What Type of Data Is Stored in Redshift?


Scott Campbell

When it comes to data storage, Amazon Redshift is a popular choice among businesses due to its scalability and cost-effectiveness. But what type of data can you store in Redshift? Let’s dive deeper into the different data types supported by this powerful data warehousing solution.

Structured Data

Redshift is primarily designed to handle structured data. This means that it is optimized for storing and processing data that fits neatly into tables with predefined schemas. Structured data is organized into rows and columns, making it easy to query and analyze using SQL.

Numeric Data Types

Redshift supports various numeric data types, including:

  • SMALLINT: A small integer that can store values from -32,768 to 32,767.
  • INTEGER: A standard integer that can store values from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.
  • BIGINT: A large integer that can store values from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,
  • FLOAT: A floating-point number with decimal precision.
  • REAL: A single-precision floating-point number.
  • DOUBLE PRECISION: A double-precision floating-point number.

Date and Time Data Types

To handle date and time information effectively in Redshift databases,

  • TIMESTAMP: Stores both date and time information with microsecond precision.
  • DATE: Stores only the date portion.
  • TIME: Stores only the time portion.

Semi-Structured Data

In addition to structured data, Redshift also supports semi-structured data formats like JSON and Avro. This flexibility allows you to store and query data that doesn’t fit neatly into traditional relational database tables.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)

Redshift provides JSON support, enabling you to store JSON documents directly in the database. This allows for more complex and flexible data structures.


Avro is a compact binary data format that is self-describing. Redshift can read and write Avro files, making it easier to integrate with other systems that use this format.

Other Supported Data Types

Besides structured and semi-structured data, Redshift also supports other commonly used data types:

  • VARCHAR: A variable-length character string with a maximum length of 65,535 bytes.
  • CHAR: A fixed-length character string with a maximum length of 65,535 bytes.
  • BOOLEAN: A boolean value representing true or false.
  • BINARY: Variable-length binary data with a maximum length of 65,535 bytes.

In conclusion, Amazon Redshift is capable of storing various types of data. From structured numeric and date/time data to semi-structured JSON and Avro formats, Redshift provides the flexibility needed for modern analytics workloads. By leveraging these different data types, businesses can unlock valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to drive growth and success.

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