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

Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default

When you save your documents, you can specify that they be saved in a "read-only" format so that they cannot be changed as ...

Discover More

Better-Looking Full Justification for Paragraphs

If you want Word to justify paragraphs in the same way that it is done in WordPerfect, you'll want to apply the steps in this ...

Discover More

Adjusting Your View of 3-D Graphs

Do you use Excel's charting capabilities to display three-dimensional views of your data? The program provides a way that you ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Calculating Week-Ending Dates

When working with dates, you may need to figure out all the dates on which weeks end in a given year. There are several ...

Discover More

Calculating a Group Retirement Date

Calculating a retirement date can be as simple as doing some date math to see when a person reaches a certain age. ...

Discover More

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
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. 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 7 + 5?

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.