources.
  2. Data Transformation: Power Query provides a set of transformation options to clean and reshape data. You can perform tasks such as removing duplicates, filtering rows, splitting columns, merging tables, changing data types, applying calculations, and performing advanced transformations using a visual interface or custom functions.
  3. Data Connection and Refresh: Power Query enables you to create connections to data sources and set up automatic data refresh. This ensures that your Excel workbook stays up-to-date with the latest data from the connected sources, saving you time and effort in manual data updates.
  4. Data Cleanup and Data Quality: Power Query offers various data cleansing and data quality features. You can perform operations like removing empty rows, handling null values, replacing values, standardizing data formats, and detecting and correcting data inconsistencies.
  5. Query Folding and Performance Optimization: Power Query optimizes query performance by utilizing query folding whenever possible. Query folding pushes data transformations to the underlying data source, resulting in faster and more efficient data retrieval and processing.
  6. Data Combining and Merging: With Power Query, you can easily combine and merge data from multiple sources. It allows you to merge tables based on common columns, append data from multiple tables, and perform complex join operations to create a unified dataset.
  7. Custom Data Transformations: Power Query provides advanced capabilities to create custom data transformations using the M formula language. You can write custom functions, perform complex calculations, and create reusable query components to streamline your data transformation workflows.
  8. Data Visualization and Reporting: Once the data is imported and transformed using Power Query, you can load it into Excel for further analysis or create reports using Excel’s data visualization tools, such as PivotTables, PivotCharts, and Power View.

Power Query is available as a built-in feature in Excel 2016 and later versions. It offers a powerful and intuitive way to clean, shape, and combine data from various sources, empowering users to perform advanced data analysis and reporting tasks with ease.

Who Should Learn Power Query?

Power Query is a powerful data transformation and preparation tool in Excel that can benefit a wide range of individuals and professionals.

Here are some key groups of people who should consider learning Power Query:

  1. Data Analysts and Business Analysts: Data analysts and business analysts who work extensively with data can greatly benefit from learning Power Query. It enables them to import and transform data from multiple sources, clean and reshape data, and create consolidated datasets for analysis and reporting purposes.
  2. Excel Power Users: Individuals who are already proficient in Excel and frequently work with data can enhance their skills by learning Power Query. It provides advanced data manipulation capabilities beyond Excel’s built-in functions and features, allowing for more efficient and flexible data preparation.
  3. Financial Professionals: Professionals in finance and accounting roles can leverage Power Query to streamline data analysis and reporting tasks. It enables them to import and combine financial data from various sources, perform data cleansing and transformations, and generate accurate and customized financial reports.
  4. Data Scientists and Researchers: Data scientists, researchers, and individuals working in data-intensive fields can use Power Query to preprocess and prepare data for analysis. It enables them to import and combine large datasets, handle data cleaning and transformation tasks, and create structured datasets ready for advanced analysis.
  5. IT Professionals and Data Engineers: IT professionals and data engineers who are involved in data integration and management can benefit from Power Query. It allows them to connect to various data sources, transform and cleanse data, and prepare it for further processing or loading into data warehouses or data lakes.
  6. Project Managers: Project managers who work with data and need to consolidate and analyze project-related information can use Power Query to streamline their data preparation workflows. It enables them to combine data from different project sources, clean and reshape project data, and create consolidated reports or dashboards.
  7. Sales and Marketing Professionals: Sales and marketing professionals can utilize Power Query to extract and transform data from CRM systems, web analytics tools, and other marketing platforms. It enables them to analyze and consolidate sales and marketing data, create custom reports, and derive insights to optimize sales and marketing strategies.
  8. Administrators and Operations Professionals: Professionals responsible for managing administrative tasks, operations, and data-driven processes can benefit from learning Power Query. It allows them to import and transform data from various systems, automate data cleaning and preparation, and streamline operational workflows.
  9. Educators and Trainers: Educators and trainers who teach data analysis or Excel-related topics can enhance their curriculum by including Power Query. Teaching Power Query equips students with valuable skills in data preparation and manipulation, enhancing their data analysis capabilities.
  10. Any Excel User Seeking Advanced Data Preparation Skills: Even individuals who use Excel for personal or basic business purposes can benefit from learning Power Query. It provides them with advanced data manipulation capabilities, enabling them to clean, transform, and combine data effectively.

Learning Power Query can benefit individuals in various roles and industries, empowering them to efficiently handle data preparation tasks and derive valuable insights from their data.

Is Power Query Easy To Learn?

Power Query is generally considered to be user-friendly and relatively easy to learn, especially for individuals who are already familiar with Excel. Here are a few factors that contribute to the ease of learning Power Query:

  1. Visual Interface: Power Query provides a visual interface within Excel, allowing users to perform data transformations and manipulations through a series of intuitive steps. The interface provides a clear representation of the applied transformations, making it easier to understand and modify the data preparation process.
  2. Intuitive Operations: Power Query offers a wide range of built-in transformations and operations that can be applied to data. These include filtering, sorting, splitting columns, merging tables, pivoting, and much more. The operations are designed to be user-friendly and logical, making it easier for users to select and apply the required transformations.
  3. Query Dependencies and Applied Steps: Power Query keeps track of the applied transformations and presents them as a series of applied steps. Each step is displayed in a structured manner, allowing users to review, modify, or remove any step in the data preparation process. The ability to view and edit applied steps provides transparency and makes it easier to troubleshoot and adjust the transformations.
  4. Query Editor Preview: Power Query provides a preview feature that allows users to see the results of applied transformations in real-time. This live preview helps users understand the impact of each step and make adjustments as needed, ensuring the desired data output.
  5. Reusability and Automation: Power Query supports the creation of reusable queries, which can be applied to multiple datasets. Users can define a set of transformations once and then reuse them on different data sources, saving time and effort. Power Query also allows for automation by enabling users to set up scheduled data refreshes or create connections to external data sources.

While Power Query is generally considered user-friendly, the complexity of data transformation tasks can vary. Advanced data transformations or complex data structures may require more in-depth understanding and practice.

With the availability of classroom trainings, documentation, and community support, users can find ample resources to assist them in learning and mastering Power Query.

Intellisoft Training runs a Power BI MasterClass, which covers quite a bit of cleanup of data using Power Query functions and features.

Feel free to join it, or engage Intellisoft for a Corporate Training on Data Analytics & Data Visualization With Power BI

Overall, users with basic Excel skills and a willingness to explore and experiment can quickly grasp the concepts and functionalities of Power Query  in Power BI and start utilizing it for data preparation and analysis tasks.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and the Power Query video. Do write a comment, and let me know what you liked about it.

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash
Founder of ExcelChamp.Net