Before we proceed with the description of approximate match and fuzzy lookups in excel, it is of great significance to explain a little about look up functions of excel. These functions are the commonly used approaches for summarized work and quick hit to the nearest target value. There are several look up functions in excel such as VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP and MATCH.

These functions are used at various instances based on the requirement and their relevant effect. Like as we take an example of VLOOKUP function which helps nominating the target value in two basic steps, match and return. This function, like we said is used to find the matching value as per stated range of VLOOKUP. Like you mention a word or number to excel and it finds approximately matching value instantly.

excel-lookup-functions

What is Fuzzy Lookup and How to perform it?

As anyone can get it from the name, fuzzy means linked or look alike to the actual but not the actual. It is a function of excel like approximate match which strives maximum to find the possible interlinking between searched result and given return.

Since it is not for the exact search target therefore its basic purpose is find two text strings which nearly similar but not identical. Like you can find the number 250 and it shows result as 750, 520, 502, and 150 or somewhat like this.

Since we find no exact but similar result which is fuzzy in nature, therefore we can’t perform it on the built-in look up functions of excel. But for this reason, there is an option given by Microsoft that is a newly developed add-in like and extended plug-in which perform fuzzy lookup away from the compared features available in excel.fuzzy

How do they Work?

With a property of search and finding, we attach the given data strings to a search point where hitting the relevant target will result in the availability of commonly matching terms. This makes the task easier to operate the data and registries for finding frequently used entries.

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