VLOOKUP Example- Join databases

Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.

A common requirement in Excel is to join databases with VLOOKUP. This often happens when there is a common item in the databases e.g. a client number. You may need to use this when you want to:

  • show product codes and names
  • show a client number and client name if they are on different lists

Exercise- Join Databases

In this example we want to join the address list of the employees with a list of outstanding expenses to determine who has money outstanding. We also want to see whether our address list is complete by checking if everyone is on the address list.

  • In cell C8 use VLOOKUP to link the address list (Column A to C) to the outstanding bills (columns G to L) list and pull through the total outstanding bill.
  • In L8, use a VLOOKUP to check whether all the students listed as having money outstanding are shown on the Address List.


Before you watch the solution, if your answers seem incorrect consider the typical errors made:

  • Your $ signs are wrong. When you copied the formula down the dollar signs are often a problem. If you struggle with $ signs make sure you do the Excel $ signs lessons.
  • You didn't include the whole table as a table array.

To see the full course contents click here.

Back to: Beginner Excel Course > Excel Functions