# What Is Exact Numeric Data Type?

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Scott Campbell

What Is Exact Numeric Data Type?

Exact numeric data types are a fundamental concept in programming and database management. These data types are used to store precise numerical values without any loss of accuracy.

In this article, we will explore the different exact numeric data types and understand their significance in various programming languages and databases.

## Understanding Exact Numeric Data Types

Exact numeric data types are designed to store numerical values with fixed precision and scale. Precision refers to the total number of digits that can be stored, while scale refers to the number of digits that can be stored after the decimal point.

These data types are particularly useful when you need to perform calculations that require high accuracy, such as financial calculations or scientific computations.

### Common Exact Numeric Data Types

Here are some common exact numeric data types found in programming languages and databases:

• Integer: An integer is a whole number without any decimal places. It can be either positive or negative.
• Decimal: The decimal data type is used to store fixed-point numbers with a specified precision and scale.
• Numeric: Numeric is similar to the decimal data type and is used to store fixed-point numbers with precise precision and scale.
• Bigint: Bigint is an extended version of the integer data type that allows for larger whole numbers.

### Precision and Scale

Precision and scale play a crucial role in determining the storage capacity of exact numeric data types. For example, if you define a decimal data type with a precision of 10 and a scale of 2, it can store values from -999,999.99 to 999,999.99.

The precision determines the total number of digits that can be stored, while the scale determines the number of decimal places.

It’s important to choose the appropriate precision and scale based on your requirements. Using a higher precision and scale than necessary can result in unnecessary memory consumption, while using a lower precision and scale might lead to data truncation or loss of accuracy.

## Usage Example

Let’s consider an example to understand the usage of exact numeric data types. Suppose we want to store monetary values in a database table for a financial application.

We can use the decimal data type with an appropriate precision and scale to ensure accurate storage of monetary values.

```CREATE TABLE transactions (
id INT,
amount DECIMAL(10, 2),
date DATE
);
```

In this example, we have defined the “amount” column with a decimal data type having a precision of 10 and a scale of 2. This allows us to store monetary values with up to two decimal places and a maximum value of 999,999.

### Conclusion

Exact numeric data types are essential for storing precise numerical values in programming languages and databases. By understanding their purpose and utilizing them correctly, you can ensure accurate calculations and reliable data storage in your applications.