Using Statistics with Splice Machine

This topic introduces how to use database statistics with Splice Machine. Database statistics are a form of metadata (data about data) that assists the Splice Machine query optimizer; the statistics help the optimizer select the most efficient approach to running a query, based on information that has been gathered about the tables involved in the query.

This topic describes how to:

Statistics are inexact; in fact, some statistics like table cardinality are estimated using advanced algorithms, due to the resources required to compute these values. It’s important to keep this in mind when basing design decisions on values in database statistics tables.

It’s also important to note that the statistics for your database are not automatically refreshed when the data in your database changes, which means that when you query a statistical table or view, the results you see may not exactly match the data in the actual tables.

Collecting Statistics

You can collect statistics on a schema or table using the splice> Analyze command.

You can also use the SYSCS_UTIL.COLLECT_SCHEMA_STATISTICS procedure to collect statistics on an entire schema, including every table in the schema. For example:


During statistical collection:

  • Statistics are automatically collected on columns in a primary key, and on columns that are indexed. These are called keyed columns.
  • Statistics are also collected on columns for which you have enabled statistics collection, as described in the next section, Enabling and Disabling Statistics.

Once collection of statistics has completed, the Splice Machine query optimizer will automatically begin using the updated statistics to optimize query execution plans.

When Should You Collect Statistics?

We advise that you collect statistics after you have:

  • Created an index on a table.
  • Modified a significant number of rows in a table with update, insert, or delete operations.

A general rule-of-thumb is that you should collect statistics after modifying more than 10% of data.

On Which Columns Should You Collect Statistics?

By default, Splice Machine collects statistics on all columns in a table.

To reduce the operational cost of analyzing large tables (such as fact tables), you can tell Splice Machine to not collect statistics on certain columns by running the SYSCS_UTIL.DISABLE_COLUMN_STATISTICS built-in system procedure:


Splice Machine strongly recommends that you always collect statistics on small tables, such as a table that has hundreds of rows on each region server.

How to Determine if You Should Collect or Drop Statistics

You can use Explain Plan in your development or test environment to determine how dropping or collecting statistics changes the execution plan for a query.

Dropping Statistics

If you subsequently wish to drop statistics for a schema, you can use the SYSCS_UTIL.DROP_SCHEMA_STATISTICS procedure to drop statistics for an entire schema. For example:


Enabling and Disabling Statistics on Specific Columns

When you collect statistics, Splice Machine automatically collects statistics on keyed columns, which are columns in a primary key and columns that are indexed.

Please review the recommendations and restrictions regarding which columns should or should not have statistics collection enabled, as noted below in the Selecting Columns for Statistics Collection subsection.

You can also explicitly enable statistics collection on specific columns in tables using the SYSCS_UTIL.ENABLE_COLUMN_STATISTICS procedure. For example:


Disabling Statistics Collection on a Column

If you subsequently wish to disable collection of statistics on a specific column in a table, use the SYSCS_UTIL.DISABLE_COLUMN_STATISTICS procedure:


Once you’ve enabled or disabled statistics collection for one or more table columns, you should update the query optimizer by collecting statistics on the table or schema.

Selecting Columns for Statistics Collection

You can only collect statistics on columns containing data that can be ordered. This includes all numeric types, Boolean values, some CHAR and BIT data types, and date and timestamp values.

When selecting columns on which statistics should be collected, keep these ideas in mind:

  • The process of collecting statistics requires both memory and compute time to complete; the more statistics you collect, the longer it takes and the more of your computing resources that it uses.
  • You should collect statistics for any column that is used as a predicate in a query.
  • You should collect statistics for any column that is used in a select distinct, Group by, order by, or join clause.
  • You do not need to enable statistics for columns that are merely carried through the computation; however, doing so may improve heap size estimations, which in turn can make broadcast joins more likely to be chosen.

As you can see, selecting columns for statistics is a tradeoff between the resources required to collect the statistics, and the improvements in optimization that result from having the statistics collected.

Viewing Collected Statistics

Splice Machine provides two system tables you can query to view the statistics that have been collected for your database:

See Also