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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

Part Number B28286-01
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Description of ntile.gif follows
Description of the illustration ntile.gif

See Also:

"Analytic Functions" for information on syntax, semantics, and restrictions, including valid forms of expr


NTILE is an analytic function. It divides an ordered data set into a number of buckets indicated by expr and assigns the appropriate bucket number to each row. The buckets are numbered 1 through expr. The expr value must resolve to a positive constant for each partition. Oracle Database expects an integer, and if expr is a noninteger constant, then Oracle truncates the value to an integer. The return value is NUMBER.

The number of rows in the buckets can differ by at most 1. The remainder values (the remainder of number of rows divided by buckets) are distributed one for each bucket, starting with bucket 1.

If expr is greater than the number of rows, then a number of buckets equal to the number of rows will be filled, and the remaining buckets will be empty.

You cannot nest analytic functions by using NTILE or any other analytic function for expr. However, you can use other built-in function expressions for expr.

See Also:

"About SQL Expressions" for information on valid forms of expr and Table 2-10, "Implicit Type Conversion Matrix" for more information on implicit conversion


The following example divides into 4 buckets the values in the salary column of the oe.employees table from Department 100. The salary column has 6 values in this department, so the two extra values (the remainder of 6 / 4) are allocated to buckets 1 and 2, which therefore have one more value than buckets 3 or 4.

SELECT last_name, salary, NTILE(4) OVER (ORDER BY salary DESC) 
   AS quartile FROM employees
   WHERE department_id = 100
   ORDER BY last_name, salary, quartile;

LAST_NAME                     SALARY   QUARTILE
------------------------- ---------- ----------
Chen                            8200          2
Faviet                          9000          1
Greenberg                      12000          1
Popp                            6900          4
Sciarra                         7700          3
Urman                           7800          2