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I'd like to search a spreadsheet for a name, and pick out the most recent date next to it if possible please? My data looks a little like:

|      Name      |     Date         |
|----------------|------------------|
|      Sally     |     04/06/2017   |
|----------------|------------------|
|      Tim       |     12/04/2018   |
|----------------|------------------|
|      Sally     |     16/09/2019   |
|----------------|------------------|
|      Sally     |     29/02/2018   |

In this case, I'd like to return 12/04/2018 for Tim, and 16/09/2019 for Sally.

Is this possible please?

Update: still struggling with this formula:

=ARRAYFORMULA(SORT(VLOOKUP(QUERY(
 {ROW(Events!A2:A), SORT(Events
!A2:D)},
 "select max(Col1) where Col2 <> '' group by Col2 label max(Col1)''", 0), 
 {ROW(Events!A2:A), SORT(Events!A2:D)},
 {2, 3},
 0), 1, 0))

The dates are Events!A and the names are Events!D for what it's worth.

  • 1
    FYI 29/02/2018 is not a valid date – user0 Sep 2 '18 at 23:33
1
=ARRAYFORMULA(SORT(VLOOKUP(QUERY(
 {ROW(B2:B), SORT(A2:B)},
 "select max(Col1) where Col2 <> '' group by Col2 label max(Col1)''", 0), 
 {ROW(B2:B), SORT(A2:B)},
 {2, 3},
 0), 1, 0))

this kind of creates a new virtual array in a virtual column which sorts that column with dates and with the rest of the data feeds QUERY which is returned in VLOOKUP consisting of columns 2 and 3 (virtual column 1 is omitted) and lastly output gets sorted by column 1 and 0 indicates that sorting is descending (1 would be ascending)


european syntax:

=ARRAYFORMULA(SORT(VLOOKUP(QUERY(
 {ROW(B2:B) \ SORT(A2:B)};
 "select max(Col1) where Col2 <> '' group by Col2 label max(Col1)''"; 0); 
 {ROW(B2:B) \ SORT(A2:B)};
 {2 \ 3};
 0); 1; 0))
  • Thank you so much! This looks perfect, but I'm struggling to get it working. Specifically the formula outputs N/A, and I'm noticing that it keeps changing SORT(Events!C2:A) to SORT(Events!A2:C) for no reason, even if I clear the formula and start again :( – Nick Sep 3 '18 at 12:21
  • 1
    A2:C is valid syntax not C2:A. other than that I cant help you further unless you provide a copy of your sheet or at least mention which columns you had dedicated for this – user0 Sep 3 '18 at 22:41
  • Thank you so much, I've updated the original post - the date column is Events!A and the names column is Events!D. I'm looking up the vlookup query function right now but I'm struggling to get to grips with it, sorry :( – Nick Sep 4 '18 at 21:39
  • @Nick try: =ARRAYFORMULA(SORT(VLOOKUP(QUERY( {ROW(Events!D2:D), SORT(Events!A2:D)}, "select max(Col1) where Col2 <> '' group by Col2 label max(Col1)''", 0), {ROW(Events!D2:D), SORT(Events!A2:D)}, {2, 5}, 0), 1, 0)) – user0 Sep 4 '18 at 22:10

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