Fuzzy Lookup is Microsoft’s add in for Excel Tables that give brilliant results!
Using Excel’s VLOOKUP tool can be frustrating for finance folks and business analysts because it requires an exact match to get the link between two sets of information. For example, if you look up J Hirst and the other information shows Hirst, J, you will not get a match.
Enter Fuzzy Lookup. Microsoft designed Fuzzy Lookup to work only within Excel Tables so all data must be converted to tables to start the process. My thought is that data is easier to work with in tables, anyway. Fuzzy Lookup will match J Hirst with Hirst, J, and you can ask Excel to check again for all matches. The match rate is quite high. Here is what Microsoft says about Fuzzy Lookup…
The Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel was developed by Microsoft Research and performs fuzzy matching of textual data in Microsoft Excel. It can be used to identify fuzzy duplicate rows within a single table or to fuzzy join similar rows between two different tables. The matching is robust to a wide variety of errors including spelling mistakes, abbreviations, synonyms and added/missing data. For instance, it might detect that the rows “Mr. Andrew Hill”, “Hill, Andrew R.” and “Andy Hill” all refer to the same underlying entity, returning a similarity score along with each match. While the default configuration works well for a wide variety of textual data, such as product names or customer addresses, the matching may also be customized for specific domains or languages.
Before you can use Fuzzy Lookup, you must download it from Microsoft and install it on your computer. The link is http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15011.
Fuzzy Lookup is a super tool that will make your analyzing of data so much easier.