Note! This is part of a series on using IMPORTRANGE in Google Sheets. If you don’t know how to use IMPORTRANGE or what it is, I encourage you to head back to the first tutorial.
When I first sat down to write this tutorial, I had a specific opinion that one approach to using VLOOKUP on IMPORTRANGE data was better than another. However, I wanted to be certain. I ran some basic tests comparing the two approaches to see how they both perform over large data sets, and you know what? I was surprised to find I couldn’t find a discernable difference in performance.
Next, I reached out to some of the other fellow Google Sheets nerds, who like to go way too far with software for all the wrong reasons, and they seemed to feel that those demi-gods of Google devs really understand the wayward predilections of their users and may have benevolently stored the IMPORTRANGE data locally in the sheet you have imported to.
Will we ever know for certain? Only ever perhaps in the lay of the tea leaves or roll of the bones. We can but only guess the ways of the Googler as they traverse the digital world in all their etheral glory.
What does this mean in short? There are two pretty solid ways to use VLOOKUP with IMPORTRANGE. I’ll cover both in this tutorial.