Excel Tutorial: How to Retrieve and Analyze Dynamic Data Across Multiple Sheets

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and management. Often, we find ourselves working with data spread across multiple sheets within the same workbook. Manually retrieving and analyzing this data can be time-consuming and prone to errors. However, by mastering dynamic data retrieval techniques, you can automate these processes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. In this blog, we’ll explore how to dynamically pull data from multiple sheets and perform cross-sheet analysis.

How to Retrieve and Analyze Dynamic Data Across Multiple Sheets

Step 1: Organize Your Data

Before you start retrieving data, it’s crucial to organize it in a structured manner. Ensure that each sheet has a consistent layout, with similar data types in the same columns. For example:

| Sheet1: Sales Data 2021 |
| Date       | Product    | Quantity | Price |
| 2021-01-01 | Widget A   | 10       | $5    |
| 2021-01-02 | Widget B   | 15       | $7    |

| Sheet2: Sales Data 2022 |
| Date       | Product    | Quantity | Price |
| 2022-01-01 | Widget A   | 12       | $5.5  |
| 2022-01-02 | Widget B   | 18       | $7.5  |

Step 2: Use INDIRECT Function for Dynamic Sheet References

The INDIRECT function is a powerful tool for referencing cells dynamically. It allows you to construct a reference as a text string and then evaluates that string as a cell reference.

For example, to retrieve the total quantity of Widget A sold in 2021, you can use the following formula:

`=SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!C:C”))`

This formula uses INDIRECT to reference columns B and C in Sheet1 dynamically.

Step 3: Combine INDIRECT with Other Functions

To retrieve data across multiple sheets, you can combine INDIRECT with functions like SUM, AVERAGE, or VLOOKUP. For instance, to sum the quantities of Widget A sold in both 2021 and 2022, you can use:

`=SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!C:C”)) + SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!C:C”))`

Step 4: Create a Summary Sheet

A summary sheet can provide an overview of data from multiple sheets. You can use the techniques from the previous steps to pull data into this sheet. For example:

| Summary: Total Sales |
| Year    | Widget A   | Widget B   |
| 2021    | =SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!C:C”)) | =SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!B:B”), “Widget B”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet1’!C:C”)) |
| 2022    | =SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!C:C”)) | =SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!B:B”), “Widget B”, INDIRECT(“‘Sheet2’!C:C”)) |

Step 5: Automate Sheet Name Generation

To avoid manually typing sheet names, you can automate this process using a list of sheet names and the INDIRECT function. For example, if you have a list of years in column A of your summary sheet, you can use:

`=SUMIF(INDIRECT(“‘”&A2&”‘!B:B”), “Widget A”, INDIRECT(“‘”&A2&”‘!C:C”))`

This formula will dynamically construct the sheet name based on the year in column A.

Step 6: Use 3D References for Simpler Formulas

When you have identical layouts across sheets, you can use 3D references to simplify your formulas. For example, to sum the quantities of Widget A sold across all sheets named Sheet1, Sheet2, etc., you can use:


This formula will sum the quantities in cells C2 to C100 across all sheets from Sheet1 to Sheet2.


Dynamic data retrieval and analysis across multiple Excel sheets can significantly enhance your productivity. By using functions like INDIRECT, combining them with SUMIF or VLOOKUP, and employing 3D references, you can streamline your data management tasks. Remember to keep your data organized and consistently formatted across sheets to make the most of these techniques. With practice, you’ll be able to master these skills and handle complex data sets with ease.

Live Excel Support Transcript Example:

Below is a live transcript of one of our excel experts helping a customer to retrieve and analyze dynamic data across multiple excel sheets:

Customer: Hello. Oh, how you doing?
Technician: Hi, I’m all right. How are you?
Customer: Pretty good. Thanks. So you need help with X lookup?
Technician: Um, yes, so I know how to do like a general lookup, but now I am trying to find the data returns across multiple sheets.
Customer: Okay. Um, I can email you the worksheets, um, I’m not sure how you want it to view it because it’s not on Google Sheets.
Technician: Yeah, or you can attach to this case. I can give you my email too.
Customer: Yeah, it’s am.
Technician: Okay, give me one moment. Um, it’s just formula help or you need like formatting and pulling you need the job done?
Customer: Um, if I can have help getting the job done as well, um, whichever.
Technician: Sure. Yeah, I can get the job done for you.
Customer: Okay. Um, let me just…
Technician: Um, okay. Yeah, I can get the job done for you and also show you how I did it like yeah once I finish it. Depending on how long it takes.
Customer: Um, okay. Usually, um, if it’s one hour straight, it’s more expensive than if we can convert it to like a long-term job which is two hours of work for 120.
Technician: Okay, so if you’re okay with converting into a long-term job depending on how long it’s going to take, it’s cheaper to do that than to just do that straight out one hour.
Customer: Okay. Got it. Um, yeah.
Technician: Okay. Um, okay now I am hang on it’s loading. Okay. What is your email address?
Customer: A m d a n a number one at gmail.
Technician: Okay, I have to close it out. Okay, let’s try this again. All right, I just sent it over.
Customer: Okay. Can you repeat the email to me? I didn’t get it yet.
Technician: Um, let’s see. Um, a m d a n a number one at gmail.com.
Customer: Yeah, let me just has my first and last name as the subject. What’s your name? What’s your email? I’ll email you maybe.
Technician: Um, am I miss acheman so m-i-s-s-a-k-e-m-o-n at gmail. I just emailed you.
Customer: Okay. If you can check your spam or trash.
Technician: Crystal again, right?
Customer: Okay. Yes. Okay. I got it.
Technician: Okay. So, do you see my screen?
Customer: Um, give me one moment. Yes.
Technician: All right, so I’m going to be working from the first tab, it’s the shipping by warehouse sheet, shipping by warehouse by skew. Yeah. What do you want to pull exactly from here?
Customer: I just made that list, you actually can delete it. Um, the table, the whole, yeah, that whole column you can delete, just the column.
Technician: Okay. Yeah. Okay, so, um, basically, um, from those skews, um, you know the description matches the skews, but I deleted the h column. That’s what you wanted.
Customer: Yes, the skews.
Technician: Okay, okay. So, um, basically, those skews, that list of skews, and matches on one of the sheets. Um, like the hp weltings, other Cbd ting, so on and so forth. So basically, what I’m needing is, um, like for the first one, for example, yeah, let’s look, let’s look for that real fast.
Customer: Okay, so that one would be um, under other cbd tinks under that sheet.
Technician: Okay, and what I want to populate for each date, if you’ll notice, um, there’s a denver amount and an atlanta amount for each of those dates. And I’m wanting to populate that information across the rest of the dates for each warehouse.
Customer: Or for each, um, I mean, I don’t want for denver.
Technician: Let me just go ahead and see if I know. There are four entries of this. The first entry is here. This is not relevant, is it?
Customer: Um, no, that’s not relevant.
Technician: Okay, just um, it would be under column j on the other sheets, um, to find the match there.
Customer: Okay. I found it here, denver.
Technician: Okay, um, I’m just going to go ahead and look for it. Um, to find the match there. Okay, I found it here, denver.
Customer: Okay, um, and so on the sheet we’re working on or working from, you see how it has the denver and Denver inventory and atlanta inventory. I basically want that information copied over to the corresponding columns on the shipping to warehouse by skew sheet.
Technician: Yeah. So just tell me what this, so what should be here, what number?
Customer: So that one, um, okay, let me go back. So once we have all that information that I just talked about, column D and E, I’m wanting to show the percentage. Um, so based off let’s say 227, um, you know what? I’m sorry, I’m trying to think of what you said.
Technician: Okay, so if we go back to column, oh, I deleted it. Okay, so, um, but still percentage of units shipped from denver for this queue.
Customer: Yes, I’m in this queue. So, um, how do I get that number?
Technician: So based off of, okay, so I guess we need to make another column, right? So total amount. Based off of the numbers that we pulled from those other sheets, I need a total amount for each one for denver and one from atlanta. And based off the total amount with both of those combined, what is the percentage that went to denver or shipped from denver? And what is the percentage shipped from atlanta?
Customer: Yeah, so if like 80 was here, 20 was here, there’s gonna be 20, it’d be 80, right?
Technician: Yes. Um, hang on, I’m trying to make, is there any way like, okay. And all the dates up to how long, how far does it go?
Customer: Um, it goes from I believe February to, um, yes, 10-2.
Technician: So you want all those totals?
Customer: Yes, all those totals as well. Um, so let’s say the total number is a thousand like you had said, um, yeah, 80 was denver. That’s 800, you know in the rest to atlanta, but then you also have this popping up more than once. Let me go back actually, you know I just have to worry about these two.
Technician: Yes, just worry about those, um, that column, um, as far as the skews. Everything else is for, you know, another department to worry about, but we’re just worried about the inventory for those two.
Customer: Okay. What else do you need to do?
Technician: That’s it. Um, for all those skews, all those dates, and then all the dates totaled.
Customer: Um, yeah. So, if you scroll over, over, over, okay. So for each date, one is atl, um, I did the first one in L and M, one is for denver, one is for atl, and so if we go to N and O, N will be changed to, I think it says 3-8, denver, and O would be 3-8 atl, and so on and so forth. Let me see where it says that. I just see 3-6.
Technician: Oh, 3-6, I’m sorry, it’s small. Um, so those dates should correspond with what’s on the other sheets. And then, um, you know, one column will be for denver and the next would be for atl for those states.
Customer: And you want, um, for 227 denver, the actual number?
Technician: Yeah, so for the 27 denver, yes, that total number and then it should be 673.
Customer: Yes, and then the same, you know, for each day in each location all the way down until 10.
Technician: Yes, over, okay.
Customer: Okay. And how many skews do you have? Just 50?
Technician: Um, yes.
Customer: Okay. I can take care of this for you in like maybe an hour. And like I mentioned to you, it’s cheaper to just do it as a long-term job.
Technician: Okay, so this here, um, and I, yes, like I liked your idea of showing me what you did once you’re done. So, I’m sure I’ll be giving this again in the future.
Customer: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Once I do it for you, um, I’ll call you, we’ll join this session again, and I can show exactly all the formulas I did.
Technician: Okay. Yeah, perfect. Um, do you want to shoot me an email once you’re done or how do I reconnect?
Customer: Yeah, email and phone probably.
Technician: Okay, but before that, if you can look at your screen, you should see like an approve button here somewhere.
Customer: Um, this is in the invite? This should be in the geeker screen if you, yes.
Technician: Okay. Can you reply? Oh, what happened here?
Customer: Thank you. Maybe you can reply back with your phone number.
Technician: Okay, in the chat?
Customer: Yeah, you can put or in the email here.
Technician: Oh, okay. Yeah, I can do that.
Customer: Yeah, so, uh, what are you like in the office today or how long, what’s the due date?
Technician: Um, so I’m in California. So I’m on Pacific time. I’m just end of day.
Customer: End of day. Okay, Pacific, but I work from home. So I’m available all day.
Technician: Okay, yeah. I’ll try to do it any day. What time is it now? 11 or 12?
Customer: It’s um, 11:26 right now.
Technician: Okay, by five. But yeah, hopefully this could be way before so we can meet.
Customer: Perfect, great. Yeah. Thanks a lot for calling.
Technician: All right. Thank you. See you.