# Excel - COLUMN Function Problem - Expert Solution

Question description:
This user has given permission to use the problem statement for this blog.

I need a formula to find outliers in columns A and B. Basically, we are looking at long lists of names that (in theory) are supposed to match. We are essentially cross checking two databases and making sure our customers are in both lists. Sometimes they only show up in one column or database, and I would like to find the outliers without having scroll through 1000 or so names and looking for extras. Is there a formula that can help me?
Solved by Z. H. in 23 mins
This is the chat thread from the real Excelchat help session. It contains no private user information.
User 08/04/2018 - 05:13
Yes
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:13
Hello there! :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:13
I use 2016 and have been using Excel for about a year or so
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:14
Oh okay. :) Thanks for answering the auto questions. Do you have a working file we can work with during this session? :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:14
No
User 08/04/2018 - 05:14
But I think I can describe the problem pretty well
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:15
Oh okay, sure then :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:15
Nice
User 08/04/2018 - 05:15
I can show you on the example sheet right?
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:15
Yeah you can! :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:16
Ok
User 08/04/2018 - 05:16
So I'm working with two databases with a long list of names and we basically cross check them to see if our records are good
User 08/04/2018 - 05:16
I will write a short example but the list is obviously longer
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:16
Oh okay. This two databases are in a single excel sheet?
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:17
Oh sure then, please do! :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:17
We download the names and combine them on one sheet to make sure everyone matches up
User 08/04/2018 - 05:19
Ok
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:19
Nice! So you wish to compare column A and column B right?
User 08/04/2018 - 05:19
So this list is usually very long, but I need a formula that will signal to me when there are extras
User 08/04/2018 - 05:19
Yes
User 08/04/2018 - 05:19
I need to see the differences
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:21
I see. You want to know if the no. of Anthony's in column B exceed the no. of Anthony's in column A?
User 08/04/2018 - 05:22
Yes, I think that is what I want. If someone is only present in one column that means they are not active in one of our databases and that is a problem
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:22
Or could you provide a quick result of the given scenario in the document preview?
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:22
Oh okay!
User 08/04/2018 - 05:23
And I typed doubles because we tend to get similar names
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:23
Will it matter if there are 5 Anthony's in column B and only 4 Anthony's in column A?
User 08/04/2018 - 05:23
Yes
User 08/04/2018 - 05:23
But that happens less generally but it is important
User 08/04/2018 - 05:24
Column B tends to be the column where we have more people
User 08/04/2018 - 05:24
So if we get an Anthony Kim, I need to know that there is or isn't one in column B
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:25
okay then! Let me draft a formula for you :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:25
Ok sweet
User 08/04/2018 - 05:26
Thank you
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:27
Okay, just made a formula in column C.
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:27
It tries to find in column A if there's a similar cell compared to column B.
User 08/04/2018 - 05:27
OK
User 08/04/2018 - 05:28
and I assume you could do the opposite for the other column?
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:28
yes we can! Let me do it for you :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:28
Ok thank you!
User 08/04/2018 - 05:30
Just added a bit more time
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:30
Done! I've put it on column B to have them side by side. :)
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:30
Sure thing :)
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:32
I've put in column B the "signal" to whether there's a name in List 1 that doesn't match or matches a name in List 2
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:33
For example, the name "Hailey" in List 1 doesn't have a similar name in List 2. That's why it was tagged as "No match"
User 08/04/2018 - 05:33
Ok
User 08/04/2018 - 05:33
OK
User 08/04/2018 - 05:33
When you apply these formulas the columns should be next to eachother?
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:33
In List 2, the name "Johny" doesn't have a match in List 1, thus the "No match" signal. :)
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:33
not necessarily. :)
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:34
we can put them in a different column. We just need to ensure that the formulas are referenced correctly. :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:34
Ok
User 08/04/2018 - 05:34
I will stick with the easy way for now
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:34
Oh sure thing! :)
User 08/04/2018 - 05:34
but this looks like the formulas I need!
User 08/04/2018 - 05:34
hanks
User 08/04/2018 - 05:34
Thanks
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:35
Sure thing! thanks as well for your time. you may end the session if all is well, and you may as well leave a good feedback lol! Have a nice day ahead! :)
Excelchat Expert 08/04/2018 - 05:36
User 08/04/2018 - 05:36
Ok
User 08/04/2018 - 05:36
I'm ending it!
User 08/04/2018 - 05:36
thanks

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