What Is Redshift Data Type?


Scott Campbell

In this tutorial, we will explore the Redshift data type and understand its significance in database management. Redshift is a powerful data warehousing solution offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to handle large-scale data analytics and reporting workloads efficiently.

What is a Data Type?

Data types define the kind of values that can be stored in a database column. They determine the storage format and how the data can be manipulated. Each column in a database table must have a specified data type.

Redshift Data Types

Redshift provides various data types to accommodate different types of data. Here are some commonly used Redshift data types:

  • CHAR: This fixed-length character type is used to store single-byte characters. It is ideal for storing short strings with a known length.
  • VARCHAR: The variable-length character type can store strings with varying lengths.

    It is suitable for storing longer text values.

  • INTEGER: The INTEGER data type represents whole numbers within the range of -2147483648 to 2147483647.
  • FLOAT: This floating-point number type can store real numbers with up to 8 bytes precision.
  • DATE: The DATE data type stores date values in ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ format. It does not include time information.

Working with Data Types

To define a column’s data type during table creation, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name data_type,

You can also alter an existing table’s column data type using the ALTER TABLE statement:

ALTER TABLE table_name
ALTER COLUMN column_name SET DATA TYPE new_data_type;

It is crucial to choose the correct data type for each column to optimize storage space and ensure accurate data representation. Using inappropriate data types can result in wasted storage and may impact query performance.


Data types play a vital role in database management, as they define the nature of the stored data and its manipulation capabilities. Redshift provides a wide range of data types to accommodate various data requirements efficiently. By selecting the appropriate data types, you can ensure optimal storage utilization and enhance query performance in your Redshift database.

Now that you have a better understanding of Redshift data types, you can make informed decisions while designing your database schema and defining column properties.

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