Tag: Microsoft Excel

Power Query function to count number of months between two dates

Power Query has a built-in Duration.Days function. But what about Duration.Months?

Why don’t we create a custom function for that?

(Date1 as date , Date2 as date) =>
let
    Source =
        List.Generate(
            () => [x = 1, y = Date.AddMonths(Date1,x)],
            each [y] <= Date2,
            each [x = [x] + 1, y = Date.AddMonths(Date1,x)],
            each [y]
        ),
    Months = List.Count(Source)
in
    Months

Note: Date1 should be earlier than Date2.

How to do Lookup in Excel and Power Query

Lookup in regular Excel function

The XLOOKUP function has been available to Office 365 and Excel 2021. For compatibility purposes with my workbook’s potential users, I shy away from using this function. Instead, I use the combination of INDEX and MATCH.

Why not VLOOKUP?

I’m not sure if there are any hardware efficiency benefit from using INDEX and MATCH over VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP. But I use INDEX and MATCH primarily for two reasons:

  1. Ability to return the value of the column to the left of your lookup array (left-most column of the table array)
  2. Never worry about adding a column between the returned column and the lookup array. Remember, you indicate the column index number being the returned column from your table array? What if you’ve not touched your file for a long time, return to it and inserting a column in a table, forgetting that you’ve used that table as a table array as a lookup somewhere in your worksheet? You’ll certainly break your VLOOKUP formula.

How to use these formulas

Sorry, but you have to look somewhere else for the usage of these formulas.

Lookup in Power Query

Power Query Lookup Sample File

To better demonstrate the functions, it’s better if we refer to a sample file:
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How to Use Power Query to Pull Data from a CloudFlare Protected Website

I run Microsoft Excel’s Power Query daily in order to pull data from the BAP website for the USD/PHP rates for the day, which in turn I save in an Airtable database as a record for that day.

This week, however, it seems that BAP has implemented CloudFlare DDoS Protection, which helps it to combat DDoS attacks. Good for BAP, they can minimize what we’ve experienced downtimes in the past. Bad for me, now I’m getting 503 error in my query.

So how do we deal with this in Power Query? A quick Google search yields not much of a result. There’s one posted in June 2017 on Mr. Excel forum, 3 years and no one bothered with an answer.

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