The DataHero Blog

The Easier Way to Do A VLOOKUP with DataHero

May 29th, 2014


Many of us have data from multiple sources and in many different files. If you want to answer high-level questions that  require data in two different files, a complex VLOOKUP used to be your only option. For example, if you have customer contact information in one dataset, but sales data in another dataset, you’d use a VLOOKUP in Excel.  Luckily, DataHero allows you to combine two datasets, eliminating the need for VLOOKUPs in combining data.  Now, organizations can answer these encompassing business questions by combining two datasets in just a few clicks.

Let’s take a look at VLOOKUPs in Excel. Unfortunately, creating a VLOOKUP requires some advanced functions in Excel, and explaining even a simple example results in an 8-minute long video. The VLOOKUP process looks something like this:

Now, take a look at that process simplified with DataHero. Start off by importing those two separate Excel files from your desktop. In this example I’ll use the same spreadsheets used in the video. Once the spreadsheets are imported click Combine Your Data.

Now drag the key you’d like to combine on into the box. This is the attribute that each dataset has in common that you will use to merge the two datasets.

Then select the second dataset and corresponding key. You’ll see a preview of your new combined dataset, so you can make sure it’s what you want, then hit Combine:

Your datasets are combined in a few simple drag and drop motions!  All that is left to do is create a chart from your combined dataset. If you’d like to export the resulting dataset into a single CSV file, you can do that as well.

DataHero now suggests charts based on patterns in your combined dataset. Use one of these or create your own by clicking the Create A New chart button.

Now, simply drag and drop the attributes you want to visualize onto the chart and DataHero will do the rest in creating that chart. In the example below, you would simply drag on State and Sales and DataHero suggests a map to display that information.

With that, you now have the answer to your sales question in under two minutes. A VLOOKUP in Excel would’ve taken far longer than this, even if you are familiar with the process and don’t have to stumble through the formulas and functions.

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By Kelli Simpson

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