Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Dates for Minimums and Maximums.

Finding the Dates for Minimums and Maximums

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 21, 2014)

Michael has some data in two columns of a worksheet. Column A is a series of dates and column B contains expenditures for each of those dates. He needs a way to determine the date on which the minimum expenditure occurred and a way to find the date on which the maximum expenditure occurred.

At first glance you might be tempted to think you could use VLOOKUP to figure out the desired date. Unfortunately, that won't work because VLOOKUP keys off of whatever data is in the first column of your data table. Since you want to key off of the amount (looking for the minimum and maximum), you would need to switch the position of the columns, so that column A contained the amount and column B contained the dates. If you do that, you could then use the following formulas to find the dates for the minimum and maximum expenditures, respectively:

=VLOOKUP(MIN(A:A),A:B,2,0)
=VLOOKUP(MAX(A:A),A:B,2,0)

If you cannot change the data columns, then you'll need to forego VLOOKUP and use a different approach, instead. The following two formulas will work with the data as originally specified by Michael:

=INDEX(A:A,MATCH(MIN(B:B),B:B,0))
=INDEX(A:A,MATCH(MAX(B:B),B:B,0))

It is important to note that if there are duplicates of the maximum and/or minimum expenditures, these formulas will only find the dates of the first occurrences. If this is not expected to happen often, a formula such as this could be used to alert the user to the existence of duplicates:

=IF(COUNTIF(B:B, MAX(B:B))>1, "Multiple Maximums ",
INDEX(A:A, MATCH(MAX(B:B), B:B, 0)))

To make this formula work for minimums, just replace the two instances of MAX with MIN and change the word "Maximums" to "Minimums."

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9662) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Dates for Minimums and Maximums.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Canceling a Menu

Want to cancel whatever menu command you started to use in Excel? The normal method is by pressing Esc, but this is not the ...

Discover More

A Fast Find-Next

Tired of the Find and Replace dialog box blocking the view of your worksheet when you are searching for information? Do what ...

Discover More

Examining Styles and Macros in a Template

Templates are very powerful with the ability to contain both styles and macros. If you want to see what styles and macros are ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Copying Dates a Year Into the Future

Need to copy a range of dates and update them to a different year? Here are a number of ways to accomplish this task with a ...

Discover More

Leap Years and Fiscal Periods

Need to figure out when a fiscal year ends when that period does not correspond to the calendar year? Here are some ways that ...

Discover More

Using Early Dates

Excel is brilliant at handling dates—as long as they aren't dates earlier than the base date used by the program. If ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.