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Click in cell C1, select Data » Data Validation, choose List, and then reference the first column in the Main_Data table (see the “Referencing Tables and Parts of Tables” section in this post for an explanation of the specific syntax used here, including the use of the INDIRECT function): When you click OK, you will have a dropdown in cell C1 that contains all of the available months.
This is a critical cell — it’s what we’ll use to select the date we want to key off of for reporting, and it’s what we’ll use to look up the data.
The single post on this blog that has, for several years now, consistently driven the most traffic to this site, is this one that I wrote almost three years ago.
Apparently, through sheer volume of content on the page and some dumb luck with the post title, I consistently do well for searches for “Excel dynamic named ranges” (long live the long tail of SEO! The kicker is that I wrote that post before I’d discovered the awesomeness of Excel tables, and before Excel 2010 had really gone mainstream.
And, in this example, let’s say we’ve got three different metrics that we’re updating: Revenue, Orders, and Web Visits.
This approach can be scaled to include dozens of metrics, but three should illustrate the point.
Name each cell by clicking on the cell, then clicking in the cell address at the top left and typing in the cell name.The sheet should now look like this: Because this is now a table, as you add data in additional rows, as long as they are on the rows immediately below the table, the table will automatically expand (and that new data will be included in references to Main_Data, which is critical to this whole exercise).While we’re on this tab, we should go ahead and defined some named cells and some named ranges.We want to look at the currently selected Report Period (a named range called Report Period) and find the value for each metric that is in the same row as that report period.That will give us the “Current” value for each metric.