Monday, September 4, 2017

Using Fuzzy Lookup In Excel To Match Inconsistently Spelt Items, like People's Names

VLOOKUP won't help you if you need to match two list of names where the first name -- last name positions are often swapped and middle name initial is present in one but absent in the other.

What then can you do?

Use Microsoft's Fuzzy Lookup add-in. You can download it here: Microsoft Research's Fuzzy Lookup

When you are done installing it, you will see it show as a new menu tab in your Excel.

If it's not showing up in yours, you might need to toggle it off and on in the COM Add-in section of Excel Options.

So how do you use it?

Copy the two records side by side in one sheet in Excel.

 Then format each record set as a Table. And you 60% done. 

Just launch the Fuzzy Lookup tool and set the fields you want to match. Set the Similarity Threshold. 

Select the cell to put the output results and click on Go.

And that's all! You'll see it work its magic, saving hours you would have spent doing manual matching.