How Do You Find the Data Type of a Table?


Angela Bailey

Finding the data type of a table is an essential task when working with databases. It allows us to understand the nature of the data stored in each column and helps in making informed decisions about data manipulation and analysis. In this tutorial, we will explore different methods to determine the data type of a table using SQL.

Using the DESCRIBE Statement

One way to find the data type of a table is by using the DESCRIBE statement. This statement provides information about the structure of a table including column names, data types, and other attributes.

To use the DESCRIBE statement, execute the following SQL command:

DESCRIBE table_name;

For example, if we have a table called “employees”, we can find its data type by running:

DESCRIBE employees;

The output will show a list of columns along with their respective data types.

Querying Information Schema

Another method to determine the data type of a table is by querying the information schema. The information schema is a system database that contains metadata about all other databases and tables in an SQL server.

To retrieve column information from the information schema, execute this SQL query:

SELECT column_name, data_type 
FROM information_schema.columns 
WHERE table_name = 'your_table_name';

Replace ‘your_table_name’ with the actual name of your table. This query will return all columns along with their corresponding data types.

Using SHOW COLUMNS Statement

In MySQL, you can use the SHOW COLUMNS statement to obtain information about columns in a specific table.

The syntax for this command is as follows:


For example:


This statement will display a result set containing column details, including the data type.


In this tutorial, we explored different methods to find the data type of a table using SQL. We learned about using the DESCRIBE statement, querying the information schema, and utilizing the SHOW COLUMNS statement. By understanding the data types of our tables, we can effectively manage and analyze our data in a more structured and meaningful way.

Remember: Having a clear understanding of the data types in your tables is crucial for performing accurate calculations and manipulations. Take advantage of these methods to obtain this vital information when working with databases.

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