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Looking up and replacing massive Excel data

Question during a “drop in” session: I have an Excel Workbook with several large worksheets. Three worksheets contain over 100,000 rows, one contains over 80,000 and another 23,000 rows. I need to match up the IDs and place the information from two massive worksheets into the one with 23,000 rows and I can’t figure out how to do it without having to search for each record manually.

Answer: I was possible to use a VLookup formula, however by the time I got to the third column to match and run the formula with such massive data, Excel “choked” and I was not able to save the results or even complete the task. So I went to my favorite application – Access. I imported the three tables into Access, then I created a query joining the common ID field, and selected the desired files, and got results in a matter of seconds, Then I exported the results to Excel. This was SO much faster and easier in Access than using Excel, in my opinion.

This was a question from a medical student during one of our drop in help sessions. I love challenging questions (and simple ones too) and helping people with their projects. These drop in sessions are a good opportunity to get one-on-one help on a variety of projects. See our schedule here.

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