# Excel Formula To Equal Second Last Number In A Column Index and Match – 3 Things I Love About This Lookup Formula

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This formula is not so easy to read and write at first. I stayed away from it for almost two years. But I paid the price, every time I used the VLOOKUP function the required column was moved to the left of the backend table.

The fact that doing this backend-editing on an ongoing basis made me aware that it was a very inefficient process. Sometimes, I needed to search different fields in the same backend table. I can’t imagine having different tables with different column layouts to meet VLOOKUP needs.

Then, I discovered the INDEX and MATCH formula functionality, here are 3 reasons I love it…

1) I like the INDEX and MATCH formula because I can search like a backend list

Reason: I don’t need to move columns to the left of the backend list. Now; I can search any field by changing formula instead of lookup table.

2) I like the INDEX and MATCH formula because I get the position of the found value

Reason: The MATCH function returns the row number in which the lookup_value was found. I can later use this position to perform additional calculations or embed this value in other formulas.

3) I like the INDEX and MATCH formula because I can use it as part of an array formula.

Reason: Being familiar with the INDEX and MATCH formula makes your life easier when you need to write lookup array formulas, as they use the INDEX and MATCH combo as the base formula.

summary

INDEX and MATCH seem intimidating at first, but you replace the VLOOKUP function because this formula provides the same functionality and more.

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