INDEX Function in Excel

๐ Part 1: Introducing the INDEX Function in Microsoft Excel ๐

Definition: The INDEX function in Microsoft Excel is a powerful lookup function that allows you to retrieve specific values or references from a range of cells or an array. It provides a flexible way to access data based on row and column positions within the specified range.

Purpose: The primary purpose of the INDEX function is to fetch data from a table or array dynamically. It is beneficial when dealing with large datasets and performing complex data analysis tasks in Excel.

Syntax & Arguments: The syntax of the INDEX function is as follows:

syntax
`INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num]) `
• `array`: The range or array of data from which you want to extract the value.
• `row_num`: The row number within the variety you want to remove the weight.
• `[column_num]`: (Optional) The column number within the variety you want to remove the weight. If omitted, the entire row specifiedย  `row_num` will be returned.

Explain the Arguments in the Function:

• `array`: This is the range of cells or arrays containing the data you want to extract from. It can be a single row, column, or multi-dimensional range.
• `row_num`: This argument specifies the row number within the array from which you want to extract the value.
• `column_num`: (Optional) This argument specifies the column number within the variety from which you want to remove the weight. If not provided, the entire row setย  `row_num` will be returned.

Return Value: The INDEX function returns the value located at the intersection of the specified row and column within the given array.

Remarks:

• The INDEX function is commonly combined with MATCH and IF to perform more advanced data lookups and calculations.
• It is a versatile function for various Excel data retrieval and referencing tasks.

๐ Part 2: Examples of Using the INDEX Function ๐

๐ Example 1: Sales Data Table (Sheet: “SalesData”)

Table 1 (Sales Data Table) – Sheet: “SalesData”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameSales
2101Laptop\$25,000
3102Smartphone\$32,000
4103Tablet\$18,000

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Product ID)Sales for Product ID
2102=INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
3103=INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A3, SalesData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
4101=INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A4, SalesData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))

Explanation: In this example, we have a sales data table with product information, and we want to retrieve the sales amount for each product based on its Product ID using the INDEX combined with the MATCH function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))”. The MATCH function searches for the value in cell A2 (Product ID 102) within the range of Product IDs in the “SalesData” sheet (B2:B4) and returns the relative row number, which is 2. The INDEX function then uses this row number to extract the corresponding sales value from the Sales column (C2:C4), which is \$32,000.

๐ Example 2: Inventory Table (Sheet: “Inventory”)

Table 1 (Inventory Table) – Sheet: “Inventory”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameQuantity
2101Laptop15
3102Smartphone20
4103Tablet10

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Product ID)Quantity for Product ID
2101=INDEX(Inventory!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, Inventory!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
3103=INDEX(Inventory!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A3, Inventory!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
4102=INDEX(Inventory!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A4, Inventory!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))

Explanation: In this example, we have an inventory table with product information, and we want to retrieve the quantity of each product based on its Product ID using the INDEX function combined with the MATCH function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=INDEX(Inventory!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, Inventory!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))”. The MATCH function searches for the value in cell A2 (Product ID 101) within the range of Product IDs in the “Inventory” sheet (B2:B4) and returns the relative row number, which is 1. The INDEX function then uses this row number to extract the corresponding quantity value from the Quantity column (C2:C4), which is 15.

๐ Example 4: Sales Data Table (Sheet: “SalesData”)

Table 1 (Sales Data Table) – Sheet: “SalesData”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameSales
2101Laptop\$25,000
3102Smartphone\$32,000
4103Tablet\$18,000

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Product ID)Sales for Product ID (with IF function)

Explanation: In this example, we want to check if the product corresponding to the specified Product ID is a “Laptop” using the INDEX combined with the IF function. If the product is a laptop, we retrieve the sales value using INDEX; otherwise, we display “Not Found”. The formula in cell B2 would be “=IF(INDEX(SalesData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0))=”Laptop”, INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0)), “Not Found”)”. The INDEX function retrieves the product name based on the Product ID (A2) using the MATCH function. If the product name is “Laptop”, the sales value is extracted using INDEX; otherwise, “Not Found” is displayed.

๐ Example 5: Student Scores Table (Sheet: “StudentScores”)

Table 1 (Student Scores Table) – Sheet: “StudentScores”

ABC
1Student IDSubjectScore
2001Math85
3001Science90
4002Math78
5002Science88

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Student ID)Average Score for Student ID (with SUM and IF function)
2001=IF(SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A2, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))>0, SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A2, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))/COUNTIF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, A2), “N/A”)
3002=IF(SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A3, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))>0, SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A3, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))/COUNTIF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, A3), “N/A”)

Explanation: In this example, we want to calculate the average score for each student based on their Student ID using the INDEX function combined with the SUM and IF functions. The formula in cell B2 would be “=IF(SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A2, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))>0, SUM(INDEX(StudentScores!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5=A2, ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5)-ROW(StudentScores!\$A\$2)+1)))/COUNTIF(StudentScores!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, A2), “N/A”)”. The INDEX function is nested with the IF function to find the rows corresponding to Student ID 001 (A2). Then, the SUM function calculates the total score, and the COUNTIF function counts the occurrences of Student ID 001. Finally, the average score is calculated for each student, and if no score is found, “N/A” is displayed.

๐ Example 6: Expenses Table (Sheet: “Expenses”)

Table 1 (Expenses Table) – Sheet: “Expenses”

ABC
1CategorySubcategoryAmount
2GroceriesFood\$200
3GroceriesToiletries\$50
4TransportFuel\$100
5TransportParking\$30

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Category)Total Expenses for Category (with SUMIF and INDEX function)
2Groceries=SUMIF(INDEX(Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, MATCH(A2, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)), A2, INDEX(Expenses!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, MATCH(A2, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)))
3Transport=SUMIF(INDEX(Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, MATCH(A3, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)), A3, INDEX(Expenses!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, MATCH(A3, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)))

Explanation: In this example, we want to calculate each category’s total expenses using the INDEX combined with the SUMIF function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=SUMIF(INDEX(Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, MATCH(A2, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)), A2, INDEX(Expenses!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, MATCH(A2, Expenses!\$A\$2:\$A\$5, 0)))”. The INDEX function finds the rows corresponding to the category “Groceries” (A2) using the MATCH function. Then, the SUMIF function calculates the total expenses for the category “Groceries” by summing the amounts for the matching rows in column C.

๐ Example 7: Employee Data Table (Sheet: “EmployeeData”)

Table 1 (Employee Data Table) – Sheet: “EmployeeData”

ABC
1Employee IDNameDepartment
2001JohnSales
3002MaryMarketing
4003BobFinance

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Employee ID)Employee Name (with IFERROR and INDEX function)

Explanation: In this example, we want to find the employee’s name based on their Employee ID using the INDEX combined with the IFERROR function. If the Employee ID is found, the employee’s name is retrieved using INDEX; otherwise, “Not Found” is displayed. The formula in cell B2 would be “=IFERROR(INDEX(EmployeeData!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, MATCH(A2, EmployeeData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0)), “Not Found”)”. The INDEX function looks for the Employee ID (A2) in the range A2:A4 using the MATCH function. If the Employee ID is found, the corresponding employee’s name is returned from column B; otherwise, “Not Found” is displayed using the IFERROR function.

๐ Example 8: Product Inventory Table (Sheet: “Inventory”)

Table 1 (Product Inventory Table) – Sheet: “Inventory”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameStock
2101Laptop15
3102Smartphone20
4103Tablet10

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Product Name)Current Stock for Product (with VLOOKUP and INDEX function)
2Laptop=VLOOKUP(A2, INDEX(Inventory!\$B\$2:\$C\$4, 0, 2), 2, FALSE)
3Headphones=VLOOKUP(A3, INDEX(Inventory!\$B\$2:\$C\$4, 0, 2), 2, FALSE)
4Tablet=VLOOKUP(A4, INDEX(Inventory!\$B\$2:\$C\$4, 0, 2), 2, FALSE)

Explanation: In this example, we want to find the current stock for each product based on its name using the INDEX function combined with the VLOOKUP function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=VLOOKUP(A2, INDEX(Inventory!\$B\$2:\$C\$4, 0, 2), 2, FALSE)”. The INDEX function creates an array with the Product Name (B2:B4) and Stock (C2:C4) columns. Then, the VLOOKUP function searches for the product name (A2) within the first column of this array and returns the corresponding stock value from the second column.

๐ Example 9: Employee Salary Table (Sheet: “Salaries”)

Table 1 (Employee Salary Table) – Sheet: “Salaries”

ABC
1Employee IDNameSalary
2101John\$50,000
3102Mary\$60,000
4103Bob\$55,000

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Employee Name)Salary for Employee (with INDEX and MATCH function)
2John=INDEX(Salaries!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, Salaries!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
3Sarah=INDEX(Salaries!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A3, Salaries!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))
4Mary=INDEX(Salaries!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A4, Salaries!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))

Explanation: In this example, we want to find the salary for each employee based on their name using the INDEX function combined with the MATCH function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=INDEX(Salaries!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, Salaries!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, 0))”. The MATCH function searches for the employee name “John” (A2) within the range of employee names in column B and returns the relative row number 1. The INDEX function then uses this row number to extract the corresponding salary from the Salary column (C2:C4), which is \$50,000.

๐ Example 10: Product Sales Table (Sheet: “Sales”)

Table 1 (Product Sales Table) – Sheet: “Sales”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameQuantity
2101Laptop5
3102Smartphone8
4103Tablet3

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Quantity)Product Name (with SMALL and INDEX functions)
21=INDEX(Sales!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, SMALL(INDEX((Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4=A2)*ROW(Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4), 0), ROW(1:1)))
32=INDEX(Sales!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, SMALL(INDEX((Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4=A3)*ROW(Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4), 0), ROW(1:1)))

Explanation: In this example, we want to find the product name based on the number of sales using the INDEX combined with the SMALL function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=INDEX(Sales!\$B\$2:\$B\$4, SMALL(INDEX((Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4=A2)*ROW(Sales!\$C\$2:\$C\$4), 0), ROW(1:1)))”. The INDEX function creates an array based on the condition that matches the quantity (A2) with the Quantity column (C2:C4). The SMALL function returns the nth smallest value from this array, where n is determined by the ROW function (1). Finally, the INDEX function retrieves the corresponding product name from column B based on the row number.

๐ Example 11: Exam Scores Table (Sheet: “Exams”)

Table 1 (Exam Scores Table) – Sheet: “Exams”

ABC
1Student IDExam NameScore
2001Math85
3001Science90
4002Math78
5002Science88

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Exam Name)Average Score for Exam (with AVERAGE and INDEX function)
2Math=AVERAGE(INDEX(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(Exams!\$B\$2:\$B\$5=A2, ROW(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5)-ROW(Exams!\$C\$2)+1)))
3Science=AVERAGE(INDEX(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(Exams!\$B\$2:\$B\$5=A3, ROW(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5)-ROW(Exams!\$C\$2)+1)))

Explanation: In this example, we want to calculate the average score for each exam based on its name using the INDEX combined with the AVERAGE function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=AVERAGE(INDEX(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5, IF(Exams!\$B\$2:\$B\$5=A2, ROW(Exams!\$C\$2:\$C\$5)-ROW(Exams!\$C\$2)+1)))”. The INDEX function is nested with the IF function to find the rows corresponding to the exam “Math” (A2). Then, the AVERAGE function calculates the average score for all rows found in column C.

๐ Example 12: Product Sales Table (Sheet: “SalesData”)

Table 1 (Product Sales Table) – Sheet: “SalesData”

ABC
1Product IDProduct NameSales
2101Laptop\$25,000
3102Smartphone\$32,000
4103Tablet\$18,000

Table 2 (INDEX Result) – Sheet: “ResultsSheet”

AB
1Search Value (Product ID)Sales for Product (with MAX and INDEX function)
2101=MAX(INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0)))
3102=MAX(INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A3, SalesData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0)))

Explanation: In this example, we want to find the highest sales value for each product based on its Product ID using the INDEX function combined with the MAX function. The formula in cell B2 would be “=MAX(INDEX(SalesData!\$C\$2:\$C\$4, MATCH(A2, SalesData!\$A\$2:\$A\$4, 0)))”. The INDEX function is nested with the MATCH function to find the row corresponding to Product ID 101 (A2). Then, the MAX function calculates the highest sales value from the Sales column (C2:C4) for the matched row.

๐ Part 3: Tips and Tricks ๐

1. When using the INDEX function, ensure that the range references are correctly locked with dollar signs (\$) if the formula will be copied to other cells.
2. Combine INDEX with other functions like MATCH to perform dynamic lookups and calculations based on changing criteria.
3. If the INDEX function cannot find the specified row or column, it will return a #N/A error. You can use the IFERROR function to handle such errors gracefully.
4. Experiment with multi-dimensional ranges to extract data from more complex data structures, such as tables with row and column headers.
5. The INDEX function is an excellent alternative to VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP when dealing with large datasets, as it can be faster and more efficient.