Many of us have to do matches of data in excel to update Sometimes though that data is not exact. Inc. versus Incorporated. Or its John A Smith in one system versus John Smith in another.

Instead of manually searching and fixing it, Excel (for Windows only unfortunately) has an Add-In that does a nice job of fuzzy matching.

Here is the link.

After installing the add-in into excel the steps to use it are pretty basic and the readme file contained within the setup is incredibly comprehensive.

UPDATE: We found an Add-on to allow you to do something similar in Google Sheets:

Google Sheets Add-on

What is Fuzzy Matching?

Lets say I have a data set with the following names:

  • John Smith
  • Jane Doe
  • Ronald P. Moore

And I have another data set with the following names:

  • John R Smith
  • Janealicious Doe
  • Ron Moore

In a standard pattern match, these data sets would never line up if we were using the names to match. Well a fuzzy match tool will break down the names into their basic components and try to match it all together. Is it 100% perfect and reliable? No probably not, but it can save a dramatic quantity of time especially if you know there are other data points that can be used as validators.

Could be a great timesaver for you if you’re playing with data.

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