Friday Challenge – Find Unique Values from CSV List

Find Unique Countries Visited List
Find Unique Countries Visited List

Welcome back to another Friday Challenge at Excel Dashboard Templates!

Today’s challenge is pretty straight forward and can be done manually (although it will take a while).  Can you do it quickly and with little manual effort?  This is a real scenario that I have faced in the past.  See if you can Find Unique Values from CSV List in Excel.

Find Unique Values from CSV List
Find Unique Values from CSV List

The Problem

Your boss comes to you with an Excel spreadsheet that he received from the marketing department.  They marketing department posted a survey on your companies website and they need to find the Top 3 countries visited by the survey respondents.  HOWEVER, the website developer didn’t understand and the answers came back as a list by each user in one text string of values separated by commas.

Can you find the Top 3 countries visited in the file linked below?

Also, on the way out of your office, your boss asks you how many countries were mentioned in total by the survey respondents?


The Sample File and Answers

Download Challenge File: Find-Unique-Items-in-Excel-from-CSV-List.xlsx

After you Find Unique Values from CSV List, put your answers in the comments below.

  1. Top 3 Countries Visited
  2. Total Number of Countries Visited.
  3. Bonus Question = How many total country visits were identified in this sample data

Give Me a Hint

Want a hint on how I completed this REAL life challenge?

Download this file and copy/paste the links into your browser to see the 2 related posts that will help you with this challenge.  Each post has a step-by-step tutorial and related video demonstration.  While the tutorials are not exact solutions to this problem, they should point you in the right direction to Find Unique Values from CSV List quickly.



Looking forward to your answers!



  1. Hi,
    Is this solution correct? :
    1- Cocos (Keeling) Islands / Bahamas / Cambodia
    2- 172
    3- 4571
    Thank you for these kind of challenges

    • Hi and thanks for your answers.

      Strange, I have cocos as number 6 not number 1 (but as always, I reserve my right to be wrong :))

      So to answer your question, I think it is not correct for number 1.
      Number 2 is short.
      Number three is WAY short. But maybe I didn’t ask the question right. 🙂

      How did you

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  3. Hi,
    Perhaps this one? :
    1- Bahamas / Cambodia / French Guiana
    2- 181 (or 180 without Africa)
    3- 242 868 (239 629 -Africa)
    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi again!

      Interesting about Africa. Not a trick question, so my bad for including a continent.

      How did you compile your answers?

      Why did your answers change from your previous response (what did you do differently)?

      I will show everyone the quick techniques to get the answers next week.

      I will send you your grade in a separate email 🙂

  4. Hi Steve,
    There were mistakes in my first answer, I tried to delete it but it’s not possible.
    To get theses results, I only used Power-Query.

    Thank you very much for your Email 🙂


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