## Oracle NUMBER: Precision and scale

So here is another post I keep for my own reference, since I keep forgetting about precision and scale, primarily which is which.

The Oracle Concepts guide states that the NUMBER datatype stores fixed and floating-point numbers. A column with the NUMBER datatype can be defined as follows:

`column_name NUMBER (precision, scale)`

The **precision** defines the **total number of digits**.

The **scale** defines the number of **digits to the right of the decimal point**.

If you specify a negative scale, Oracle Database rounds the actual data to the specified number of places to the left of the decimal point. For example, specifying (7,-2) means Oracle Database rounds to the nearest hundredths (source).