Excel Tutorial: How To Merge Two Tables In Excel

Introduction


Merging tables in Excel is a crucial skill for anyone working with large sets of data. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a business owner, being able to combine data from multiple sources can streamline your work and provide valuable insights. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of merging two tables in Excel, so you can enhance your data management skills and make the most out of your information.


Key Takeaways


  • Merging tables in Excel is a valuable skill for anyone working with large sets of data
  • Understanding the structure and common key column of the tables is crucial for successful merging
  • VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and Power Query are powerful tools for merging tables in Excel
  • Removing duplicates and blank rows is important for clean and accurate merged data
  • Practice and experimentation are key to mastering the merging process in Excel


Understanding the data


Before merging two tables in Excel, it’s important to first understand the structure and the key column that will be used to merge the tables.

A. Know the structure of the two tables

Take a look at the two tables that you want to merge and understand their structure. Identify the headers and the data within each table. This will give you a clear idea of what information is contained in each table and how they align with each other.

B. Identify the common key column to merge the tables

Next, identify the common key column that exists in both tables. This will be the column that you will use to merge the tables together. The key column could be a unique identifier such as a customer ID, product code, or date. Understanding the key column is crucial for a successful merge.


Using VLOOKUP function


A. Explain the VLOOKUP function in Excel

The VLOOKUP function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to search for a value in the first column of a table and return a value in the same row from another column. This function is commonly used to merge data from two tables based on a common key column.

B. Demonstrate how to use VLOOKUP to merge the two tables based on the common key column


When you have two tables with a common key column, you can use the VLOOKUP function to merge the data from these tables into a single table. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  • First, open a new Excel workbook and create a new sheet for your merged table.
  • Next, enter the common key column in the new sheet where you want to merge the data.
  • Then, use the VLOOKUP function in the adjacent columns to retrieve the data from the two original tables using the common key column.
  • Make sure to specify the table array, column index number, and exact match or approximate match criteria in the VLOOKUP function to accurately merge the data.
  • Once you have used the VLOOKUP function for both tables, you will have successfully merged the data based on the common key column.


Using INDEX and MATCH functions


When it comes to merging two tables in Excel, the INDEX and MATCH functions can be incredibly useful. These functions allow you to lookup a value in a specific row or column within a table, and then return a value from that same position in another table. This can be a great alternative to the VLOOKUP function, especially when dealing with more complex datasets.

Explain the INDEX and MATCH functions in Excel


The INDEX function in Excel returns the value of a cell in a table based on the column and row number. It takes two arguments: the array (or range) and the row number and column number. The MATCH function, on the other hand, returns the relative position of a specified value in a range. It takes three arguments: the lookup value, the lookup array, and the match type.

Show how to use INDEX and MATCH to merge the tables when VLOOKUP is not suitable


There are times when the VLOOKUP function may not be suitable for merging tables, such as when the lookup value is not in the first column of the table or when you need to lookup values to the left of the lookup column. In such cases, the INDEX and MATCH functions can come to the rescue.

  • Step 1: First, use the MATCH function to find the position of the lookup value in the lookup array.
  • Step 2: Next, use the INDEX function to return the value from the result of the MATCH function.
  • Step 3: Repeat the process for each column you want to merge from the second table.


Using Power Query to Merge Tables in Excel


Excel provides a powerful tool called Power Query that allows users to merge tables with ease. This feature is especially useful when working with large datasets or when combining data from multiple sources. In this tutorial, we will walk through the process of merging tables using Power Query.

Introduce Power Query as a powerful tool to merge tables


Power Query is a data connection technology that enables you to discover, connect, combine, and refine data across a wide variety of sources. It allows users to perform data transformation and manipulation tasks, including merging tables, without the need for complex formulas or macros.

Walk through the process of merging tables using Power Query


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to merge two tables using Power Query:

  • Step 1: Open your Excel workbook and navigate to the Data tab.
  • Step 2: Click on the Get Data option and select the appropriate data source (e.g., Excel, CSV, SQL Server, etc.) from which you want to import the tables.
  • Step 3: Once the data has been imported, go to the Home tab and click on the Transform Data option. This will open the Power Query Editor.
  • Step 4: In the Power Query Editor, you can see the imported tables in separate tabs. Select the first table that you want to merge with another table.
  • Step 5: Click on the Merge Queries option in the Home tab and choose the second table that you want to merge with the first table.
  • Step 6: Specify the columns that you want to use as the merge keys and the type of join (e.g., Inner, Left Outer, Right Outer, Full Outer) that you want to perform.
  • Step 7: Once you have configured the merge settings, click OK to merge the tables. The Power Query Editor will create a new merged table based on your specifications.
  • Step 8: Lastly, click Close & Load to import the merged table into your Excel workbook.


Removing duplicates and blank rows


When merging two tables in Excel, it is important to ensure that the resulting table is clean and free from any duplicate or blank rows. This not only helps in maintaining data accuracy but also makes the table more organized and easier to work with.

Discuss the importance of removing duplicates and blank rows


Duplicates and blank rows can cause errors in data analysis and reporting. They can skew the results and lead to incorrect conclusions. Removing these unwanted elements from the merged table ensures that the data is accurate and reliable.

Provide step-by-step instructions to remove duplicates and blank rows in the merged table


To remove duplicates in the merged table, follow these steps:

  • Select the merged table: Click and drag to select the entire merged table.
  • Go to the "Data" tab: Click on the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the window.
  • Click on "Remove Duplicates": In the Data Tools group, click on "Remove Duplicates" option.
  • Choose the columns: Select the columns that you want to check for duplicates and click "OK".
  • Review the results: Excel will remove the duplicate rows and provide a summary of how many duplicates were found and removed.

To remove blank rows in the merged table, follow these steps:

  • Select the merged table: Click and drag to select the entire merged table.
  • Press Ctrl+G: This will open the "Go To" dialog box.
  • Click on "Special": In the "Go To" dialog box, click on the "Special" button.
  • Choose "Blanks": In the "Go To Special" dialog box, choose the option for "Blanks" and click "OK".
  • Delete the selected rows: Once the blank cells are selected, right-click and choose "Delete" to remove the blank rows from the table.


Conclusion


In conclusion, merging tables in Excel is a crucial skill that allows you to combine and analyze data more effectively. By merging tables, you can create a single, comprehensive dataset that provides valuable insights for decision-making and reporting purposes.

As with any new skill, practice and experimentation are key to mastering the merging process in Excel. Don't be afraid to try different methods and explore the various features available to find the best approach for your specific data merging needs.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99
ULTIMATE EXCEL DASHBOARDS BUNDLE

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles