Solved: Calculate the minimum value of each column in a matrix in EXCEL


Alright this should be a simple one.
I apologize in case it has been already solved, but I can only find posts related to solving this issue with programming languages and not specifically to EXCEL.
Furthermore, I could find posts that address a sub-problem of my question (e.g. regarding limitation of certain EXCEL functions) and should solve/invalidate my request but maybe, just maybe, there is a workaround.
Problem statement:
  • I want to calculate the minimum value for each column in an EXCEL matrix. Simply enough, I want to input a 2D array (mxn matrix) in a function and output an array with dimension 1xm where each item is the minimum value MIN(nj) of each nj column.

However, I want to solve this with specific constraints:
  1. Avoid using VBA and other non-function scripting: that I could devise myself;
  2. All in one function: what I want to achieve here is to have one and one function only, not split the problem into multiple passages (such as for example copypasting a MIN() function below each column, that wouldn’t do it);
  3. The result should be a transposable array (which is already ok, I assume);

Where I am stranded with my solution so far: The main issue here is that any function I am trying to use takes the entire matrix as a single array input and would calculate the MIN() of the entire matrix, not each column. My current (not working) function for an exemplary 4×4 matrix in range A1:D4 would be as below (the part in bold is where it is clearly not working):
which ofc does not work, because INDEX() does probably not “understand” SEQUENCE() as an array of items to take into account. Another, not working, way of solving this is to input a series of ranges (A1:A4;B1:B4;C1:C4;D1:D4) so that INDEX() “understands” the ranges as single columns, but ofc does not know and I do not know sincerely how to formulate that. I could use INDIRECT() in some way to reference the array of ranges, but do not know how and could find a way by searching online.
Fundamental question is: can a function, which works with single arrays, also work with multiple arrays? Basically, I do not know how to communicate an EXCEL array formula, that each batch of data I am inputting is a single array and must be evaluated separately (this is very easily solved with for() cycles, I know).
Many thanks for any suggestion and any workaround, any function and solution works as longs as it fits in the constrains defined above (maybe a LAMBA() function? don’t know).
This is ofc a simplification of a way more complex problem (I am trying to calculate the annual mean temperature evolution for a specific location by finding the value – for each year from 1950 to 2021 – that is associated to the lat/lon coordinates that are the nearest to the one of the location inputted, given a netCDF-imported grid of time-arrayed data; the MIN() function is used to selected the nearest location, which is then used, via INDEX() to find temp data). I need to do this in one hit (meaning just pasting the function, which evaluates a matrix of data that is referenced by a fixed range), so that I can just use it modularly for other data sets. I already have a working solution, which is “elegant”* enough, but not “elegant”* as the one I could develop solving this issue.
*where “elegant”= it saves me one click every time for 1000+ datasets when applying the function.

Best Answer:

If I understand your problem correct then this should solve it:

If you have better answer, please add a comment about this, thank you!