Please Help! Microsoft Excel 2013, Counting individual names from two columns (First Name/Last Name columns)


Jun 11, 2014
Hey guys, I feel like I am at my wit's end here. I am using MS Office Excel 2013 and I am trying to count a list of names. I have tried a few options that did not work. I am also not super proficient with Excel either. I will do my best to explain the situation here.

We collect data about the students that come to use our lab. Upon signing in on the computer, the student entered basic information into a computer that has an Access database setup. Once a week I backup this data, use the backup to import the data to Excel and I have to create charts with Excel to present the information to the department.

When I stepped into the position, I was given a process that the previous person used to collect this data. I am attempting to streamline the data collection and make it as simple as I can. I have been able to do this all except for one piece... counting the unique individual list of students that attend the lab.

I import all the data from Access into Excel and then I am given a very large spreadsheet to work with. From here, I have two columns that I need (as there are about 20 total columns), First Name and Last Name.

I would like to be able to count all the unique entries using a formula that will take into consideration both the First AND Last name columns (as one entry) to give me the total of individual students who used the lab. Then that formula output be on a different sheet within the workbook so that when I import the following week's Access information, it automatically updates the Individual student field without any further work from me.

Please see the attachment for an example of what I am trying to do and how my current data set looks. (does not include all data, just the example of what I need in the same conditions as I am working with.)

Excel Example - Google Drive

This is the last thing I need to complete my data collection sheet before my graphs. Any assistance will be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.



Feb 3, 2013
A couple of good links for future reference:

There's a very good active site at ...lots of experts in Excel and Access.

Additionally, check out

Daft question: what if >1 student has the same fore and surnames? - unique will ignore these? Do you have unique info in other columns e.g. reg number that can be used also? Is this simply a headcount?


Jun 11, 2014
Yes, this is simply a head count of all students that come into the lab regardless of the amount of times the show up. It doesnt have to be 100% accurate but as close as possible. It is possible that two people could have the same full name and that would be why we dont need complete accuracy. There is no other data input that can be used for this purpose due to FERPA.

I will look into those sites as well... I just didnt want to have to create a new account over and over.

Also, concatenating the fields wouldn't work well as that would require me to have to do that process everytime I add the new access database into the data worksheet (at least the way I know how to do that). Looking for a streamlined process where all I do is import the data and its done.
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